I am deeply fed up with bishops. You can understand that secularist rationalists are blindly walking, nay running, towards the abyss into which so many scientists say mankind will fall if we don’t make the most strenuous efforts to deal with climate change, because, poor lambs, they are so out of contact with reality they don’t have any sense of original sin. But Christians can make no such excuse. They do understand that humanity’s intellectual light is obscured by original sin. Their scriptures do tell them that greed, or economic growth to give it a politer name, paralyzes all other moral functions. They do still believe in natural law. If you abuse nature then nature will abuse you. They have a language of apocalypse. The synoptic gospels give them a vivid picture of the end time remarkably like the forecasts of what a world of six degrees of climate change would be like if, God forbid, the very worst ever comes to the very worst.
We are not faced with a technological problem but a moral one. We have all the technology we need to deal with climate. But we desperately need a moral lead. Are the bishops giving it to us? They most decidedly are not.
A few months ago I wrote to every UK Catholic bishop pointing out to them that, if the very worst scientific predictions turn out to be true, we could be looking at something very like the end time of the gospels. Please don’t tell me to read any more Vatican documents, I wrote, how about some leadership? I got two replies. One said ‘your comments have been noted’. Hey Bishop, we could be looking at the decimation of the human race. ‘ Your comments have been noted.‘ The other said: ‘I know you don’t want referring to any more documents but here are some’. I despair.