Saturday, June 13, 2015

Republicans vs. Pope Francis

The Republicans and their fossil fuel allies have already shown they fear the encyclical Pope Francis is preparing to release on climate change and have gone so far as to send a contingent to Rome to try and talk him out of it. Now, they are demonstrating they are in near panic mode by picking a fight they never should have picked and are directly attacking the Pope.

Rick Santorum started this most recent bout by telling the Pope to butt out on the subject of climate change. Referring to the Church, he stated, “We probably are better off leaving science to the scientists, and focusing on what we’re really good at, which is theology and morality.”

Let's be perfectly clear, Rick Santorum is one of the Republicans that loves to spout, "I'm not a scientists, but..." before proceeding to prove he really isn't a scientist. So, he thinks he's qualified to talk about climate change and dispute the 97% of climate scientists who say manmade climate change is real, but the Pope, who has a degree in chemistry, isn't. Chris Wallace called him out on this very question, to which Santorum replied,
“But the point is that politicians, whether we like it or not, people in government have to make decision with regard to public policy that affects American workers.”
Santorum really talked himself into a corner with this one. If, as a politician, he has to make decisions with regard to public policy, why is it he continually fails to make sound decisions? And, apparently, he really thinks he is qualified to be President of the U.S., even though he routinely rejects any science he doesn't like. Take a look a these other Santorum gems:

  • He wants creationism taught in schools;
  • Calls climate scientists 'climate change's Pharisees';
  • Refers to other people that accept the reality of manmade climate change as 'flat earthers;'
  • Believes human life begins at inception;
  • Called climate science 'speculative science' and 'political science'

He even stated, “Any time you hear a scientist say science is settled, that’s political science, not real science.”

Really? Tell me, Senator, if I say it is settled the Earth revolves around the Sun, is that political science? Once again, you are demonstrating you really aren't a scientist. You are also demonstrating you don't understand enough about science to be talking about it in public. By the way, Senator, the Pentagon considers climate change to be a matter of national security. Wouldn't that be something of a concern for the President of the U.S.? This all means you are demonstrating you are not qualified to be President. So, don't go around claiming you are more qualified to speak on the subject than the Pope, or anyone else, for that matter.

And, maybe the public is taking note. Santorum recently made a campaign stop in Iowa that attracted only four people. That was right after another stop that attracted only 10 people. Maybe it's a good sign for the country.

Now, James Inhofe has waded into the fight and said, “Everyone is going to ride the pope now. Isn’t that wonderful. The pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours.” This is the same James Inhofe who threw the snowball on the Senate floor this past winter. This is the same James Inhofe who has taken over $2 million from the fossil fuel industry over his career. This is the same James Inhofe who stated climate change was the "biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public". This is the same James Inhofe who stated climate change isn't real because it costs too much and that it isn't a problem because God won't let it be one. This is the same James Inhofe who has repeatedly stated he isn't a scientist, then proceeded to prove what a jackass he really is.

Now, this man is saying the Pope should butt out? And, he's saying he has a job to do? Well, yes, he really does have a job to do, he isn't doing it. Global warming and climate change are very serious concerns for the well-being of the people of America, including his constituents in Oklahoma. So, why isn't he taking care of them?

The Republicans are showing what hypocrites and science deniers they really are. And, they are demonstrating they are firmly in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry. But, don't blame them for being afraid of the Pope's encyclical. It is going to hit home with a lot of people and will change things in this country.


  1. I have never cared for the Catholic belief that priests must be celibate, and it's fairly obvious that this policy may have something to do with the many child abuse scandals faced by the Vatican, but Pope Francis, like all true doers and shakers, isn't afraid to speak his mind and practice what he preaches. To begin with he insisted on living in the same modest quarters that lesser church officials inhabit, and I heard he actually washed the feet of some common people, (or priests), in the manner that Jesus did for his disciples at the Last Supper. Naturally these efforts to remain humble and austere, were met with concern by other church officials--just as sincere expressions of belief and tradition strike controversy into the hearts of all large religous organizations. All of this makes me extremely hopeful that Pope Francis will stick to his principles and explain why his views about climate change are real, and why the church has a responsibility to pass on accurate information in order to ensure the world's beauty and habitability in the future---what could be more in line with ethics and morality than a call for human beings to act as good stewards and keepers of the earth? The Republicans claiming to know more than scientists about AGW, and who now seem to be implying that they know more about what actions are spirituality justified, than the pope, are clearly off base. Even men of the cloth need to be politically active and hold ethical beliefs, which they then duty bound to try to communicate to politicians and the large numbers of believers which they symbolically lead. Good going Pope Francis---(Pope 1, deniers 0)!

  2. These Republicans are either lunatics who know not what they do or criminals who do know. What's more, this ignorance on the part of one party takes all the pressure off the other to be responsive to the climate crisis. Obama and the Democrats can be only half right (as opposed to halfwits). So long as they talk a good game with respect to climate, and do some good things -- as they have done -- like bringing in new rules on automobile efficiency and promoting renewable energy, they can pursue an "all of the above" strategy building miles of new pipelines, drilling offshore and in the Arctic (God-forbid), and still appear as saints by comparison. (To keep with the religious theme.) Whoever becomes the Democratic candidate isn't going to have to promise very much in the way of climate mitigation to look like the only sane kid on the block.

  3. I have already heard people saying Hillary is going to win simply because, while she may be a total incompetent and crook, she looks so much better in comparison to the Republicans there is no way they can beat her. What a sad state of our national politics - a choice between a bad candidate and a worse one.

  4. Pope Francis' climate change encyclical is a rare moment of light for those of us hoping to find a way to get through to people on the far right, where climate change denialism seems to be the strongest. Another ray of light appeared recently with The Weather Channel's "The Voices of Climate 25" series of videos by mostly conservative-leaning financial, military, and political leaders and personalities. All the videos show these conservative leaders speaking persuasively about the urgent need to deal seriously with climate change:
    I found it through this interesting article describing it by Joe Romm: