But I agree that it was foolish of the pope to come out with this. I would hope that he realizes that following his advice would condemn about a third of the world population to remaining abysmally poor with little hope of improvement. Their only hope in that regard is cheap energy that is consistently available. The only two sources that fit that are fossil and nuclear. Wind and solar simply don't cut it. And so far biofuels have only exacerbated the CO2 problem while raising the cost of available energy.
I guess I'm not sure of which advice you are speaking. I have read the document in fits and starts. He doesn't every bring up wind power and solar power is mentioned, but he tempers it referring to (if I remember correctly) needs to advance the technology to make the transition affordable. There is mention to nuclear but I'm not sure it's with regard to power, though I agree that nuclear power is the way to go. Fossil fuels are bad for the environment, but each to it's own degree.
Here is an excerpt of something of interest:
52.The foreign debt of poor countries has become a way of controlling them, yet this is not the case where ecological debt is concerned. In different ways, developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future. The land of the southern poor is rich and mostly unpolluted, yet access to ownership of goods and resources for meeting vital needs is inhibited by a system of commercial relations and ownership which is structurally perverse. The developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programmes of sustainable development. The poorest areas and countries are less capable of adopting new models for reducing environmental impact because they lack the wherewithal to develop the necessary processes and to cover their costs. We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated responsibilities. As the United States bishops have said, greater attention must be given to “the needs of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, in a debate often dominated by more powerful interests”.31 We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.
31 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good (15 June 2001).
The U.S. has perhaps some of the best environmental conditions of any country with any significant population in the whole of the planet . That comes directly from the availability of cheap, consistent supply of energy. It takes energy, and relatively lots of it,to clean the air, clean the water and remove the waste. It will take lots of energy to raise the standard of living of the peoples across the planet. And that will happen only if there is lots of cheap energy available. The needs of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable will be met much more quickly with cheap fossil fuel. It would help if more nuclear energy was being made available. And it wouldn't have to be nuclear energy derived from Uranium either. It could be from the Thorium cycle, which does not have some of the nasty waste problems of the Uranium cycle.
The simple truth is that if the U.S. completely stopped the production of all CO2, the change in CO2 levels around the planet would not be enough to change the temperature even a fraction of a degree over the next 20 years or so. Moreover, CO2 is simply not the hugely influential greenhouse gas it is made out to be. Plain old water vapor, humidity in the air, is an order of magnitude more effective greenhouse gas than CO2. Water vapor makes up over 95% of all greenhouse gas. All the rest of the greenhouse gases together account for the other less than 5%.
I have heard about water vapor being the major contributor as well. I have been personally skeptical of climate change.
What do you make of this article?
They claim that because water vapor is condensible it is more warmed by the greenhouse effect and less a contributor. They also claim that having more water vapor in the air could create a cooling effect. Anyway read the article, and comment if you would.
That article begins with the following statement: It’s true that water vapor is the largest contributor to the Earth’s greenhouse effect. On average, it probably accounts for about 60% of the warming effect. However, water vapor does not control the Earth’s temperature, but is instead controlled by the temperature.
First of all water vapor accounts for about 95% of the warming effect, not 60%.
Second those two statements are contradictory. Water vapor can't account for about 60% of the warming effect and not control the Earth's temperature. It is not the only controlling factor, but it is the main one. When it says, "but is instead controlled by the temperature", that is true in a sense. there is interaction between the temperature and the degree of greenhouse effect. But it is true generally of all other gases as well.
I think most are aware that the greenhouse gas effect has to do with the ability of a gas to transmit energy [light] at the different wave lengths. The greenhouse gas readily transmits energy at the wave lengths arriving from the sun. That heats up the earth and causes the earth to radiate energy back out to space. But the re-radiated energy is at wave lengths that tend to be blocked by the greenhouse gas. Hence the total incoming radiated energy is greater than the total outgoing radiated energy and the temperature increases. That is exactly how the glass in a greenhouse works and why the gases that operate this way are called greenhouse gases.
Some of what the article says is true. There are some not so straightforward interactions going on in all of this. The temperature of the gas itself influences the wave length effect of radiation transmission. In the case of water vapor, there is the difference between the effects on radiation of absorbed water vapor in the atmosphere and the condensed water of the clouds.
The last two statements in the article should be noted. The authors closes with the following:Thus the possible positive and negative feedbacks associated with increased water vapor and cloud formation can cancel one another out and complicate matters. The actual balance between them is an active area of climate science research.
The fact that this is an active area of climate science research is an admission that the climate science is not a done deal as so many of the global warming advocates like to say. And it is a good part of why all of those climate change mathematical models don't work very well. They haven't predicted the climate over the last couple of decades. As near as I can tell, they can't even postdict it very well. That is, they can't predict, with their models, what is happening even knowing the answer ahead of time. And it should be obvious that this is not the only active area of climate science research.
It is certainly not a science well enough established to justify committing billions or even trillions of dollars to the cause. That is especially true when the cause will generate a terrible negative effect on the overall economy of the planet in addition to just the moneys being diverted from other actions with positive results.
Just my thoughts.