Category Archives: Country

OFS – NEC’s Statement regarding the recent scandal in the Churches of Pennsylvania

Dear Brothers and Sisters, The Lord give you peace!

The National Executive Council is publishing the following statement regarding the recent scandal in the Churches of Pennsylvania.
With you in prayer, Jan and the NEC
Jan Parker OFS, Minister, [Order Franciscan Seculars] USA

A Message to Secular Franciscans Regarding the Recent Scandal in the Churches of Pennsylvania 

Sisters and Brothers of the Secular Franciscan Order, United States: 

The release of the Grand Jury report in Pennsylvania is a cause of sorrow, pain and agonizing self-scrutiny for the Catholic Church in the United States.  We are again faced with the tragic reality of sinful abuse perpetrated on the most vulnerable of our faith family.  How, we ask, can we trust those shepherds with our lives, our children, and our faith?  Can the victims find peace and healing in the Church that betrayed their innocence?  Can we, as professed Secular Franciscans, stand as mere bystanders watching this tragic play unfold before us?  What are we to do?  What can we do? 

It saddens all of us that a small minority of men who made a commitment to serve the Church betrayed the promises they made to serve and used their positions of being an authority figure to aid predatory behavior; truly we have wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Mt 7:15) If it were only a case of a few parish priests, the trust of Church leaders may more easily be re-established; but when it is demonstrated that our chief shepherds, the bishops, were involved in secrecy, cover-ups and payouts, the trust, respect and moral authority of the Church as an institution suffers great damage.  We must all face the truth and make no excuse for those who are guilty of these crimes against the living stones of the Church, the mystical body of Christ; those who have been unfaithful spouses to the Church as the Bride of Christ! 

St John Chrysostom, a fourth-century bishop, described pastors as the “salt of the earth”. (Mt 5:13) He said of pastors, “If others lose their savor, then your ministry will help them regain it.  But if you yourselves suffer that loss, you will drag others down with you.”  Sisters and brothers, we have witnessed many being dragged down by those shepherds who have lost their savor as the salt of the earth. 

As a Secular Order, we are in a unique position to help those who feel abandoned, threatened and fearful of the clerical hierarchy that betrayed their trust.  We are an order of people in the pew.  As people in the pew, we can listen to our broken sisters and brothers.  We can listen without judging, without trying to immediately heal them of their pain. We can listen to them and acknowledge their pain without defending or making excuses for the institution that betrayed them.  We can “with a gentle and courteous spirit accept them all as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ” (OFS Rule, Art.13). We can make contributions to support the counselors who will help heal the wounds of those suffering souls. 

We were founded as the Brothers and Sisters of Penance.  All of us in our individual lives, in our fraternities, in our regions and our national fraternity must do penance for this great sin.  Some demons can only be cast out through prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29) This is our call to action! Our Lord asked St. Francis to rebuild the Church which was falling into ruin.  Are we called to do anything less as followers of Francis?  Francis lived his vocation authentically as a living example of Gospel Life.  We must do the same.  Only by living an authentic Gospel life will our light shine and the Church be rebuilt.

We must also stand with our brothers and sisters who have and are serving the Church as good and faithful servants.  These men and women who are faithful to their call are now called to be suffering servants.  They are guilty by association with the Church institution that has betrayed their trust.  How difficult it will be for them to preach the Gospel as representatives of a Church that has lost its moral authority in the public square and in the pew.  We must stand by those faithful servants and help them continue to look after the well-being of others. 

 Sisters and Brothers of the Secular Franciscan Order, we stand in support of the victims and in favor of holding those responsible for these crimes accountable for their actions.  We pray for healing, forgiveness, peace, reconciliation and a Church that will be rebuilt and with God’s grace, and the movement of Holy Spirit, one day, will once again be a beacon of light, hope, and refuge.  Let us go forth and witness to the light of Christ and rebuild the Church so that it may once again be full of grace and truth. 

 The National Executive Council of the [Order Franciscan Seculars] USA (OFS-USA)  August 26, 2018

Respect Laws of Country That Receives You: Pope

Pope to Migrants: With Respect for Culture & Laws of Country That Receives You, May You Work Out Together the Path of Integration

Pope Celebrates Mass for Migrants in St. Peter’s Basilica on Fifth Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Visit to Lampedusa on July 8, 2013
JULY 06, 2018 15:20DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOVPOPE AND HOLY SEE

‘With respect for the culture and laws of the country that receives you, may you work out together the path of integration.’

Despite technically being on ‘summer break,’ Pope Francis said this during the Mass he wished to celebrate for Migrants, at the Altar of the Chair, in St. Peter’s Basilica today, July 6, at 11 a.m. The news of the Mass–which coincided with the fifth anniversary of the visit of Pope Francis to Lampedusa on July 8, 2013–was announced by Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, in a statement earlier this week.

The Mass was a time of prayer for the deceased, for the survivors and for those who assist them. Approximately 200 people were present, including refugees and caregivers. While always free, participation was reserved for those with tickets.

In his homily, the Holy Father called for treating migrants as Jesus had treated the poor and disadvantaged, but also stressed that migrants ought to be properly integrated.

Noting he wished to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his visit to Lampedusa with them, who represent rescuers and those rescued on the Mediterranean Sea, he said: “I thank the rescuers for embodying in our day the parable of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to save the life of the poor man beaten by bandits. He didn’t ask where he was from, his reasons for travelling or his documents… he simply decided to care for him and save his life.”

To the rescued, Francis reiterated his solidarity and encouragement, noting he is “well aware” of the tragic circumstances that they are fleeing.

“I ask you to keep being witnesses of hope in a world increasingly concerned about the present, with little vision for the future and averse to sharing. With respect for the culture and laws of the country that receives you, may you work out together the path of integration.”
Pope Francis concluded, saying: “I ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and to stir our hearts to overcome all fear and anxiety, and to make us docile instruments of the Father’s merciful love, ready to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters, as the Lord Jesus did for each of us.”

Here is the Vatican-provided text of the Holy Father’s homily:

***

“You who trample upon the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land… Behold the days are coming… when I will send a famine on the land… a thirst for hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:4.11).

Today this warning of the prophet Amos is remarkably timely. How many of the poor are trampled on in our day! How many of the poor are being brought to ruin! All are the victims of that culture of waste that has been denounced time and time again. Among them, I cannot fail to include the migrants and refugees who continue to knock at the door of nations that enjoy greater prosperity.

Five years ago, during my visit to Lampedusa, recalling the victims lost at sea, I repeated that timeless appeal to human responsibility: “ ‘Where is your brother? His blood cries out to me’, says the Lord. This is not a question directed to others; it is a question directed to me, to you, to each of us (Homily, 8 July 2013). Sadly, the response to this appeal, even if at times generous, has not been enough, and we continue to grieve thousands of deaths.

Today’s Gospel acclamation contains Jesus’ invitation: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). The Lord promises refreshment and freedom to all the oppressed of our world, but he needs us to fulfill his promise. He needs our eyes to see the needs of our brothers and sisters. He needs our hands to offer them help. He needs our voice to protest the injustices committed thanks to the silence, often complicit, of so many. I should really speak of many silences: the silence of common sense; the silence that thinks, “it’s always been done this way”; the silence of “us” as opposed to “you”. Above all, the Lord needs our hearts to show his merciful love towards the least, the outcast, the abandoned, the marginalized.

In the Gospel we heard, Matthew tells us of the most important day in his life, the day Jesus called him. The Evangelist clearly records the Lord’s rebuke to the Pharisees, so easily given to insidious murmuring: “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice’” (9:13). It is a finger pointed at the sterile hypocrisy of those who do not want to “dirty the hands”, like the priest or the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan. This is a temptation powerfully present in our own day. It takes the form of closing our hearts to those who have the right, just as we do, to security and dignified living conditions. It builds walls, real or virtual, rather than bridges.

Before the challenges of contemporary movements of migration, the only reasonable response is one of solidarity and mercy. A response less concerned with calculations, than with the need for an equitable distribution of responsibilities, an honest and sincere assessment of the alternatives and a prudent management. A just policy is one at the service of the person, of every person involved; a policy that provides for solutions that can ensure security, respect for the rights and dignity of all; a policy concerned for the good of one’s own country, while taking into account that of others in an ever more interconnected world. It is to this world that the young look.

The Psalmist has shown us the right attitude to adopt in conscience before God: “I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I set your ordinances before me” (Ps 119,30). A commitment to faithfulness and right judgement that all of us hope to pursue together with government leaders in our world and all people of good will. For this reason, we are following closely the efforts of the international community to respond to the challenges posed by today’s movements of migration by wisely combining solidarity and subsidiarity, and by identifying both resources and responsibilities.

I would like to close with a few words in Spanish, directed particularly to the faithful who have come from Spain.

I wanted to celebrate the fifth anniversary of my visit to Lampedusa with you, who represent rescuers and those rescued on the Mediterranean Sea. I thank the rescuers for embodying in our day the parable of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to save the life of the poor man beaten by bandits. He didn’t ask where he was from, his reasons for travelling or his documents… he simply decided to care for him and save his life. To those rescued I reiterate my solidarity and encouragement, since I am well aware of the tragic circumstances that you are fleeing. I ask you to keep being witnesses of hope in a world increasingly concerned about the present, with little vision for the future and averse to sharing. With respect for the culture and laws of the country that receives you, may you work out together the path of integration.

I ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and to stir our hearts to overcome all fear and anxiety, and to make us docile instruments of the Father’s merciful love, ready to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters, as the Lord Jesus did for each of us.

Pope on Saving Earth

Let Us Think of Lord’s Instructions to St Francis of Assisi to ‘Go and Repair My House’

Pope Francis Addresses International Conference Saving our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth

JULY 06, 2018 15:33DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOVSOCIAL DOCTRINE AND THE COMMON GOOD

Here we can think back on the call that Francis of Assisi received from the Lord in the little church of San Damiano: “Go and repair my house, which, as you can see, lies in ruins”. Today, the ‘common home’ of our planet also needs urgently to be repaired and secured for a sustainable future.

Pope Francis stressed this at the opening of the International Conference Saving our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth, held on the third anniversary of the Holy Father Francis’ Encyclical Laudato si’, in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall from July 5-6, 2018, noting there is a real danger that we will leave future generations only rubble, deserts and refuse.

He expressed his hope “that concern for the state of our common home will translate into systematic and concerted efforts aimed at an integral ecology.”

“May Saint Francis of Assisi,” the Holy Father prayed, “continue to inspire and guide us on this journey, and may our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.”

“After all,” the Pope underscored, “that hope is based on our faith in the power of our heavenly Father.”

“He, ‘who calls us to generous commitment and to give him our all, offers us the light and the strength needed to continue on our way.

“In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!” (ibid., 245).”

Pope Francis concluded, imparting his Apostolic Blessing and asking those present to pray for him.

Here is the Vatican-provided text of the Pope’s address:

Your Eminences,
Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I welcome all of you assembled for this International Conference marking the third anniversary of the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ on care for our common home. In a special way, I would like to greet His Eminence Archbishop Zizioulas, because he and Cardinal Turkson together presented the Encyclical three years ago. I thank all of you for coming together to “hear with your hearts” the increasingly desperate cries of the earth and its poor, who look for our help and concern. You have also gathered to testify to the urgent need to respond to the Encyclical’s call for change, for an ecological conversion. Your presence here is the sign of your commitment to take concrete steps to save the planet and the life it sustains, inspired by the Encyclical’s assumption that “everything is connected”. That principle lies at the heart of an integral ecology.

Here we can think back on the call that Francis of Assisi received from the Lord in the little church of San Damiano: “Go and repair my house, which, as you can see, lies in ruins”. Today, the “common home” of our planet also needs urgently to be repaired and secured for a sustainable future.

In recent decades, the scientific community has developed increasingly accurate assessments in this regard. Indeed, “the pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now periodically occur in different areas of the world” (Laudato Si’, 161). There is a real danger that we will leave future generations only rubble, deserts and refuse.

So I express my hope that concern for the state of our common home will translate into systematic and concerted efforts aimed at an integral ecology. For “the effects of the present imbalance can only be reduced by our decisive action, here and now” (ibid.). Humanity has the knowledge and the means to cooperate in responsibly “cultivating and protecting” the earth. Significantly, your discussions have addressed some of this year’s important steps in this direction.

The COP24 Summit, to be held in Katowice, Poland, in December, could prove a milestone on the path set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement. We all know that much still needs to be done to implement that Agreement. All governments should strive to honour the commitments made in Paris, in order to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis. “Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most” (ibid., 169), and we cannot afford to waste time.

Along with states, local authorities, civil society, and economic and religious institutions can promote the culture and practice of an integral ecology. I trust that events such as the Global Climate Action Summit, to be held from 12-14 September in San Francisco, will provide suitable responses, with the support of citizens’ pressure groups worldwide. As I observed, along with His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “there can be no sincere and enduring resolution to the challenge of the ecological crisis and climate change unless the response is concerted and collective, unless the responsibility is shared and accountable, and unless we give priority to solidarity and service” (Message for the World Day of Prayer for Creation, 1 September 2017).

Financial institutions, too, have an important role to play, as part both of the problem and its solution. A financial paradigm shift is needed, for the sake of promoting integral human development. International organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank can encourage effective reforms for more inclusive and sustainable development. It is to be hoped that “finance… will go back to being an instrument directed towards improved wealth creation and development” (BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 65), as well as towards care for the environment.

All these actions presuppose a transformation on a deeper level, namely a change of hearts and minds. In the words of Saint John Paul II: “We must encourage and support an ‘ecological conversion’” (Catechesis, 17 January 2001). Here the religions, and the Christian Churches in particular, have a key role to play. The Day of Prayer for Creation and its associated initiatives, begun in the Orthodox Church, are beginning to spread among Christian communities throughout the world.

Finally, dialogue and commitment to our common home must make special room for two groups of people at the forefront of efforts to foster an integral ecology. Both will be at the centre of the next two Synods of the Catholic Church: young people and indigenous peoples, especially those from the Amazon region.

On the one hand, “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded” (Laudato Si’, 13). It is the young who will have to face the consequences of the current environmental and climate crisis. Consequently, intergenerational solidarity “is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us” (ibid., 159).

Then too, “it is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions” (ibid., 146). It grieves us to see the lands of indigenous peoples expropriated and their cultures trampled on by predatory schemes and by new forms of colonialism, fuelled by the culture of waste and consumerism (cf. SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology, 8 June 2018). “For them, land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values” (Laudato Si’, 146). How much we can learn from them! The lives of indigenous peoples “are a living memory of the mission that God has entrusted to us all: the protection of our common home” (Address, Puerto Maldonado, Peru, 19 January 2018).

Dear brothers and sisters, challenges are not lacking! I express my heartfelt gratitude for your efforts in the service of care for creation and a better future for our children and grandchildren. Sometimes it might seem too arduous a task, since “there are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected” (Laudato Si’, 54). Yet “human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start” (ibid., 205). Please continue to work for “the radical change which present circumstances require” (ibid., 171). For “injustice is not invincible” (ibid., 74).

May Saint Francis of Assisi continue to inspire and guide us on this journey, and “may our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope” (ibid., 244). After all, that hope is based on our faith in the power of our heavenly Father. He, “who calls us to generous commitment and to give him our all, offers us the light and the strength needed to continue on our way. In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!” (ibid., 245).

To all of you I impart my blessing. And please, remember to pray for me.

Thank you!
[Vatican-provided translation]
JULY 06, 2018 15:33SOCIAL DOCTRINE AND THE COMMON GOOD
About Deborah Castellano Lubov

John Dewey Destroyed the Souls of Our Children

Tradition, Family, Property – TFP
How John Dewey Destroyed the Souls of Our Children
February 19, 2018 | Edwin Benson 

The story of American public education begins with Horace Mann. It was Mann who popularized the idea that American schools should teach all students, be non-sectarian, and tax-supported. A little less than a half-century passed between Mann’s death and the advent of John Dewey.

That half-century may well be the most dynamic period of American History. In Horace Mann’s world, schools were small, scattered, and teachers had to teach a small number of widely-varied students in one-room schoolhouses. By 1900, there were still many rural schools, but the United States was quickly becoming an urban nation. Whether attracted to city lights or forced out by crippling debts, many farmers were moving to the cities. Once there, they mixed with immigrants sweeping into the nation. In some ways, city life was more convenient—and certainly more entertaining. But urban life was also more dangerous and demanded skills that the schoolmarm could not teach in her one-room school.

To respond to those changes a political movement grew. The historian’s shorthand term for this movement is progressivism. If Horace Mann set out education’s goals, then John Dewey provided the progressive methodology. The following comes from an admirer and contemporary of Dewey’s:

The foremost interpreter, in educational terms, of the great social and industrial changes through which we have passed, and the one who has done more since 1895 to think out and state for us an educational philosophy suited to the changing conditions in our national life, is John Dewey…. Believing that the public school is the chief remedy for the ills of society, he has tried to change the work of the school so as to make it a miniature of society itself.1

Dewey was prolific, having written or collaborated in the writing of more than thirty books from 1887 to 1949, as well as myriad articles. That output, plus the obtuse nature of Dewey’s writing style, makes it difficult to briefly sum up his thoughts. What follows will be a capsule view of a complex philosophy.

Dewey’s overall position is sometimes called Pragmatism, holding that knowledge arises through, “an active adaptation of the human organism to its environment.”2 Knowledge and truth are discovered by the student instead of being imparted by the teacher. Truth changes according to changing circumstances. Success lies not in knowing the tried-and-true lessons of life but in the ability to adapt by discarding outworn ideas and embracing new standards.

According to Dewey, traditional schools inculcated obedience, which he argued was a ‘negative virtue,’ inconsistent with democratic society. Lecture and rote-learning produced students that were docile, unquestioning, and likely to submit to authority.

Dewey held that:
In addition to factual material, schools should promote:➧ Physical and mental activity, including play
➧ Contact with nature
➧ Development of one’s ability to express oneself and understand others
Within the school, children should:➧ Actively work rather than passively listen
➧ Learn about life by doing
➧ Develop attitudes of co-operation and responsibility
➧ Develop the ability to use tools, both manual and mental
➧ Grow in originality and initiative
➧ Help to govern the school

Here can be seen many aspects of modern school life. Physical education, field trips, student councils, team sports, and a focus on problem solving all derive from the musings of John Dewey. Dewey’s dismissal of traditional morality can be seen in many places in his writing, as when he stated, “Morals that professedly neglect human nature end by emphasizing those qualities of human nature that are most commonplace and average; they exaggerate the herd instinct to conformity.”3

However, in other writings, Dewey was less critical of the herd. Like most progressives, he had a deep distrust of the value of the individual:

Individuals are led to concentrate in moral introspection upon their own vices and virtues, and to neglect the character of the environment.… Let us perfect ourselves within, and in due season changes in society will come of themselves is the teaching. And while saints are engaged in introspection, burly sinners run the world.4

For Dewey, the drive toward the collective was virtually automatic. The young needed to be able to live and function in a world that was not primarily composed of individuals:
Society is the process of associating in such ways that experiences, ideas, emotions, values are transmitted and made common. To this active process, both the individual and the institutionally organized may truly be said to be subordinate.5

An example of the practical effects of this philosophy is the emphasis on having students work in groups.

Under Dewey’s leadership, Columbia’s Teachers’ College became the premier school of education in the United States. Its graduates fanned out to other universities. By the time of his death in 1952, Dewey was roundly acknowledged to be the most influential American educator.

6 Dewey’s influence only grew after his death. For decades, his methods were applied in large urban school districts, but seldom in rural ones. Smaller school districts, with fewer resources and a ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ attitude, often scoffed at Dewey’s progressive methods.
The Impact of Religion on Education

By the 1960s, that had changed. Better transportation made it possible for several rural schools to consolidate. Many of those newly consolidated districts were suburban. Modern suburbanites demanded schools that employed progressive methods. By 1970, it was safe to say that every certified teacher had been trained by the disciples of John Dewey.

If Dewey’s theories had been accurate, it should have been the beginning of a bright new age of understanding. Instead, the world of the young has become uglier and increasingly self-centered.

What really happens when you couple Dewey’s pragmatic and collectivist ideas with the value neutrality that grew out of Mann’s non-sectarianism? The product is a philosophy that sees the student as merely an animal who functions in a kind of stimulus/response/adaptation cycle. Education is tedious because its utilitarian nature subverts development of the ability to see the beauty that underlies much literature, history, and the natural sciences. At the same time, its collective nature devalues them as individuals. Their souls deadened, students see only an ugly world—one which they do not care to understand.

Progressive education has ultimately failed because its premises are anti-human. Mann’s and Dewey’s ideologies must bear much of the responsibility for the deplorable state of American public education.

Notes:

[1] Ellwood C. Cubberly, Public Education in the United States – A Study an Interpretation of American Educational History (Cambridge, MA: The Riverside Press, 1947), 506-507.

[2] A useful introduction to Dewey’s philosophy is his entry on the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

[3] John Dewey, Human Nature and Conduct – An Introduction to Social Psychology (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1922), p. 6.

[4] John Dewey, Reconstruction in Philosophy (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1920) p. 196.

[5] Ibid, p. 207.

[6] William T. Kane, S.J., History of Education (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1954), pp. 422-423.

Global Warming Real or Fake

  • The latest on “Trump and the Paris climate agreement”, by John Stossel March, 20, 2018
    By John Stossel | Fox News
    President Trump’s pick to be the new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is not a fan of the Paris climate agreement, the treaty that claims it will slow global warning by reducing the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Politicians from most of the world’s nations signed the deal, and President Obama said “we may see this as the moment that we finally decided to save our planet.”
  • That’s dubious.
    Trump wisely said he will pull America out of the deal. He called it a “massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.”
  • Unfortunately, Trump often reverses himself.
    The climate change lobby has been trying to change Trump’s mind. Al Gore called his stance “reckless and indefensible.” Most of the media agree. So do most of my neighbors in New York.
  • That’s why it’s good that Pompeo opposes the Paris deal. Such treaties are State Department responsibilities. Pompeo is more likely to hold Trump to his word than his soon-to-be predecessor Rex Tillerson, who liked the agreement.
  • The Paris accord is a bad deal because even if greenhouse gases really are a huge threat, this treaty wouldn’t do much about them.
  • I’ll bet Al Gore and most of the media don’t even know what’s in the accord. I didn’t until I researched it for this week’s YouTube video.
  • Manhattan Institute senior fellow Oren Cass is the rare person who actually read the Paris accord.
    Cass tells me it’s “somewhere between a farce and a fraud.” I interviewed him for a video project I am doing with City Journal, a smart policy magazine that often makes the case for smaller government. “You don’t even have to mention greenhouse gases in your commitment if you don’t want to. You send in any piece of paper you want.”
  • The Paris accord was just political theater, he says. “They stapled it together and held it up and said, ‘This is amazing!'”
  • The media announced that China and India made major commitments.
    In truth, says Cass, “They either pledged to do exactly what they were already going to do anyway, or pledged even less. China, for instance said, ‘we pledge to reach peak emission by about 2030.’ Well, the United States government had already done a study to guess when Chinese emissions would peak, and their guess was about 2030.”
  • In other words, China simply promised to do what was going to happen anyway.
    “China was actually one of the better pledges,” says Cass. “India made no pledge to limit emissions at all. They pledged only to become more efficient. But they proposed to become more efficient less quickly than they were already becoming more efficient. So their pledge was to slow down.”
    It’s hard to see how that would help the planet.
  • “My favorite was Pakistan, whose pledge was to ‘Reach a peak at some point after which to begin reducing emissions,'” says Cass. “You can staple those together, and you can say we now have a global agreement, but what you have is an agreement to do nothing.”
  • However, Cass says one country did make a serious commitment. “The one country that showed up in Paris with a very costly, ambitious target was the United States. President Obama took all the zero commitments from everybody else but threw in a really expensive one for us.”
  • Obama pledged to reduce emissions by 26 percent. If that ever happened, it would squash America’s economy.
  • Nevertheless, when Trump said he was leaving the Paris accord, he was trashed by politicians around the world.
  • The UK’s Theresa May was “dismayed,” and Obama said, “This administration joins a handful of nations that reject the future.”
  • Cass counters that if “the future is worthless climate agreements … we should be proud to reject.”
  • Don’t get me wrong: The Earth has been warming, and humans probably contribute to it.
    But the solution isn’t to waste billions by making emissions cuts in America while other countries do nothing.
  • Trump was right to repudiate this phony treaty. It’s good that Pompeo is around to remind him of that.
  • John Stossel, Fox News
  • John Stossel, Fox News

∗Global Warming is Real
Scientists who argue for global warming being real base most of their evidence on the interpretation of the change in the levels of gases in the atmosphere and the ocean. The actual warming of temperature is something they say they can document, but the primary evidence is drawn from detecting what precedes a temperature rise – the change, and effect of atmospheric gases on the Earth’s environment.
• Argument 1 – Rise in Sea Level – Sea level is rising in many areas of the world. This is partially attributed to the melting of ice caps and glaciers, but more to the changes in the gases contained within the sea. In the past decade, the global mean sea levels have doubled compared to the 20th century trend of 1.6 mm per year. The global sea levels rose about 6.7 inches in the last century.
• Argument 2 – Rise in Earth’s Average Temperature – Global temperature rise during past century and half continues. Tracking global atmospheric temperatures since the 1800s, scientists point to a steady rise with a stronger period in the 70s, lull in the 90s and a return to the rising pattern in the 2000s.
Argument 3 – Rise in Ocean Temperature – The rise in the number of vehicles and industries has resulted in greenhouse gases getting trapped in the atmosphere. The increased heat in the atmosphere have been absorbed by the oceans. There is over 50 years of documented temperature records for the oceans that have recorded a steady rise in its temperature since 1969.
Argument 4 – Shrinking Glaciers – The glaciers on several mountain ranges, particularly in Greenland and Antarctica, are decreasing in size due to reduction in gases that help to maintain temperatures, and changes in the regions climate. Studies conducted by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 36 to 60 cubic miles of ice every year between 2000 and 2006.
Argument 5 – Ocean Acidification – Acid level in ocean is increasing which is making the oceans of the world more acidic. This is due to emission of more harmful gases in the atmosphere by humans which is getting absorbed by the oceans. This is resulting in an increase of algae blooms and mass fish deaths, as well as a change to the chemical composition of the water.

Global Warming isn’t Real
Many scientists make a strong case against global warming being real. They often look towards the same evidence as those in favor of proving its existence, but draw different conclusions. They also look at some evidence not considered in other arguments. These scientists hold to a strict definition of global warming as being defined as a rise in atmospheric temperature, they do not consider the atmospheric precursors as valid evidence.

Argument 1 – No Significant and Prolonged Temperature Changes Since 1997 – Scientists who argue against global warming say global warming isn’t real because since the 90s there hasn’t been a significant temperature change. The upswing in the temperature started from 1975, continued till 1997 and the temperature has been flat since then which clearly states that there isn’t any significant change in temperature in last 17 years.
Argument 2 – Not Enough Historical Data Available – There is no consensus about global warming being real among scientists. Advocates also point towards the fact that a recent gathering of 31,000 scientists in the field of environmental science couldn’t reach a consensus on whether or not global warming is real. They believe that they don’t have long term historical climate data or the data they have isn’t clear.
Argument 3 – Arctic Ice Increased by 50% Since 2012 – Arctic Ice increased in volume 50% in 2012 alone. Core measures of the Arctic Ice show that it has increased in volume since 2012, which argues against global warming causing ice caps to melt. Few people have even predicted that global warming would cause whole Arctic ice to melt which contradicts their version.
Argument 4 – Climate Models used are Proven to be Unreliable – The climate model calculations used to predict the effect of global warming have been proven to be flawed which means that the long term predictions that they have been making are meaningless. Some scientists even argue that any increase in global temperatures could be a natural climate shift.
Argument 5 – Early Predictions About the Effects of Warming Have Been Proven Wrong – Advocates who promote arguments against global warming being real, point towards all the dates having come and gone where predictions were made about effects that never happened. For example:- Al Gore predicted that all Arctic ice would be gone by 2013. But, on contrary Arctic ice is up by 50% since 2012.

Which Argument to Believe?
The main part of the problem lies in the two groups using different definitions of how global warming appears in the climate. This is one of the reasons that those advocating that global warming is real now use the term “climate change,” since it is more reflective of the real issue. The other problem lies in proof, and in studies that try to prove whether or not global warming is real. Contrary to public belief, the results of all scientific studies aren’t conclusive.

To be considered proof of a hypothesis, the studies have to be able to be replicated by others and produce the same results. With the global warming studies, analysis of decades of weather data is often used. The first problem is that weather data from 100 years ago wasn’t kept to modern standards of evidence. The second problem is that analysis is interpretation; you can really put any spin on it. This is why some of the arguments for and against whether global warming is real can use the same data and come to different conclusions.

Note: Last summer, a minority staff report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works gave details on a *“Billionaire’s Club” — a shadowy network of charitable foundations that distribute billions to advance climate alarmism. Shadowy nonprofits such as the Energy Foundation and Tides Foundation distributed billions to far-left green groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, which in turn send staff to the EPA who then direct federal grants back to the same green groups. It is incestuous. It is opaque. Major media ignored the report.

*Lawless “Billionaire Club” Behind Green Scam, Senate Study Finds Written by  Alex Newman
Source: New American Wednesday, 06 August 2014
A shadowy network identified as the “Billionaires Club” is showering funds on the environmentalist so-called “green movement.” In addition, this network may be violating federal laws in its controversial efforts to elect its operatives, seize control of the federal regulatory regime, and push its radical agenda on America, according to a new report by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Now that the Billionaires Club has purchased so much power, it is using its agents in the bureaucracy to further fleece taxpayers to advance its own goals by granting its front groups even more money, the Senate investigators found. Top insiders such as David Rockefeller and Bill Gates are deeply involved.
Operating under the bogus guise of “philanthropy” with little scrutiny from the IRS, the network also goes to great lengths to conceal its activities and insulate itself from the damage it is doing

Pray to God that we will find the truth.