Pope Gets Help From Climate Change Skeptics


Sometimes I come across a rare gem of environmental news that just seems too incredible to believe. I’m talking about a piece of news that reads like an article in the fake-news publication The Onion, like Alabama state officials calling carbon emission rules a violation of God’s laws.

My latest favorite: The Heartland Institute — the world’s leading think tank promoting science denial and continued reliance on coal and oil — is traveling to Rome to “educate” the Pope during the Vatican’s major climate change conference. (I see Christopher Guest turning this into his next Best In Show.)

“The Holy Father is being misled by ‘experts’ at the United Nations who have proven unworthy of his trust,” said Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast. “Humans are not causing a climate crisis on God’s Green Earth — in fact, they are fulfilling their Biblical duty to protect and us it for the benefit of humanity. Though Pope Francis’s heart is surely in the right place, he would do his flock and the world a disservice by putting his moral authority behind the United Nations’ unscientific agenda on the climate.

“People of all faiths have a moral calling to continually seek the truth,” Bast said. “That is why Heartland is sending a contingent of real scientists to Rome next week. We are bringing the Vatican a message of truth for all with open ears: The science is not settled, and global warming is not a crisis. The world’s poor will suffer horribly if reliable energy — the engine of prosperity and a better life — is made more expensive and less reliable by the decree of global planners.”

I have to admit that I looked up the “real scientists” Bast is sending to Rome. My hope was that they would provide some evidence that climate change isn’t really happening — that we can sit around eating our double-patty hamburgers in our idiling gas-guzzling hummers without a care in the world. But not much turned up on my Google search. There were definitely no peer-reviewed articles in journals that challenged accepted climate science. There wasn’t much on these guys at all.

But there was a lot to read about the infamous Marc Morano of ClimateDepot, a hub for climate deniers, who is also joining the Heartland Institute in Rome. Beginning in 2006, Morano worked for Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the congressman who brought a snowball to the senate floor to try to disprove global warming. Morano has been called a “hired assassin” who “spreads malicious lies about scientists” with a career that’s “a lesson in the art of lying.”

And this guy expects the Pope to listen to him!

He actually drafted talking points for Pope Francis and Vatican officals that he published on ClimateDepot. Most of them are just sad because they’re so dumb, but here are a few that I found funny:

“Fossil fuel use is the moral choice to make.” 

“Instead of entering into an invalid Marriage with climate fear promoters — a marriage that is destined for an annulment – Pope Francis should administer last rites to the promotion of man-made climate fears and their so-called solutions. This unholy alliance must be prevented.” (What is he even talking about here?!)

“The Pope has picked a contentious scientific issue in which — now going on almost two decades of no global warming, sea ice recovering, sea level rise rates stable to even decelerating, on almost every metric from polar bears on down – the global warming narrative has weakened.”

It’s hard to be mad at this Goof Troop of science deniers stubbornly sticking to their cause. We’d all love for them to be right, but they just won’t give us any evidence. They’re like that bag of chips, that’s really a bag of air — a big promise and then no delivery.

At least the thought of them trying to convince Pope Francis is good for a laugh.

If you’re reading this Christopher Guest, here’s a great idea for your next movie.

Keep up to date with all the eco-spirituality news here on EdenKeeper. Subscribe to our newsletter to never miss a story.

About the Author

I'm an organic-eating, energy-saving naturalist who composts and tree hugs in her spare time. I have a background in environmental law, lobbying, and field work. I believe in God; however, I do not call myself a Christian or a Jew or a member of any religion. I am merely someone who finds a spiritual connection to all humans and the environment. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .