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Avvenire’s Eco-catastrophism: Fun but Worrisome

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The ecologist delirium In the Catholic camp is reaching unimaginable heights. A great example of this is the daily newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

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It is difficult not to notice the eco-catastrophist drift affecting a whole section of the Catholic world these days. Convinced of faithfully following the guidelines of Pope Francis, bishops, parish priests, leaders of movements and associations, and newspaper editors are competing to see who outdoes the others in this matter. As a result, they are reaching peaks of surrealism and tragicomedy, and in the process, are revealing tenets as “hidden” as they are disturbing.

In recent days, Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, has given ample proof of this ecologist delirium that lost all connection with reason. A few examples: the July 2 edition published a letter from Stefano Di Battista, a journalist expert in climatology (click here), who politely but clearly disagreed with an article of June 20 criticizing opinion makers who do not share the climate change alarmism. In fact, the June 20 article, signed by Massimo Calvi and Andrea Lavazza blindly supports the cause of Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage leader of Friday’s school strikes to ‘save the planet’. The two write a long article to justify the fact that she will no longer go to school in order to dedicate herself to the climate cause. They explain that since Greta does not travel by plane to avoid pollution, and since she will have to go to the UN in September and to the climate conference in Santiago, Chile at the end of the year by ship and by train, “it will become impossible to guarantee her minimum attendance at school.” In practice, without Greta the world cannot go on; she has now risen to the role of a prophetess whose oracles are indispensable at every international assembly to defend the planet.

Anyone who presents scientific arguments denying that climate change is man-made is certainly a cynic who “presents himself as a commentator” but in reality is sold to “consolidated economic interests” and to “large groups who risk derailing our commitment against climate change.” This is what Stefano Di Battista has to say about it, both because the accusation concerns him directly and because many scientists who have been studying climate-related phenomena for decades are convinced that climate change is not connected to human activities. To give just a few examples, he cites Ian Clark, of the University of Ottawa, John R. Christy of the University of Alabama, Richard S. Lindzen, of the MIT in Boston. He also speaks about biased news reports appearing in newspapers, for example regarding glaciers, the behavior of which is anything other than directed only to melting. Then he warns, pay attention because by dint of launching the so-called climate emergency one may end up by suspending democratic freedoms “in the name of averting the apocalypse.”

In reality, we add, this is already happening, and not just as a mere side effect: it is exactly one of the goals of eco-catastrophists.

 

Di Battista’s was a good lesson, but the friendly duo, Calvi & Lavazza, could not fail to reply–perhaps to better highlight the difference between scientific arguments (Di Battista’s letter) and ideological clichés. In fact, mind you, the two oppose Greta’s authority and role to the authority of the above-cited scientists! They say, yes, there maybe some skeptical scientist, but do you want to compare this to “the very long list” of scientists who are convinced “on the basis of precise evidence” that it is human activities that change the climate? This shows a twofold ignorance: first, because there are not a few, but thousands of scientists who refute the anthropic global warming theory precisely “on the basis of precise evidence,” while climate alarmists produce mostly forecasts based on computerized climate models, all to be verified. Yet, despite the fact that those thousands of scientists include Nobel Prize winners and great experts, they are denied the front pages of major newspapers. Just as Avvenire has done by ignoring, for example, the petition promoted by dozens of Italian scientists a few weeks ago (click here), thus contributing to perpetuate a lie. Second, because the two writers of Avvenire ignore the fact that science is not decided by a majority but based on the verifiability of theories.

 

Now the best joke is yet to come; In fact, di Battista cites Danish journalist Jeppe Duva, who denounces that talking about climate change has become a convenient pretext for politicians to avoid dealing with much more pressing issues such as pension cuts and the labor market. The Avvenire writers reply is Manzonian: “Duva, who are you?”, they ask. It will certainly not be Duva, “hitherto unknown to us, that will say the truth about this subject.” In fact, the two scientists were certainly unknown to them so far, as were the scientists Lindzen, Christy and Clark; they probably never heard of Carlo Rubbia or Antonino Zichichi: They follow Greta, and that is enough. Well no, they do know someone else: to Jeppe Duva’s dubious authority they oppose that of Philip Alston, author of another ‘historic’ published in Avvenire published on June 25, denouncing the impending “climate apartheid” (click here). Alston is not just any journalist, he is the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Avvenire tells us. Yes, but the Calvi & Lavazza duo forgot to check Alston’s curriculum. He is actually only a lawyer, an expert in international law and has no scientific expertise, let alone on the climate. He is a simple repeater of UN buzzwords, exactly as Avvenire.

 

Here the fun part ends and the disturbing one begins. Because on July 4, Avvenire also published an article by Fr. Virginio Colmegna, an Ambrosian priest well known both for his social commitment to charitable works and for a certain political activism, obviously with the left (click here). Fr. Colmegna writes in support of another great idea of ​​Avvenire, the “Saturdays for the Future”, which mimic the inevitable Greta’s “Fridays for the Future”. Saturdays will be dedicated to ‘eco-sustainable shopping’. I omit the slew of slogans we find in Fr. Colmegna’s speech to draw attention to a single passage: “This is about overcoming anthropocentrism in order to revive the centrality of being guardians of Creation. Here the Christian tradition has to learn from other religious traditions and visions of the world with a more harmonious and integrated approach addressed to ecology and the natural world.”

This is what is really at stake with the ecological question: apostasy from Catholicism. The criticism of Fr. Colmegna and of a certain Catholic current is not addressed to a deviant or degenerate form of anthropocentrism, but to the centrality of man as such; man, whom God placed at the top of Creation and who is responsible for Creation before God. The “overcoming” Colmegna invokes leads straight to the ideology of the Earth Charter, in which man is simply part of a “community of beings” together with plants and animals, and in which his custody translates as “causing the least possible annoyance.”

Christianity becomes the accused one because it is the cause of anthropocentrism, which is destroying the earth; and it is the one that must learn, from other religions, how to live in harmony with nature. Which religions? Obviously from primitive pantheistic cultures, if you read the preparatory document for the Synod on the Amazon. These cultures’ alleged harmony with nature is a big lie, and we will have the occasion to explain why. Above all, it is as if the Revelation did not concern man’s relationship with Creation and as if there were no Catholic examples of real care for Creation in history. For them, Catholicism has nothing to tell the world; it is just a string of mistakes and things to learn. We only redeem ourselves with “ecological conversion” and by helping the poor and migrants.

 

Originally published in http://lanuovabq.it/it/diverte-e-inquieta-e-leco-catastrofismo-di-avvenire

 

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