Priest denounces 'deniers' of man-made climate change

Priest denounces 'deniers' of man-made climate change

Michael Gilchrist

Fr Charles Rue, the Australian Catholic Church's counterpart to Al Gore, has written an article for the Jesuit-published Eureka Street (30 November 2009) in which he denounces the 'deniers' of man-made climate change.

Titled 'The perverse skills of climate change deniers', Fr Rue's article dismisses the scientists who question the extent to which climate change is driven by human activities as being in the pay of the polluting, global warming fossil fuel industries.

'Beisner, Singer and Idso are part of a cluster of names which keep popping up in the literature of climate change denying scientists and religious leaders. Their primary concern is to attack the proposition that human activity is a major cause of climate change. They work to maintain current fossil fuel based economic systems, and promise that the world will not have to change its patterns of using fossil fuels.'

Fr Rue then targets local 'deniers': 'These US sources are often quoted in Australia along with local names like Bill Kininmonth, Bob Carter, Ian Plimer, David Archibald, Don Aitkin and David Evans.

'It is crucial to recognise that climate change sceptics have placed themselves outside the normal scientific community. They pile up so called 'evidence' with which to browbeat people.'

On the contrary, the bullying and browbeating have been in the other direction, with true believers like Fr Rue, and much of the mass media, denouncing and marginalising the sceptics and 'deniers'.

Fr Rue then targets the Church's best known sceptic: 'That Cardinal George Pell allows himself to be aligned with climate change deniers is very sad. The credibility of church mission to serve humanity is compromised. What is more, many of the faithful are scandalised and their following of church leaders sorely tested.'

Nor did this journal escape Fr Rue's eagle eye: 'Magazines like AD2000 pass on the pre-packaged denial messages, often with a semi-religious tone supplied by the US based Acton Institute. An introduction to its website describes it as 'an ecumenical think-tank dedicated to the study of free-market economics informed by religious faith and moral absolutes'.'

That is utterly false.

Fr Rue concludes: 'Making a Catholic Response to Climate Change is opening a new chapter in the Christian story ... It will draw on Catholic teachings about the structures of sin, and compassion for this and future generations.'

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