Green Patriarch backs UN climate change framework

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I weighs in on the Bangkok Climate Change conference where delegates were greeted with “stern pep talks”:

Istanbul, Turkey, 9/28/2009


In view of the international negotiations on climate change commencing in Bangkok, Thailand, and only two months before the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, we urge the international community to undertake courageous commitments for the prevention of the most severe consequences of global warming.

The accomplishment of a good agreement within the framework of the international negotiations in Copenhagen does not solely constitute a moral imperative for the conservation of God’s creation. It is also a route for economic and social sustainability. Taking action against climate change should not be understood as a financial burden, but as an important opportunity for a healthier planet, to the benefit of all humanity and particularly of those states whose economic development is lagging behind.

We pray for the achievement of the best possible international agreement during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, so that the industrialised countries undertake generous commitments for a total reduction of the polluting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% until 2020, compared to the 1990 levels, as well as for the provision of important financial support to the developing countries.

The urgency of the situation and the progress of science and technology pave the way for a low-carbon global economy, the development of renewable energy sources and the aversion of further deforestation. We all need to collaborate, in order to make sure that our children will be able to enjoy the goods of the earth, which we bequeath to them. We need to secure justice and love in all aspects of economic activity; profit and more specifically short-term profit making can not and should not constitute the sole incentive of our deeds, specifically when it undermines our common and God-given natural heritage.

Source: Order of St. Andrew the Apostle


  1. We have tons of talent here at AOI. AOI should host an online symposium in honor of the Green Patriarch’s upcoming visit. We can have the symposium entitled “The Green Patriarch, American Orthodoxy and the 21st Century” etc etc. AOI would be a true force for fairness and balance. It would also offset alot of the nuttiness.

    AOI can be an alternative form of coverage of the EP’s visit.

  2. LOL. I have a title: An Inconvenient Truth: a Local Warning:not a diaspora.

  3. Will the Green (Poverty) Patriarch Hurt the most vulnerable among us?

    Costly Carbon Cuts
    Proposed Strategies Would Hurt the Most Vulnerable

    By Bjorn Lomborg
    Washington Monday, September 28, 2009

    COPENHAGEN — In speech after rousing speech at the United Nations summit on global warming last week, politicians emphasized the need to protect the world’s most vulnerable, who will be hit hardest by climate change. The rhetoric did little to disguise an awful truth: If we continue on our current path, we are likely to harm the world’s poorest much more than we help them.

    Urged on by environmental activists, many politicians are vowing to make carbon cuts designed to keep expected temperature rises under 3.6 degrees (2.0 Celsius). Yet it is nearly impossible for these promises to be fulfilled.

    Japan’s commitment in June to cut greenhouse gas levels 8 percent from its 1990 levels by 2020 was scoffed at for being far too little. Yet for Japan — which has led the world in improving energy efficiency — to have any hope of reaching its target, it needs to build nine new nuclear power plants and increase their use by one-third, construct more than 1 million new wind-turbines, install solar panels on nearly 3 million homes, double the percentage of new homes that meet rigorous insulation standards, and increase sales of “green” vehicles from 4 percent to 50 percent of its auto purchases.

    Japan’s new prime minister was roundly lauded this month for promising a much stronger reduction, 25 percent, even though there is no obvious way to deliver on his promise. Expecting Japan, or any other nation, to achieve such far-fetched cuts is simply delusional.

    Imagine for a moment that the fantasists win the day and that at the climate conference in Copenhagen in December every nation commits to reductions even larger than Japan’s, designed to keep temperature increases under 2 degrees Celsius. The result will be a global price tag of $46 trillion in 2100, to avoid expected climate damage costing just $1.1 trillion, according to climate economist Richard Tol, a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change whose cost findings were commissioned by the Copenhagen Consensus Center and are to be published by Cambridge University Press next year. That phenomenal cost, calculated by all the main economic models, assumes that politicians across the globe will make the most effective, efficient choices. In the real world, where policies have many other objectives and legislation is easily filled with pork and payoffs, the deal easily gets worse.

    Yet the real tragedy is that, by exaggerating the threat of global warming, we have awoken the beast of protectionism. There are always forces in society that demand that politicians create more barriers to trade because they cannot compete on an even, fair playing field. Global warming has given them a much stronger voice.

    Already, politicians are responding — and using the fear of global warming to create “green fences” against free trade. The U.S. House has passed the Waxman-Markey climate change bill with clear provisions to impose new trade tariffs on countries that don’t agree to emission reductions. Eyes are on the Senate, where John Kerry sees these as “sanctions” against “renegade countries.”

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy has repeatedly called for a Europe-wide tax on imports from nations whose global warming efforts do not measure up to Europe’s. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently backed the idea.

    There is a real and growing prospect of an all-out trade war being waged in the name of climate change.

    The struggle to generate international agreement on a carbon deal has created a desire to punish “free riders” who do not sign on to stringent carbon emission reduction targets. But the greater goals seem to be to barricade imports from China and India, to tax companies that outsource, and to go for short-term political benefits, destroying free trade.

    This is a massive mistake. Economic models show that the global benefits of even slightly freer trade are in the order of $50 trillion — 50 times more than we could achieve, in the best of circumstances, with carbon cuts. If trade becomes less free, we could easily lose $50 trillion — or much more if we really bungle things. Poor nations — the very countries that will experience the worst of climate damage — would suffer most.

    In other words: In our eagerness to avoid about $1 trillion worth of climate damage, we are being asked to spend at least 50 times as much — and, if we hinder free trade, we are likely to heap at least an additional $50 trillion loss on the global economy.

    Today, coal accounts for almost half of the planet’s electricity supply, including half the power consumed in the United States. It keeps hospitals and core infrastructure running, provides warmth and light in winter, and makes lifesaving air conditioning available in summer. In China and India, where coal accounts for more than 80 percent of power generation, it has helped to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

    There is no doubt that coal is causing environmental damage that we need to stop. But a clumsy, radical halt to our coal use — which is what promises of drastic carbon cuts actually require — would mean depriving billions of people of a path to prosperity.

    To put it bluntly: Despite their good intentions, the activists, lobbyists and politicians making a last-ditch push for hugely expensive carbon-cut promises could easily end up doing hundreds of times more damage to the planet than coal ever could.

    Bjorn Lomborg is director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and the author of “Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming.”

  4. In the 1970s we had “Global Cooling.” In the early 2000s we had “Global Warming.” We now have “Climate Change.” There has been NO global warming since 1998 when a peak was reached; most likely due to solar activity. Human activity with regards to increasing Carbon Dioxide (the supposed culprit in the “global warming”, ahem… I mean “climate change” scenarios) has apparently stop affecting the planet for the last decade despite China (has now surpassed the US in total CO2 “emissions” and India dramatically increasing their output. So much for the CAUSE and EFFECT absolute requirement of scientific experimentation and real environmental research.

    The facts that:
    (1) Carbon Dioxide is NOT a “pollutant” in any way shape or form,
    (2) CO2 makes up 0.0377% of the earth’s atmosphere (yes you read that right, that’s 377 parts per million – before the industrial revolution it was something like 275 per million),
    (3) nature puts out approximately 90% of CO2 “emissions” with total human activity contributing the other 10%,
    (4) solid research showing a direct correlation between SOLAR activity and warming going back hundreds of thousands of years, and
    (5) long-term research verifying that CO2 levels FOLLOW the warming (not the other way around as AlGore’s misleading graphs try to claim)

    Despite such realities and hard facts, the Global Warming Cultists (oops, I mean the Climate Change Cultists) continue to harp about the fiction that human created CO2 (especially CO2 produced by the American capitalists) are the main cause of this global warming, ooops… I mean “climate change.” Never mind that many of the environmental radicals are also those that claim that human life is a plague on the pristine “mother earth”, are hard core Marxists, passionately promote abortion as a means to control “out of control” population growth, and some have now begun to endorse euthanasia as a further way to “protect” the planet from this horrible humanity. This is the crew that the Patriarch wants to befriend and promote? Unbelievable! “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.”

  5. George Michalopulos :

    Thanks Chris! People need to know that animals (us included) exhale CO2 as a waste product. We inhale O2. Plants (the bottom of the food chain) inhale CO2 and create O2 as a waste product (which we need). The more CO2 produced, the better for plants. I’d like to tell all the Gaia-worshipers that this is also called “the circle of life.” Didn’t they see “The Lion King”?

  6. I think this article is an appropriate read at this point, entitled “TEN REASONS WHY THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE IS NOT ORTHODOX”, posted at

    This is humanism, pure and simple.

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