The following comes from a New York Times opinion piece by David Brooks:
Pope Francis is one of the world’s most inspiring figures. There are passages in his new encyclical on the environment that beautifully place human beings within the seamless garment of life. And yet over all the encyclical is surprisingly disappointing.
Hardest to accept, though, is the moral premise implied throughout the encyclical: that the only legitimate human relationships are based on compassion, harmony and love, and that arrangements based on self-interest and competition are inherently destructive.
The pope has a section on work in the encyclical. The section’s heroes are St. Francis of Assisi and monks — emblems of selfless love who seek to return, the pope says, to a state of “original innocence.”
He is relentlessly negative, on the other hand, when describing institutions in which people compete for political power or economic gain. At one point he links self-interest with violence. He comes out against technological advances that will improve productivity by replacing human work. He specifically condemns market-based mechanisms to solve environmental problems, even though these cap-and-trade programs are up and running in places like California.
Moral realists, including Catholic ones, should be able to worship and emulate a God of perfect love and still appreciate systems, like democracy and capitalism, that harness self-interest. But Francis doesn’t seem to have practical strategies for a fallen world. He neglects the obvious truth that the qualities that do harm can often, when carefully directed, do enormous good.
You would never know from the encyclical that we are living through the greatest reduction in poverty in human history. A raw and rugged capitalism in Asia has led, ironically, to a great expansion of the middle class and great gains in human dignity.
A few years ago, a team of researchers led by Daniel Esty of Yale looked at the environmental health of 150 countries. The nations with higher income per capita had better environmental ratings. As countries get richer they invest to tackle environmental problems that directly kill human beings (though they don’t necessarily tackle problems that despoil the natural commons).
You would never suspect, from this encyclical, that over the last decade, one of the most castigated industries has, ironically, produced some of the most important economic and environmental gains. I’m talking of course about fracking.
But a recent Environmental Protection Agency study found that there was no evidence that fracking was causing widespread harm to the nation’s water supply. On the contrary, there’s some evidence that fracking is a net environmental plus.
That’s because cheap natural gas from fracking displaces coal. A study by the Breakthrough Institute found coal-powered electricity declined to 37 percent from 50 percent of the generation mix between 2007 and 2012. Because natural gas has just half as much global-warming potential as coal, energy-related carbon emissions have declined more in the U.S. than in any other country over that time.
Fracking has also been an enormous boon to the nation’s wealth and the well-being of its people. In a new report called “America’s Unconventional Energy Opportunity,” Michael E. Porter, David S. Gee and Gregory J. Pope conclude that gas and oil resources extracted through fracking have already added more than $430 billion to annual gross domestic product and supported more than 2.7 million jobs that pay, on average, twice the median U.S. salary.
A lot of people must work very hard to support the clueless Pope. The College of Cardinals made a huge mistake in electing Francis. It’s a lot like putting Timothy Leary in the White House. The Church will survive him, though. I hope.
“From your lips ( or post) to God’s ears (or ip address)..”
what do you mean ” I hope”…/???
Is this a joke?
When selling marxist liberation theology, Francis is consistent in Laudato Si against that evil capitalism. How long will it take before we hear that we must submit with religious mind and will to the global warming farce?
” He is relentlessly negative, on the other hand, when describing institutions in which people compete for political power or economic gain ”
– yet the Pope not only writes about unproven global warming, but also recommends a One World Authority (government) with the power to Make laws, Police and Enforce, and tax without limit.
Where was our Pope when we really needed a concise Encyclical on MORALS instead ? Homosexual acts & Homosexual Marriage, Fornication, Adultery (sexual relationship with the valid spouse of another); Pornography; Contraception – as these MORTAL SINS relate to: requirement for Repentance, Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell.
PETE, is this lie about Pope Francis something you read somewhere? It keeps coming up. It is untrue.
It seems odd that as a Jew, David Brooks would see fit to lecture the Pope on morality–especially since Brooks is in the middle of his own scandal: https://www.salon.com/2015/06/15/the_facts_vs_david_brooks_startling_inaccuracies_raise_questions_about_his_latest_book/