Columnist unable to accurately quote head of own church

Christopher Pearson is one of Australia’s worst journalists.

A week ago the Pope said:

What would he say if he could see the state of the world today, through the abuse of energy and its selfish and reckless exploitation? Anselm of Canterbury, in an almost prophetic way, once described a vision of what we witness today in a polluted world whose future is at risk.
Pearson argues that Sydney Morning Herald journalist Ian Fisher “framed” these comments as the Pope voicing concern about global warming.

Pearson disagrees with this characterisation:

We already know what know we already know what Benedict thinks about global warming. He made a telling intervention during the Bali conference earlier this month… What matters is what the Pope himself says.
So what does Pearson think the pope said:
He warned that “any solution to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not dubious ideology ... Fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disaster are nothing more than scaremongering.”
Pretty conclusive wouldn’t you think. Except that the pope did say any of that. The first three sentences of Pearson’s pope quotation are actually the words of Daily Mail journalist Simon Caldwell.

Only the final two sentences of the quotation are from the pope. And those don’t really mention global warming:

Humanity today is rightly concerned about the ecological balance of tomorrow. It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions.
A fact Pearson could easily have discovered. The pope’s message is produced in full here.

No comments: