The Pontifical Academy’s Sustainablity Conference Podcast


Arrgh. I’m trying out a new podcasting plugin. It puts the podcasts into something-which-isn’t-a-post and which is impossible to find. So here is a regular post which links to the podcast. I won’t be using this plugin any more after today, but it’s too late to fix it for today. I’ll put up the real podcast here once I find a better plugin.


I was interviewed last Thursday for Marita Noon’s regular podcast “America’s Voice for Energy“. Few have yet heard the interview because there were some technical difficulties posting it. These were fixed Monday, and the broadcast is now available for one and all.

Noon interviewed some of the folks who were with the Heartland contingent at the Pontifical Academy’s curious sustainability conference. She also talked with me (I wasn’t in Rome).

Now Noon called the event the “Pope’s conference”, which it wasn’t. Rather, I don’t think it was. The PAS has a history of mixing green politics with actual science and it appears—I say appears—that this was their own doing. Everybody is anxiously expecting the Holy Father’s encyclical which, rumor has it, will cover, inter alia, the environment. Many want to share in its glory, including the PAS.

I wonder how close the guesses about the encyclical’s content will be to reality? Ought to be interesting. Regular readers will know that I haven’t said a word about what’s in a document I haven’t yet read.

Anyway, in the podcast, Cal Beisner, of the Cornwall Alliance For the Stewardship of Creation, is first up and tells us why Jeffery “Abortion Abortion” Sachs is not to be heeded.

Our friend Marc Morano batted second (starting at 15:13). Marc was muscled out of the conference by the PAS’s Open Dialog Police. Among other topics, Marc points out the cynicism of folks like Al Gore who facetiously say they’ll covert to Catholicism because Pope Francis is solid on climate “justice.”

The real ranting and raving and raillery—Yours Truly—comes at 30:45. I start by giving a textbook example of tongue tied. And I go downhill from there. I do give a shout-out to the National Association of Scholar’s sustainability report, which is worth reading.

It was Noon’s questions that gave me the idea of defining sustainability, incidentally, which I did in that piece for Crisis.

The last interviewee is Heartland’s Sterling Burnett (at 45:45) who gives an overview of Heartland’s counter conference.

Incidentally, another Catholic “environmental” conference is taking place as I type this. Caritas, an official umbrella charity group, is meeting in Rome.

During the five-day Caritas gathering that opens Tuesday, leaders of Catholic charitable organizations from around the world will focus on growing inequalities as well as the impact of climate change…

Beyond Rodríguez and Gutiérrez, other keynote speakers during the five-day Caritas Internationalis will be Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who helped write a draft of Francis’ environment encyclical; South African Prof. Beverley Haddad, an expert in the intersection of religion and the HIV epidemic; and famed American economist Jeffrey Sachs, a United Nations special advisor.

Jeffrey “Abortion Abortion” Sachs sure does show up a lot at Catholic conferences, eh?

Now what’s interesting (in this same article) we have Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga “blasting” folks who are critical of the Church’s newfound green love. The Cardinal said, “The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits.” Hmm. Not many of those profits are coming my way, so this doesn’t explain why I’m against folks like Sachs.

Also see this: Environmentalists are thrilled that Francis is lending his moral authority to provide an ethical foundation for action to stem climate change.


  1. Gary

    Among other topics, Marc points out the cynicism of folks like Al Gore who facetiously say they’ll covert to Catholicism because Pope Francis is solid on climate “justice.”

    “covert” — nice subtle touch, that; especially since the derivation is from Anglo-French, past participle of coverir — to cover.

  2. Why does anyone find it surprising that the Church has decided that forceable removal of wealth via politics is easier than getting people to give freely? Of course it is and it seems quite likely this will continue to grow. Be happy we’re not at the point where Christians decided God was not coming back to save them and set out to destroy all their enemies on their own. Religious people can be just as impatient and wrong and lazy as anyone else, as can religious groups. It’s needs to be pointed out that this is bad behaviour, of course, but not surprising.

    What is surprising is the extreme short-sighted view that capitalism is evil. Where do these guys plan on getting donations for their conferences and podcasts if we destroy capitalism? Oh, they are as naive as any progressive and don’t see the little devil horns on those promoting the entire idea. Oh well, perhaps they really do want everyone as poor as North Korea and Haiti? Who knows? Or they’re just totally blinded by envy and jealousy and don’t care? Any way you look at it, it’s very, very bad. (I don’t see the Vatican selling off everything it has and giving it to the poor. When I see that, I will this question if I am just cynical or not. Meantime, it’s wrong and bad.)

  3. Ken

    FROM the article via the link: “[Pope] Francis has said global warming is “mostly” man-made and that humanity has a moral duty to stop it.”

    If the [alleged] “problem” of global warming is “mostly” due to humanity then isn’t humanity morally culpable to only stop “most” of that warming, not all??

    NOTE: The Pope has implicitly conceded that some of the warming is not due to humanity, then in doing so hasn’t he conceded that that portion of the warming is due to “nature” — God Himself!???


    Given the Pope’s concession to God for causing some of the warming, how can he assert it is up to humanity to counter God’s own handiwork???

    …if God’s direct intervention incurs a moral obligation on humanity to undo God’s own handiwork, the implication of that indicate that at least some of Augustine’s conclusions about the omniscience of God must be wrong.

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