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Who’s Galileo and who’s the pope today?

Unintentionally hilarious juxtaposition of remarks in an article
by the climate scientist James Hansen:

This is not the 17th century, when
“beliefs” trumped science, forcing Galileo to recant his
understanding of the solar system


Religions across the spectrum —
Catholics, Jews, Mainline Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, and
Evangelicals — are united in seeing climate change as a moral and
ethical challenge.

In the rest of the article, Hansen makes the quite sensible
point that if you want to reduce carbon emissions then the only way
to do it is a revenue-neutral, loophole-free carbon tax whose
revenues all go straight back to citizens as green dividends.


More Galileo parallels in Daniel Henninger’s perceptive piece in the Wall
Street Journal
(hat tip Bishop Hill):

The East Anglians’ mistreatment of
scientists who challenged global warming’s claims-plotting to shut
them up and shut down their ability to publish-evokes the attempt
to silence Galileo. The exchanges between Penn State’s Michael Mann
and East Anglia CRU director Phil Jones sound like Father
Firenzuola, the Commissary-General of the Inquisition.

For three centuries Galileo has
symbolized dissent in science. In our time, most scientists outside
this circle have kept silent as their climatologist fellows, helped
by the cardinals of the press, mocked and ostracized scientists who
questioned this grand theory of global doom. Even a doubter as
eminent as Princeton’s Freeman Dyson was dismissed as an aging

Henninger’s main argument is that scientists do not realise how
muhc harm the politicisation of climate science has done to all
science, not just climate science:

Science is on the credibility bubble. If
it pops, centuries of what we understand to be the role of science
go with it.

By Matt Ridley | Tagged:  rational-optimist