Greenpeace co-founder is not impressed with the archdiocese’s buy-in to warming dangers as expressed by Chicago’s Archbishop Blaise Cupich, echoing Pope Francis:
“Those who do not think religious organizations should have an opinion on climate change misunderstand the purpose of the former and the moral dimensions of the latter,” [Archbishop] Cupich said at a Chicago press conference with EPA Secretary Gina McCarthy.
But the archdiocese’s new awareness of energy issues has nothing to do with mistaking the purpose of the Church, according to Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace.
“A lot of world leaders are taking a measurement of what people are thinking, and they all want to be the hero on this one,” Moore said in a phone interview with Watchdog Arena.
“Of course, that’s fairly natural for religion to do, because they’re always trying to save souls.”
Saving souls. It’s been a while since most churchgoers heard that sort of talk which smacks of supernaturalism.
Moore, who holds a PhD in ecology from the University of British Columbia, says many see the climate change movement as a form of religion, but for him, it has more to do with pointing to the “original sin.”
“What they’re basically saying is that we are the enemies of the Earth and the environment, and therefore we should do everything we can to make it seem as though we are not really here,” he said.
A new form of Pogo’s “We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.”
Shortly after Pope Francis released his encyclical on climate change earlier this year, Cupich re-emphasized the Holy Father’s concern that global warming would eventually devastate the Earth.
“The Holy Father urges us to stop the steady march to a warmer planet that will change sea levels and crop growing patterns, parch fields and promote famine, and lead to human misery on a scale yet unimagined,” he said.
He’s a true believer, he is.
Cupich said Pope Francis wanted to reduce the use of fossil fuels, rely more on renewable energy sources and re-think over-cooled and over-heated homes and workplaces.
Moore, who left Greenpeace in 1986 and has since become a global warming skeptic, said such suggestions create within the minds of the Catholic faithful “a self-defeating guilt trip.”
Forgive me, Father, I have neglected to recycle.
“You’re afraid you’re going to kill your kids and grandchildren by running your SUV, and you feel guilty for doing it,” Moore said. “The reasoning appeals to those two human motivators – guilt and fear – and for some reason, there’s always been somebody standing on the street corner with a sign saying, ‘the end is nigh.’”
Moore, who said he left Greenpeace when his fellow directors abandoned science and plunged into social activism, warned, “We are really doing a disservice by teaching people that fossil fuels are evil. Fossil fuels are, in fact, the largest solar storage of energy there is on the earth.”
Fossil fuels originated in plants and plankton, which grew by photosynthesis in the sea and on the land, and are now buried deep in the earth, Moore said. “They are 100 percent organic, they were created by solar energy, so they were renewable at the time, and now they’re the largest storage batteries on the earth.”
Cupich said Pope Francis is concerned that abuse of the environment will adversely affect the poor, who are the most vulnerable.
“They suffer most from the degradation of the earth – they are the least protected from the increasingly violent swings of nature caused by global warming,” the the archbishop said. “The poor have the greatest exposure to air pollution, droughts, unsafe drinking water and the spread of diseases.”
“I’ll tell you what’s worse on the poor – not having any energy to heat their homes,” Moore said in response to the archbishop’s comments. “To hold that position is either extreme naiveté or it’s not caring about what happens.”
Unlike Cupich and the Pope, Moore is optimistic.
“The idea that we are enemies of the earth is a terrible thing to tell our children, because we are from the Earth, we evolved with the rest of life,” he said. “Personally, I’m extremely optimistic about the evolution of our consciousness on this subject.”