The oil and gas industry thinks that Pope Francis is getting too big for his cassock. The Kochs, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, BP and their whole coterie of climate change-denying think tanks are tightening their collective sphincter in anticipatory dread of the Pope's upcoming major encyclical on the environment. His global warning to mankind will be followed this fall by his address to a joint session of congress.
I wonder if the neoliberal pols will dare pull a police state union stunt and turn their backs on the Pope as he calls them out on their selfishness and capitalistic greed. I wonder if John Boehner will turn a brighter shade of orange as he is forced to take a public back seat directly behind a religious leader who accepts science as fact.
Environmentalists, stung by the recent betrayals of Barack Obama, the self-described environmental president (Atlantic and Arctic oil drilling now, tepid pollution reductions way down the road), are all excited by both the encyclical and the Pope's upcoming visit to the United States.
Despite the propaganda of so-called militant atheists, organized religion does not have a built-in anti-science bias. There is an organization called the National Religious Partnership for the Environment which draws its membership from across the denominational spectrum to spread the message that environmental justice, social justice and economic justice are inextricably intertwined. Evangelicals love clean water and hate methane emissions as much as secular humanists do. Rationality and religion are not mutually exclusive.
This is making the God-fearing climate denialists' heads explode in paroxysms of cognitive dissonance. Therefore, like any fringe cultists worth their salt, they are tweaking their doctrine just enough to adjust to the changing times and a Pope who doesn't hail from the same right wing universe as they do. The heartless Heartland Institute, for example, now claims that he is not scientific enough to know whereof he speaks. Oil and gas magnates sent a group of their scientists-for-hire all the way to the Vatican last month to issue a prebuttal to the Pope. Their main beef, though, is that he is teaming up with their other nemesis, the United Nations, in order to spread the scientific gospel. They're sounding the alarm against climate alarmism, and spending millions of tax-exempt dollars to do it. They get their tax-exempt 501 (C)3 "charity" money from the billionaire Koch Brothers, among others. They were recently outed in what's become known as ClimateGate: a group of scientists were exposed as deliberately lying for cash money. They're a nasty bunch, even going so far as to threaten to sue those who dare publicize their chicanery.
So now they think they have the Pope on the ropes? This ought to be good, coming as it does when the GOP Clown Car (which, due to rapid overcrowding, should probably be upgraded to the GOP Clown Recreational Vehicle) will be in full, grinding, dissonant gear.
The Heartland Institute has put its own financial backing into the presidential campaign of college dropout Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. They're calling it Operation Angry Badger. But although they might get their sadistic kicks out of badgering people and popes, they're really nothing but a bunch of wretched weasels.