Recent reports from the Vatican show that Pope Benedict will use his upcoming talk at the United Nations to deliver a powerful warning over climate change. Allegedly the Holy Father will seek to make the prevention of climate change a moral obligation for us Catholics throughout the world. Of course, the Church has long taught that we have a clear obligation to be good stewards of our planet, hearkening back to Genesis. The actual policy obligations that stewardship entails, however, are debatable propositions on which reasonable people can disagree according to the determinations of prudence. Pope Benedict is possibly the greatest mind of our age, but these reports from the left remind me of an exchange from Brideshead Revisited:

Fr. Mowbray: Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said [the climate must be changing], would that be bound to happen?

Rex Mottram: Oh, yes Father.

Fr. Mowbray: But supposing it didnt?

Rex Mottram: I suppose it would be sort of [changing] spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it…