In his encyclical on climate prepared for one billion Catholics Pope Francis urged them — and the rest of the world — to study and consider what an overwhelming majority of scientists say about the condition of the earth we are supposed to have dominion over. The pope seems to have the habit of not mincing words about our home: “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish. Industrial waste and chemical products utilized in cities and agricultural areas can lead to bioaccumulation in the organisms of the local population … we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation.” An interesting statement. If we should pay attention to what science says about the condition of the earth, shouldn’t we also pay attention to what science says about sex?
Science tells us that almost every species on earth contains a mix of “straight” and “gay.” Using the science of evolution and population, experts have estimated that at least 100 billion humans have lived on earth since it became livable. Seven billion of us survive today. Studies have examined over 1,500 species for homosexuality, starting with the human, and gave up after not finding a single species that was totally “straight.” The human race contains between five and 10 percent “gays.” That means that five to 10 billion gay humans are buried on earth somewhere. It’s ridiculous to assume no gays existed before Leviticus in 1445 B.C. The Vatican and some Catholics keep preaching about “natural law” and that gays are “intrinsically disordered and evil.” Scientists say that laws against “gays” are “unnatural” because homosexuality is natural and common among species, and in some cases, is “highly essential” in the lives of many species.
Perhaps the two most famous Catholics in the history of the church are Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, more glorious and renown than any pope or saint for their religious work. Both gay -- and Pope Benedict IX (not the XVI) was also gay. Michelangelo is considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time, while Da Vinci is considered the greatest combination of artist and engineer of all time. Michelangelo was a sculptor (Pieta’ and David), painter (Sistine Chapel ceiling of 500 square meters and 300 figures, the Last Judgment), poet, architect (St. Peter’s Basilica), and engineer. The design of St. Peter’s dome has been used thousands of times around the world and for many state capitals in the U.S. So this marvelous man was “intrinsically disordered and evil?”
Another “evil” contemporary of Michelangelo was Leonardo Da Vinci, who is described as the “universal genius” of the Renaissance period. Certainly one of the greatest painters in the history of man (the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper), Da Vinci studied anatomy, astronomy, botany, geology, geometry, and optics, using this knowledge to design machines and plans for hundreds of inventions. He was the first to scientifically study the flight of birds. He was the chief military engineer for one of the Borgias and was prominent in the rerouting of the river Arno. He designed tanks, submarines, and other war vehicles. How many billions of copies have been made of The Last Supper? How many walls is it on? Da Vinci still is one of most fascinating characters in history. Rather paranoid about the charges of homosexuality against him, when he painted groups, he often illustrated them as grotesque figures gossiping on street corners. He was a striking figure of a man, a rare vegetarian, and he often bought live animals caged in markets and then let them go. He was not only left-handed when it was considered to be the work of the devil, he sometimes wrote his notes backward, which required a mirror to read! Later in life he suffered paralysis of the right hand. Was this painter, inventor, scientist, engineer, architect, and overall genius “intrinsically disordered and evil?”
The most famous nurse in history, Florence Nightingale, was a lesbian and legend in her own time because she decided to serve her God and humans in a career in medicine. I am not up on all the famous nurses, but probably the second most famous was Walt Whitman, the gay American poet who spent his Civil War days nursing wounded and sick soldiers. The American astronaut Sally Ride might rank as the most famous lesbian in the world because she was the first American woman in space. A brilliant woman, she wrote and reviewed classified government material after her retirement from NASA. Sally died of pancreatic cancer in 2012. She revealed just before her death she had had a loving relationship with another woman for 27 years. Other notable lesbians: Emily Dickinson, Mary Cheney, Billie Jean King, Bette Davis, and Susan B. Anthony. Are all of these lesbians “intrinsically disordered and evil?”
If we don’t follow Pope Francis’s encyclical, the act of prying the hose from his “cold, dead hands” may become a distinct possibility, according to California water authorities. Being an ex-Catholic, I have read a number of encyclicals written by popes on different subjects. Several have been on social and religious subjects such as birth control and contraceptives, others on changes in church governance. I don’t remember another as clear and concise as this one on climate change. Francis does not use nickel words or vague symbols. Even politicians can understand this simple language: “The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system….Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production, and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.” There it is. No ducking the real subject. No withering blather. Straight to the point.
An American Legion magazine article on California’s water problems is like the encyclical. The evidence listed is alarming for Californians—and us: (1) The state is going through the most severe drought in 1,200 years, according to the American Geophysical Union; (2) In extreme drought years of 1929 to 1934 the state had 33 million fewer people, (3) The snowpack measured in April of this year was only five percent of the average, (4) State water systems have contracts totaling five times the amount of surface water available on average, and (5) Each of us consumes more than 4,500 gallons used daily to grow our food—and California is the #1 agricultural state in the nation. California grows alfalfa for export to Asia. But a $100 worth of alfalfa takes about 125,000 toilet flushes (or 760,000 liters of water) to grow. This spells trouble for all of us.
While California is suffering extreme drought, the rest of the country is experiencing extreme rainfall, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding in Texas, the Midwest, and the rest of the country. The scientists warned us years ago that this is what happens with increases in temperature. But the evidence of climate change—and what is causing it—is coming in from all over the world. The bodies of Austro-Hungarian soldiers killed at 6,500 feet in the snow and ice of Italian mountains in World War I are being exposed as those glaciers melt. India is being hit with one of the deadliest heatwaves, killing 1,300 in one state alone, and a total of 1,800 for the country in just 10 days. Last year 447 people died of the heat. The greatest loss of life is among the elderly, poor, and day laborers. Around the world, half of all working hours are spent outdoors, so agricultural workers and laborers are at risk for heatstroke and heat exhaustion.
A paper published in the journal Science by evolutionary biologist Mark Urban predicts that the rate of animal extinction will dramatically rise for every increase in temperature of one degree. Species in North America and Europe face about a five percent risk of extinction for each degree increase. Australia and New Zealand will lose about 14 percent. I see the University of North Dakota is currently studying what will happen to waterfowl and other wildlife in the state as the warmer climate hits. Alaska has had an interesting year. In May it had higher temps than Arizona. A mild winter forced the movement of the famous Iditarod dog sled race from Anchorage 300 miles north to Fairbanks where they had snow! Ski resorts at Juneau had to close because it was even too warm for snow-making. Folks, something is going on. We had better figure out how to cope. California grapes can’t grow without water. Rich Rancho Santa Fe residents are complaining they will never be able to keep their large estates green under the new water laws. Well, it’s a tough life.
Republican leaders are already pushing back against the pope’s encyclical. Senator James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, still thinks climate change is a “hoax” and said: “I am concerned that his encyclical will be used by global warming alarmists to advocate for policies that will equate to the largest, most regressive tax increase in our nation’s history.” Jeb Bush, showing he is at least equal to George, said: “I don’t get economic policy from my bishops, or my cardinals or my pope.” (I wonder where he gets his policies on social matters such as abortion, homosexuality, and contraception.) Presidential candidate Rick Santorum says: “We probably are better off leaving science to the scientists.” I guess he forgot the pope has a degree in chemistry and is a trained scientist. Pope Francis writes: “I’m convinced by the best scientific research available today that global warming, rising seas, and extreme weather is happening.” He also sees fish-depleted seas, dead coral reefs, and thousands of plant and animal species disappearing.
But Pope Francis says nothing about the steadily growing population which is fostered by the Vatican’s vision, or lack thereof, about birth control, contraception, abortion, and the effectiveness of Vatican Roulette. He does write about consumption of goods and services. He writes we should cut down on the use of paper and plastic and that we should limit the use of air conditioning, conserve water, and cut down on the use of cars. He does practice what he preaches, disdaining the $400 red shoes of Pope Benedict, the Vatican limousines, the palatial Vatican apartments. He does attack human behavior that is “bringing earth to ecological despair.” But absolutely nothing about population control. Nothing about the Vatican’s 1968 rejection of contraceptives. A strange lapse of reason and logic regarding a major earth problem—for a scientist.
Whether we realize it or not, we are in the beginning years of the Third World War. It’s between rich nations and people and between poor nations and people. The United Nations estimates that 60 million people have been driven out of their homes by war and persecution in a few decades. Half are children. One in four refugees finds shelter and some food in in the world’s poorest countries. Population experts estimate the world may add two or three billion more people in 30 or 40 years. We have had scares before whether food production could keep up with that growth. A scientific model created at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute says society may collapse by 2040 from catastrophic food shortages. The scientists ran their model on the basis that the world would “do nothing” to change from current practices regarding climate change and food production. Some “thing” may change that race between overpopulation and food.
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