Pope Francis Meets with Oil Execs

Pope Francis is meeting with executives from top oil companies and investment funds to discuss climate change. The Pope’s perspective will presumably reflect his 2015 encyclical "Laudato si’", which (among many points) called for a drastic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. As an economist who has contributed to the book, Pope Francis and the Caring Society, that respectfully but critically engages the thought of Pope Francis, I laud the spiritual motivation of his concerns but question the actual consequences of his recommendations. Simply put, the Pope’s ideas on climate change would end up hurting the world’s poorest members, the very people his supporters think they are helping. As Philip Booth points out in his own chapter in the book, St. Thomas Aquinas understood that private property provides the incentive to individual owners to use the resources under their control in the public interest. To give a concrete example, the African white...(Read Full Article)