Date: 30 June 2015
Author: J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) A controversial new encyclical by Pope Francis set for release by the Vatican casts blame for worsening environmental damage on technology that is in common use today. In particular, the pontiff blames agricultural and fossil fuel technology for destroying ecosystems and changing the planet’s climate patterns.
In addition, the Holy See’s encyclical hits GMOs and pesticides as it calls for the financing of independent and interdisciplinary research to study their effects.
“It is difficult to give an overall judgment on the development of genetically modified organisms (GMO), plant or animal, for medical purposes or in agriculture, since they can be very different and require different considerations,” says the encyclical, according to a version that was leaked prior to its official issuance.
“GMOs is an issue which is complex, it must be approached with a sympathetic look at all its aspects, and this requires at least one more effort to finance several lines of independent and interdisciplinary research… as we have seen in this chapter, the technique is unlikely to be able to …self-limit its power,” he wrote, according to the leaked version.
Solving problems in a way that creates new ones
In addition, he said that humans “get sick” after inhaling large amounts of smoke that is produced by the use of fossil fuels “for cooking and heating.” That is compounded by the use of “fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and toxic pesticides.” He further observed that while technology is often useful in solving some problems, it usually creates other problems.
That, in turn, “creates a vicious circle in which the intervention of the human being to solve a problem often worsens the situation further,” he continued. “For example, many birds and insects die out as a result of toxic pesticides created by technology, they are useful to agriculture itself, and their disappearance will be compensated with another technological intervention that probably will bring new harmful effects…”
The pope also discusses the effects of GMO agriculture on the poor, the independent farmer and the non-corporate operation:
Although we do not have definitive evidence about the damage that transgenic cereals could cause to humans, and in some regions their use has produced economic growth that has helped solve some problems, there are significant problems that should not be minimized. In many areas, following the introduction of these crops, there has been a concentration of productive land in the hands of the few, due to the gradual disappearance of small producers, who, as a consequence of the loss of cultivated land, have been forced to retreat from direct production.
He said that temporary workers and many farm workers who migrate to perform their duties often “end up in miserable urban settlements,” and technology doesn’t seem to be improving their condition much.
Global warming assertion doesn’t jibe with actual data
“The spread of these (GM) crops destroys the complex web of ecosystems, decreases diversity in production and affects the present and the future of regional economies,” he wrote. “In several countries there is a trend in the development of oligopolies in the production of seeds and other products needed for cultivation, and the dependence deepens when you consider the production of sterile seeds, which end up forcing farmers to buy (seeds) from producers.”
The encyclical has been criticized by a number of scientists and other experts largely for pushing the climate change agenda. In that respect, the pope’s encyclical asserts that climate change is real, that it is being caused by mankind, and that the earth is growing warmer due to man-caused activity.
However, many note that such assertions don’t jibe with factual climate data, including the most recent refutation of global warming based on 10-year data from the United States’ most advanced climate tracking station operated by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Nevertheless, the pope’s encyclical contains some important discussion points that ought to be widely considered instead of simply dismissed out of hand, especially his concerns that too many of the world’s financial resources are being concentrated in too few hands.