A reader makes an excellent point:
Robbie George notes that Francis “has no special knowledge, insight, or teaching authority pertaining to matters of empirical fact of the sort investigated by, for example, physicists and biologists,” Robbie is mincing words. He can not mention chemists here, because Pope Francis is one. And it’s chemists who got the last Nobel (science) prize for climate change (Al Gore got the Peace Prize). In 1995, the prize was awarded for “work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone”.
Another gives some props to the previous Pope:
Those who are dismayed by Francis’ impending encyclical on climate change would do well to read the following report on global climate change: “Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene” [pdf]. They would note that it was commissioned by the Pontifical Academy of Science during the papacy of Benedict VI. In fact, it was Benedict who had solar panels added to the Vatican. He also wrote the following in Caritas in veritate:
It is likewise incumbent upon the competent authorities to make every effort to ensure that the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations: the protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate obliges all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet” (#50).
I don’t remember any outrage then.