Reverend Edward Beck, a Catholic priest and media commentator, appeared on CNN on Wednesday to discuss a controversial tweet from game show host Pat Sajak that said climate experts were "unpatriotic racists."
Sajak's original tweet read:
I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends. Good night.
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) May 20, 2014
Speaking on behalf of a church that has spoken extensively on the moral issues of climate change, Beck had a few choice words to say. In a conversation with CNN host Carol Costello and evangelical Rev. Mitchell Hescox, Beck criticized Sajak's comparison between climate activism and racism.
“What’s interesting to me is — the racist, unpatriotic — is how you link the two,” Beck said. “I think the argument could be made that it is more racist to deny climate change because those being effected by it are the poor. The global poor are effected most by climate change, not the rich, who can afford air conditioning, and who can get around all the deleterious effects of climate change.”
Beck added his voice to a chorus of Catholic priests, leaders and journalists who have highlighted the critical nature of climate change, even going so far as to call it a "pro-life issue." In his homily on Wednesday, Pope Francis said, "If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us."
Sajak later tweeted, perhaps in response to the backlash:
As most of you know, original Tweet was intended to parody the name-calling directed at climate skeptics. Hyperbole.
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) May 21, 2014
But as Costello said, such statements as Sajak's original tweet resonate with some people and can have an effect even if intended as parody. Watch the conversation in the clip above.