The Telegraph reports that Pope Francis is finalising an encyclical on climate change, scheduled to be released in a few weeks’ time.

Whereas his predecessor Benedict XVI was a sceptic in these matters, Francis is convinced that man is responsible for climate change.

Yet, there are also natural factors to consider, such as sun activity. The British long-range weather forecaster Piers Corbyn has made it his mission to study solar movements and track the related drops in temperature as well as the increase in storms and natural disasters. Corbyn doubts the climate change hypothesis — some would say truth — of the CO2 crowd:

WeatherAction is involved in the Global Warming /Climate Change debate where we point out that the world is now cooling not warming and there is no observational evidence in the thousands and millions of years of data that changes in CO2 have any effect on weather or climate. There are no scientists in the world who can produce such observational data. There is only effect the other way, namely that ocean temperatures control average CO2 levels.

My readers will no doubt be more familiar with the long-running Watts Up With That? which is an excellent source of information questioning the received paradigms on climate change.

First, it would be helpful if Pope Francis came out with a balanced statement, although it is likely to be one that pounds the middle classes for being too wasteful, thereby harming the environment. It seems unlikely that individual human acts can so significantly alter climate. It is also doubtful that even emerging countries disregarding the adoption of Western-style clean air legislation could accomplish this. The forces of nature and God’s sovereignty are much more powerful.

Secondly, it will be interesting to see exactly how Francis posits this encyclical with Catholics. Will he declare it infallible until the next Pope changes tack? Who knows? In any event, practising Catholics are obliged to obey or at least give serious consideration to this upcoming position paper.

It will be interesting to see what Francis has to say.