Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby made a tour of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia to market “climate change.” He said the visit would have a “very significant effect” on his thinking about climate change – a topic he has long been passionate about, reported ABC News.
The Guardian makes his intention a little more obvious headlining that Welby said churches should encourage direct action on climate change. The archbishop has long been active and vocal on climate change, The Guardian reported. Seeing the impact close up, he said “Seeing the devastation here … just brings it home. Let alone what it will be in a few years.”
On 28 February, the biggest flood in modern Australian history inundated Lismore and the rest of the Northern Rivers. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, over a period of four days leading up to the disaster, three rain episodes occurred. Under usual conditions, each would have generated a moderate flood but cumulatively they created a catastrophe.
In a 2021 article, Sebastian Lüning – who regularly publishes in climate science journals and, as a reviewer, has contributed to IPCC reports – fact-checked what floods really have to do with climate change. “In medieval times, the priest would have declared that it would have been a punishment from God for the wicked behaviour of sinners. Today’s explanation is unfortunately not far from that,” he wrote.
Lüning noted two studies of global precipitation over the past 50-70 years. Both studies reached similar conclusions: on the global scale, the severity of floods has decreased overall.
Below, Paul Collits gives his take on Justin Welby’s recent visit to Lismore.
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By Paul Collits, 16 October 2022
Just imagine if the Pope came to Lismore. That would be a story.
Well, this week we were graced (pun intended) with a visit from the spiritual leader of the Anglican communion. He is not, technically, the head of the Church of England. That privilege, since the time of the multiplied married, philandering Henry the Eighth, rests with the British monarch. Some things never change.
The Archbishop came to Lismore.
At any rate, Justin Welby included flood-ravaged Lismore in his Australian itinerary. Ostensibly, the visit was to provide comfort to a city wracked by natural disaster.
Archbishop Welby is nearing the end of a two-week visit to Australia that has included Perth, Melbourne, and the Torres Strait Islands.
He said he particularly wanted to visit the Northern Rivers after hearing about the devastation of the floods.
Parts of England have had their own experiences with catastrophic flooding in recent years.
Archbishop Welby said he wanted to see what his church could learn from its Australian counterparts about supporting communities through a disaster.
He said he also wanted to show solidarity.
Read more: Archbishop of Canterbury visits flood-ravaged Lismore in an ‘uplifting’ experience for locals of faith, ABC News, 16 October 2022
So far, so good. The spirit of the good Samaritan lives on.
Inevitably, the Bill Gates-funded Guardian newspaper portrayed the visit as a discovery of the ravages of climate change.
Justin Welby says churches should encourage direct action on climate change as he sees boarded-up shops and unliveable houses in far-flung parish reeling from disaster.
Read more: ‘It brings it home’: Archbishop of Canterbury highlights climate crisis in Australia with visit to Lismore, The Guardian, 15 October 2022
“It brings it home”.
The ecclesiastical bus pulls into the great edifice that is the Catholic St Carthage’s cathedral. Its bells haven’t rung out since February when it went under in the floods and took the bells with it. But they did manage to get one bell to ring when the Queen died. It is an honour, Bishop Gregory Homeing (sic) tells him, “and an extraordinary ecumenical gesture for you to come to us as a friend”.
Here at midday prayers the archbishop goes off-piste again and delivers a homily no one was expecting at the pulpit. He speaks of the ecumenism of suffering.
“Climate change does not respect demarcation of churches, it affects everyone. We have so much to learn from you, we seek to emulate you.”
It brings it home?
It does nothing of the sort, of course. It seems tedious to have to point out the post hoc ergo propter fallacy reflexively repeated here. Or the circular reasoning. We say that global warming leads to more floods. Lismore had a bad flood. Therefore, global warming caused the Lismore flood. Stick to religion, Your Grace. Oh, wait a minute. Given the over-the-cliff crashing of faith in your Church, you might not actually want to talk about that. Maybe the two are connected?
The Archbishop continued:
The archbishop also said the visit would have a “very significant effect” on his thinking about climate change — a topic he has long been passionate about.
He recounted the Archbishop of Polynesia once telling him, “For you guys in the west, this is a problem for the 30s and the 40s. For us, it’s life and death today”.
“You come here, and you realise it’s not just Fiji. It’s here [where] it’s life and death today,” Archbishop Welby said.
“So, it just sharpens your mind and your sense of priority.”
It’s not just Fiji. Oh dear. Crisis in Fiji. Lismore floods. Climate emergency!
As the fictional British Prime Minister Jim Hacker noted (in The Bishop’s Gambit), it is astonishing how politicians now want to talk morals and prelates want to talk politics. They might also try logic. Evidence. Science.
Perhaps a perceptive reporter on the scene might have tested Welby’s knowledge of local climate matters with a question about Tim Flannery’s infamous prediction that, as a result of global warming, “the rivers and dams would never fill again”. No point building dams. Maybe if Lismore had had a dam … Perhaps if the Archbishop of Canterbury had confined himself to expressing sympathy and grief for the many victims of the flood, exacerbated by unforgivable failures of New South Wales governance, it might have had more impact on the ground. Something beyond a photo opportunity. If only he had resisted the opportunity to make the flood about his preferred ideology.
The Archbishop did get close to the real issues:
Archbishop Welby said he had been shocked and disappointed by how many residents had struggled to find the assistance they needed to recover from the floods.
Difficulties in obtaining flood insurance and payouts were high on the list.
He called for organisations and all tiers of government to band together for a grassroots-led recovery.
“[You saw] that phenomenal communal spirit, and you just thought, ‘Oh, come on, surely, you can bottle some of this and take a swig before you deal with the people here,'” he said.
The image of St Carthage’s Cathedral inundated by the February 2022 flood will live long in our memory. The Cathedral had never fallen prey to Lismore’s infamous floods. Legend has it that the local Aborigines had warned the then Catholic prelates not to build the cathedral on the site ordained, “because it floods”. It took a long time for the local Aborigines’ local knowledge to be vindicated.
But back to climate change.
Archbishop Welby is widely known to be a friend of the woke class. He has form, across the range of progressive issues. “The religious wing of Twitter”, according to one description of his tenure.
Read more: Under woke Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby the Anglican church has become the religious wing of Twitter, The Sun, 20 November 2021
His take on the flood was, therefore, only to be expected.
How things have changed.
The most famous Archbishop of Canterbury, back in the day when the Catholic Church ran ecclesial matters in Britain, was murdered by the henchmen of Henry II. The story was made famous in modern times by TS Eliot in his Murder in the Cathedral. That was St Thomas Beckett, who, as far as we know, was not the least concerned about climate change. Both the medieval warm period and the little ice age lay well ahead, into the British future. Henry II spent the rest of his life lamenting the outcome of his troops’ endeavours. As well he might.
The visit of Welby to Lismore reminds us of how far the Church of Jesus Christ has fallen. The message of the visit would, no doubt, have been endorsed by that other card-carrying member of the globalist climate cartel, Pope Francis. A hypothetical visit to the scene of the floods from the Pontiff would, no doubt, have elicited similar headlines. What about Noah, and God’s vengeance? Nothing to see there. It’s all about CO2.
About the Author
Paul Collits is a freelance writer and independent scholar and researcher. He has worked in regional economic development analysis, policy and practice for over 20 years, in universities, State parliament, local and State government and in consulting. His longer career of 30 years has also included working in research and analysis in government at the national level, industry and politics.
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