By SIMON CALDWELL
(Daily Mail) Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change
prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming
must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology.
leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over
man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of
unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.
German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was
vital that the international community based its policies on science
rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement.
remarks will be made in his annual message for World Peace Day on
January 1, but they were released as delegates from all over the world
convened on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali for UN climate change
The 80-year-old Pope said the world needed to care for the
environment but not to the point where the welfare of animals and plants
was given a greater priority than that of mankind.
"Humanity today is rightly concerned about the
ecological balance of tomorrow," he said in the message entitled "The
Human Family, A Community of Peace".
"It is important for
assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with
experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to
draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement
on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the
well-being of all while respecting environmental balances.
protection of the environment involves costs, they should be justly
distributed, taking due account of the different levels of development
of various countries and the need for solidarity with future
"Prudence does not mean failing to accept
responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to
making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be
Efforts to protect the environment should seek "agreement
on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being
of all while respecting environmental balances", the Pope said.
added that to further the cause of world peace it was sensible for
nations to "choose the path of dialogue rather than the path of
unilateral decisions" in how to cooperate responsibly on conserving the
The Pope's message is traditionally sent to heads of government and international organisations.
remarks reveal that while the Pope acknowledges that problems may be
associated with unbridled development and climate change, he believes
the case against global warming to be over-hyped.
A broad consensus is developing among the world's scientific community over the evils of climate change.
there is also an intransigent body of scientific opinion which
continues to insist that industrial emissions are not to blame for the
Such scientists point out that fluctuations in the
earth's temperature are normal and can often be caused by waves of heat
generated by the sun. Other critics of environmentalism have compared
the movement to a burgeoning industry in its own right.
In the spring, the Vatican hosted a conference on climate change that was welcomed by environmentalists.
senior cardinals close to the Vatican have since expressed doubts about
a movement which has been likened by critics to be just as dogmatic in
its assumptions as any religion.
In October, the Australian
Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, caused an outcry when he
noted that the atmospheric temperature of Mars had risen by 0.5 degrees
"The industrial-military complex up on Mars can't be
blamed for that," he said in a criticism of Australian scientists who
had claimed that carbon emissions would force temperatures on earth to
rise by almost five degrees by 2070 unless drastic solutions were