Bishops Limp into Global Warming

CryoftheEarthThe Irish Bishop’s pastoral letter, CRY OF THE EARTH, is a clear, compelling, and action-directed assessment of the threat of global warming. Unfortunately, however, this letter fails to address associated problems that threaten life on our Mother Earth. Here are three:

#1 According to the United Nations, one in every five humans depends on fish as the primary source of protein. (United Nations, 2004) On the other hand, marine ecologists fear that the biggest single threat to marine ecosystems today is overfishing. Our appetite for fish is exceeding the oceans’ ecological limits with devastating impacts on marine ecosystems. The cod fisheries off Newfoundland, Canada, collapsed in 1992, leading to the loss of some 40,000 jobs in the industry. The cod stocks in the North Sea and Baltic Sea are now heading the same way and are close to complete collapse. As population grows, the pressure for more and more effective fishing increases, and no government can, in conscience, limit the growth of industrial fishing so that SUSTAINABILITY can again be achieved. For this crime, we and our children’s children will suffer. . . .

#2 The story for oil shows exactly the same phenomena. Recently developing countries like India and China are legitimately moving toward increased industrialization to feed, clothe, and house their teeming populations. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2010 World Energy Outlook estimated that conventional crude oil production has peaked and is depleting at 6.8% per year. So no government is currently rationing oil products; rather, every nation is trying to out-produce everyone else so that their people can enjoy the luxurious lifestyle that manufactured goods promise. But who is speaking for those who will be living when our industrialized landscape has to begin shutting down due to oil depletion? For this crime, our children’s children will suffer. . . .

#3 CRY OF THE EARTH says not a single word about “responsible family planning.” The world population at the time when Humanae Vitae was first published was 3.5 billion. Today’s world population is 7.2 billion. This is more than double. Let’s face it. Our Mother Earth CANNOT SUSTAIN another fifty years of reckless human population growth.

CrybyIrishbisopMeanwhile, the Vatican aggressively uses its seat in the United Nations to oppose contraceptive distribution in the developing countries. The USA bishops, for their part, have promoted the launching of no less than 43 court cases objecting to the inclusion of free contraceptives under Obamacare. In Ireland, until recently, contraceptives could only be dispensed by a pharmacist on the presentation of a valid medical prescription from a practising doctor. For the irresponsible blindness of the Vatican relative to Catholic family planning, we and our children’s children will suffer. . . .

When will the moral and ecological illusions of Humanae Vitae finally be publicly analyzed and exposed by the bishops themselves?


Further Resources

The Battle over Birth Control for Developing Nations
Melinda Gates vs. the Vatican

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One thought on “Bishops Limp into Global Warming”

  1. Phil Geis added a reply
    5 days ago

    What long-term existential* threats do you mean and what would you have the Pope/Catholic Church do?
    Suggest you also test common, too easily expressed assumptions
    1) World population is not growing exponentially – current doubling time is projected as ~ 50 years.
    2) The rate of population growth rate peaked in the 60’s – Erhlich’s Population Bomb published 1968.
    3) Most countries with the greatest populations/population growth are not Catholic – not Christian countries. Africa is overall the higher at bit <20% and has long been a target for secular family planning initiatives..
    * the hand wringing "existential" - could you please use rational, objective terms? The "we're all going to die" is pretty silly.
    Phil Geis added a reply

    Thanks so much for the amusing post and so sad your blood is boiling. Perhaps avoid the Ehrlichian hysterical predictions and you'll calm a bit.
    To just a few of your "existential" disasters - realities that might help avoid your blood's boiling point..
    Of course world population is not growing exponentially.
    To must a few of your "existential" disasters.c
    Projections for oil production from > a decade that that you failed to check against the subsequent record. A record that clearly shows increase every year until covid.
    Acid rain? Another flash from the past – the issue of the 80’s and 90’s that has largely faded away .


    Here is my reply:

    Dear Phil,

    Thank you for correcting me! It is a pleasure to find someone able to show me where I am mistaken.

    I now have come to see (due to that the exponential growth period is coming to a halt:

    The 7-fold increase of the world population over the course of two centuries amplified humanity’s impact on the natural environment. To provide space, food, and resources for a large world population in a way that is sustainable into the distant future is without question one of the large, serious challenges for our generation. We should not make the mistake of underestimating the task ahead of us. Yes, I expect new generations to contribute, but for now, it is upon us to provide for them. Population growth is still fast: every year, 140 million are born, and 58 million die. The difference is the number of people that we add to the world population in a year: 82 million.

    And relative to deforestation, this too will slow down:

    Shortly after the end of the last great ice age – 10,000 years ago – 57% of the world’s habitable land was covered by forest. In the millennia since then a growing demand for agricultural land means we’ve lost one-third of global forests – an area twice the size of the United States. Half of this loss occurred in the last century alone. But it’s possible to end our long history of deforestation: increased crop yields, improved livestock productivity, and technological innovations that allow us to shift away from land-intensive food products gives us the opportunity to bring deforestation to an end and restore some of the forest we have lost.

    As for oil, our ability to find, to drill, and to collect crude oil is keeping apace with the worldwide industrial needs. Yet, all in all, since it takes a 100 million years to produce a single additional barrel of oil, the worldwide reserves are limited. As scarcity begins to settle in, then the price will rise and force the developing nations to rely increasingly on wind turbines, solar panels, and as-yet-undiscovered sources of energy.

    As for fishing methods and our ability to raise fish in artificial environments, more study is needed. By way of getting started, go here:

    Aaron [my email = ]

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