With the papal encyclical on climate change scheduled for a June 18 release, the liberal media can be expected to portray the Vatican document as a major step forward for the United Nations agenda of controlling and taxing the use of natural resources by governments and people. But a group of retired NASA scientists is taking on the pope directly, armed with the expertise that has come through decades of planning U.S. space missions and dealing with the most complex and difficult issues of climate science.
Their verdict: the pope is risking his moral status and his credibility.
In fact, this group is directly warning Pope Francis that if he embraces the climate agenda of the United Nations, he will be violating both scientific principles and the religious values he embodies that are supposed to be reflected in direct aid for the poor people of the earth.
But the pope is apparently counting on his status as “the most popular person on the Earth,” in the words of Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant organization, to make the “moral” case that we live on “an abundant yet finite planet,” and that global limits to industrial growth have to be imposed on a worldwide basis.
The battle, now taking shape, will likely help determine whether U.S. sovereignty will be sacrificed in order to make possible a system of “global governance” or world government.
In a controversial decision that could backfire, Republican House Speaker John Boehner (OH) has invited Pope Francis to deliver an address to Congress in September, an opportunity he could use to push the similar climate change agendas of both the Vatican and the Obama administration.
That a research team composed primarily of retired NASA scientists and engineers has entered the debate is relatively new and particularly noteworthy. These individuals have a lot of experience in the climate change area, as a result of sending astronauts into the atmosphere and outer space and returning them to earth.
The members of the group, the Right Climate Stuff Research Team, are veterans of the NASA Apollo program that landed astronauts on the moon and returned them safely during the decade of the 1960s, according to the introduction to their letter to the pope. They maintain a website setting forth their view that there is no convincing evidence that the planet is in a “climate crisis.”
These retired scientists suggest that the pope is making a big mistake by using unreliable or untested computer models that predict a “climate disaster.” They assert, “Our strict NASA policies, based on common sense concepts of the Scientific Method, trained us to ignore projections of un-validated models for critical design or operational decisions involving human safety, and instead, base such decisions on available physical data.”
Their spokesman is Harold H. Doiron, who serves as chairman of the Right Climate Stuff Research Team. He tells the pontiff in a letter that “There is no compelling scientific or humanitarian reason for immediate enactment of world-wide CO2 emission controls, as the UN is urging you to recommend…”
What’s more, Doiron and his colleagues argue, the poor in the developing world “need unfettered access to relatively inexpensive fossil fuel energy sources to improve their quality of life,” and if higher atmospheric CO2 levels do in fact occur, they will not hinder the development of poor nations but rather result in “increased food production” that will benefit them.
Rejecting the idea of CO2 as a pollutant that should be regulated, they said, “we know that CO2 is a very special colorless, odorless and non-polluting gas designed by our Creator to be an essential chemical compound for sustaining all plant, animal and human life.”
Doiron made a presentation in Rome on April 28 as part of a Heartland Institute event designed to warn the Vatican against rushing to embrace the U.N. climate change agenda. He included a PowerPoint presentation titled “An Independent, Objective Assessment of the Human-Caused Global Warming Issue,” which refers to the U.N. agenda as “climate alarmism” based on faulty models, not actual data.
He is scheduled to speak this week in Washington, D.C. at the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change.
At his presentation in Rome, Doiron said he was a member of a Catholic parish in Texas where fellow parishioners were “praying that Pope Francis will have discernment as he looks into this global warming controversy.” On Fox News Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a practicing Catholic, said “there are more pressing problems on Earth” for the pontiff to be addressing than climate change.
Ignoring the concerns of conservative Catholics that the church should focus on moral issues, The New York Times ran a story, “Pope Francis Steps Up Campaign on Climate Change, to Conservatives’ Alarm,” reporting that the papal encyclical “will be accompanied by a 12-week campaign, now being prepared with the participation of some Catholic bishops, to raise the issue of climate change and environmental stewardship in sermons, homilies, news media interviews and letters to newspaper editors…”
The source of this statement was Dan Misleh, who has been invited inside the Vatican to help coordinate the campaign. He previously directed the educational and outreach efforts of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.
His group has now become part of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, whose website shows poor people walking through flood waters, hurricanes, and smokestacks, as visitors to the site are urged to “change our course,” and to pray and then act.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org