Pope Getting It Wrong on Galileo (Again)

pope galileo wrong

It’s been said both within and without the Vatican that the encyclical from Pope Francis regarding the environment and climate change is an effort to show that the Roman Catholic Church is on the side of science this time, as opposed to when, in the 17th century, scientist Galileo Galilei was accused of heresy by the Inquisition for claiming that the Earth revolved around the Sun (and was forced to deny his own science and put under house arrest for the balance of his life).

I would suggest, however, that this misses a fundamental point when it comes to comparing these two scientific and societal controversies: i.e. the relationship of the Earth to the Sun in astronomical terms versus the contemporary science of global warming a.k.a. anthropogenic climate change (which curiously enough some actually believe might be more about the relationship of the Earth to the Sun in climatological terms).

The point being missed in the comparison is this: When Galileo put forth his astronomical theories, he was effectively on his own, with only his own scientific reasoning and evidence on his side. The scientific consensus of the time was as it always had been, that the Sun revolved around the Earth, which was the center of the Universe. This made it pretty easy for the Church to pick on Galileo. All of the other scientists knew which side their bread was buttered on, and were doubtless glad enough to see troublesome old G.G. get his comeuppance.

So much for the concept of consensus in science. We are consistently assured that well over 90 percent of scientists agree with the theory of anthropogenic climate change, as if there even is one solid undisputed theory, and as if this poll of scientists somehow establishes the actual facts in the heavens and here below.

The truth is that it only takes one scientist with a single fact that contradicts a theory in order to disprove that theory. By that standard of reckoning, in the case of anthropogenic global warming or “climate change,” the debate continues to rage on.

It is neither difficult nor courageous for the Vatican to throw its lot in with those who believe in a generalized theory of anthropogenic climate change that requires urgent correction (and who therefore by definition advocate a colder world). It is the favored point of view of all kinds of international intelligentsias and elites seeking to hold sway. Supporting this “consensus” is every bit as easy as beating up on Galileo was.

Supporting this “consensus” is every bit as easy as beating up on Galileo was.

pope galileo wrong

If the Vatican were instead to single out a scientist who is standing against the “consensus,” with only his own scientific reasoning and evidence to support him, then it might well be said to be a fitting penance for the treatment meted out to Galileo Galilei.

I realize that this comes a bit late for the encyclical, but one such scientist I would offer to Pope Francis for consideration would be William Soon, who theorizes (rather radically I guess) that it is variations in the Sun’s activity that are by far the greatest influence on the Earth’s climate (a climate which I think 100% of scientists would concede has never stopped changing). His is one of a variety of opinions competing with the comfortable consensus that appear in a recently published book called Climate Change: The Facts. Willie Soon, for his efforts, has been vilified and effectively branded a heretic and worse by that comfortable consensical crowd that the Roman Catholic Church now has thrown its moral weight behind. But what if he’s right and the Church only concedes it three hundred years from now after incalculable human suffering caused by the pro-global-cooling movement? How is the pope to know? How was he to know? That really is the point. The pope isn’t to know. He doesn’t actually have to take a position on this at all. He could instead concern himself with religious matters, and leave matters of science, economics and politics to those who are schooled in them, and who hopefully are also schooled in the spiritual (this would be where the Church could actually make a difference at a deeper level).

Pope Francis in his encyclical also comes out against what’s often called “consumerism.” How you define that word might vary (which is a problem common to any “-ism”). On this he is on significantly more solid ground, in the sense that a worship of things, of possessions, and an indulgence in material excess, is bad for an individual’s soul. No one who believes in God can sincerely argue with this. Pope Francis is known for his simplicity of lifestyle, and his frugality, and I for one have no hesitation in commending him on this; it’s a refreshing change for the man claiming to occupy the seat of St. Peter. (It arguably should never be otherwise.) But in crossing over from giving a prescription for the health of the soul of the individual to instead prescribing global economic policies, I think that Pope Francis errs, and tragically so.

Pope Francis is concerned about the poor, but is failing to understand the correlation between the buying of things and the growth of jobs. (He might want to talk a little to a fellow Christian like Monsieur Bono Vox about how to really help people trapped in deep poverty.) Again, no one should be devoted to things, but simply advocating that everyone buy less—however edifying it may seem—is not helpful to the poor on a macro-economic level. But then the pope is not an economist! Why should he be expected to understand this? (Why should he expect himself to understand this?)



And this goes back to “climate change,” because the pope, it seems to me, is unfortunately allying himself with those who do not really have the progress of the poor as a very high priority. In fact, the poor, in the sense of the teeming masses consuming things and trying to improve the lot of themselves and their families, are the nub of the problem in the worldview of the hardcore advocates for a colder world. The prescriptions for reversing a warming world all involve a reduction of “consumption” and a rationing of energy use (most simply achieved by reducing the human population of the Earth). Making energy more expensive is the route that dedicated cold Earth enthusiasts are generally pursuing, by way of costly, massive and inefficient wind farms and solar installations. Buying “boutique energy” may be affordable and self-gratifying for the wealthy. Yet imagine on the simplest level that one’s electric bill goes up by 75% (maybe you’re one of those who doesn’t have to merely imagine this). For the wealthy, this is a relatively insignificant increase in expense, perhaps equivalent to ordering an extra dessert at a fancy restaurant one evening. But for the poor, or those on the margins of such definitions, a large increase to an electric bill that must be paid has a huge impact, and takes money away from other areas that might advance the well being of one’s family (e.g. buying books for the children to read, or, at a deeper level of poverty, nutritious food and medical care). There is no help for the poor in penalizing the use of cheap and abundant sources of energy, despite how much better it might make wealthy elites feel about themselves and their Mother Earth.

The pope has problems: no one can argue about that. He is residing in a Europe that in the largest part has turned away not only from Catholicism but from any Judeo-Christian concept of God. Taking action on that front would seem to be a pressing matter. If he thinks that allying the Catholic Church with this cold Earth and fundamentally anti-human agenda is going to win converts, I’d suggest he’s badly mistaken, although those who advocate for that agenda will be very happy to now be able to list the Catholic Church as one of their sponsors.

Also perhaps a slight problem for this pope is the fact that during his reign Christians are being exterminated across the Middle East and increasingly in other parts of the world. And even in the comfortable and complacent Western world, Christian beliefs that have endured for millenia are now being bracketed with bigotry and incurring the penalty of law. This barely touches the number of issues specific to Catholicism and Christianity that are pressing on today’s planet Earth, and so the pope has a full plate, it would seem, and yet he chooses to venture into the troubled, confused and politicized waters of “climate change.”

Will he receive credit, three or four hundred years hence, for being absolutely correct on the science, or will he receive scorn for having squandered his brief moment of authority?

I guess we’ll find out.

I Like New York in June

New York in June

New York in June52° (F), raw and raining is what it is on this June 2nd; the same as it was on June 1st. Now there are places getting much worse weather, so this is not any cry for sympathy. However, this is a beginning to summer unlike any yours truly has experienced in the last couple of decades in New York. The season may not officially begin until June 21st, but the warm 70° and 80°+ weather had always settled in for the long haul by the start of June. The current chilly snap feels like yet one more tentacle of this past winter that did not want to die, reaching up from the cold grave when we thought it had finally truly gone. Continue reading “I Like New York in June”

Delicious Insects: Good for You, Good for Earth

Popping up in some news outlets today were remarks made by former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, in an interview with The Guardian, where he advocates the consumption of insects as a source (for humans) of animal protein. He says:

Insects have a very good conversion rate from feed to meat. They make up part of the diet of two billion people and are commonly eaten in many parts of the world. Eating insects is good for the environment and balanced diets.

This of-course is nothing new in the world of environmentalism. Satisfying one’s need (or desire) for animal protein with meat has long been considered inefficient and wasteful, due to the energy required to fatten cattle and the like, and the large tracts of land needed to support them and their families. At the opposite end of the scale, instead of raising a cow in order to have it convert grass into nice juicy hamburgers, it would be most efficient of you instead to simply eat the grass yourself. It cuts out so many middlemen and, as we know, it all ends up going the same place anyway.

These kinds of arguments (albeit less elegantly-made) have so far failed to convince very many people to do the right thing. So the campaign has advanced to moving people away from eating large animals and towards eating very small animals instead. Insects don’t require vast fields on which to roam and feed. In fact, as you may have noticed, you can pretty much feed an army of ants with just a splotch of spilled strawberry jam. Cockroaches will seemingly eat anything, even newspaper. And in any case you will rarely actually observe an insect sitting down and eating at all; it may well be that most of them simply live on air and sunlight. If so, then if we could ourselves eat insects, we could achieve our own long cherished dream of living on air and sunlight, albeit just one step removed.

These are weighty facts, and indeed all of the data, once you analyze it (as I have), is highly persuasive. We should be living on bugs. The thing is, unfortunately, that I’m not quite ready to eat insects myself. There are reasons for this that stem from a troubled childhood, and we really don’t need to get into all of that now. However, there’s no question in my mind but that it would be a good thing if everyone else switched to the insect diet, and so here are some recommendations for beginning on that path.

You must not, of-course, simply squash the nearest bug and put it in your mouth. This is because you really don’t know what the hell you’re doing. You might eat an insect that is needed for other purposes, or one that has a wife and kids at home, or one that once ingested will make you see strange shimmering colors and sing John Denver songs.

You need to be guided towards eating insects that have been properly selected, carefully raised, and humanely slaughtered. (Slaughtering insects humanely, I need hardly tell you, requires the proper instruments and superb eyesight.) Fortunately the answers are right here, and you can obtain all the environmentally-correct animal protein you need quickly and reliably via Amazon.com.

Cricket flourYou can do no better than to begin with cricket flour. “Cricket contains twice as much protein as beef, as much calcium as milk, as much Vitamin B12 as salmon, and 17 amino acids, including Lysine.” You can begin by sprinkling your cricket flour on other less environmentally-correct foods, and then progress steadily towards removing those foods until you’re eating nothing but pure cricket. At the time of writing, it is priced at $12.97 for, well, just under a quarter of a pound, and … what a bargain, when you consider that it takes approximately 1,100 crickets to make up this little bag of “flour”! Can you imagine the labor involved in capturing and humanely slaughtering all of these little buggers beautiful creatures?

And no one said that saving the Earth would be cheap.

One thing, however: just a piece of advice to the manufacturers. If I personally were marketing cricket flour, I would probably tend towards a more generic kind of packaging. That is, I would put it in a bag that doesn’t feature a big picture of a bug with many legs and antennae and so on. Maybe I’m crazy.

Fried achetaOn the other hand, if you prefer to know exactly what you’re eating and glory in it, then what you’ll be wanting are the Crispy Fried Achetas with Salt. Here you can revel in the gorgeous legs, the delicate antennae, and that unmistakable and satisfying crunch as it all goes down. Achetas are basically crickets from Thailand, and click the following link to enjoy a wonderful YouTube video of one in its natural environment. Gets your mouth watering, I bet.

Order through the helpful links here, and this site will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. So, while you’re saving the Earth, you’ll be saving THE CINCH REVIEW too, and the reward for that in heaven will be boundless.

Guaranteed.

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Extreme weather has been blown out of proportion (says IPCC)

The Cinch Review

A report from—of all sources—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is throwing cold water on the idea that climate change, whether man-made or natural, is responsible for any net increase in damaging global extreme weather events. From this report by Andrew Orlowski (and the full IPCC report is at this link):

“There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change,” writes the IPCC in its new Special Report on Extremes (SREX) published today.

“The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados,” the authors conclude, adding for good measure that “absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses”.

Is that perfectly clear? Well, if you read those lines three or four times I think you’ll perceive that what it is saying is that there’s nothing to say regarding any increase in damage from extreme weather due to “climate change.”

So what about all the weird weather everywhere, and all the weather-related disasters of the past decade or so? Continue reading “Extreme weather has been blown out of proportion (says IPCC)”

Wind Farms Cause Climate Change

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From the BBC:

Wind farms, especially big ones, generate turbulence that can significantly alter air temperatures near the ground, say researchers.

As turbines often stand on agricultural land, these changes could in turn affect crop productivity.

[…]

But Jonathan Scurlock, chief adviser on climate change and renewable energy at the National Farmers Union, said that using wind energy was “one of many measures, which can be [used] to mitigate climate change”. “The major threats to agriculture in terms of changing the air temperature come directly from the fossil fuel industry and deforestation, increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere,” he added.

[…]

But Dr Roy noted that even though wind farms were unlikely to have an effect on global climate change, “the impacts on local climate can be large”.

He also said that the study was not about comparing wind power to any other technology, but about considering and addressing possible side effects of this green energy.

“Wind energy is likely to be a part of the solution of the global warming problem,” he said.

“Often, in a rush to implement new technologies, we ignore possible side‐effects that may show up in the future.


What’s in question is local climate change. In the end, of-course, all climate is local. It doesn’t much matter to you if you’re told the world has gotten two degrees warmer when your house is buried in snow and your pipes are freezing. In any case, the law of unintended consequences continues to rule, while the global warming advocates with their grand schemes to remake the world continue to stumble ahead regardless.

Addendum: And of-course, as has become increasingly well-known, wind turbines are also unbearably loud for people living nearby.

No Pressure

The Cinch Review

Via Iowahawk, via Tim Blair, the video below was seriously made to promote the idea of British citizens reducing their carbon emissions as part of a so-called “10:10” campaign.

Men, women and children: step right up to be blown to graphic and bloody smithereens if you dare be skeptical of the global warming narrative as dictated by your betters. Reduce your carbon or die.

As Iowahawk correctly emphasizes, when you think of the time and effort and resources that went into making this quite elaborate clip, and all the people along the way who must have thought it was a good idea … it oughta be frightening.

It could be funny only as a parody of the perverse insanity of global warming extremists. But since it’s not intended as a parody, but rather as propaganda boosting that point of view, it is utterly bone chilling; like fascism with a wry smile.