New Video: Brother Sun, Sister Moon – Pope Francis and the Meaning of Climate Action

June 3, 2015

Just prior to Pope Francis’ encyclical on Climate Change, I produced this summary of his perspective.


21 Responses to “New Video: Brother Sun, Sister Moon – Pope Francis and the Meaning of Climate Action”

  1. To me Christianity is all about respecting. Respecting people, respecting what God created. How could it have gone so far off the rails here in the US such that it venerates those who MOCK creation? This is the pope the Catholic church has needed forever. I wonder how Santorum squares his denial with his leader’s words? How he can possibly think, based on what the Catholic church thinks their Popes represent, he can be right and his pontiff wrong? Hubris.

    • “… Christianity is all about respecting. Respecting people ….”

      Right. Now imagine if Santorum has the audacity to ask Pope Francis which is the bigger sin, failing to stop a so-called global warming crisis which has increasing credibility problems with its underlying science assessments, or breaking the 9th Commandment – calling skeptic climate scientists ‘paid industry shills’ – a tactic designed entirely to prompt the public not to take such skeptics’ criticisms seriously.

      Heaven forbid if the Pope looks beyond whatever is being handed to him and sees just how disrespectful and hateful AGW believers are when it comes to the 20 year character assassination effort to portray skeptic climate scientists as ‘immoral paid shills’ of the fossil fuel industry. This ‘morality’ angle being pursued by enviro-activists has every potential of becoming one of the bigger backlashes in the global warming issue.

      Just compare the disrespect directed at me here at ClimateCrocks to the way I address you guys, and expand that out across the media and internet regarding the baseless name-calling hurled at skeptics. Ya think the Pope won’t notice this gigantic problem? I’m labeled a “murderer” over at Schatzie’s Earth Project, but she felt compelled to delete my straight-up questions on whether she ever actually could tell me what the April temperature record was at Resolute Canada. Ya think the Pope won’t take people to task for those kinds of actions?

      Friends, I say again, it is time for you-all to start developing your exit strategy. This ‘new’ moral imperative talking point is not new at all, and your cause isn’t helped in the least when folks start examining who was seen as one of the original pushers of the talking point.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Russell outdoes himself here in slinging illogical horseshit against the wall and hoping it will stick.

        Russell first cherry-picks and distorts climatelurker’s comment by leaving off the words “respecting what god created”, which are the more significant words in that thought. Russell thereby “bears false witness” against climatelurker.

        Russell plays the old faulty logic trick of the “false dilemma”—-presenting us with two choices that he calls “sins” and demanding that we choose which is the bigger “sin”. Of course, neither of his choices have any basis in truth. The global warming crisis DOES exist, and does not have underlying science credibility problems. And so few real climate scientists are even AGW skeptics anymore that it is faulty logic to imply that it is a lie to call the few remaining DENIERS (they are NOT skeptics) paid industry shills. On top of that is the truth that so many of the actual deniers are, like Russell (and Watts and Morono and Monkeyman), are NOT SCIENTISTS, but science know-nothings and propagandists who have sold out to the fuel interests.

        Pope Francis is both a scientist and a man who understands lies, logic, and “morality”. If Santorum is foolish enough to ever present Russell’s horseshit to the Pope, he will be sorry—-he will probably be saying Hail Mary’s and Acts of Contrition for a month.

        I WILL “imagine” that the Pope DOES agree with “….calling CLIMATE DENIERS ‘paid industry shills’ – a tactic designed entirely to prompt the public not to take such DENIER’S criticisms seriously”. He did after all basically throw them out of the recent pre-encyclical conference in Rome. I will warn Russell again—stop conflating “skeptic climate scientists” with “paid denier shills”—-they are NOT one and the same, and you put your immortal soul in jeopardy even more every time you repeat that lie.

        Russell attempts to “play the victim” with the rest of his horseshit heaving.

        “…how disrespectful and hateful AGW believers are….”
        “…the 20 year character assassination effort….”
        “..This ‘morality’ angle being pursued by enviro-activists….”
        “..has every potential of becoming one of the bigger backlashes…”

        Wow! Russell reaches a new level of hyperbole and lying there—-watch his nose grow as he speaks and his reservations in hell being upgraded to a hotter circle!

        Russell then attempts to play the other side of the “victim” coin—the “I’m a nice guy unlike you” and throws in more “victim”, with some whining and cry baby for seasoning.

        “…compare the disrespect directed at me here to the way I address you guys…”
        “…the baseless name-calling hurled at skeptics….:”
        “…I’m labeled a “murderer”…”

        Russell, it is time for YOU to “start developing YOUR exit strategy” This ‘new’ moral imperative talking point is surely not new, but when the Pope “notices” this gigantic problem of AGW denial and the role of deniers and shills like you, his “actions” will be things that WE approve of, and you and your employers will be ducking for cover. YOU and they are in mortal fear of that, as you should be. My final word of advice is to sling your lying horseshit as fast and hard as you can—-you may be out of a job and back in your mother’s basement all too soon, so pile up the forty money while you can.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          “dirty money” in last sentence

          Reading Russell’s horseshit and writing replies is burden enough—I can’t bring myself to proofread it very closely.

      • Rick Santorum the lawyer knows more about the science than Pope Francis the graduate level chemist? Sure. Need I remind you that the Pope was selected out of ALL the possible priests to take the role of Pope, and that according to the Catholic Church, he is the mouthpiece of God? That Rick Santorum is a Catholic, and that he is questioning God’s word, according to his own belief?

        All your other stuff is just rhetoric. The science simply doesn’t support your position. And the Pope is smart enough to know that.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          You understate the truth when you say to Russell, “….All your other stuff is just rhetoric. The science simply doesn’t support your position.” The truth is:

          Russell has no “position” that is “supportable by science” because Russell has no science training and knows no science. That’s why he simply refuses to discuss the science of AGW with us, and instead repeatedly sings his one note song of “You-all can’t prove I’m a lying whore for Heartland and the fossil fuel interests”.

          Russell is a propagandist—-a denier troll, an obfuscator, and a junior grade merchant of doubt who seeks only to cloud the truth of the AGW issue with his irrelevant bullshit about “….what’s on page 269” of Merchants of Doubt and what Ross Gelbspan said sometime back before the Civil War.

          And Heartland gives him $$$$ purely because they agree with what he says and he says that doesn’t make him a whore—-no “direction about what to write” or quid pro quo there. Uh-huh.

          Russell was on the program for Heartland’s ICCC-9 but is missing from the ICCC-10 schedule of events. By his own admission, he was a science-ignorant guy that just walked in off the street at !CCC-9 in Las Vegas (and probably took the bus to get there). I would suspect that Heartland doesn’t want to pay for a plane ticket to fly him in to Washington DC from CA because his tired old “contribution” is losing credence even with the denier crowd and not worth the $$$$.

  2. peterangelo Says:

    Rick Santorum to the Pope: Dude your killing my chances at the Presidency, please stop talking about that climate change thing:

    • Quite the contrary. And careful for what you wish for. The Pope may actually end up thanking Santorum for alerting him to an entire side of the issue he may have had hidden from him. Heaven forbid if folks see that as a moral endorsement, however indirect, of the Santorum campaign.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Russell, you DO realize that you are not commenting on Breitbart or American Stinker or those other ideologically driven sites you frequent but on a site that stresses rationality and the science behind AGW?

        On those sites you would get nods of agreement from the brain dead droolers that visit them. Here, I think I can speak for all those who are so bored with your BS that they delete you without reading that this is perhaps the most demented thing you have ever said on Crock. Or are you joking and saying it tongue-in-cheek?

        The Heartland and denier contingent was ignored and laughed out of the Vatican. The encyclical may go so far as to declare unrepentant AGW deniers to be sinners of the highest order. The Pope will not “thank” Santorum, but may instead threaten him with excommunication (I vote for an added light flogging on the way out the door).

        Santorum is a joke whose only value is to the Democrats because he will help drive the Republican Clown Bus off into the swamps on the far right of the road and thereby help ensure Hillary’s victory over the Last Clown Standing.

        PS Are you going to wear your clown suit at ICCC-10? Or at least a red nose to set off your visor?

        • dumboldguy Says:

          PS I forgot to say that Russell is already doomed to the eternal fires. I hope his visor is flameproof.

  3. Peter,

    A great video, one that I will share.

    Just a couple nitpicky points from a Lutheran Pastor who gardens and just finished his Permaculture Design Course.

    First, Dr. Hayhoe is correct in saying that Climate Change is not an evolution vs. creation issue…and she’s not. Ice Cores, Carbon Dating, etc. are built on a scientific view that the earth is OLD; far older than Biblical Literalists would allow. If the climate science is based, in any way, on support from methods that rely on an assumption that the earth is old because the universe is old, etc., then it will be discounted by creationists. They will point to the scriptures about the seedtime and harvest, and God sustaining creation (the climate has always changed, because that’s how God made it, and God controls the weather…see ‘Noah’, and not the film version)

    Secondly, the last quote from the evangelical minister about whether or not God will ask us the age of the earth is, in a way, a Christian straw man. It is the stuff that St Peter at the Pearly Gates jokes are made of. Trying to bring an afterlife perspective to a this-life issue is fraught with difficulties between competing theologies. In my case, I believe that God wants us to take care of this world, but what we do in this life ultimately has little bearing on our afterlife as long as we rely on the Grace of God through Jesus’ sacrifice to atone for our sin. Unfortunately, this can also become an attitude of ‘so what if we screw up the planet – it is not a salvation issue, and will only bring about the kingdom sooner’.

    I get that you’re trying to say that it isn’t a creationist vs evolutionist issue, but those are unfortunately polarities that remain opposed. I like to find common ground as much as anyone else. In the ELCA, we have our share of divisive issues and I try to avoid them, not because I don’t want to take a stand, but because the hard work of caring for people is something we can all agree on and I’d rather focus on that.

    I am curious to see what solutions the Pope proposes; what concrete things he may ask parishes to do in order to combat climate change.

    Thanks again for your tireless work communicating these issues.

  4. andrewfez Says:

    Erasmus Darwin threw down some evolutionary poetry about ‘brother emets and sister worms’ back in the day. I believe emets are ants. What he was saying was that we are (mostly) all connected via the evolutionary tree of life.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Emmets ARE ants, and Erasmus Darwin “threw down” a huge pile of prose thoughts on evolution as well as some “evolutionary poetry”. He was an accomplished poet and wrote some of his theories in verse.l He was in many ways more the father of evolution and a more notable scientist than his descendant Charles. A more complete quote is:

      ‘man …Should eye with tenderness all living forms,
      His brother-emmets, and his sister-worms.’


      ‘Organic Life beneath the shoreless waves
      Was born and nurs’d in Ocean’s pearly caves;
      First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
      Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
      These, as successive generations bloom,
      New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;
      Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
      And, breathing realms of fin, and feet, and wing.’

      I think he was saying that we are more than simply “mostly” connected. Modern science has shown that all living things share the same biochemistry and genes, and it’s a miracle that the long chain of evolution has remained unbroken for hundreds of millions of years. Life is at the same time delicate and tenacious—-it will be interesting to see if man can extinguish all or most of it on Earth with his AGW experiment.

      • andrewfez Says:

        I’ve read his chapter on generation in Zoonomia. He was on the right track: He reasoned animals transmutated for 1) advantages in mating; 2) advantages in food acquisition; 3) advantages in predator avoidance. He had a bit of a Lamarckian view, though I think his writing came before Lamarck published his full theory. Yet his understanding of the mechanics of the whole thing, even at the cellular level, was off, and he offered some really bizarre ideas like the ‘living filament’ always came from the male (animal or plant); but failed to explain how a female-only plant might reproduce asexually without such filament.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          True enough, but give the guy a break. He was writing before the American Revolution, and had a better grasp of science way back then than Republicans do today (nearly 250 years after Erasmus).

  5. redskylite Says:

    What I really like about this pope, and also reluctantly liked about Maggie Thatcher, is that he is a trained scientist and understands the scientific effects of greenhouse gases.

    Climate Change and Global Warming belong to science, not to politics. Yes folks, the pope has a qualified right to speak on it. Religion is there to address the ethics, politics is there to work out a solution.

    I just hope we can find some worthy politicians, good ones seem thin on the ground … The dull ones better just get out of the kitchen, because they are completely useless.

    • redskylite Says:


      Great video by the way, really makes you think about ethics … practiced or not

      • redskylite Says:

        And if you do not want to listen to the pope, then listen to the Dalai Lama instead, it’s the same message.

        “If our generation exploits everything available – trees, water, and minerals – without any thought for the coming generations, we’ll be at fault. But if we’re motivated by a genuine sense of universal responsibility our relations with the environment and our relations with our neighbors, both at home and abroad, will be more balanced.”

  6. What happened to my reply? Did it get removed? I hope that was not the case. I have every much the same right to post here as some of the denier trolls who repeatedly offer the same lame talking points to stir up controversy.

    Regardless, here’s a simply summary again. One – great video, one I have shared on Facebook and I hope will spur folks of faith to consider where they stand on this issue of our times.

    Two – I think Dr. Hayhoe was correct and also not correct. Yes, folks who think the earth is only 6000 years old and those of us who believe it is far older both have a moral imperative to care for the planet. But when we use ice cores and data records that assume the earth is far older than 6000 yrs old, and when we rely on carbon dating to point to that age, then creationists have a foothold to discount the entire argument against climate. Then we get the Inhofe nonsense about ‘seedtime and harvest…there will always be an earth…’…a massive misuse of scripture.

    Finally, I think the last quote is a sort of Christian straw man. “When we get to heaven God is not going to ask us…” Well, for those of us in a faith tradition that relies on grace and the sacrificial atonement of Christ for salvation, God is not going to ask us anything. Our entrance into heaven rests on Jesus’ merit alone, not on our works.

    The slippery slope there is twofold. One, for evangelical Christians it is a special brand of guilt they like to use to motivate people. That’s too bad, since there are many supportive scriptures about caring for the earth that have little to do with retribution or punishment. Yes, God is serious about us caring for the planet, and yes, there are consequences – whether or not that is framed as punishment is dangerous. That runs into the realm of “a bad storm is punishment for sin” idea, or a “we don’t have to care for the earth, it just means the end times are coming sooner” idea.

    The other fork is for Roman Catholics. The RC Church has waffled on the idea of merit and indulgences for the past few generations (and Popes). If we believe that how we live now has a bearing on our eternal destination, then yes, we need to act now. But is that what the encyclical will emphasize? Is there a place in hell for polluters, but a term in purgatory for ordinary folks who just didn’t act, and a mansion in heaven for climate activists?

    I’m really concerned about our future on this planet, and I believe this site does a lot of good in spurring people to action. I hope my comments can be seen as helpful in that regard, in stimulating good discussion from a faith perspective.

  7. redskylite Says:

    Same tune from the Rabbi too…..

    With Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on climate change due out on June 18, religious communities are preparing to seize this rare moment of environmental spotlight. The much anticipated papal declaration will lay out the church’s views on the subject, and now members of the Jewish community — inspired by the church’s efforts — have released a letter of their own calling for “vigorous climate action.”

    “In Leviticus 26, the Torah warns us that if we refuse to let the Earth rest, it will ‘rest’ anyway, despite us and upon us — through drought and famine and exile that turn an entire people into refugees,”

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