For some time now many scientists, even and perhaps especially those connected to the climate alarmism movement, have worried about the exaggerations and downright apocalyptic scenarios which have come out of the writings of some of their scientific colleagues like James Hansen or James Lovelock, let alone laymen like Al Gore. Deliberate scare-mongering, done to get the public’s attention and action, can backfire and bring discredit on the whole movement.

Now comes support for these worries from a surprising source, Pope Benedict XVI, in a message prepared for World Peace Day on January 1, but released today, warning us against the climate change prophets of doom . He does not take sides in the scientific debate: “Humanity today is rightly concerned about the ecological balance of tomorrow.” But he does believe the case against global warming is over-hyped, that solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology, and that care for the environment must not mean that the welfare of plants and animals takes priority over human need.

This message will greatly annoy the global warming crowd, who will point out that the pope is not a scientist (and neither is Al Gore). But at least they won’t be able to claim he’s in the pay of the oil industry.