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« Green policy - complicity in genocide? | Main | The morality of the green academic »

On encyclicals

This is a guest post by Cumbrian Lad.

Climate change and the coming encyclical

Today we see another set of meetings in Rome. One is that of the Pontifical Academy of Science, and the other the Heartland Institute. Both organisations are hoping to influence the widely heralded encyclical from Pope Francis that will include references to climate change. Given that the text of the encyclical has already been finalised, and is currently being translated, there may not be much that either party can do to affect its content. The headlines they are making will be building up expectations on both sides, and it's worth having a closer look at the background to an encyclical. 

What is an encyclical?

Simply put, it is a circular letter written by the Pope to the Church which forms a part of the Ordinary Magisterium or teaching of the Church. It is not a formal statement of the type that is regarded as infallible doctrine, as it usually deals with moral guidance and the application of existing doctrine to current matters. In the past encyclicals have dealt with such subjects as war and social issues of all types.

What will this one cover?

Despite the emphasis being put on climate change in the press, it's unlikely that the central part of the document will concern itself with just that subject. Rather it will treat that as one factor among many in what Pope Benedict XVI called 'human ecology', a term that Pope Francis has adopted enthusiastically. It will touch on many aspects of life for the poor and vulnerable, including the misuse of economic power and the many injustices that man visits upon man in our world. 

Is the Pope endorsing a particular view of climate change?

In the coming encyclical, the indications are that it will certainly include some discussion on how to react to the planet's continually changing climate. On this issue, (as a non-scientist with some technical training) he will be largely dependent on the advice of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which has made a number of statements on this topic.

The PAS is in turn dependent on interpreting the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5), which was completed in 2014 and is a wide-ranging review of the known science and data on the subject.

So the starting point will be a largely accepted position that the climate has warmed and that at least half of this change is very likely due to man's actions.*

Is the Church making pronouncements on Science?

The Church is accepting the judgements of its scientific advisers. There is of course precedent for the scientific consensus to be wrong, and the Pope seems to be well aware of this, as he mentioned in a press conference on his flight back from the visit to Korea in August 2014;

But now there is a rather difficult problem, because, up to a certain point, one can speak with some assurance about safeguarding creation and ecology, including human ecology. But there are also scientific hypotheses [to be taken into account], some of them quite solid, others not. In this kind of encyclical, which has to be magisterial, one can only build on solid data, on things that are reliable. If the Pope says that the earth is the centre of the universe, and not the sun, he errs, since he is affirming something that ought to be supported by science, and this will not do. That's where we are at now. We have to study the document, number by number, and I believe it will become smaller. But to get to the heart of the matter and to what can be safely stated. You can say in a footnote: “On this or that question there are the following hypotheses...”, as a way of offering information, but you cannot do that in the body of encyclical, which is doctrinal and has to be sound.

So there is clear recognition here that anything that depends upon hypothesis is unlikely to make it into the main body of the document.

If so, do Catholics have to believe everything he says?

The encyclical will have the status of the ordinary teaching authority of the magisterium, so is not lightly put aside. This works both ways of course; one of the reasons that Pope Francis makes the comment quoted above is that he is conscious that what is written needs to be correct, and will have gone to some trouble to identify those issues which are subject to change and interpretation.

A great problem is that many people form an opinion on a document or an issue based on press reports, or other third party interpretations. These can be very selective in nature, and often 'spin' the substance of the document in very creative ways. There is no substitute for reading a document in its entirety and understanding the full case that it puts. A Catholic has a duty to fully inform his or her conscience about what the Church teaches, and then (and only then) act according to their conscience or 'moral compass'. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (892) and Lumen Gentium (para 25) make it clear that the full documents have to be considered in their context and character and reference that to other speeches and writings in order to fully inform themselves.  A good example is that of Humanae Vitae, the encyclical that dealt with contraception. There are many people who say they disagree with it; considerably fewer who have actually read it!

Is this science, religion or politics? Is the Pope calling for specific policies or changes in behaviour from Catholics?

The Pope has made it clear that one of his great concerns is the welfare of all humanity, and particularly the poor and vulnerable. The encyclical will no doubt deal with many aspects of human behaviour with respect to dealings with our neighbours and with the environment and so will impact on all areas of our thinking and behaviour, including in the areas of science, politics and religion. This teaching will likely give particular moral guidance, but will not deal with the specifics of policy or attempt to 'take a side' with respect to political systems. It will require a Catholic to consider the teaching, and to apply that in an informed way to their decisions and actions in their everyday life, including in the political sphere.

Is this going to cause controversy and division in the Church?

It is certain that in the days after publication there will be many words spoken and written across a wide range of commentators that will highlight particular lines, phrases, or even short sets of words, that will be set up to indicate that the Pope and the Church advocate this or that policy, or political system, or stance on other matters. This will in turn lead to counter pieces, refutations, re-analysis and re-interpretation ad infinitum, particularly since many groups have specifically stated that they are looking for the Holy Father to produce a document that will strengthen their particular world view.

This is all good. The whole point of an encyclical to engage in teaching and to spark debate; to encourage thinking deeply into an issue and to question ourselves and our own actions.  It is very easy to look at such a document in terms of how it supports a particular political viewpoint. But Popes generally, and Pope Francis in particular, have a habit of ploughing their own furrow, and not being aligned with a particular way of doing things. Rather they look to inform each of us individually as to how to live our lives, and govern our own actions in the light of Church teaching. We, each of us individually, are asked to read and understand the teachings as they apply to us, not as we think they apply to others.

Personally, I expect that what is written will be fully in accord with, for instance, the concerns highlighted here recently on the way poverty stricken people are denied access to life saving energy sources.

One thing is certain, the coming encyclical will contain a lot of surprises to people at all points on the political spectrum. And it will challenge us all to look again at how, in a practical way, we love our neighbour.


*Summary for Policymakers (IPCC-AR4, vol 1, page 10): “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”




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Reader Comments (72)

My impression of this particular head honcho in the poncho is not very good, especially in the light of his comments after the Charly Hebdo terrorist attack. Don't expect anything even vaguely neutral. Gaia is doing brisk trade within all the temples.


Apr 28, 2015 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

I've just posted this on Unthreaded (in response to comments from TinyCO2 and Patagon):

It seems Joshtrom Kureethadam, Catholic priest and chair of philosophy of science at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, may have put his finger on the problem in his new book Creation in Crisis:

The failure of Adam and Eve, while dwelling in the garden lovingly created for them, to respect a limit imposed on them regarding a tree in the same garden, shattered their relationship with the Creator. Creating lunar landscapes of pollution and destruction, veiling the sun with industrial smoke, and filling the heavens with CFCs are offences to the Creator.
The answer, he says, is for each human to have a right to 'equal ecological space', requiring 'a fundamental reworking of the global economy to close the gap between the world’s richest and poorest'. And his ideas, according to this article, 'offer a frame to view [the] expected papal encyclical ... on the environment'.

So there you have it.

Apr 28, 2015 at 10:51 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Further to my post above, a commentator ('slycat') on the RTCC article (see my link above) says:

Jesus himself could return from the heavens with nothing to say other then Global Warming is real and the conservatives still wouldn't believe him.
Here's my reply (awaiting approval):
I believe most conservatives would agree that Global Warming is real. But I doubt if many would agree with him if he went on to say that the answer to the potential problem is, as some seem to think, to deprive the world's poorest people of access to the massive benefits of affordable, reliable energy - via, as China has shown and India is showing, burning fossil fuels.

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:01 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

It says diddly in the bible about climate change (apart from Acts of God), end of.

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

It will interesting to see how Cardinal Pell responds give that he is an outspoken sceptic and now in a powerful position in the Curia.

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterBerniel

"Perhaps, therefore, no one should be allowed to practice in any of the sciences, particularly in those sciences that have become the mere political footballs of the leading pressure-groups, unless he can certify that he adheres to one of those major religions – Christianity outstanding among them – that preach the necessity of morality, and the reality of the distinction between that which is so and that which is not. For science without the morality that perhaps religion alone can give is nothing."

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, 2010

“The main reason, Your Holiness, of why we are here today, is it is not the business of the church to stray from the field of faith and morals and wonder into the playground that is science… it is not the business of the church to pronounce on science.”

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, 2015

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterGubulgaria

We should really be taking a cold hard look at Jonathan Sachs, the US economist behind the move to involve Ban-Ki-Moon and the Pope in this left-wing coup.
His statement - "Africa's governance is poor because Africa is poor" has resulted in an extra $130 billion being thrown at the continent, to little effect, when what they really need is coal-fired power stations.
We also learn from the NY Times that "Vatican officials have spent more than a year helping to prepare his message.....last month they met with the administrator of the EPA. Gina McCarthy........."
So the dead hand of B.Hussein Obama is revealed.
One has to sympathise with those Americans who are both Catholic and Republican.

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Cumbrian Lad
Thank you for that excellent analysis of what an encyclical is and is for.
Given that encyclicals are not "ex cathedra pronouncements on matters of faith and morals directed at the universal church" the question of papal infallibility does not apply — a point which is worth making clearly.
I'm afraid I have little faith in Francis on any controversial matter. He may in due course come clean on what he believes ought to be the Church's views on such arcane (to the non-Catholic, that is) matters as the indissolubility of marriage and the question of whether or not the divorced should be permitted to receive the Sacrament.
He is clearly not a liturgical traditionalist but to what extent he is radical on other matters is still open to question. Certainly he is "on the side of" the poor but whether he takes "our" view that the trillions being thrown (futilely) at global warming mitigation would be better spent on directly aiding the poor or the "establishment" view that global warming represents an existential threat to the poor and needs to be combatted at all costs we shall no doubt soon discover.
As usual the activists have been active in their attempts to bring influential figures such as the Pope to their cause. As usual a pity that those of a different view seem incapable of making their voices heard.

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson
Delingpole's claim that, as part of the Heartland delegation, he has been given a Lamborghini with a personalised number plate, should be taken with a pinch of salt.
He's on the wrong side for a start !

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered Commentertoad

I trust His Holiness will stress the importance of encouraging Africans to reach their full potential: and not be urged to stop using coal. A God given source of energy, which they have in vast quantities.

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

*Summary for Policymakers (IPCC-AR4, vol 1, page 10): “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

Shouldn't you be referencing AR5?

Specifically WG1 AR5 SPM Section D.3

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

When the best of climate science need the endorsement of a faith leader, to support their faith, it reinforces my lack of faith in climate science.

Has anyone checked the Pope's horoscope, to see if now is a good time for him to be making faith based decisions?

If his eyesight is cloudy, he could mistake "IPCC", for "666", the sign of the devil. I am sure Nostradamus had some warnings about that.

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Oh dear, the Church meddling in science and politics, that bodes ill for all and no relief for any. Is the Inquisition still working but under another name I believe?

Apr 28, 2015 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

St Michael of Mann, Divine Creator of the Holy Hockey Stick, would look so much better on a CV than a Nobel Prize anyway.

Perhaps the cause of the pause, is simply God's way of telling mankind not to be such a bunch of smug arrogant know-it-alls.

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

In the past, there was a hugely religious population in Britain. Those who weren’t kept their mouth shut because the church (whichever was in charge) didn’t just consign you to immortal doom, they applied immediate and painful doom if you spoke up. People who had little else in their lives dreamt of another existence where they had food and comfort. Religion offered them that. Today most of us in Britian have something very close to those dreams of heaven (do not measure yourself against 21st century wealth). We’ve managed to shrug off the worst effects of religion (give or take the odd paedophile or suicide bomber) and we are mostly resistant to new religions. Even most of the newly converted members of the church of AGW are lapsed practitioners, although they still tick the right box on the census. I very much doubt we will change direction for any man, no matter how pretty his dress. Will other countries be more meek?

At some point the Christian church became a little more ‘love thy neighbour’ than ‘smash his brains out if he isn’t one of us’ so the suffering they espouse is now all about sharing and everyone being equally… what? Wealthy? Poor? It’s one of those vague areas that AGW dogma is so good at. How many of Earth’s resources is any one person allowed? Will the Pope say ‘God thinks you can stop going forth and multiplying now’? Would the homosexual couple with no children be more holy than the heterosexual couple with ten kids? How will the church measure a person who flies every week for their job compared to a family that takes one luxury trip a year? Since many of today’s poor are rich compared to their forbears, will they find it harder to get into heaven than bunging the camel through they eye of a needle, give or take an industrial liquidiser? All those questions and little chance of answers.

I’m sure that there will be some guff about 2°C but little mention of how we are to achieve it, let alone how to get there fairly. Like many attempts at do gooding, this flimsy goal setting opens up huge opportunities for corruption and inequality. It’s positively evil. I’d like to think the Catholic church has learnt from past mistakes, where it demanded piety from all but would be prepared to swap get out of Hell free cards in return for favours but I really don’t think they’ve changed.

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

@ TerryS: AR4 is still valid "scientifically", but only from the viewpoint that there is no "new" science in AR5. It's merely a rehash of AR4 a few years on! If you look, each report has become successively less ranting & toned down in its alarmism, yet the alarmists haven't, unfortunately! If they carry on at that rate, the report in 10 years time may well just say "nothing to see here, move along quietly!". Then again....................

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

One of the keys to the success of the Catholic Church over the centuries is that they incorporate most of the pagan cults in the regions under their influence to their own rites. If it worked in the past, there is no reason to change now. Gaia worshiping is the fashionable cult these days.

Delingpole was prescient when he compared wind turbines to eco-crucifixes.

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:15 PM | Registered CommenterPatagon

Catholics and non-Catholics should read and reflect on social justice part of the Catechism link here:

And recall that part is based on the 7th Commandment, thou shalt not steal along with parts of the Christian Bible (see Luke 3:11 for example). It may shock some that the Church is a socialist organization since the rerum novarun of Leo XIII in 1891 and the updated in 1931. After all, the Church survived most forms of socialism (from the Nazis through Communism) by, essentially, become an active socialist organization. The current Pope just reflects the history and the theology that developed mostly in South America.

It's unlikely the Church is much concerned about what tools the secular community provides and they will simply use them. Go reread Luke 3:11. How interesting the Church predated virtually all of Marx's theory by some thousands of years.

Which means, or course, the Church will go "all in" on sustainable, CO2 and whatever else Agenda 21, et al, provides. After all, the Vatican is a part of the "club of Rome" (a pun ref. the real organization of the same name).

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered Commentercedars rebellion

I just posted a comment on the "The Morality of the Green Academic" by mistake, cursed myself for getting the wrong thread, and then laughed because I still got the right one. When it doesn't really matter which thread my comment landed on, then the Universe is probably telling me something.

Global warming moves in mysterious ways.

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Speaking of Encyclicals, the BBC has clearly got the inside scoop on it: "Vatican urges action on climate change".

That Roger Harrabin leaves Dan Brown trailing in the dust.

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

michael hart, references to Dan Brown, with all that he represents about religious faith, cover-ups etc, the Catholic Church, BBC, Vatican, global warming, all in one post, is worth repeating.

Great fiction has always sold well.

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Vatican heavies silence climate heretics at UN Papal summit.
Apparently Morano, Monckton and Delingpole got in to the conference but were threatened with eviction for asking a question.

Apr 28, 2015 at 1:27 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

It is a fearsome engine.

Apr 28, 2015 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Russel, is that supposed to mean something or are you talking to your... err... self?

Apr 28, 2015 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

"Apparently Morano, Monckton and Delingpole got in to the conference but were threatened with eviction for asking a question."

Evidently, the Swiss Guard were expecting the Climate Inquisition.

Apr 28, 2015 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell


I think Russell is referring to this old Engineer's holy chant.


Apr 28, 2015 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

It reminds me of something a priest said to me many years ago, when amongst several others in a debate about the Church & its place in modern society, he said "Never criticise the wisdom of the Chruch, it is the only tyrrany that has lasted for more than 2000 years!"

Apr 28, 2015 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

TinyCO2, Russell is making reference to the way the Catholic church has always preached fear, based on hellfire, sulphurous brimstone, purgatory etc for non believers, even though there is no supporting evidence.

Global warming alarmists have always preached fear, and have no supporting evidence.

Anybody not accustomed to global warming alarmism propaganda, could easily be confused, by the fearsome engineering of science, that is possible without evidence.

Apr 28, 2015 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I think the Pope should be spending more time raising awareness as to the plight of the poor and the suffering of the church in the Middle East. But no one cares about that just bloody climate change - well the MSM do, the rest of us couldn't give a s***!

Apr 28, 2015 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered Commentercd

The IPCC process is probably similar to the way the bible was produced.

Apr 28, 2015 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Sorry Russell, I missed your post. Clearly you are hoping that Scientists who do not share your faith in global warming, will be denied access to the meeting of faith leaders by armed bouncers, in period costume.

It is great to understand how scientific consensus building works in climate science. The Catholic Church does have a few dodgy episodes, around enforcement, that they may not want to be reminded about, with strong arm tactics on the Vatican steps.

Apr 28, 2015 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

He may have meant Feersum Endjinn but the link seems tenuous.

Apr 28, 2015 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Who would have thought that in a David v. Goliath type confrontation, the Catholic church would portray itself as the thuggish Goliath.

Climate science must be seeking Papal Absolution from some pretty big sins, but I expect they can programme a computer to say as many "Hail Mary" as necessary. A bit like "Hottest Year Evahs".

Apr 28, 2015 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Historically, bad weather was deemed an Act of God. Nowadays, it is due to Global Warming, according to the BBC

Has the Pope got consent to agree with the IPCC, a specific holy date, after which God declines all liability and responsibility, and it becomes a climate scientists divine right to apportion blame?

I think Lawyers would like to know, so they can get richer, by sueing anybody, for anything. There is no legal reason why Lawyers should not cash in. A rich lawyer told me that.

The Catholic Church and their Legal Defence teams around the world, would quite like to offload some of their legal liabilities at the moment. If Adam and Eve had blamed their nakedness, and risque behaviour on warmer than average temperatures, ie, it was Gods fault, a good legal team would have prevented them being made gardenless. A lot could have turned out different, and it may not have been as bad as we are all taught.

Apr 28, 2015 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Speaking as a die-hard Catholic, it's likely whatever is in the encyclical is not going to be retained in the minds of many Catholics. (Others can and will just ignore it.) We have short attention spans like everyone else. I see a period of hype, followed by an eventual return to operating as if the thing was never written.

Future progressives will point to it to reinforce their beliefs. It's not dogma, though.


Apr 28, 2015 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

There is now a pontificating document, called "Climate Change and The Common Good".
Turns out it's written by a bunch of largely familiar climate activists - Jeff Sachs, Schellnhuber...

The first line is
"Unsustainable consumption coupled with a record human population ..."
which is an amazing piece of hypocrisy given the catholic church's position on birth control.

Apr 28, 2015 at 4:13 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

If faith is all powerful, why doesn't the Pope join The Forces of faith together, and do exorcisms and rain-dances to get rid of the drought devil in California? People of Faith would know they could not lose, and so would be joined by the Hockey Team in full costume, regalia and carefully trimmed facial hair. Given some of their previous dramatic performances, the Hockey Team should have no problem with exorcisms and rain dances.

If it did then rain, combined Faith and climate science, could claim to have got something right. This would leave 97% of climate scientists very surprised. I do not know about the othe Faiths.

This could be the sort of crowd pleasing event that Paris is going to need.

Apr 28, 2015 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

As a Team building exercise for their new buddy, could the Hockey Team present the Pope, with full Hockey Team regalia? They could even apply the carefully trimmed facial hair, some of them are good make up artists, and even have awards to prove it.

Apr 28, 2015 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Paul Matthews
If the encyclical were to include references to "unsustainable consumption coupled with a record human population ..." then that would indeed be an amazing piece of hypocrisy for which reason I doubt it will say anything of the sort though I have to say that with the current pope little would surprise me.
What concerns me is that the arguments for AGW, specious as we may consider them, are very plausible for those with little or no knowledge of the background from which the concept springs. Which is one reason why politicians and churchmen are easily persuaded of their validity especially as they speak directly to the need for action to mitigate or adapt to a situation where governments and religions might be expected to act in their interests of their people.
I have yet to meet anyone who continues to be a devotee once the details of the pseudo-scientific aspect and the likelihood of the more extreme scenarios, not to mention some of the outright mendacity, have been explained to them.
The main reason, of course, why the activists move heaven and earth (no joke implied) to ensure that such explanations do not reach the ears of the decision makers.

Apr 28, 2015 at 5:11 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson


The IPCC process is probably similar to the way the bible was produced.

I would guess not. As far as I can tell, the Bible is a collection of many texts which seemed important to late Bronze Age tribes living in the Middle East. They include histories, religious stories and rules for living in a society. A lot of work had been expended on them, and they have obviously stood an extensive test of time and been validated by a good few lifetimes of experience. Many ages and cultures have found them to be useful.

The IPCC reports, on the other hand...

Apr 28, 2015 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Pope Francis can protect the world from Climate Change,but he cant protect Christians in Iraq and Syria from ISIS.

Apr 28, 2015 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

or in drought free Libya.

Apr 28, 2015 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

And your evidence that "Pope Francis can protect the world from Climate Change" is what, precisely? And since his encyclical has yet to be published you have no reason to suppose that he is even planning to make such a claim.
We seem to wandering into the realms of fantasy here.

Apr 28, 2015 at 5:39 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Saying 'Grace' will need modification

"For what we have been stopped from receiving,
may the UN IPCC be truly grateful"

Apr 28, 2015 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

And Then There's the Pope says

And none shall come to the Truth save through me...

Apr 28, 2015 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Is there now a consensus amongst the UN IPCC, that they haven't got a hope in hell of finding any proof about the cause of any global warming before Paris?

Replacing the IPCC with people not embarrassed to describe themselves as astrologers, witchdoctors, soothsayers etc would seem a bit more honest. They might even have the common sense to make some of their predictions less fanciful, after 30 years of being wrong.

Apr 28, 2015 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What was the average temperature in the Garden of Eden? How do we know?

What is it now? How do we know?

Apr 28, 2015 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

It was nuddy friendly so nicely warm 24/7. I certainly don't remember 'and the snake looked upon Adam in his nakedness and sayeth 'cold much?' Whereupon Adam striketh the snake for the serpant was taking the pith.'

Apr 28, 2015 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Meanwhile the new UAH version is out, confirming the RSS cooling trend since 1998.

The dodgy hottest year claims from GISS etc seem ever more fraudulen.

Apr 28, 2015 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

Due respects to the RCs who post on this site. But the UK is a secular state. The Pope and the Vatican can say what they want on the subject, but it should have no impact whatsoever on UK policy, end of.

The conversion to Catholicism of the likes of Blair and Gummer that would had barred them from office, after they left office, is a matter for them, their consciences and their church.

Apr 28, 2015 at 10:47 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

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