Economics, Energy and the Environment

A Critique of the ‘Green Patriarch’

Religious environmental activists are still, for the most part, in denial about the fiasco in Copenhagen. The so-called “Green Patriarch,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholew, is no exception. The Orthodox leader is deeply invested in climate change orthodoxy, and Johannes Jacobse, a Greek Orthodox priest, argues that he’s weakened his public witness as a result:

The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese press office remain uncharacteristically silent about the support the “Green Patriarch” gave global warming activists just a few short months ago. Yet “support” is too mild a term. Pat. Bartholomew in fact threw the full moral weight of his office behind specific policies like the Copenhagen Protocols that were built on the fraudulent science.

It was a huge blunder. It fosters the dry rot that destroys credibility. The eagerness to align the Ecumenical Patriarch with the Progressive wing of American politics reveals that his handlers have a poor understanding of the American political and moral culture. They blew it big time.

Indeed. Everyone who follows the climate change debates knows about the Climategate scandal, and yet the religious boosters remain strangely silent. Where are the prophetic voices now?

I’m reminded of the essay “The Intellectuals and Socialism” by F.A. Hayek. In the essay, Hayek analyzed the role of what he called “second hand peddlers of ideas”—journalists, pundits, religious leaders, and the like—in spreading ideas throughout a culture. These individuals can be highly influential. And yet they’re often at a disadvantage, precisely because they’re getting their ideas secondhand. So, unfortunately, those who simply accept the conventional wisdom on topics outside their expertise don’t know what to say when the said wisdom is suddenly shown not to be so wise.

As a result, it makes sense that they’re a little slow to hit the refresh button when new information surfaces. But c’mon. It’s been two months since Climategate broke, and a month since the Copenhagen climate summit imploded. It’s past time for the Ecumenical Patriarch (and others like him) to publicly integrate the new data into their environmental activism.

(h/t to John Couretas)

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