Sorry if I have been too polemical in my posts in the past. Please don't take what I have to say here as a personal attack on you.
IMHO, this is quite an irresponsible position for the Pope to take, although I agree with him that some voices in the environmental movement are too quick to dismiss the importance of human beings in the natural order of things, and that costs for combatting global warming should be justly distributed.
A broad consensus is developing among the world's scientific community over the evils of climate change.
But there is also an intransigent body of scientific opinion which continues to insist that industrial emissions are not to blame for the phenomenon.
Scientific opposition to the idea that global warming is not caused by humans is very small, unless you count the big oil lobby in the US, who have been doing a great job convincing the American public that there is an actual debate in the scientific community over whether or not global warming is even happening at all. There is no debate. Even the tiny group of scientists who claim that global warming is not being caused by humans do not deny that it is happening and may well have big consequences. It's true that we really don't know all the variables at all. We don't know what will happen in the end, when the push comes to shove. But there's a lot of evidence that global warming is happening at quite a rapid rate. Do we really want to just sit back and dismiss the scientific evidence as being "alarmist"?
"In the past few years, a firestorm has engulfed the debate about global warming. This issue has pitted science against spin, with inflammatory words from both sides. Former Vice-President Al Gore’s recent Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his work on global warming, only served to heighten the rhetoric on both sides of the debate.
How could scientific fact, which many believe could determine the very future of the planet, become a political battleground, left versus right, environmentalist versus climate change sceptic?"http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/denialmachine/index.html
I highly recommend watching the video given on this link, if you have the time. It's very eye-opening and thought provoking.
Other critics of environmentalism have compared the movement to a burgeoning industry in its own right.
Which critics, besides the Vatican? A "burgeoning industry?" I know that some of these environmental groups can be shrill, and it's not to their advantage sometimes, but a "burgeoning industry"? Yeah, right. Just like Exxon Mobil or General Motors. Give me a break.
In October, the Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, caused an outcry when he noted that the atmospheric temperature of Mars had risen by 0.5 degrees celsius.
"The industrial-military complex up on Mars can't be blamed for that," he said in a criticism of Australian scientists who had claimed that carbon emissions would force temperatures on earth to rise by almost five degrees by 2070 unless drastic solutions were enforced.
Very irresponsible and ignorant remarks indeed, IMHO. Since when are Cardinals ecological experts?