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6/12/2017 9:21:00 AM
Rejoin the accord

Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

When Donald Trump was elected last year, we welcomed some of his ideas. But we insisted that Catholics, as with any president, must hold Trump accountable when he flaunts our teachings.

His decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change agreement is a violation of Catholic teaching and sensibility for many reasons. Here are three malefactions that rise to the top, like greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

First, Trump has embraced self-interest over the common good. There are few ways to contradict the teaching of Jesus so obviously. The church understands that national leaders must care for their own people, but calls us beyond animal instinct. Trump is breaking an agreement that took a decade to iron out among the world’s countries. He did not need to leave — he could have stayed within the agreement and asked for changes. His actions reflect dangerous self-centeredness.

Second, the president is endangering the sanctity of life. We are grateful for his pro-life Supreme Court pick, but the climate accord decision is at odds. Climate change has already begun to hit people in impoverished nations and according to solid science, many could die and suffer in flooding, droughts and agricultural catastrophes. The parables are full of rich and people who neglect the lives of the poor and the suffer for it. Eventually, climate change will come for Americans.

Third, Trump has failed at balance. One genius of Catholicism is its ability to show the wisdom of “both and” over “either or.” Pope Benedict in 2006 called for “a sober balance between consumption and the sustainability of resources.” Pope Francis during his 2015 trip to the United States, sounded the same theme repeatedly. A good economy and environmental health can go together, unless our leaders lack zeal and imagination.

For these three reasons and more, we ask the president to recall what Pope Francis told him last month. We must rejoin the Paris accord.





Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Article comment by: Christopher Juniper

Mr. Langlois is spot on that withdrawing from an international effort to protect future generations from this one is against basic Christian/Catholic teaching. The Pope's encyclical is a brilliant exposition on the connections between environmental health and economic health especially for the world's poor. It deserves to be read cover to cover. Carbon dioxide emissions affect the climate for about 100 years and the carbon dioxide levels are already about 40% out of whack compared to pre-industrial levels, and getting more out of whack every year. The methane emitted by natural gas systems and warming peat bogs is about 86 times more potent a global warming gas than CO2 in its first 20 years in the atmosphere - dramatically multiplying the problems of our coal/oil use. Climate change may reduce agricultural productivity 25% worldwide - and it is the poor that will suffer most. Future generations will be thanking the Pope and the Church for standing tall to protect their ability to thrive.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017
Article comment by: Nguyen Ngo

I would like to have additional comments regarding this article.
The author (Mr. Ed Langlois) described only one side of the "Paris Agreement" This agreement required American to contribute $2.583 Billion dollars, in the mean time, more than 180 other countries give nothing special high population such as China and India freely dumping C02. Is it "just"?

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017
Article comment by: Nguyen Ngo

I agree with John Droz about the right decision of President Trump. The "global warming" is hoax and purely politic. To avoid the another Galileo scandal, Pope should avoid this kind of controversial.
I followed most of Mr. Ed Langlois articles in Catholic Sentinel and feeling that Mr. Ed is so liberal.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017
Article comment by: Allen Rogers

I have studied the "man-made" global warming (AGW) issue from this engineer's perspective for 20+ years now. The issue is NOT about the "science" - because human emissions of CO2 can't control the climate - but it IS about the socialist agenda many people have. These "Chicken Little Alarmists" have an agenda to control us, tax us and redistribute our wealth. This is what THEY are saying - like this quote from Ottmar Edenhoffer -- UN-IPCC official: "We redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy...Basically it's a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization...One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore." Here is one from Dr. John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar - “A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.” There are many more just like these two out there, for those honest enough to seek the truth.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017
Article comment by: Chuck Wiese

As someone who was partially educated in the 1960's in the Catholic private school system, and having experienced the high quality of education back then, I am appalled at the lack of understanding of science and scientific literacy of the Catholic Church and it's membership today, including Pope Francis.

This article by Ed Langlois is void of any scientific facts that when used, clearly contradict all three talking points. This article is politically charged nonsense that is physically meaningless to reality. The Catholic Church and Pope Francis need to stop touting this nonsensical climate encyclical that is grounded in falsified scientific concepts and extreme left wing politics.

Several scientists attempted to brief Pope Francis on the faulty concepts he was being spoon fed by left wing activists posing as scientists before he wrote his climate encyclical. The Vatican refused to hear from them. This approach is not scientific if it cannot stand on its merits in defense, which it cannot.

One of the most critical commandments of God and from Jesus is "thou shall not lie". This article is based upon faulty science and politically charged left wing lies. As such, it has no place in the Catholic Church. The Catholic leadership needs an accurate briefing on the climate to be steered clear of this nonsense. I gladly will volunteer such a lecture along with other scientists to display the truth.

Chuck Wiese
Southwest Portland

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