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Pope’s cruel opposition to Fossil Fuels


September 24, 2015

Pope Francis’s Crusade Against Fossil Fuels Hurts The Poor Most Of All

As originally published on Forbes

Alex Epstein
I write about the environmental benefits of industrial progress.

“The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” This was Pope Francis’s summary of his Encyclical earlier this year on the alleged destruction of our planet. The leading culprit, in his view, is humanity’s use of fossil FOSL -1.75% fuels, which he believes are immoral and should largely be illegal.

This week, the Pope will be meeting with the President, addressing a joint session of Congress, and speaking to a crowd of over a million in Philadelphia, sharing his views in the name of concern for humanity, particularly the poor.

“Like no pope before him,” according to the New York Times, “Francis is using the grand stage of his trip to the United States to demonstrate that the church exists to serve the poor and marginalized.”

But if he wants to help humanity, especially the poorest human beings, Pope Francis needs to recognize that fossil fuels make Earth not a “pile of filth,” but a far better, healthier, cleaner, and more bountiful place to live.

tree-stumps

This week, the Pope will be meeting with the President, addressing a joint session of Congress, and speaking to a crowd of over a million in Philadelphia, sharing his views in the name of concern for humanity, particularly the poor.

Imagine a commoner from 300 years ago was magically transported from the Earth in its state back then to the Earth in its state now. What he would see is not “an immense pile of filth” but an environment that is beautifully clean and healthy compared to anything he—or even the Papal Royalty of 300 years ago—ever knew.

He would marvel at the cleanliness and drinkability of the water, in contrast to the inaccessible and disease-ridden water he had been used to; the eradication of or inoculation against once-ubiquitous disease-carrying insects; the pure air compared to the indoor wood fires he kept warm by (when he could afford wood); the ability to access the most beautiful parts of nature. And he would marvel at the bounty he was surrounded by: the farms surrounding him with fresh food, the comfortable buildings, the affordable, abundant clothing, labor-saving machines. The Earth that once seemed so hazardous and so barren of resources has become a wonderful place to live.

Fossil fuel energy drives this improvement of nature for human beings. Transforming a planet for the better requires far more physical work than humans could ever do. By ingeniously figuring out how to create machines that can do most of our physical work for us, we can improve life across the board—if we have abundant, reliable energy to fuel those machines.

That’s where the fossil fuel industry comes in. Unlike any other energy industry, it has figured out how to produce energy abundance on the scale of billions of people—in a way that generates far more benefit than cost.

wood

Since 1980, the world has increased its use of coal, oil, and natural gas by over 80 percent —because that is the most cost-effective way to produce energy. At the same time, the average life expectancy of our world’s 7 billion individuals has gone up 7 years—7 years of precious life! Every other metric of human well-being has also improved, from income to access to health care to nourishment to clean water access. The most growth has been among the poorest people in the world. Shouldn’t this be profoundly morally inspiring to the Pope?

Read the full article HERE!

Reposted by Reagangirl.com  9/24/15

  1. John Wm Gotts

    FYI – It is well documented that commercial agriculture is the largest driver of deforestation, involving forest clearing for cropland, pasture and tree plantation. [It is not poor folks burning firewood.] It has been forecast that sugarcane and soya alone will be responsible for a 20 million hectare expansion of agricultural land in Brazil over the next 40 years (more than twice the size of Hungary). They sell that sugar and soya to U.S. manufacturers to appease the appetites of U.S. consumers, among others. “poor” folks are not involved in this picture, except to see the rain forests they’ve called home for millennia gone, and finding themselves displaced.

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