First of all, please remember, I live in California. I realize this might all seem factual to the people outside our state, but to the people who live here, this is a load of bunk.
Here’s the long and short of why California, probably one of the greatest states as far as resources, suffers: liberal mismanagement, plain and simple. It has zero to do with climate change and everything to do with environmental wackos doing far more harm than good. We aren’t allowed to clean up our forests, and even Governor Brown, SJ, admitted this helped fuel our devastating wildfires. We’re not allowed to dig big holes in the ground or dam rivers to store water to match our previously growing population and farming needs. More deference is given to a small fish than to farmers and their crops and livestock in the Central Valley. Oh, and let’s not forget the new third world problem in our cities of using the sidewalks for a bathroom and garbage dump. None of this is caused by “climate change.”
I’m going to snip a lot of the babbling here. Nobody can deal with all of the bunk in this piece. It would be a 100 page blog post. I’ve gone long but this would be ridiculous. I read the whole thing but I’ll just go with the first few pages to make my point.
God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home
June 18, 2019
California Catholic Bishops Issue Call to Protect Our Common Home
<snip> In short, California is gorgeous.
We are publishing our Pastoral Statement on the fourth anniversary of Laudato Si’ with a two-fold vision in mind: To animate and energize the implementation in California of what Laudato Si’ calls us to do, and to offer a dynamic teaching and evangelization tool for our Catholic faith community and beyond, especially for young people”
Umm, I kind of think the two-fold vision is to distract the people and to try to look relevant. Please stop it, You Excellencies. It’s rather embarrassing. It pains me to say it because I’m guessing “my guys” signed off on this.
We propose a practical application of the Laudato Si’ message of ecological spirituality—that the ecological well-being of California is meant to be deeply embedded in a spirituality that unites all creatures and all creation in praising God.
Blech. You know what? Faithful Catholics are likely not the people ruining California’s “ecological spirituality.” In fact, the faithful Catholics are probably the ones who show proper stewardship of most things. We value the fact that God gave this world to us to care for and, oh, by the way, who wants to live in a hell hole? That’s usually the liberals’ choice.
<snip> St. Francis.
To live out integral ecology with joy and authenticity, we are called to recognize the interrelated character of our existence—its environmental, economic, social, and cultural dimensions—and to practice care for all that God has created (LS 10).
Again, the bishops of California might want to look at themselves as the cause for this mess. For too long they’ve rubber stamped the California politicians who are the real cause of this mess. How about you lecture them and not us? They stink at the environmental, economic, social and cultural issues, and they always have. They continue to run our state into the ground because they can’t take an honest look at what they’ve done. It’s always someone else’s problem. And if you want to look at our poorer areas, “The Valley” and our urban ghettos, the politicians are the ones who devastated those areas. You dare to mention the plight of the farming communities and then try to blame it on “climate change.” This is either stupidity or willful ignorance.
Part 1: A Canticle of California
Oh, my gosh. St. Francis isn’t going to save this cruddy document. This whole thing is such a sappy, sophomoric mess. What is the point?!
Starting with the first human settlers, California’s Indigenous peoples, our state’s ecological bounty has attracted immigrants throughout California’s history. What is now California was once home to the greatest concentration of Native Americans, who flourished here due to its ecological bounty. Immigrants of all kinds have brought their cultures, technologies, foodstuffs, and entrepreneurial spirit.
St. Junípero Serra encountered the wild beauty of the landscape, the flowers and the vegetation, as he walked the coast, valleys, and deserts of California.[iv] This pioneering Franciscan provided some of the first documentation of the complex biodiversity and climate of our state, including periods of drought. With humility and mercy, he brought the Gospel to this land and to the native people whose harmonious relationship with the fertile resources of California even now shape our connectedness to creation and our commitment to its protection.
Well, I will say this, they are bold to bring up St. Junipero Serra. Seriously, if you actually go to the mission he founded, you really need to look in the gift shops. The books found there are appalling. In California, St. Junipero Serra is vandalized and villainized more than any other Catholic. The Church here in California really doesn’t talk too much about him, even though he was amazing and brought many souls to the Church.
I went to 12 years of Catholic school. Elementary school was spent building models, but learning about St. Junipero Serra and what he did for the indigenous people? Not so much.
Today, California is the top farm production state in the U.S., generating more than twice the production of any other state. California agriculture is astonishingly diverse and productive. The noble vocation of farming offers an essential service to the human family, but the benefits of agriculture here have not always been shared equally. Technology continues to advance production and harvesting of food, while the rights of workers have not always been protected and advanced.
The farm workers are hurting right now because our farmers are hurting right now. The farming communities have been devastated by our state legislators and the lack of water, which has ZERO to do with climate change and everything to do with cutting off water to them to save the Delta Smelt and other ridiculous reasons. Even our gas taxes hurt our farmers and farm workers. They actually drive places, unlike the urban dwellers that vote for these things. Even they’re not happy with the gas taxes, but the state played with the wording on the repeal referendum so much that nobody understood what they were voting for. Now that it’s in place, whining has ensued, but gas prices always seem to drop the months preceding an election!
People from around the country and the world have come to California for its promise of a better life, natural beauty, and economic opportunities in everything from farming and industry to Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Together, we have created an economy that continues to attract even more people. California has become one of the most urbanized states in the country, with some of the world’s most fertile farmland now under pavement.
I’m sorry, have the bishops somehow missed the Mass exodus? We had far more people leave than enter the last few years. I can’t tell you how many people I know who are leaving this state. I’m still waiting for the backlash that happens every 30 years or so.
California faces significant new challenges as we seek to find balance between welcoming new residents and creating the infrastructure necessary to provide housing, water, education, and jobs, while at the same time preserving our fertile farmland and protecting the integrity of our natural resources.
While they are still wrong about the entrance and exit levels, they are not wrong about our poor infrastructure. We have not had enough water storage to accommodate our population in quite a while. It’s not because we have had a drought. It’s because we allow most of our snow pack to run right out to the sea.
Urbanization and the resulting high housing costs lead to pronounced hunger and homelessness. Shortsighted land development practices and policies further the loss of farm and wild lands—without adequately addressing our shortage of more than half a million low-income housing units.[vi] In many ways, we have failed to uphold the common good.
The nanny state, rampant drug use, and now legalization of drugs have probably had a greater impact on homelessness. I live in the ‘burbs. We have more housing than we need and it’s much cheaper, yet we still have homelessness. The exodus of companies to cheaper, well-managed states does not help. If you think that loss of farmland comes from urban sprawl, you might want to make farming a bit more attractive instead of putting old family farms and ranches out of business by taking away their water. During our greatest “capitalist” years, we also had our greatest breadbasket years. Those have both gone bye-bye with the out of control management/lack of management.
We urgently need a humanism capable of bringing together the different fields of knowledge, including economics, in the service of a more integral and integrating vision. Today, the analysis of environmental problems cannot be separated from the analysis of human, family, work-related and urban contexts, nor from how individuals relate to themselves, which leads in turn to how they relate to others and to the environment. (LS 141)
I just want to provide context here for the complete and utter financial and environmental mismanagement that has gotten California where we are now. Not only did we cut water to our farmers, we took their land away to build a train they didn’t want. California has become one big Ponzi scheme, and the only people who will ever be taken care of are the people at the top of the pyramid. The endless lectures to the rest of us in silly documents like these aren’t going to help.
Laudato Si’ calls us to eradicate hunger and homelessness, which reflect a pronounced moral failure in a place blessed with such bounty.
Some forms of pollution are part of people’s daily experience. Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor. (LS 20)
A Catholic perspective on environmentalism is expressed by concern for creatures and land, but also for where people live, work, play, and pray. Land-use decisions play a crucial role in environmental justice—the integration of social justice and environmental protection—and in public health.
It’s grand to mention all these things, but unless you’re going to actually put forth a solution, you are only encouraging these issues to be used to keep the poor poorer and the rich richer. It’s like saying the world is a terrible place for some, then watching, say, Venezuela happen. If the Church is going to dive into the science arena, then they’d better start employing some scientists who are faithful to the Church teachings to work on the problems. A bunch of bishops spouting off with no solutions is just going to make the problems worse.
Recently, however, California wildfire behavior has begun to change in ominous ways, harming humans and public health at an unprecedented scale. Firestorms now explode across our landscape with more intense and longer-lasting winds, literally burning through our state starting in spring and extending into winter. Millions of Californians are now forced to breathe hazardous smoke from wildfires, a violation of the common good that we can taste.
Again, forest mismanagement in the problem. This isn’t a natural disaster, it’s a human disaster. We stopped allowing the forest floors to be cleared (supposedly because of habitats of this or that), which leads to WAY too much fuel. We also put every fire out instead of letting a natural fire burn and clear out the debris. This creates mega fires, and the mega fires of the last few years have been devastating to our environment. Of all places, I was in Muir Woods on a field-trip with my kids, and the rangers said they were terrified of highly fueled fires from not allowing smaller ones to burn and clean out the debris. This is environmental extremism gone a muck and we’re paying for it dearly.
But as you will see, the bishops get it wrong yet again and blame “climate change.”
The immediate causes are clear: Drought leads to dry vegetation, which is susceptible to burning. Lower-than-normal patterns of rain and snow prompt longer periods of lower humidity. Even though no single event can be attributed to climate change, the broad changes we see in fire behavior are consistent with scientific predictions dating back many years.[viii]
While the acute character of wildfires captures our immediate attention, adapting to our changing climate will require our awareness of many different dimensions of life on earth. In the future, a changing climate might make some parts of our state unsafe to inhabit. There is a great need to prepare together to protect the health and safety of all Californians, especially those most vulnerable to instability.
Face it, our state has been a dangerous place to live for years now. The most vulnerable are in the womb, but hey, let’s focus on “climate change.” Never mind, of course, that it will be used to promote more killing in the womb.
<snipping more dramatic stuff that isn’t really the problem>
The Laudato Si’ call to live integral ecology means listening to creation and observing what is happening in it. The unprecedented scope and harm of wildfires across California gives notice that something in creation is awry, out of balance, and this calls us to explore how to better care for our common home. To live out a spirituality of the common good, we must recommit ourselves to fostering greater harmony in our relationship with the earth.
Here’s an idea. Stop telling us to be stupid and listen the environmental idiots.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water
This is an easy fix. Dig big holes. Shore up and add dams. One of our biggest dams is about to crumble and flood the downstream communities. Talk about an environmental mess! What’s California doing about it? That’s about right, nothing. We’re spending money on a myriad of insane things, but not this.
In California, you can actually find reservoirs managed by the Nevada Irrigation District filled to the brim, while not that far away, one managed by the Army Corps of Engineers is almost empty. Why? Because one agency is stupid with their water release schedules and another is not. Thankfully, after the last severe drought, they finally figured out that maybe they shouldn’t release the same amount of water every day if it hasn’t rained. Big “duh!” there.
As California becomes warmer, the most alarming implication is appearing in our mountains, where more precipitation is falling as rain, not snow. Increased winter runoff threatens more floods, and the Sierra snowpack is melting earlier, reducing water supplies. California’s four warmest years on record have all occurred since 2014, with all predictions suggesting even greater warming.[x] The Colorado River Basin, an important source of water for parts of Southern California, is warming and drying even more quickly.
Whoever drafted this drivel should have at least checked the news! This is completely inaccurate pretty much since 2017, but especially this year. It’s June and we’ve still had snow falling!!! Some ski resorts have plans to stay open until August!!! Why? Because climate does change. It’s cyclical. https://ktla.com/2019/06/03/california-sees-biggest-june-snowpack-in-nearly-a-decade-thanks-to-spring-storms/
I can’t possibly deal with the other 60+ pages. Suffice it to say that they get most of the reasons why we’re in trouble wrong, and while they tell us something we’ve only heard thousands of times, they don’t provide one answer. Oh, yeah, solar. Really? In another 20 years as our solar panels start to kick off, we’re going to see one more environmental disaster. I’m not really against solar panels, but if you think they’re “green” wait until you see the toxins that end up in our soil when people start chucking those – and, yes, they are consumables. Whatever. You’ve really said nothing differently than the people who brought us to this horrific environmentally idiotic state. Disappointing.
Blah, blah, blah… I just find it hard to believe this is where you’re going to spend the moral capital, Your Excellencies, at this moment in time. I appreciate the small head nod to the vulnerable killed by abortion and euthanasia, but that’s a far bigger danger to our world than the same lecture we get every day from the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Gavin Newsom.