Posted by: ericgrimsrud | June 19, 2015

Halleluiah, our Leader has arrived !

On this blog (October 2014), and in a chapter of my book (Thoughts of a Scientists, Citizen, and Grandpa on Climate Change), I previously provided some speculation concerning the type of leader that would be needed in order to successfully arrest the relentless advance of global warming.  As an example of such a leader in a different era,  I chose Winston Churchill for the work he did the 1930’s and 40’s before and during WWII.  The reason he was so perfectly suited for the challenge then faced by the Western Democracies was because Churchill clearly understood the profound underlying differences between a free democratic society and whatever it was that Hitler and his Nazi party were offering.  It is true that under Hitler, the trains of Germany began to run on time and it’s economy turned around providing its citizens with jobs and wealth.  Many in England and the USA expressed great admiration for Germany’s accomplishments during the 30’s and wanted to lend support rather than resistance to Hitler. While one does not hear very much about those folks these days, among those enthusiastic admirers were Americans of substantial influence, such as Charles Lindbergh, the famous American aviator, and Joseph Kennedy, then Ambassador to Great Britain and later, the father of an American President and three US Senators.

If Churchill’s dim view of the Nazis had not won out in that era, the rest of the 20th Century would have undoubtedly turned out very differently.  Since the “science” of societal change is accompanied by enormous uncertainties, we don’t know for sure exactly what that end result might have been or exactly how long it would have taken to get there.  Fortunately, however, that experiment was not done because the citizens of Great Britain first and later those of the US had the good sense to recognize a bad direction when they saw one and followed a leader they could rally behind.  Churchill found the common ground with those folks by pointing out the essential intangibles of a good life that are possible only with a democratic form of government.  To a great extent, WWII was fought because of the moral leadership provided by an authority on the subject of self-governance and a population sufficiently well-educated to understand and appreciate what he was talking about.

When wondering if we would ever find another equally prepared moral authority for addressing the even greater challenge before us today concerning global climate change I have not been optimistic.  Frankly, I did not think such a person existed. After all, from what place and experience would such a person possibly come from?  While professional scientists have possessed the greatest level of knowledge concerning the topic, a scientist’s role has traditionally been to advise – and they have clearly done that – rather than to lead – as several  have tried to do.  While our elected officials are expected to be the ones that lead, when they try to – as in the case of Al Gore – they are accused of being politically biased and are more apt to be ridiculed than listened to by the other political parties.  The perfect leader for the war against climate change would have to be someone that is respected by all at the onset and whose responsibility is clearly to look after all people of the world.

And then just when I had concluded that no such a person exists – out comes Francis, the  Pope of the Catholic Church – bearing a forceful stance concerning our “moral obligation to be good stewards of the planet God has given us”.   Perfect!  I should have known. The scientists of the world have clearly provided their distinctively dire predictions.  Climate change is now primarily a moral issue and we finally have the perfect leader for facing it on that basis.  Halleluiah !!  It is Pope Francis who can lead all of mankind to its next “finest hour” and an environmentally sustainable future.

For photos of the two great leaders I have raved about here and another writer’s similar take on all of this, see:

2015 Toon 29


  1. And he is a church school guy like you!

  2. [Response from EPG: Hi Kirk, Yes, I am a church school guy – having graduated from St. Olaf College in MN. And it is true that the professed values of St.Olaf affected me. As you will note in a couple of my recent posts, I have been trying lately to return that favor to my alma mater – without much success, so far. Makes this Lutheran wonder if he should become a Catholic.]

By: kirk Manfredi on June 19, 2015
at 8:06 am


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