July 25, 2014

Dylan Pahman: Climate Change, the Green Patriarch, and the Disposition of Fear

Dylan Pahman

Source: Acton Powerblog | Dylan Pahman Today at First Things’ On the Square feature, I question the tone and timing of Patriarch Batholomew’s recent message on climate change. While I do not object to him making a statement about the subject in conjunction with the opening of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, his initial reference, then silence, with regards to Typhoon Haiyan while other religious leaders offered their prayer, sympathy, and support to those affected, is disappointing. I write, While other religious leaders offered prayer and tangible support, all that has come from the Phanar is an environmental statement. Hurting people need practical and pastoral help, not politics. An additionally troubling aspect of the problem comes from his clear implication that the typhoon was caused, or at least intensified, by anthropogenic climate change, using this tragedy to advocate for a political cause through a disposition of fear: This week — even as … [Read more...]

Patriarch Bartholomew Coddles Environmental Extremists

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- Taking care of the environment involves more than clean air, clean water, recycling and the other factors that we usually associate with responsible stewardship. It also involves ideas about the economy, human relationships, structuring communities, the meaning and value of work, the value of the unborn and aged and so forth. Every environmental program incorporates ideas about these factors even if they are not explicitly stated. In order to think clearly about environmental care, we have to look past the surface and examine the ideas that make up any environmental program. We have to ask ourselves do the programs promote human flourishing or impede it? Are trees and animals valued at the expense of the human person? Is man a blight on the earth who should be restricted from meaningful work and prosperity, or is his role as steward of creation a blessing to it? Below is an essay written for AOI by an anonymous author (I agreed to withhold the author's name) that describes the … [Read more...]

Christian Environmentalism that ‘Costs me Nothing’

Ascesis in the desert?

By John Couretas In his June 18 keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Halki Summit in Turkey, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew looked forward to the start of the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainability, June 20-22. He noted that attendees at his environmental gathering were “deeply frustrated with the stubborn resistance and reluctant advancement of earth-friendly policies and practices.” He called for greater sacrifice and personal responsibility (emphasis added in the quote below): Permit us to propose that perhaps the reason for this hesitation and hindrance may lie in the fact that we are unwilling to accept personal responsibility and demonstrate personal sacrifice. In the Orthodox Christian tradition, we refer to this “missing dimension” as ascesis, which could be translated as abstinence and moderation, or – better still – simplicity and frugality. The truth is that we resist any demand for self-restraint and self-control. [ … ] Each of us is … [Read more...]

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...]

Deconstructing the ‘Internal Contradiction’ in the GOA

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Andrew Estocin asks: Father JJ, how do you see this internal contradiction playing out with regards to the riots and unrest in Greece? The GOA has never addressed the moral and social underpinnings of these problems. Is the GOA so captive to the fantasy narrative of the Greek Community in America that it is unable to engage on these issues? Athens burns but the party at the Ritz Carlton in Florida goes on. How do you celebrate Greek Independence day at the White House when your homeland is in the midst of a social and economic collapse? If 79th Street does not pay more attention it find that people will turn on the GOA leadership very quickly as being overpaid and out of touch while common people suffer. Honestly, though I wonder what the real reason is for the GOA not even acknowledging Greece’s problems. Its amazing the disconnect between the idea of being “Greek in America” vs. being “Greek in Greece” Fr. Hans Jacobse responds: Andrew, there is truth to the assertion … [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...]

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...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s message for World Environment Day

It's too bad that Constantinople won't dispense with the Progressive rhetoric (first paragraph) because it creates the impression that Orthodoxy endorses the shabby thinking behind the ideology. (On the other hand, perhaps Constantinople does buy into the Progressive world view given that we were told global warming is established fact and were exhorted to work for passage of the Geneva Protocols.) Greed is certainly a factor in spoiling the natural world, but to attribute all despoiling to the greed of developed countries is, well, misinformed. Deprivation, ignorance, economic insecurity factor into it as well. In fact, environmental care is largely the province of the developed countries while underdeveloped countries (China, India, etc.) are the world's worst polluters. Keep in mind too that without technological progress, there would be no jets to travel back and forth between Constantinople and the US, no riverboats for riverboat cruises, no energy to power the websites that … [Read more...]

More evidence that the EP’s global warming stance was reckless

We warned the Ecumenical Patriarch that endorsing the global warming agenda was reckless. Anyone with eyes to see clearly saw that global warming (since renamed "climate change" -- a harbinger that the effort might freeze over) was a political, not scientific, enterprise designed to wrestle control of economies away from nation-states and hand it over to non-elected bureaucracies. Now more evidence about the massive corruption surrounding global warming has emerged. The American Thinker ran a piece (see: Climategate: CRU Was But the Tip of the Iceberg) that alleges fraud from more research institutions that told us that global warming was a real threat including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). It will take time for the reports to filter into the mainstream, but once they do, you can bet this house will come crashing down like ice breaking from a glacier. The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek … [Read more...]

Green Patriarch on Copenhagen

Interviewed on Al Jazeera: And a statement (Source: ANA-MPA): ISTANBUL -- Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew called for a legally binding international agreement to avert the overheating of the planet, in a letter addressed to the leaders of the international community in view of the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen. Reaching a beneficial agreement within the framework of the international negotiations in Copenhagen is not only morally imperative for the protection of the universe but a path to social and economic survival as well, he underlined. "The action against the climate change should not be regarded as an economic burden but as a major opportunity for a healthier planet for the benefit of humanity as a whole, the underdeveloped countries in particular," the Ecumenical Patriarch stressed. "Profit, especially, short-term profit, should not motivate our actions more so when it downgrades our shared and God-given natural heritage," he … [Read more...]