We may be witnessing the high water mark of Pope Francis. The Bear has a feeling it's downhill from here.
Why would the Bear say such a ridiculous thing now, of all times? The whole world has turned its gaze toward the Man in White.
First of all, what does he bring to the party, if it is permissible to put it like that? The only so-called science will be second-hand. Nothing new here. It's not like he's an expert in the field. The people who have been impressed with the climate change pseudologia fantastica thus far will continue to believe, and those who don't, won't. How many people do you think will really say, "Oh the Pope has come out on the subject of global warming, so I'm going to change my mind! Honestly, the Bear doesn't think it will be very many.
The Bear does not expect many to actually read a 200-page encyclical. Sorry, but that's the price you pay for writing a 200-page encyclical. The juiciest parts will be cherry-picked by talking heads. The shelf-life will be mercilessly short. The Bear does not expect this to have legs.
The release of the encyclical gives those playing along with global warming an opportunity to talk about it, and even do so in moral terms, which the encyclical will certainly include. And the climate realists will also get to sound off. Again, no big change. In order to be impressed by the moral implications of a scientific theory, one must be persuaded by the science.
Catholics will not change their minds. Expect liberal Catholics to bring up Humanae Vitae inappropriately, and type the phrase "cafeteria Catholic" a lot. The Bear does not recommend engaging them because they're not really listening to your reasoned explanation.
The Bear believes it is unfortunate for a pope who is already suspect in some ways in the minds of many, to so unambiguously align himself with a goofy political fad and all its hangers on. The Bear's theory is that global warming "ticks all the right boxes" for the Pope, economically and politically. He was powerless to resist. That's about the most you can say.
Pope Francis is as at the height of his power as Pope, and perhaps at the height of his celebrity, too (if there is a difference). The Bear would say, were we talking about a secular figure, it's all downhill from here.
When's the last time you heard of Al Gore?