Monday, December 31, 2007

Profits of Doom

Rosary BeadsWhen I read the letter from Nick Jones [Redbridge & Waltham Forest UK Independence Party] in both of our local newspapers on 20th December 2007, I thought what strange things for the Pope to say.

“He [the Pope] launched an attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning that any solution to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology. He suggested that fears over man made emissions melding ice caps and causing unprecedented disaster are based on nothing more than scaremongering. He said that while some concerns may be valid, it is vital that the international community base its policies on science rather than the dogmas of the environmental movement. He went on that care for the environment should be with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well being of all while respecting environmental balances.”

This account of the Pope’s message for World Peace day bears a strong resemblance to a report in the Daily Mail published on 13th December. This unique interpretation of the Pope's speech was then shot down in flames by Ben Goldacre in the Guardian two days later, who helpfully included a link to the speech itself.

Nowhere in this speech did the Pope refer to “climate change prophets of doom” or suggest that fears over man-made emissions are “scaremongering”, as reported in the newspaper and faithfully repeated by Mr Jones. Neither did he make reference to “the dogmas of the environmental movement”, or say “any solution to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not dubious ideology”.

So, let’s have a look at Mr Jones final sentence: “This is a refreshingly common sense approach rather than the hysterical arguments we hear from the Green zealots with their anti capitalist agenda.”

Oh really? Having read the entirety of the Pope’s speech I doubt he would agree.
[With thanks to David Reynolds]


  1. This Mr UKIP seems to have the same sort of approach as Tony Blair!

  2. His Holiness the Pope made a fine speech and summed the issues up well.

  3. Anon,
    That he did, to be sure!

    Yes, but have you seen this?

  4. Fict or Faction?

    It seems that HH must have a UK business park or housing development he needs expediting.

    Planning Indulgences anyone?

    No great surprise to read that ne Ratzinger's compatriots now refer to our country as "Affeninsel" - Ape Island.

  5. To quote another post, we cannot exclude the Church [of whatever denomination] from those "organisations that have a political or financial agenda".

  6. To quote the vatican summary of that two-day conference :
    Rome, Apr. 27, 2007 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) urged respect for the environment, and noted that the primary victims of environmental degradation would be the world's poor, in a message to a Vatican conference on climate change.

    The Pope's message was delivered to a meeting of 80 experts, drawn from 20 different countries, who were gathered for a 2-day discussion on global warming, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The Pope's message expressed the hope that the meeting could "promote lifestyles, models of production and consumption based on respect for creation and the real needs of sustainable progress."

    In his opening statement at the conference, Cardinal Renato Martino (bio - news), the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said that man should be steward of the environment, "not despotic and senseless" in treatment of the earth's resources. The cardinal observed that "looking after the environment is a universal duty." Cardinal Martino said that there are "clear imbalances" in the use of the world's resources, pointing to the high proportion of the world's energy usage by wealthy nations. He added that if energy consumption causes climate change-- a prospect that he appeared to accept as likely-- wealthy people will be better able to handle the results, while the poor will suffer. The cardinal called for major changes in the patterns of consumption to prevent further environmental damage
    However, we should expect papers like the Daily Mail, Guardian etc to create more "intense" news that the mundane - which, after all would sell newspapers