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Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Cardinal challenges climate change

A Prince of the Church is being called “irrelevant” and “a fool” by those who are certain that climate change is a reality. Australia’s Cardinal George Pell is not impressed with the science of climate change, and, as reported below in the Sydney Morning Herald, he’s not shy about his opinion. The Cardinal raises some legitimate scientific questions, but in doing so he's committed heresy within certain circles.

The media, which loves such drama, has been stoking the fires. Bloggers are scathing in their analysis.

The tragedy in all this is that people—on all sides of the issue, within and outside of the Church—are missing an opportunity to explore the Church’s great tradition of placing faith and reason into dialogue. Certainly, some of the Cardinal’s critics are using the fracas to spit anti-Catholic venom, but then, from a survey of posted comments in online news stories, many critics of climate change within Holy Mother Church could benefit from a refresher course on civil discourse.

Well, read on and check out the links above. See what you make of all this. Your comments are, as always, important.

Pell row with climate scientist heats up
Leesha McKenny
March 14, 2011
CARDINAL GEORGE PELL has rebuffed the head of the Bureau of Meteorology, who had said Australia's highest-ranking Catholic was ''misled'' in his views on global warming.
Dr Greg Ayers told a Senate estimates hearing last month that the Archbishop of Sydney's argument against human-induced climate change was based heavily on a book by Ian Plimer, Heaven and Earth - Global Warming: The Missing Science, which had been discredited by scientists.
''The contents of the book are simply not scientific. I am concerned that the cardinal has been misled [by its contents],'' the director of the bureau said.
But Cardinal Pell told the Herald the statements by Dr Ayers, an atmospheric scientist, were themselves unscientific. ''Ayers, when he spoke to the House, was obviously a hot-air specialist. I've rarely heard such an unscientific contribution.''
The cleric, who has questioned global warming in his Sunday newspaper column, even likened himself to the federal government's climate adviser Ross Garnaut when he expressed disappointment last week that the public debate on climate change was often divorced from scientific quality, rigour and authority.
''I regret when a discussion of these things is not based on scientific fact,'' Cardinal Pell said. ''I spend a lot of time studying this stuff.''
But Professor Garnaut had also said he was more certain the mainstream science supporting global warming was sound, and there was no ''genuine'' scientific dissent.
Cardinal Pell argued against human-induced global warming in a written submission to the hearing, claiming increases in carbon dioxide tended to follow rises in temperature, not cause them. He also stated, based on Professor Plimer's book, that temperatures were higher in Roman times and the Middle Ages.
Dr Ayers, a former CSIRO marine and atmospheric research chief who holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from Monash University, told the hearing Professor Plimer's book had not been peer reviewed and many of his assertions were not supported by scientific evidence.
He also cited one example in the cardinal's submission that referred to nitrogen in a list of greenhouse gases.
''That is not a greenhouse gas; it is 78 per cent of the atmosphere. You cannot have people out there telling the public that nitrogen is a greenhouse gas because it is not,'' he told the hearing.
Cardinal Pell told the Herald statements by Dr Ayers to the hearing were ''all abuse and waffle about poor old Plimer'', before defending the geologist as a man who ''deals in many, many facts''. But he was prepared to meet leading climate scientists to discuss the issue, he said.
Dr Ayers told the hearing the cardinal ''may well become an ambassador for the quality of climate change science if he is exposed to the quality of the science that is done'' in Australia.
Cardinal Pell made his comments to the Herald after a public lecture by the Vatican's highest judicial officer, Cardinal Raymond Burke, entitled ''The Fall of the Christian West'' in Sydney on Friday night.
Cardinal Pell had earlier told the 200-strong crowd about the value of the ''years of study and professional devotion'' undertaken by Sir Thomas More, who was executed for treason in 1535. "There's no substitute for knowing what you're talking about,'' he said.
A Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman said Dr Ayers was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Photo: The Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Mary, Sydney, Australia. (


  1. "He also cited one example in the cardinal's submission that referred to nitrogen in a list of greenhouse gases."

    True, nitrogen is not a GHG but nitrous oxide IS a GHG. It is ranked 4th behind water vapor, co2, and methane. Perhaps that's what he meant. To dismiss his comments based on a probable typo error is bit overdone in my view. Remember, the UN IPCC claiming that the Himalaya glaciers would be gone in 25 years was attributed to a typo, but no one said anything for 3 years.

  2. You're in Theology. What do you think of this?

    Many people refer to anthropogenic climate change as a new religion (ACC) because there are parallels which most people do not recognize right away. In the old days, preachers were the only people who could read and folks revered them as the only ones who understood the bible. You had to follow their statements and opinions and could not question them, if you did you were called an heretic. Today Climatologists are the keepers of the new faith, they are the new preachers and folks revere climatologists in the same way; if you do question the science folks respond by saying that only climatologists can understand the science, and you can't question their opinion either. Today’s climate skeptics are also known as climate heretics. If you asked a preacher for evidence for the existence of God, they could find it everywhere, they would claim God was responsible for everything, God explains everything. Similarly if you ask a climatologist for evidence of ACC they can find it everywhere, and they blame ACC for everything, ACC explains everything. Even recently people claim the quake in Japan can be explained by ACC. Science today has become very lazy in this regard, ACC explains everything like God does, it replaces reall scientific investigation. The new climate Pope is Al Gore and every country in the world has its top ACC guy, they are like neo-apostles.

    Many of the proponents of ACC are not religious, they are atheist, however they have found a new religion and a new god in ACC. The parallels between old time religion and ACC are astonishing. There is an old phrase which goes something like “if you stop believing in God, you’ll still believe, but you’ll believe in anything”. I think this is the case for the ACC believers. It’s time for people to rethink and examine deep down just what ACC really is.

  3. Fascinating! That sounds like the topic of its own blog entry. Stay tuned ...

  4. Cardinal Pell is right and good for him for speaking out. Perhaps he can now appreciate how Martin Luther felt.

    There are reputable scientists on both sides, and the catastrophic AGW has unquestionably been exaggerated, the only question is how much, and thus how much pain being proposed to fix it is unnecessary.

    Dr Ayers’s assertion that Prof Plimer’s book has been discredited is absurd – does he mean all 493 pages and 2311 referenced assertions in the book are false? Or is he referring to Michael Ashley’s feather dusting in the Australian.

    Environmentalism and AGW have indeed become a new pagan religion – does anyone here seriously subscribe to Tim Flannary’s one Gaia organism pagan worship? It is certainly no friend of theists.


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