July 29, 2014

The False Promise of Green Energy [VIDEO]

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Economist Andrew Morris on Patriarch Bartholomew's ideas on sustainable energy: "[H]e's asking the wrong questions." Source: Acton Institute Power Blog | HT: Koinonia For PowerBlog readers, we’re posting the video from Andrew Morriss’ April 26 Acton Lecture Series talk in Grand Rapids, Mich., on “The False Promise of Green Energy.” Here’s the lecture description: “Green energy advocates claim that transforming America to an economy based on wind, solar, and biofuels will produce jobs for Americans, benefits for the environment, and restore American industry. Prof. Andrew Morriss, co-author of The False Promise of Green Energy (Cato, 2011), shows that these claims are based on unrealistic assumptions, poorly thought out models, and bad data. Rather than leading us to an eco-utopia, he argues that current green energy programs are crony capitalism that impoverishes American consumers and destroys American jobs.” Morriss, an Orthodox Christian, begins with a … [Read more...]

Fr. Michael Butler: Orthodoxy and Environmentalism [AUDIO]

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As a companion to the text of His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah's address ("Ascestism and the Consumer Society") at Acton University published here, we're posting the audio from a lecture by the Very Rev. Michael Butler on Orthodoxy and Environmentalism. We're grateful to the Acton Institute for making this lecture available to AOI. To purchase a copy of Fr. Butler's lecture, or other talks from AU 2011, please visit the organization's Digital Downloads store (files are $2.99 each). Fr. Butler, pastor of St. Innocent the Apostle to America Church in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, is also working on an Acton scholarly monograph on Orthodoxy and Environmentalism with Professor Andrew Morriss of the University of Alabama. Prof. Morriss is the D. Paul Jones, Jr. & Charlene Angelich Jones Chairholder of Law. Fr. Butler's course description: Orthodoxy and Environmentalism Apart from statements by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (the “Green Patriarch”), the Orthodox Church has not … [Read more...]

Bartholomew I: “Peace is a Matter of Choice”

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This is sure to warm the heart of religious liberals who are always on prowl looking for new ways to establish their righteousness. Global warming is disintegrating like the Death Star penetrated by Luke Skywalker's missile and another cause has to be found quick. Maybe they can dust off the 'peacemaker' jargon. It has a relatively short shelf-life (except when conservatives are in power) but the recycling potential is tremendous. I mean no disrespect to the WCC, but hearing the same old cant from the same old boomers is like listening to a car alarm that won't shut off. Why is the Ecumenical Patriarch buying into it? It carries no moral weight or real cultural import. No one is for war. But it is foolish to think that the WCC will have any bearing on war or peace whatsoever. No one apart from their fellow-travelers takes them seriously. And why should they? Nothing about them ever changes. In an encyclical letter intended to be read in congregations of the Church of … [Read more...]

Humility, Prudence, and Earth Day

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Source: Acton Institute | John Couretas At a World Council of Churches conference last year on the French-Swiss border, much was made of the “likelihood of mass population displacement” driven by climate change and the mass migration of people fleeing zones inundated by rising seas. While the WCC acknowledged that “there are no solid estimates” about the likely numbers of what it called climate refugees, that didn’t stop assembled experts from throwing out some guesses: 20 million, hundreds of millions, or 1 billion people. The WCC bemoaned the fact that international bodies looking at the impending climate refugee crisis were not taking it seriously and, despite its own admission that the numbers of refugees were impossible to predict, called on these same international bodies to “put forward a credible alternative.” The WCC did a thought experiment on the problem: What kind of adaptation is relevant to migration? Sea walls? Cities … [Read more...]

How Do We Comprehend Natural Disasters Like Earthquakes and Tsunamis?

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This essay below that Fr. David Hudson sent along is timely. I have a small parish now which means that after the Divine Liturgy we always have a discussion about any topic that people want to talk about. Today we had the question: How do we make sense of the tsunami in Japan? It wasn't the sermon and after the necessary caveats ("I am a priest, not a theologian," "this is my opinion" and so forth) I laid out how I saw it. I began with St. Paul in Romans, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth … [Read more...]

John Couretas. Greek Patriarch: No Nukes

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With the terrible human toll from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami catastrophe only now being comprehended, and the grave follow on crisis at the country’s nuclear power plants unfolding by the hour, the anti-nuclear power crowd has already begun issuing statements such as the one Greenpeace put out saying that “nuclear power cannot ever be safe.” Predictably, reports Geoffrey Lean in the Telegraph, “battle lines” are being drawn: On Saturday, some 50,000 anti-nuclear protesters formed a 27-mile human chain from Germany’s Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant to the city of Stuttgart to protest against its government’s plans to extend the life of the country’s reactors. Green politicians in pro-nuclear France urged an end to its dependence on the atom, and Ed Markey, a leading Democratic US Congressman, called for a moratorium on building new reactors in seismically active areas. But Chancellor Angela Merkel, after holding a meeting … [Read more...]

Bartholomew I to Japan and the World: Enough Nuclear Energy

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Source: Asia News | NAT da Polis Istanbul (AsiaNews) - A vibrant and heartfelt appeal to States to abandon the use of nuclear energy: this is the message sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Japanese people to express the solidarity of the Orthodox world. The message was sent on the first Sunday of Lent, also called the Sunday of Orthodoxy, on the anniversary of the restoration of the veneration of icons, which occurred in 843, as an expression of respect towards the people they represent. "With a heart heavy with pain - Bartholomew starts - all humanity is witnessing the tragedy that has struck the land of Japan, causing the death of many of our brothers and sisters. Prayers are being lifted from all corners of the earth as a sign of solidarity with our Japanese brethren". The disaster caused by the terrible earthquake and tsunami – the message continues - has been worsened by the nightmare of radioactive contamination due to the explosion of the nuclear power … [Read more...]

IOCC Stands Ready to Offer Aid Following Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

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Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has assembled its emergency response personnel to assess the humanitarian needs and possible response to a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck the Pacific Ocean nearby Northeastern Japan on March 11. Initial reports indicate that hundreds of people perished in a powerful tsunami and that the quake caused damage with blackouts and fire. The large earthquake triggered a tsunami warning for countries all around the Pacific Ocean ranging from Russia to Hawaii to South America. IOCC, in consultation with local Orthodox and ecumenical partners in Japan and other countries affected in the Pacific, is assessing the current situation and the need for a potential response. "We mourn the loss of life and pray for those who were taken so suddenly by this disaster," said Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC executive director. “We are all keenly aware of the devastation that can be caused by powerful tsunamis and … [Read more...]

Patriarch Calls on World to Reject Nuclear Power

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Source: H KAΘHMEPINH Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios has called on the world to reject nuclear energy, following the problems Japan has suffered with its reactors in the wake of Friday’s earthquake. Vartholomaios, who has long campaigned for greater environmental awareness, said the world should turn to renewable energy sources. “We propose the use of green forms of energy, which respect the environment and serve man’s needs sufficiently,” he said in a statement on Sunday. “The Creator gave us the sun, the wind, the sea and the ocean’s waves, from which we can produce energy.” … [Read more...]

Globe and Mail: Can environmentalism be saved from itself?

The Globe and Mail published in Toronto, Canada on the intellectual bankruptcy of the Global Warming movement and how a handful of ideological activists have nearly buried responsible concern for the environment. Highlight: Copenhagen was not a political breakdown. It was an intellectual breakdown so astonishing that future generations will marvel at our blind credulity. Copenhagen was a classic case of the emperor with no clothes. Maybe it was just a bad dream. Just a year ago, 15,000 of the world’s leaders, diplomats, and UN officials were gearing up to descend on Copenhagen to forge a global treaty that would save the planet. The world’s media delivered massive coverage. Important newspapers printed urgent front-page calls for action, and a popular new U.S. President waded in to put his reputation on the line. The climate talks opened with a video showing a little girl’s nightmare encounter with drought, storms, eruptions, floods and other man-made climate disasters. … [Read more...]

Enviromentalism as Religion: Doesn’t the EP get it?

Do you want to understand why the Ecumenical Patriarch's coddling of environmentalism is not only wrong-headed but dangerous? First read Environmentalism as Religion in the New Atlantis magazine. Then recall that His All Holiness threw the full moral weight of his office behind of the Geneva Protocols, a crown jewel of environmental activism, during the Mississippi River Boat cruise last year. Fortunately the UN sponsored protocols were dead on arrival when the East Anglia fraud was exposed a month later. But the Ecumenical Patriarch has yet to explain why he supported them. Why employ such a reckless political strategy that could easily boomerang and undermine an already fragile moral authority? (We tried to warn him.) So why did he do it? And why does he persist in defending global warming as legitimate science and, even more troubling, build moral exhortations around it? Why insist on continuing the defense -- the sanctification really -- of the ideology? Could it be … [Read more...]

Religion and the Environment: The Link Between Survival and Salvation

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I want our leadership to provide thoughtful analysis on cultural issues but too often we get the thin gruel of popular piety dressed up in Church-speak. Take this latest missive from Constantinople on the environment for example. Where to begin? There is no reflection about the falsification of data by global warming apologists, no awareness that the movement has been largely discredited. Then, adding to the ignorance, it launches into a moral screed using the same suspect science as justification. In our efforts, then, to contain global warming, we are admitting just how prepared we are to sacrifice some of our greedy lifestyles. When will we learn to say: “Enough!”? When will we direct our focus away from what we want to what the world needs? When will we understand how important it is to leave as light a footprint as possible on this planet for the sake of future generations? We must choose to care. Otherwise, we do not really care at all. Do not really … [Read more...]