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.berkeley.edu)