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A Miscellany 372
The imitation green pope

by: JT

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Pope taking delivery of his green carIt was widely reported yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI was given an electric car by Renault for use within the grounds of his summer home, Castel Gondolfo. Several of the news stories I read pointed out that Benedict was known as the "green Pope" because of his environmental concerns.

In his first trip in his electric green car, Benedict was chauffeured from the Castel Gondolfo helipad back to the palazzo.

From the helipad? Yes, from the helipad! He'd just arrived there after an approximately 25 km helicopter trip from the Vatican.

Pope entering his helicopter for flight from Vatican to Castel Gondolfo.You know, one of those highly fuel efficient green helicopters. Not!

Good grief, the man could have made the trip from the Vatican to the palazzo in a stretch Hummer limousine and still have been at least twice as fuel efficient as the helicopter / electric car combined. And that does not take into account the costs of positioning and repositioning the helicopter before and after the actual trip.

It's typical of the Vatican. All style. No real substance.


Appendix: The real green pope

Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, primate of the orthodox communion since 1991 has been known as the green pope because of his environmental concerns since well before Pope Benedict was enthroned. And Bartholomew has genuinely impressed others with his seriousness on the environment to the extent that he was awarded the Sophie Prize back in 2002.

You can be sure that in the 21 years Bartholomew has been Patriarch, he has had less negative impact on the environment than Benedict has had in his seven years. Probably Bartholomew has had less environmental impact than Benedict's summer commuting via helicopter to Castel Gondolfo alone.