News

    Climate Change on Papal Agenda for World Youth Day in Australia

    The Pope is to make climate change one of his key concerns during his trip to Australia for World Youth Day.  The pontiff has said that politicians and scientists must respond to what he calls the "great ecological challenge" of global warming.  Australia's highest ranking Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, has welcomed the statement, but says he remains a climate-change skeptic.  From Sydney, Phil Mercer reports.

    Pope Benedict says society has to meet the challenges posed by climate change and it has a responsibility to find "an ethical way to change our way of life."  He made the comments during his trip to World Youth Day in Australia.

    The pontiff's views are at odds with those of Australia's most-senior Catholic leader, Sydney Catholic Archbishop George Pell. He is a climate change skeptic, but insists his attitudes are not incompatible with the Pope's decision to set the issue as a theme for his visit to Australia.

    "I'm well aware that, over the hundreds of years, there have been great changes in the climates," he said.  "And, whether we are going through one of those cha nges or whether we are contributing to that, I don't know.  And, whether we're heading slowly toward an ice age, or whether we're heading towards significant warming, I don't know.  But I'm pretty certain if you look at the figures, the temperature dropped, worldwide, in the last 12 months."

    Some climate change proponents in Australia believe that the Pope's opinions on the environment do not carry much practical relevance.

    Stephen Douglas, from the Australian National University, says Benedict's views on climate change should not be taken too seriously.

    "There's a growing body of what you could call symbolic policy;  so these are things that are somewhat unfortunately referred to as 'motherhood statements.'  So they're essentially warm and fuzzy statements about how we should be seeing things, how we should be caring for creation in Christian terms; but what we're not seeing is meaningful operational policy," said Douglas.  "You're not seeing a restructure of the Catholic Church, or any other religious organizations, that would bring them up to speed with how they need to operate to address things like climate change."

    The Vatican has declared itself a carbon neutral state, although critics argue that its environmental credentials are compromised by fuel consumption an airline for pilgrims that it operates.

    The Pope continues to rest in a Catholic retreat outside Sydney ahead of his official World Youth Day commitments that start with a trip across Sydney Harbor on Thursday.

    The highlight of his 10-day visit to Australia will be a giant papal mass in Sydney on Sunday in front of an estimated 250,000 pilgrims.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora