A clean, cool, beautiful, fertile planet – praised be mankind 12

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian Communist and Pope, is telling whoppers.

Fortunately, Christopher S. Carson puts him right with a wonderfully cheerful story. It comes from Front Page. We slightly abbreviate it:

Last week, Pope Francis released his controversial environmental Encyclical, Praised Be, to the public.  It is not simply a matter of global warming endangering the planet, he writes.  The Pope has a comprehensively dark vision of the world.  He writes that

The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth … beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish … Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.

In other words, the Industrial Revolution is to blame for covering the planet in rubbish.  But if it’s covered in trash, it’s a strange kind of trash that has caused global crop yields to increase by 160 percent since 1961 and deaths from droughts to be reduced by 99.8 percent since the 1920s.

It’s an odd kind of “mistreatment” of the planet over the life of the Industrial Revolution that’s resulted in the global life expectancy rising from 26 years in 1750 to 69 years in 2009.  This is in spite of the fact that Earth’s population increased from 760 million to 6.8 billion and incomes (in real dollars) rose from $640 to $7,300 during the same period. …

If the globe were truly turning into a great heap of exploited waste, you would expect natural resources to become more expensive as the cost of extracting rises and scarcity becomes the norm.  But natural commodities are cheaper today than ever.  The real price of almost all natural resources – from iron to salt to coal – is cheaper today in than 50 or 500 years ago.  In Britain, artificial light is 20,000 times cheaper per man hour worked than it was in 1300.

On a global scale, with only a few exceptions like China, air and water is cleaner than ever. Since the late 1970s, pollutants in the air have plunged.  In advanced countries, lead pollution declined by almost 100 percent, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide by more than 50 percent; ozone and nitrogen dioxide declined as well.

A car today emits less pollution cruising at full speed than a parked car did in 1970.

In the America of 1900, about 25% of all deaths were from contaminated drinking water.  Today, hardly anyone here dies from this scourge.  The Pope seems oblivious to the fact that the richer the nation is, the cleaner its environment.

Despite the masses wading around in the Pope’s seas of “filth,” and despite a world population of 7.3 billion, the poorer countries’ incomes have surged since 1975; since 1981, the number of Earth’s people in extreme poverty fell by an amazing 1 billion, even as the population increased by more than 1.5 billion.

But if there is one environmental issue that most exercises the Supreme Pontiff, it is global warming.  “A very solid scientific consensus,” he writes, “indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events.”

Well, the warming over “recent decades” apparently does not include the last two decades, because over the past 18 years no net increase in global temperature has been recorded, despite the atmosphere’s CO2 content rising by 8 percent.  Both the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica have this year posted record high ice packs.

The Pope’s letter seems quite concerned about the poor of Africa experiencing crop failures as a result of global CO2 emissions.  But the opposite appears to be true: CO2 is plant food, and the rising CO2 levels are helping to water and green the continent.

According to a 2007 study in the science journal Geology, Africa is currently “experiencing an unusually prolonged period of stable, wet conditions in comparison to previous centuries of the past millennium. … The patterns and variability of 20th century rainfall in central Africa have been unusually conducive to human welfare in the context of the past 1400 years.”

If the trends of higher CO2 concentrations continue, and political strife abates, Africa, far from being a ruined land of desiccated drought, could well become the breadbasket of the world.  All it needs from the West is fertilizer and genetically hardened crop strains that resist insect damage.

“Praised be” … Mankind, which has so rapidly improved his lot and that of his Earthly home.

  • liz

    Great article! The “seas of filth” are in the minds of people like the Pope, completely steeped in leftist hogwash.

  • Kerry

    Thanks for this Jillian. It is refreshing to say the least. I have difficulty understanding how so many within what is known as the atheist community will not grasp any…if not all…of these issues. They are as fundamentally blind to reality as much the christian community is to evolution. Yes, we should all do our part to “save the world” by recycling, cutting down on our carbon footprint…etc. Blinders do not benefit anyone but the one wearing the blinders, and those of his tribe.

    • Azgael

      no, we should be increasing our “carbon footprint” 400ppm is dangerously low CO2 amount, plants are starving, more CO2= more, faster stronger plant growth and that helps us as much as every other animal on earth.

    • We like your drift, Kerry, and thank you for your support. But recycling anything except metals is a waste of time and money. And the “carbon footprint” myth is just that – a myth. As Azgael says, the more carbon dioxide we produce, the better for the greening of the world.

      • kerry

        Well, having lived in many parts of Africa and China, I can tell you the “footprint” they are leaving is not pretty. (India too for that matter) Recycling a very good thing and THEY should practice it more. In Taiwan it is down to a real science. I have learned much living there. Recycling bottles in Africa is a positive. Even plastics earn some people money even though it may still not be cost productive. You speak as a real American, because in the States we know nothing about how to recycle, and I fervently disagree with you as to how much time it takes and the cost effectiveness.

        I know well the carbon footprint thing as well and I was being a bit facetious on that point, but I do strive to make choices that are mostly more healthy for my body then for the environment.

        I have also learned that in everything…too much of one thing is usually not good in the long run. I do not know whether that applies to carbon dioxide…I am far from scientifically qualified…but I know that, for instance, one glass of red wine a day is pretty good for me, but one case a day is probably not a good idea:)

        I do wish I could show you how Taiwan implements recycling. I think you would be amazed as was I when I first was exposed to it.

        • Kerry

          Jillian, I could not leave this hanging. I know you are fair and keenly interested in understanding new ideas. Here is one that I know well as I stated above, but I believe the attached article explains what is happening here very well I came across this article and I trust it will shed some light on why I am not adverse to a well designed program for recycling. Enjoy.


          • Thank you, Kerry, for the link to the interesting article.

            I see that the greatest source of revenue from Taiwan’s booming recycling industry are the redeemed metals. Saving metals is a good thing to do.

            It’s also good when an industry profits, and this one, it seems, does.

            Taiwan is an island. That may have something to do with the profitability – it’s being worth its while to recycle 33 types of waste.

            But in the vast USA, my guess is that it would be cheaper, probably much cheaper, not to recycle – except for metals. But I will try to check that out.

            • Further to last:

              I really appreciate your raising this issue, Kerry. I’m learning quite a lot about it.

              Here are some links to articles which carefully weigh the pros and cons of recycling. On the whole, it seems, with some exceptions, it is cheaper to produce from scratch. The example of plastic bottles is a case in point.






            • Some of the articles I have linked to raise the moral issue attached to recycling. It is an old puritan value not to waste things. But whether something that is dumped is wasted is not always clear. It is also impossible not to have “waste” – in the sense of superfluity – in a highly industrialized society. In fact, if we attempted to measure our needs exactly rather than have redundancy, the result would be a degree of austerity that should rightly be called poverty. It would probably kill us by the million. King Lear: “O measure not the need! Our poorest subjects are in the poorest things superfluous.” (I’m quoting from memory so may not be absolutely accurate.) Which all goes to say – one only has enough when one has too much. Does that sound morally repugnant – avaricious? An obvious example to take (for fun) is patterned wallpaper …

              PS: After years of consideration and experience, I have come to the conclusion – however confrontational to conventional thought this may sound – that thrift is not always a virtue, and greed is not always a vice.
              thrift is not a virtue, and greed is not a vice.

            • Kerry

              Jillian, Thanks for the information. (BTW, I agree with the PS) Now, as to the articles you directed me to, they were interesting, but entirely US based. I agree that in the States, we probably need to let the market decide when it is feasible, but that should not be an excuse for laziness and abuse. Having said that, the Popular Mechanics article brought up several good points. First was weighing the costs of fuel, fumes, and transport All good points. What I found most interesting was the discussion of the closed system and the single stream. Both of these show good promise in economies and efficiencies, although, probably most promising for urban areas.

              The last two articles were from 2008 and 2009 and while they are specific to the plastics industry, I believe there have been some major strides since then, especially in China. I could be wrong.

              In many places across Africa, without recycling, these places would be bigger dumps then they are already. I mean no disrespect, but the trash is sometimes overwhelming. China and India are much the same. China has a huge industry dealing with recyclables.

              Let me take a minute and explain Taiwan. Every day…twice a day…two garbage trucks come down our block. Their music tones remind me of the ice cream trucks that came through my neighborhood as a kid in Florida! People bring the garbage out to the curb from their homes, offices, and restaurants. They have already separated it into the many components and there are sections in each truck for the different products. In addition, there is a large 50 gallon bucket on the back for food scraps which go to feed pigs and hogs. Nothing is lost here…well almost nothing.

              I agree that an island nation NEEDS this type of enterprise. There is simply no place to put the trash. Innovation, education, and resolve makes the program work in Taiwan.

            • I take all your points.

              But I still hate spending time separating yukkie things for recycling. Recently where I live the lefty council has introduced an extra bin for yet more separating. The amount of time and trouble needed for preparing the recycling in Taiwan sounds so overwhelming that it makes me glad I don”t live there. What about the waste of time? That would seem to me a far more serious waste than food scraps.

            • Kerry

              It does…and did…sound OVERWHELMING to me as well at first, but when you get in a routine it becomes second nature. I hardly think about it anymore. Having grown up on a small farm in NH, population 900, we burned our trash! Now that was EASY!

              I have enjoyed the conversation on this subject matter. I don’t often discuss recycling!