Sunday, September 25, 2016
Mother Theresa, The Environment, and The Poor in India
Early this month, Mother Theresa was canonized as Saint Theresa by Pope Francis in a celebrated canonization ceremony in Vatican City.
At this juncture, the same poor people in Calcutta (now Kolkata), whom she served with her life, face a different kind of threat to their lives—energy poverty caused by radical environmental policies.
Sadly, these policies are supported by Pope Francis himself.
People from all walks of life, including those from various faiths, have celebrated the life of Mother Theresa over the past decades. For them, her work of charity and her heart for the poor far outweighed her religious identity.
One would assume that the poverty situation in the streets of Kolkata would be far better now, after the decades of continued service by the Missionaries of Charity, which she founded in 1950. Unfortunately, poverty alleviation for the nearly 300 million poor people in India cannot be achieved solely by tending to basic needs through charity.
The poor in India need empowerment through education, employment, and economic development. An industrial revolution, akin to that in Europe, is needed. A critical element to this economic revolution is the energy sector.
Unfortunately, instead of supporting energy development in India, the climate change obsessed elements within Western Governments, and the current Pope, have been on a fossil fuel-ban bandwagon, accusing the human race of emitting too much carbon dioxide and negatively impacting the earth’s temperature system.
India and other developing countries face the relentless pressure to reduce their dependence on coal-based energy from many global organizations (like the U.N.), and were given deadlines to make the necessary transition to renewables.
Although the developing countries are free to not participate in these restrictive accords, they are more often coerced into doing so. The Paris agreement drafted last year was the pinnacle of this anti-fossil bureaucracy.
Climate change alarmism-based restrictions on energy policies are at best an embarrassment to the scientific community and an unnecessary fear-based, self-created hurdle to the development policy-makers who have spent their entire life fighting poverty, as well as an affront by the Catholic Church to the work of Mother Theresa and others like her.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), widely though wrongly considered the single most authoritative body on climate change science and policy making, by its own admission has defined earth’s climate system as ‘coupled nonlinear chaotic system,’ rendering it a highly unstable and unpredictable system, thus implying the science behind it unsettled and predictions impossible.
Moreover, the computer climate models used by IPCC to inform climate change based decisions failed to reflect the lower global atmospheric temperature levels in the past 18 years. In those 18 years, there has been no significant increase in temperature levels globally as falsely claimed by the climate alarmist backed IPCC.
Scientifically well-informed data suggest that there is no significant positive contribution of human carbon dioxide emissions towards rising global temperature levels. Adding to the complexity is the historical proof that the temperature levels have risen and fallen in the past 2000 years without any anthropogenic influence.
Thus the failure of models, the lack of significant warming in the last two decades, the non-correlation between anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and global temperature levels, the natural variability within the earth’s temperature system such as the oceanic cycles of El-Niño and La-Niña, the subservient nature of IPCC and the crackdown of non-alarmists—all pose a serious challenge for a developing country like India to accept IPCC based policy-restrictions on its energy sector.
The stakes are too high for India to comply with the policies of a pseudo-scientific alarmist movement which uses empirically flawed data to predict catastrophic warming trends that have failed to materialize.
Mother Theresa stood for the poor of this country. Will we do the same? Will those who celebrate a life of service to the poor also advocate for measures that will lift a nation out of rampant poverty?