A turbulent priest

Josepf Fritzl kept his daughter prisoner and subjected her to appalling levels of abuse during her many years in captivity. A more hateful individual it is difficult to imagine.

The Bishop of Stafford doesn’t seem to agree. He has told parishioners that when it comes to the causes of climate change, those who refuse to face the truth are as guilty as Fritzl. He later tried to justify his use of this entirely inappropriate comaprison by saying: “I am simply trying to use an analogy to get people to wake up to the consequences of what we are failing to do, because if we don’t there won’t be a future for our children either.”

But in fact, what he’s done is claim that those who either don’t understand the science behind global warming, or who simply don’t believe it’s caused by human activity, are in the same league of depravity as Fritzl.

Why use such extremist language? The reasons for global warming are scientific fact. If someone refuses to believe the facts when presented with them, you might question his or her reasoning. But someone who genuinely – for whatever reason – refuses to accept that human activity contributes to climate change – my father, for example – can’t be accused of being evil as a consequence.

I would have hoped that a bishop of the Church of England would have a greater perspective on such things – as well as a better understanding of the true nature of evil.


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