What the Pope didn’t say to Congress

The self-delusion of climate activists in the media never ceases to amaze me.

The Pope is currently visiting the USA, and today gave a speech to Congress. Here is the text of his speech.  It contains quite a bit of America-flattering, a lot of calls for ‘dialogue’, concern for the elderly, worries about violence, concern about the refugees, a call for an end to the death penalty, concern about poverty, some positive remarks about wealth creation, concern for the environment, worry about weapons, and the problems facing young people.

His speech did not mention climate change or global warming at all.

Yet here is how his speech was mis-reported by the deluded environment correspondents in the press:

Philip Bump, Washington Post: The pope asked Congress to do one specific thing: Address climate change. It won’t.

Fred Imbert, CNBC: Pope to Congress: Time to act on climate change, poverty

Timothy Cama, The Hill: Partisan applause as Pope Francis urges the US to fight climate change.

All of these have taken something the Pope didn’t say – but presumably something they hoped he might have said – and made it into a headline.

Congratulations to Andy Revkin who correctly reported that the Pope “skirts environmental tussles”. 
The BBC is reporting the speech as calling for an end to the death penalty and help for the migrants.


Update 25 Sept:

Here are some more journalists who have fooled themselves into thinking that the Pope’s speech to Congress was a call for action on climate change:

Alex Pashley, of the comment-deleting RTCC/Climate Home: Pope Francis warns US Congress on climate threat.

Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, Pope’s climate change appeal boosts hope for bipartisan action in Congress


Update 25 Sept:

Another day, another speech by the Pope, this time to the UN. Full text here. In a 3768-word speech, there is one sentence mentioning climate:  
“I am similarly confident that the Paris Conference on Climatic Change will secure fundamental and effective agreements.” 
I wonder how journalists will report the speech…

 

 

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3 thoughts on “What the Pope didn’t say to Congress

  1. Yes well Paul, when I did a media training course years ago it was to equip me with the skills to avoid answering the difficult question I had just been asked by the interviewer – substituting instead the message that I wanted to get over. The media was ever that devious.

    That couple of days training means I spot the side-step of politicians and big company execs and the like. we have heard it- “well before I answer that question, I would like to say…….”

    I was also schooled on that course to draft 15 second statements to make on TV, to communicate the message you wanted to deliver. Apparently this style was first used by Tony Benn ( we have to thank him for something after all it seems ) who was tired of giving 15 minute interviews to find that the interviewer had selected 15 secs usually out of context for the evening news.

    as for the Pope? well don’t get me started……

  2. Paul mate, your big claim is NOT SUBSTANTIATED : “His speech did not mention climate change or global warming at all.”
    Whilst true it was no where near the Climate speech activists make out and although he didn’t use the phrase, he did allude to it :
    \\This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical* which I recently wrote in order to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.” “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenges we are undergoing, and its human roots**, concern and affect us all.” // ..53 words
    \\ In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps,” and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity ***. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States — and this Congress — have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a “culture of care” and “an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” “We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology”; “to devise intelligent ways of… developing and limiting our power”; and to put technology “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral.” In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead// 158 words
    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/pope-francis-speech-to-congress-transcript-text-video-214016#ixzz3o8U8kau1
    * Although the Encyclical on the Environment titled “On Care for Our Common Home” was wrongly spun as being ALL about Climate. He does seem to take it as the biggest problem, due to its catastrophic potential impact; giving it the long paragraphs of 23, 24, 25 out of 245 paragraphs total.
    http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/06/18/laudato-si-chapter-one-what-is-happening-to-our-common-home/
    It’s reasonable to assume that for activists these two phrase means mostly catastrophic climate change
    ** “the environmental challenges we are undergoing, and its human roots”
    *** “avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity”
    So for them that counts as 3 indirect mentions of Catastrophic Climate Change.
    Of course those of us who are not True Believers in climate catastrophe religion, can interpret the phrases differently. Personally I see that by using ambiguous phrases the Pope dampens direct criticism

  3. Those 3 indirect mentions of CC, do not justify the BBC Harra’s actions in constructing a smear news story which he later changed.
    “Ignore Pope on climate, says Republican Marsha Blackburn” 24 September 2015
    sub-titled : “One of the most influential US energy politicians says she will reject the Pope’s plea to tackle climate change.”

    Things didn’t happen the way Harra imagined they would
    #1 Those paragraphs made only about 200 words out of 3000 odd, so it is wrong to imply climate Change was the focus of his speech.
    #2 As you point out : the Pope avoided direct mention of the words “Climate Change”.
    #3 Therefore Republicans did not react with words like “Ignore Pope on climate”.
    #4 So there is no record of Marsha Blackburn saying anything like what Harra wrote she did.

    So 24 hours later someone edited the “news” story and actually added a correction note. Changing the title to “Pope unlikely to sway top US critics on climate”
    sub-titled “The Pope’s plea to tackle climate change is likely to get a cool reception from some key energy politicians in the US.” ..But it still implied he was talking about Marsha Blackburn cos he still left it under the large photo of her.

    “The Pope’s plea to tackle climate change ” well you could say that the bit beginning
    \\ In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps,” and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States — and this Congress — have an important role to play// is that plea.

    Original : https://web.archive.org/web/20150924174145/http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34342808
    Updated version : http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34342808

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