The leader of the Roman Catholic Church speaking at a youth conference in the country that produced Midnight Oil:
The world's natural resources are being squandered in the pursuit of "insatiable consumption," Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday in a speech urging followers to care more for the environment and reconnect with the principle of peace
Benedict, speaking to more than 200,000 pilgrims gathered for the Roman Catholic church's youth festival, expanded on a theme that has led him to be dubbed "the green pope." The crowd, massed on a disused wharf in Australia's largest city, regularly erupted in cheers that gave the event the feel of a sporting event.
"Some of you come from island nations whose very existence is threatened by rising water levels; others from nations suffering the effects of devastating drought," the pope said, referring to global warming.
He noted that during his more than 20-hour flight from Rome to Sydney he had a bird's eye view of a vast swath of the world that inspired awe and introspection.
"Perhaps reluctantly we come to acknowledge that there are also scars which mark the surface of our earth: erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption," he said.
Types of "poison" are afflicting the world's social environment, he said, such as substance abuse, along with the exaltation of violence and sexual degradation, for which he blamed television and the Internet.
I'm sure there's nothing like a 20-hour first-class flight over the planet to give a fella real perspective about how much the Intertubes are degrading everything.
Pope Benedict slags gay marriage here.
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