NEWS Response to David Brooks’ critique of the Pope in the New York Times


The pope and cli­mate change (July 12, 2015) — The New York Times

Re “The pope’s beau­ti­ful, mis­guided ideas” (June 24): David Brooks cri­tiques the papal encycli­cal, “Laudato Si’,” for an insen­si­tiv­ity to the appar­ent eco­nomic ben­e­fits of frack­ing and nat­ural gas. Cit­ing busi­ness assess­ments and vague envi­ron­men­tal eval­u­a­tions, Mr. Brooks chides the Vat­i­can and the encycli­cal for under­valu­ing sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal advancement.

As a con­trib­u­tor to the encycli­cal, I read it quite dif­fer­ently. A key quote is that a “rev­o­lu­tion is needed to com­bat cli­mate change” because the world “is begin­ning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” Here the encycli­cal is call­ing for an invest­ment in and a mobi­liza­tion of sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy and pol­icy to pre­serve the planet and to improve the lives of the poor.

Daniel Kam­men, Berke­ley, Calif.

The writer is a pro­fes­sor of energy at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, and found­ing direc­tor of the Renew­able and Appro­pri­ate Energy Lab­o­ra­tory (real​.berke​ley​.edu)

Browse News

Main Menu

Energy & Resources Group
310 Barrows Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3050
Phone: (510) 642-1640
Fax: (510) 642-1085


  • Open the Main Menu
  • People at RAEL

  • Open the Main Menu