I wish I could say that I was flabbergasted by comments coming out of the climate denier and
conservative Catholic camps in response to the Pope’s encyclical on planetary stewardship and climate change, but I am not. Not at all. Disappointed, disgusted, and appalled but not flabbergasted.
I apologize (a little) for the above facetiousness. My point being that the Heartland Institute is a textbook case of astroturfing which might fool the public some of the time as they have been trying with their Tea Party antics (see above), but should not fool CNN.
“He once said the carrying capacity of the earth is less than one billion; considering the earth currently holds more than seven billion people, this would mean he favors the reduction of the vast majority of mankind.” Church Militant June 2015The second attack example on the Pope’s message comes via criticism of his appointment of Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber to a Vatican science panel. Dr. Schellnhuber is world-renowned scientist who helped the Pope understand some of the implications of climate change. He also has given talks regarding his concerns about what certain climate change scenarios will do to the carrying capacity of the planet (see here). This is a far, far cry from implying that he would like to see 6 billion people disappear as stated above or more aggressively in the conservative blogger Breitbart’s post.
These are not the only examples of flim-flaming or fact twisting in this debate, but both make me think we are sometimes too kind to those we have characterized as “deniers.” Denial is the act of declaring something untrue which strikes me as a different beast than declaring something true as untrue. This latter undertaking moves much more towards the “lie” end of this spectrum and should be called out as such. Those that participate in these deceptions need to spend a little less time with their "combat rosaries" and a lot more time examining their moral compasses as the Pope is pointing towards True North at this point.