From independence, freedom and truth

Climate Change

Laudate Deum or the new climate dogma

Fernando del Pino Calvo Sotelo

October 17, 2023

After more than fifteen years studying and writing about climate change (formerly known as global warming), I have come to several conclusions. First, science is not yet capable of understanding the complexities of climate, a multifactorial, non-linear, complex, and chaotic system, so the demonization of CO2 and the emphatic assertions and attributions typical of climate change rhetoric are nothing more than pseudo-scientific propaganda. Second, economically, we are facing the greatest hoax in history and, politically, an attempt to subvert the Western political-economic order through the fear of invented apocalypses. Third, beyond this power agenda lies an anti-humanist and fiercely anti-Christian ideology. Hence my sorrow upon reading Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum on a completely non-existent “climate crisis” assuring that “it is no longer possible to doubt the human origin of climate change” (n.11). What is this magisterial document of the Catholic Church, to which I belong?

Laudate Deum is a brief complementary text to the encyclical Laudato Si, published in 2015, about which I wrote a chapter in the book-commentary edited by the prestigious Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos in which several cardinals (among them, Card. Müller), bishops and priests participated[1]. In that chapter, which I entitled The Shadow of Galileo for obvious reasons, I did not hide my concern about various aspects of the encyclical. Well, if Laudato Si caused me concern, the reading of Laudate Deum has caused me great alarm.

The exhortation speaks practically nothing about God: out of 73 points, He is mentioned in only eight, and the scarce five biblical quotations seem to have been artificially squeezed in. In fact, it could be said that it is a political rather than an apostolic exhortation, with language closer to a UN report than to a magisterial document of the Catholic Church. Likewise, of the 44 footnotes, 27 correspond to Pope Francis quoting himself and 9 to scientific sources, almost all from the UN climate agency (IPCC). In fact, apart from one reference to a speech of Paul VI taken out of context, there are no quotations from previous Magisterium.

Finally, it is a text full of debatable technical details that takes sides in scientific controversies, uncritically repeats the catastrophic slogans and litanies of the prophets of doom and may generate confusion about the relative role of human beings in Creation. For this reason, as a son of the Church, with filial loyalty and, precisely for this reason, with obedience to the truth, I feel obliged to make a series of considerations.

Questionable scientific assertions

Laudato Si stated that “on many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion” (LS 61) or “to settle scientific questions” (LS 188). Indeed, divine Revelation “does not in itself imply a particular scientific theory, [since] the assistance of the Holy Spirit in no case lends itself to guaranteeing explanations concerning the physical constitution of reality”[2] . Therefore, “the Church, with her social doctrine, does not enter into technical questions”[3]. So how come Laudate Deum categorically affirm that “it is no longer possible to doubt the human origin of climate change” (n. 11)?

In fact, the first part of the exhortation (n.1-19) makes many categorical affirmations assuming a degree of certainty that not even scientists themselves have. For example, when it says that “we know” that every 0.5°C increase in temperature will increase certain extreme phenomena (n.5), it gives the status of certainty to mere predictions of computer models that have a poor predictive record and are not supported by empirical evidence.

Moreover, the exhortation relies almost solely on the UN IPCC, “one of the biggest sources of disinformation” for climate change “pseudoscience,” in the words of the 2022 Nobel Laureate in Physics, John Clauser[4]. As I have explained elsewhere, the IPCC is one of the main symbols of the corruption of science, dominated by a globalist power agenda that both Laudato Si and its sequel seem to ignore.

Laudate Deum is about the “climate crisis” taking for granted that such a thing exists. However, more than 1,800 scientists (including two Nobel laureates in Physics) have joined the World Climate Declaration, which denies the existence of any climate emergency and denounces the obvious interference of politics in climate science[5], while acknowledging the enormous limitations of the inaccurate predictive models on which climate predictions are based, in stark contrast to the naïf credibility that Laudate Deum gives them.

On the other hand, by opposing an “overwhelming majority” of scientists with the “very small percentage of them [who] seek to deny the evidence” (is really science or truth decided by a majority?) the exhortation takes sides by scorning those who question “the evidence”(n.13). The same attitude was adopted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences when it refused to listen to the multitude of skeptical scientists before Laudato Si[6] despite the fact that the encyclical itself defended that the Church “knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views” (LS 61). Sadly, it has not done so. Of course, Laudato Si contradicted itself by accusing those who “deny the problem” of “obstructionist attitudes” (LS 14).

Laudate Deum also uses alarmist and sensationalist language that is foreign to the rigor and serenity to which the Magisterium has accustomed us. Thus, it affirms that the world “is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point” (n.2) and it mentions “the real possibility that we are approaching a critical point (…). There is no turning back” (n.17). However, even scientists far from suspicious of skepticism recognize that this supposed point of no return (tipping point) is speculative or does not exist[7]. In reality, it is a propaganda weapon designed to generate a sense of urgency in taking political action. In fact, the “point of no return” is delayed as the dates go by and the apocalypse fails to arrive.

The exhortation states that “the signs of climate change are here” and that “no one can ignore the fact that in recent years we have witnessed extreme weather phenomena” (n. 5). However, we cannot notice the signs of climate change, which follows time scales of centuries or millennia, so it is incomprehensible that it asserts that “it will take only one generation” (n. 6) to notice such changes or consider “long periods” to be “decades” (n. 8).

Thus, Laudate Deum defends that the rise in sea level “can be easily perceived by an individual in his or her lifetime, and probably in a few years many populations will have to move their homes” (n.6). In fact, since the minimum of the last Ice Age 20,000 years ago, the sea level has risen about 120 meters, but in recent decades it is increasing between 1-2 mm per year (according to tide gauges) and about 3 mm per year (according to satellites)[8]. In any case, the IPCC itself estimates a lower range of sea level rise of 10 cm between now and 2050 and a “more uncertain” increase thereafter[9], derisory figures that will not lead anyone to move their homes “in the coming years”. Suffice it to recall that the first prediction that the seas were going to cover the Maldives dates back to 1988 and gave a 30-year horizon for their disappearance under water[10]. The deadline was met, but the prediction turned out to be completely wrong. Perhaps that is why the great promoters of climate change ideology (Obama, etc.) have acquired mansions right on the edge of the sea.

Secondly, extreme weather events have not increased significantly either. In its Fifth Report (AR5), the IPCC itself acknowledged that “there is no significant trend in the frequency of hurricanes in the last century (…), nor evidence regarding the sign of the trend in global floods (…), nor sufficient evidence regarding the trend observed in global droughts since the mid-20th century”[11]. The historical series support these statements[12]. In its latest report (AR6), the IPCC has tried to accentuate its alarmism, but continues to maintain, for example, its “low confidence” in the attribution of droughts to human action in most regions of the globe, citing studies that “show disagreement with the anthropogenic attribution” of droughts[13], contrary to what Laudate Deum repeatedly does.

This exhortation mentions the typical “melting of the poles” alarmism (n.16) alluding to a possible scenario of “completely” melting of Greenland ice and a large part of Antarctica (n.5), although the very IPCC paragraph cited by Laudate Deum gives this scenario “limited evidence” (the lowest degree of evidence), a fact that the exhortation omits. In fact, Greenland’s ice (10% of the planet’s total) is today above the historical average[14], and it seems that its slight decrease in the previous decade would have been due to natural causes[15]. The Antarctic continental ice, reservoir of 90% of the planet’s ice, remains fairly stable[16] as does the floating ice surrounding the Antarctic continent[17], which, after its peak of the last 40 years reached in 2014, is today similar to what it was in 1966[18] . NASA estimates that, at most, Antarctica is losing 0.0005% of ice each year[19] so it would take about 200,000 years to melt, although with an average temperature of -57°C I doubt we must worry much about it. Moreover, Antarctica has not suffered any warming in the last 70 years[20]. Finally, Arctic ice accounts for less than one thousandth of the planet’s ice and it floats, so its melting would not affect sea levels (Archimedes’ principle), while glaciers, mentioned twice in this exhortation, account for only four thousandths of the planet’s ice.

The Magisterium’s demand for rigor

The rigor required of a magisterial document is not compatible with imprecise affirmations lacking all factual evidence. This is the case of Laudate Deum when it states that “millions of people are losing their jobs due to climate change” and that “rising sea levels, droughts and other phenomena have left many people adrift” (n. 10). On the other hand, and without providing any data, the document argues that the transition to renewable forms of energy can generate “countless jobs”. Rather, the opposite will be the case, since renewable energies are inefficient, expensive and intermittent, and make the electricity bill much more expensive by requiring a duplication of the generation system with traditional thermal sources to make up for the hours of the day when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.

Although the political-scientific nature of the Laudate Deum is perplexing, the very way in which the data are given suggests that this document has been prepared hastily and without due corrections, probably in order to arrive on time for the next climate summit (COP 28) in November. It would not be the first time such a timing is sought, since the moment chosen to publish Laudato Si was a few months before the Paris Climate Summit.

For example, Laudate Deum states that “the concentration of greenhouse gases (…) was stable until the 19th century, below 300 ppm” (n.11), but this should not refer to greenhouse gases in general, but only to CO2 (the largest greenhouse gas by far is water vapor). As for its stability, over the last 800,000 years and up to 1960 it ranged approximately between 180 and 300 ppm. Today it is around 400 ppm or only 0.04% of the atmosphere (that is why it is called a trace gas), but 500 million years ago it is estimated to have been up to 20 times higher than today’s level[21]. Another example of a probable lapsus calami is that, after stating that warming in the last half century has been 0.15 degrees Celsius per decade (how can changes be noticed in a generation?), it says that “at this rate” it is possible that in ten years it will rise 0.4 degrees Celsius more (n.12). Likewise, the statement that volcanic eruptions usually cause warming (n.14) is shocking, since they usually cause atmosphere cooling[22], as is the unscientific reference to “communities swept away by seaquakes” also caused, according to Laudate Deum, by global warming and not by the movement of tectonic plates (n.7).

Finally, the exhortation also warns about “deforestation in tropical rainforests” (n. 17), even though the data refute any alarmism. The planet’s forest mass seems to have increased in the last 40 years[23] thanks in part to the increase in CO2, the food par excellence of plants and trees, the source of life on the planet, which, unfortunately, Laudate Deum (as did Laudato Si) labels as a contaminant or pollutant (n.9). CO2, a pollutant? This is, in the words of a scientist, “an abuse of language, an abuse of logic and an abuse of science”[24].  As for the “tropical” forests specifically, deforestation is less than 0.5% per year[25] and is partly due to the laudable objective of opening spaces for agriculture.

The technocratic paradigm and politics in Laudate Deum

After the first 19 points making alarmist statements that merely echo the UN climate agenda, the bulk of Laudate Deum (n.20-60) talks about politics in two different parts.

The first (n.20-33) mentions what the exhortation, in line with Laudato Si, calls the “technocratic paradigm,” and rightly warns of the danger of a human being turned into a god and made arrogant by his power. This necessary wake-up call, however, is overshadowed by the encyclical’s difficulty in understanding that precisely the greatest exponent of the technocratic paradigm is to be found in the UN IPCC, in Agenda 2030 and in the atheistic globalist elites of Davos. It is worth asking to whom the exhortation refers when it speaks of “great economic powers” or the “elites of power”, if not those.

In this regard, I believe that we should reflect on the parallelism of certain positions with those of figures such as Alexander King, founder of the Club of Rome and great anti-natalist of the 20th century, when he wrote that “the common enemy of mankind is man”, adding: “In seeking a new enemy to unite us, we have found that the idea of the threat of global warming (…) would fit perfectly”[26]. The same could be said of Maurice Strong, a Canadian millionaire and secretary general of the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1991, when he stated that “the current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the middle class – including high meat consumption, use of fossil fuels, etc. – are not sustainable”. According to James Dellingpole, Strong was most interested in “the idea of a world government run by a self-appointed elite”, and he soon realized that the best way to achieve this was “by manipulating and exploiting international concern about the environment”[27]. The economic interests of the green agenda are never mentioned, unlike those of the fossil fuel industry. Yet in the first six months of 2023 alone, $360 billion in renewable energy investments have been made and all depend on the maintenance of climate alarmism.

The second part (n. 34-60) is further subdivided into three sections: some reflections on international politics, a brief history of climate summits and proposals for the COP 28 climate summit to be held in a month’s time in Dubai, which, as we have mentioned, seems to be the main reason for this exhortation. In this long section, that belongs to the political realm rather than to the content of a magisterial document, three controversial points stand out. The first is the surprising justification of the “radicalized” environmentalist groups (n.58). The second is the insistence on the creation of “more effective world organizations (…) endowed with real authority” (n. 35), which would imply the genesis of a world government not unlike that promoted by the “power elites” of the UN and Davos. The third is the proposal that the COP28 climate summit be “historic” with “binding forms of energy transition that have to be efficient, obligatory and readily monitored” so that the process that is initiated is “drastic and intense” (n. 59). First, renewable energies can never be efficient, due to the inexorable laws of Physics. Second, their mandatory nature and the recommended “drastic” nature all but guarantees a loss of freedom and an unprecedented economic disaster.

The disturbing anthropological background

The very brief spiritual content of Laudate Deum occupies only 5 points out of 73 (n.61-65) and is essentially limited to extensive quotations from Laudato Si with little new text, reinforcing the theory of an exhortation written in a hurry. Finally, the last points (66-73) are a brief mix of various issues coupled with a call for international cooperation.

What is most disturbing about Laudate Deum is that, as was the case in Laudato Si, it underlies a negative view of the human being, something that radical environmentalism applauds. For example, Leonardo Boff, a secularized priest who defends the “eco-theology of liberation”, calls the human species “a parasite, a cancer of the Earth”, accusing the “Abrahamic” religions of being “the most violent” towards “Mother Earth”[28]. Well, if Laudato Si hinted at the supposedly destructive nature of human interventions (LS 34), Laudate Deum goes further by describing human beings as “highly dangerous beings” (n.28).

But man is not just another creature, but the “only earthly creature whom God has loved for his own sake” (GS 24). However, the exhortation may generate confusion about the relative role of the human being with respect to other creatures. It affirms that “the other creatures of this world have stopped being our companions along the way and have become instead our victims” (n. 15). Indeed, we eat some of them, as they eat each other, and we avoid others as dangerous or unpleasant, as they avoid each other, but it is difficult to understand that they are “companions along the way” of man towards eternal life. The same is true of the statement on the “close relation of human life with that of other living beings and with the natural environment” which, according to Laudate Deum, the pandemic has brought to light (n. 19).

More worrying is his affirmation that “the Judeo-Christian vision of the cosmos defends the unique and central value of the human being (…), but today we see ourselves forced to realize that it is only possible to sustain a situated anthropocentrism” (n.67). Vision of the cosmos or Revelation? And what exactly does “but today” mean? Finally, in affirming that “God has united us to all his creatures” and that the whole world is a “contact zone” (n.66), the encyclical quotes a book by Donna Haraway, an author who in that very book mocks Genesis, speaks disrespectfully of God and criticizes the “human exceptionalism” proposed by “Jewish and Christian monotheism”[29].

Laudate Deum will not exactly contribute to the prestige of the Church’s Magisterium. Riddled with political desiderata and highly questionable scientific assertions, it defends the very “power elites” it denounces and makes the Holy See a mere spokesman and propagandist for the political interests of the UN. Moreover, speaking to a world lacking God and saturated of climate propaganda, this exhortation seldom mentions God and is packed with climate propaganda. Thus, which word is the Church giving different to that of the world itself? While this is indeed unfortunate, what is most troubling is that, like Laudato Si, it posits a negative view of man and a lack of clarity about his superior role in Creation. Finally, it does not mention the Divine Providence, nor God as Lord of History, nor does it offer any light of hope to a world increasingly covered in darkness.

I pray that the Church soon realizes that behind its bright and seducing mask of goodness, climate change environmentalism hides a great lie, a global religion that the power elites want to introduce as a Trojan horse into the Catholic Church[30].

[1] The Shadow of Galileo: a commentary on Encyclical Laudato sí – Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo (fpcs.es)
[2] St. John Paul II, Discourse on the Occasion of the 350th Anniversary of the Publication of Galileo, May 9th 1983.
[3] Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (68)
[4]The Joint Winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Physics, Dr. John F. Clauser, Dared to Say There is No Climate Crisis – Now He’s Being Cancelled – The Daily Sceptic
[5] World Climate Declaration There is no climate emergency (clintel.org)
[6] How climate-change doubters lost a papal fight – The Washington Post
[7] There Is No Climate Tipping Point | The Breakthrough Institute
[8] The State of the Climate in 2022 (thegwpf.org)
[9] Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis | Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis (ipcc.ch)  FAQ 9.2
[10] Threat to Islands, Canberra Times, Monday 26th September 1988
[11] IPCC Assessment Report 5, WG 1, Chapter 2.6, p. 214-220.
[12] Extreme Weather: The IPCC’s changing tune – The Global Warming Policy Foundation (thegwpf.org)
[13] IPCC Assessment Report 6, WG 1, Chapter 11.6.4
[14] Claims that ‘Global Boiling’ Led to “Shocking” Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet are Nonsense – the Ice Sheet is Currently Bigger Than Normal – The Daily Sceptic
[15] Slow-down in summer warming over Greenland in the past decade linked to central Pacific El Niño | Communications Earth & Environment (nature.com)
[16] Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet 1992–2016: reconciling results from GRACE gravimetry with ICESat, ERS1/2 and Envisat altimetry | Journal of Glaciology | Cambridge Core
[17] Understanding climate: Antarctic sea ice extent | NOAA Climate.gov
[18] Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis | Sea ice data updated daily with one-day lag (nsidc.org)
[19] NASA SVS | Antarctic Ice Mass Loss 2002-2023
[20] Low Antarctic continental climate sensitivity due to high ice sheet orography | npj Climate and Atmospheric Science (nature.com)
[21] A Graphical History of Atmospheric CO2 Levels Over Time | Earth.Org
[22] How Volcanoes Influence Climate | Center for Science Education (ucar.edu)
[23] Global land change from 1982 to 2016 | Nature
[24] R. M. Carter, Climate: the Counter Consensus, Stacey International 2010.
[25] ca9825en.pdf (fao.org)
[26] Alexander King, The First Global Revolution, Club of Rome Report, 1993.
[27] James Dellingpole, Watermelons, 2011
[28] Cited in Juan Carlos Sanahuja, Global Power and Universal Religion, 2016
[29] Donna J. Haraway, When Species Meet, 2008, p. 205-249.
[30] El ecologismo como religión global: ¿ Un caballo de Troya para la Iglesia Católica? – Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo (fpcs.es)

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