NO TO AIR CONDITIONERS (55)
People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive.
For a reference as to where this condemnation fits within the schema of “infallible” papal statements, please consult Pope Pius XII, “Humani Generis”:
20. Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me"; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.
“Pope Francis” does suggest (15) that this encyclical letter is now “added to the body of the [Roman Catholic] Church’s social teaching”, and he notes that he offers “some inspired guidelines” as to how to move forward – an indication of how seriously he takes this.