‘ClimateGate’ and the EP: Wagon hitched to the wrong horse?

A scandal in global warming research is unfolding that isn’t going away. Internal correspondence from the Climate Reseach Unit (CRU), the research center and ground zero for global warming advocacy, was released that reveals that the top global warming scientists hid data that proves the earth has been cooling for the last ten years, conspired against colleagues that were global warming skeptics, and cooked the numbers to keep the lucrative grants coming. It is taking time to digest all the facts but you can read some preliminary conclusions here: London Telegraph, Pajamas TV, Fox News, Washington Times, (Google “climategate” for more).

Global warming was of course the centerpiece of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s pastoral message to America during his trip to the United States a few weeks back. The Green Patriarch embraced the Progressive environmentalist agenda, so much so that he lent the full weight of his office to urge the passage of political legislation such as the Copenhagen Protocols that global warming advocates argued was needed to stop imminent environmental catastrophe.

We warned the EP’s handlers that the Mississippi River Symposium and the Washington, DC public relations offensive last month was a dangerous road to take. We objected that a leader of the EP’s stature was lending his moral authority to legislation built on questionable (now shoddy and corrupt) science. We rejected the political correctness that shaped many of his public statements, especially the elevation of secular moralism and apocalyptic alarmism, while ignoring the critical issues like the continuing devaluation of human life seeping into western civilization. We pointed out that two other prominent religious leaders of the West, Pope Benedict and Patriarch Kirill, have no trouble making these important moral distinctions.

Progressive environmentalism will suffer a grave blow when the corruption revealed by the release of CRU documents is fully comprehended. The Ecumenical Patriarch hitched his wagon to the environmentalist agenda and garnered heaps of praise by secular elites for his, well, “progressive” leadership.

It will prove to be a debilitating blunder. Sanctifying cultural fads and political ideologies carries a penalty. The moral stature of the Ecumenical Patriarch will diminish as the corruption of the CRU is further revealed. The basking in accolades from civic authorities and cultural gatekeepers will be seen as the abrogation of moral authority that it is. Opportunities for substantive leadership have been squandered, and the Church and the culture are the poorer for it.


  1. George Michalopulos says

    This has the potential to be as huge as the UN’s food-for-oil scandal.

    At the risk of making a political point, it appears that the US Senate in 1998 (majority Democrat) and George W Bush (GOP) in 2001 were 100% justified in not adhering to the Kyoto Protocols. During that time, the economy of the US grew by $6 trillion dollars while that of Japan and the EU remained static at best. Just think of all the obloquy heaped upon Bush for 8 years for not signing Kyoto? Now who looks foolish?

    Now of course we’re hell-bent on going 100% in the opposite direction. It’s our turn to have a “lost generation.” And for us Orthodox, the sad thing is that we’ll be exposed as charlatans because “the First Throne of Orthodoxy” made Gaia-worship a cardinal tenet of our faith.

    I know I’ve been hard on the Phanar, and I realize that many of its proponents have played the victim card, a la “do you know how many assassination attempts the EP has had to endure?” etc. And it’s true. The purpose of course was to shut up his ever-growing legion of critics. Yet let us examine this: suppose that (God forbid) a tragedy occurs. For what? Because the mean temperature of the earth may have been elevated by 1 degree Fahrenheit? (Which we now know is a lie.) I wish nothing untoward to happen to His Holiness, but if something bad occurs –to any of us for that matter–wouldn’t it be better it be because of our steadfastness to the Gospel rather than to Al Gore?

    Lest we forget, Gore is a world-class hypocrite who has the carbon footprint the size of Godzilla and who is a multimillion many-times-over because he’s created an artificial market in selling carbon credits. This is nothing but a scam, no different than the RC church selling indulgences during the Renaissance. How big of a fool is Gore? He recently went on Jay Leno and stated that the core temperature of the earth was “several million degrees.” In reality, it’s about 5,000 degrees. Not only is that man a liar and a hypocrite, but a fool. (Just compare the scrutiny that Sarah Palin is subjected to in comparison to Gore. Not even close.)

  2. The folks over at RealClimate are heavy into damage control 😳 :


    See “The CRU hack” post of 11/20/2009 and “The CRU hack: Context” post of 11/23/2009. Combined comments… over 1,400. 😯 Wow!

    (And, thanks for the smilies! 🙂 )


  3. John Couretas says

    On the other side, check out Climate Depot, where you can buy your “hide the decline” T-shirt.

    Lauren Morello of ClimateWire has an update in the New York Times. Read Stolen E-Mails Sharpen a Brawl Between Climate Scientists and Skeptics.

    The Cato Institute’s Michaels says he believes the true impact of the data breach won’t be felt until next year, since it’s unlikely that nations will assent to a new binding agreement next month at U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen.

    “Whatever happens, this is going to go on — there are just too many of them,” Michael said, referring to the CRU files. “It’s like whack-a-mole. And the whack-a-mole nature of it means it’s going to be prolonged. We’re now seeing people get into the computer code, and that’s going to have a life of its own.”

    Listen to Laura Ingraham’s interview with climatologist Patrick J. Michaels.

  4. I just saw – get this – carbon offsets available for purchase for your cell phone!

    I don’t know about yours, but my cell phone emits ZERO carbon dioxide. This is rich.

    I asked the girl at Best Buy if they sold very many ‘carbon offsets’ for cell phones, and she said ‘yes,’ and was ‘pretty sure’ it goes somewhere useful. Then she asked my wife and I if we were scientists.

    I responded, “No, but I can read.”

    I did not try very hard to mask my incredulity, and despite her insistence that Best Buy, surely, would make sure it goes to…somewhere….that will help…well?

    Man, if only I would have thought of this myself, I could retire after one Christmas season.

    This really is the scam of the century, and the scientific community is to blame for permitting the politicization of junk science, and the proliferation of such manure all the way down to the classroom.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Science these days equals grant money–the whole system is corrupt and those who challenge it are penalized.

      Hey, souund familiar?

  5. The only way for the CRU, et.al. to make this go away is to make the climate change debate (and the statistics and formulas) more transparent. If this is the result of the e-mail and document disclosure, well then… all the better. If the CRU continues with the bunker mentality then those on the other side will be justified in their incredulity, and they should throw these pejorative items up at every opportunity.

    How long before we pressure our elected representatives for an open Congressional hearing?

  6. John Couretas says

    “We can no longer afford to be passive observers in this crucial debate,” Patriarch Bartholomew says, “If we are to save our planet sacrifices must be made by all.”


    From “The climate e-mails and the politics of science” by Ivan Kenneally in The New Atlantis:

    For years, the left has spun the debate over global warming in the starkest Manichean terms. Those who disagree with the scientific and policy orthodoxy have been maligned as greedy capitalists bent on raping the earth of its natural resources for cheap material gain; they have been cast as the benighted enemies of reason itself. Efforts to publicly challenge the science behind global warming have too often resulted in professional and political character assassination. To be skeptical about the fashionable scientific and policy platform aggressively advocated by the mainstream media and self-indulgently championed by the Hollywood elite is nothing less than an “assault on reason,” to borrow Al Gore’s hyperbolic rhetoric. In predictably technocratic fashion, the left has claimed its own peculiar position as the only scientifically legitimate one—everything else reduces to craven interest, manifest dishonesty, or antiquarian faith.

    [ … ]

    Hillary Clinton famously remarked that during the Bush years it was “open season on open inquiry,” rehashing the familiar charge that a faith-based obscurantism dogmatically dismissed not only the claims of legitimate science, but also the very claims of reason itself. President Obama has stayed true to the liberal posture that whatever policy he happens to advocate is the only one substantiated by empirical science. However, it has become increasingly clear that the president’s claim to rigorously adhere to a science of politics—a science that provides unprejudiced information upon which he can craft sound policy—has been overtaken by a politics of science—the crass and Procrustean transformation of whatever data is available into further confirmation of his own ideological commitments. Australian writer Andrew Bolt has suggested that the CRU e-mail leak is a “scandal that is one of the greatest in modern science.” But the greater scandal may be that the United States and the rest of the world are considering enacting energy-restrictive and economy-damaging climate policies based on ideological distortions of scientific fact.

  7. John Couretas says
    • Imagine being a GOA staffer, internet worker, press officer, speech writer etc. You have spent countless hours promoting the Green Patriarch only to realize that the vision of the Green Patriarch is a lie and a sham created for political purposes.

      I would be pretty depressed if I just gave you months working on countless Green Patriarch items and its all for nothing.

      Illusions are going to die hard at the GOA as well.

      • That’s the risk of shifting your focus from eternal verities to momentary policy concerns. While I would agree with the EP about the need to change our approach to the world that God has entrusted to us, the diagnosis remains sin, and the Church’s traditional and deeply transformational solution remains sacramental asceticism permeated by the love of Christ. This is the only cure for humanity’s essential crisis and all of the various ongoing crises that emerge from it. In comparison to such a glorious solution, “climate change policy” still looks like a mess of pottage to me.

      • Fr. Johannes Jacobse says

        Andrew, I’ve been thinking about your comment ever since you made it. No doubt it is deflating to give such effort and talent to what amounts to support of a fraud, but this is only part of it. More important, what explains an entire Church being pushed to embrace global warming?

        I get that not everyone is a news junkie, and for many the culture debates are either a background din or high screech. But think about what we witnessed: all of the internal machinery of the GOA was geared toward making global warming a moral crusade. Call it the Al Gorization of Orthodoxy. They even had web games for kids! The entire effort was so outlandish we have to ask if there was any clear thinker in the bunch.

        Just think about this. 😯 If such time, effort, and money went into sanctifying a corrupt agenda, what does that say about their discernment, caution, preparation, intellectual rigor, informed decision making and such? Not much. We witnessed the full weight of Orthodox moral authority sanctifying a political program with no apparent regard for the veracity of the science, saw concerns about the partisanship between politicos and the religious waved off, and did not even see any pragmatic calculation that the entire project could blow up in their face.

        Well, blow up it did, and just two weeks after the extravaganza was completed. Now, as it sinks in how egregious the crimes (yes, crimes) committed by these fraudulent scientists really are, how can the Orthodox leaders who used their moral authority to sanctify this fraud be trusted with other things?

        There is not good way out of this. If they say they were duped, well, so much for credibility and leadership. If they say they knew, then they join the ranks of the fraudulent. I wonder if they understand the box they are in.

        Global Warmists Caught Red-Handed

        • Father, I think we could probably fill a book with the numerous moral and social contradictions in the GOA. These contradictions loom lage in many parishes and Church offices. It is embedded in the culture of Greek Orthodoxy in America.

          There is no question though that the whole Green Patriarch debacle is the result of the dumbing down of Greek Orthodoxy in America.

          I believe Fr. Richard John Neuhaus of blessed memory said it best “When Orthodoxy is optional, sooner or later it will be proscribed”

    • Ed Begley’s non-responsive rant is a textbook case of the radical leftist environmentalists approach in “debating” any subject they consider sacrosanct. They never bother to actually discuss the specific issues, the evidence, or the facts. They dismiss any of the objective contradictory information and fall back on a “mantra” or “talking point” that completely ignores the issue at hand. The other tried and true leftist tactic Ed employs is disregard the question and the objective facts and attack the messenger at all costs. Never admit to any of the information presented, and continue to point your finger in the questioner’s face and intimidate them into silence.

      • John Couretas says

        Poor Ed Begley. The Telegraph’s James Delingpole has posted a clip from the Not Evil Just Wrong documentary showing Ed shedding fake actor tears at an event. (Apparently, Ed’s crocodile tears weren’t the only thing faked by global warming hysterics.) Begley’s talk followed, by the way, one given by the recently departed green jobs “Tsar” Van Jones. Delingpole:

        What the CRU’s hacked emails convincingly demonstrate is that climate scientists in the AGW camp have corrupted the peer-review process. In true Gramscian style they marched on the institutions – capturing the magazines (Science, Scientific American, Nature, etc), the seats of learning (Climate Research Institute; Hadley Centre), the NGO’s (Greenpeace, WWF, etc), the political bases (especially the EU), the newspapers (pretty much the whole of the MSM I’m ashamed, as a print journalist, to say) – and made sure that the only point of view deemed academically and intellectually acceptable was their one.

        Neutral observers in this war sometimes ask how it can be that the vast majority of the world’s scientists seem to be in favour of AGW theory. “Peer-review” is why. Only a handful of scientists – 53 to be precise, not the much-touted 2,500 – were actually responsible for the doom-laden global-warming sections of the IPCC’s reports. They were all part of this cosy, self-selecting, peer-review cabal – and many of them, of course, are implicated in the Climategate emails.

        Now peer-review is dead, so should be the IPCC, and Al Gore’s future as a carbon-trading billionaire. Will it happen? I shouldn’t hold your breath.

        Also on the Telegraph, Gerald Warner explores the “ethos of the climate alarmist industry”:

        At this most sensitive moment the whole climate scare is threatening to unravel with literally immeasurable consequences. The seriousness with which the Americans are treating this has highlighted just how pivotal the CRU at East Anglia is to the global warming hype. As American newsmen are pointing out, East Anglia claims the world’s largest temperature data set and its findings and mathematical models were incorporated into the IPCC’s 2007 report, which the US Environmental Protection Agency admits it “relies on most heavily” in deciding that carbon dioxide emissions must be curbed.

  8. The deafening silence of the MSM is curious – especially since one of the worst businesses today is publishing. Yet the major papers think that by ignoring this story it will go away. With more people getting their news via alternative sources, the first casualty of that foolish decision will be the ONE thing the media relies on to sell its product: credibility. (Oh well, sell that too while you’re at it.) Eventually – as with so many other stories – they’ll be forced to cover it (and then explain it away so they can justify ignoring it). Ah, the blindness of the passions, wrapped up in a self-serving ideology.
    At least we have a nifty music video.

  9. Well, that didn’t work. Try this link.

  10. George Michalopulos says

    Chrys, I think “Hide the Decline” is going to be THE emblematic icon of this whole fiasco.

  11. Whom to trust?

    When it comes to science we must rely on others. There is no way to check everything yourself and repeat all that has been done up until now. You may be sure that no scientist can do every current experiment, or even follow every current argument! For most of us many (most) of the “scientific facts or truths” are a matter of faith. More than this, we are not even conscious of the fact that one is taking another’s word!

    Much too often we fall into a trap: we want so badly to be regarded as intelligent people. We get lost looking at the close to infinity new concepts, definitions, new theories and hypotheses. In doing so we miss the big picture.

    Any science book features the billions and millions of years it took for the planets to form, for life evolve and so on. We do not want to believe that God did everything because, well, we are rational people. Instead we replaced God with some ‘gods’. These gods have names like: time, gravity, strong force, nature, you name it. Because these gods are lower case g gods, they ofthen fail. Only God can conciliate all the current scientific theories! The god gravity who is resposible for the formation of the galaxies, stars and the planets in our solar system failed. Calculations show that around 90% of the matter in the universe is invisibile. This is the so called dark matter/energy and we needed to invent the concept because otherwise the gravity god does not explain properly how the universe works. Now we can happily go hunting the invisible dark matter.

    A Cristian has a clear understanding: God Almighty made the Heavens and Earth, all that is seen and unseen (invisible). The Holy Spirit is giver of life, the “Spirit of Truth, Who art in all places and fillest all things” and Christ is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”. We have thousands and millions who laid down their lives and suffered to proclaim this Truth.

    Any science book and science news presents all sorts of calamities to come:
    global warming, magnetic field reversal, the fate of the universe, asteroids heading our way, deadly invisible comets, etc. These calamities are to occur sooner or in thousands of years. Are these threats meant to distract us from the real, huge calamity that is unfolding under our very eyes: the millions of lost souls due to confusion (due to misleading perhaps), which has led us dangerously close to a spiritual death of mankind?

  12. John Couretas says
  13. Paragraph two (above) should read:

    “Yes, our planet is continually exploited by the rich; to the terrible cost of the poor, impoverished, the enslaved and starving.”

    Sorry for the typo!

  14. cynthia curran says

    Well, what about the poor polluting too. In the US, certain regions, the poor have more children than the rich, and contributed more to water pollution since more people leads to more waste products. Hispanic immirgation to California for the past 30 years is a case of point of that state growing perhaps 10 million more than it would without that kind of immirgation. And many of those that support poor people are in favor of them immigating to the US where they would polluate more.

    • Cynthia, let’s not confuse a regional issue with a global one. Your remarks about California may be legitimate, but you are addressing a separate issue; one that that involves the US/Mexico border, etc. (If these Mexicans were not in California, they would be living some place else on planet Earth.)

      The debate the original news item sparks off is whether global warming is politically or scientifically driven, and where the Church stands on the issue. At the risk of over-simplification, it comes down to which is more important: sanctity of human life or the environment.

      Obviously, we need an environment to sustain human life, but the far greater challenge is the self-destruction and brutal suffering, in a myriad of forms, that human inflicts upon fellow human. The Judeo-Christian tradition has a word for it: ‘sin‘. The planet may well be destroyed by the global consequences of sin within the human condition long before our mis-use of natural resources and pollution pays its ultimate toll. But addressing sin is not a popular item on the global political agenda.

      Thank God that Jesus Christ God’s son came in human flesh to save the whole world. Our task is to be bearers of Divine revelation, in order that spiritual sight may be restored to the blind, by which we might come to God’s Kingdom in repentance and faith, and prepare for His return in glory, that “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) that the Liturgy/Eucharist continually anticipates.

  15. John Couretas says

    Writing in yesterday’s Financial Times, MIT researcher Michael Schrage offers this:

    Dubbed “climate-gate” by global warming sceptics, the most outrageous East Anglia email excerpts appear to suggest respected scientists misleadingly manipulated data and suppressed legitimate argument in peer-reviewed journals.

    These claims are forcefully denied, but the correspondents do little to enhance confidence in either the integrity or the professionalism of the university’s climatologists. What is more, there are no denials around the researchers’ repeated efforts to avoid meaningful compliance with several requests under the UK Freedom of Information Act to gain access to their working methods. Indeed, researchers were asked to delete and destroy emails. Secrecy, not privacy, is at the rotten heart of this bad behavior by ostensibly good scientists.

    Why should research funding institutions and taxpayers fund scientists who deliberately delay, obfuscate and deny open access to their research? Why should scientific journals publish peer-reviewed research where the submitting scientists have not made every reasonable effort to make their work – from raw data to sophisticated computer simulations – as transparent and accessible as possible? Why should responsible policymakers in America, Europe, Asia and Latin America make decisions affecting people’s health, wealth and future based on opaque and inaccessible science?

    They should not. The issue here is not about good or bad science, it is about insisting that scientists and their work be open and transparent enough so that research can be effectively reviewed by broader communities of interest. Open science minimises the likelihood and consequences of bad science.

  16. First question that comes to my mind is: what is the scale of the phenomena?
    Is this an isolated case or similar stories are being played out in medicine, energy related research (mentioned here the cold fusion), earth sciences, astronomy? Politically motivated and industry-funded research is questionable since those who are paying want certain selected results.

    Second question is: how long has this been going on? What about the beginning of the so called scientific revolution? My guess is that back then some research areas were ideologically driven.

    And the last question is why was the Patriarch so long and deeply involved with this?
    Reading the life of the Saint of the day, Monkmartyr and Confessor Stephen the New of Mt St Auxentius (http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp) I found out that Constantine, the Archbishop of Constantinople was a zealous iconoclast.

    It was again Constantinople who imposed the new calendar which almost lead to a schism in the Orthodox Church. The schism was avoided by a compromise: keeping the date of the Eater as previously established, the first full moon after the spring equinox.
    People started to be suspicious toward Constantinople but it does not bother them. Widespread ignorance makes room for any affirmation.

  17. cynthia curran says

    I think your right I’m talking abut the issue too narrow. And I not against Mexicans and Central Americans having a better ecnomonic situation.

    • Cynthia, your reply is very gracious, God bless you …and California! 🙂 I used to live in Eureka, Ca., it still has not dropped into the sea; but we did have earthquakes – and it doesn’t survive in the movie 2012. But then…. what does? (Please forgive my light-hearted comment!) John in London

  18. cynthia curran says

    about making the issue too narrow. my editing

  19. George Michalopulos says

    I don’t want to get into the immigration battle right now, but I do think it is incumbent on a sovereign nation to restrict its borders, otherwise, it’s not a sovereign nation. The degree, the extent, or the quality of its laws in this regard are up to the nation in question.

    IMHO, I don’t view immigration as an ecological crisis as the impact of man is minimal. Sure, people can trash their micro-environment (think about the aesthetic differences between a trailer park and a subdivision), and a mass migration of refugees can overwhelm local resources or cause desertification, but the ability of the earth to rebound after such an assault is remarkable. Look at Prudhoe Bay after the Exxon Valdez. Basically, if we mind our manners, the earth can take care of itself. Otherwise, there would not have been this mad rush to falsify data to show the reality of Anthropenic Global Warming (AGW). If it was truly man-made, then the figures would have spoken for themselves. They didn’t, hence “Climaquiddick/Climategate.”

    (BTW, in the 10 days since this story broke, the word “Climategate” has seen 9 million internet hits.

  20. Does Anyone know if the EP is actualy going to “Hopenhagen” to push the climate agreements? I know he supports it but is he going to warm up the old private jet and make a visit?

  21. George Michalopulos says

    Andrew, might as well. In for a penny, in for a pound.

  22. Warm up the Jet! It Looks like “Hopenhagen” is on the EP’ schedule.

    Old Rowan Williams will be hanging out with the EP for some feel good dialogue and common prayer. It will be the ecumenical/green equivalent of dueling banjos.


  23. George Michalopulos says

    Poor Rowan Williams, it was unpleasant seeing the Pope castrate him in such a public fashion. Maybe he can work whatever magic Anglicanism has left on the EP.

  24. John Couretas says

    Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? Remarks from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s Mississippi Symposium. (The Copenhagen conference opens Monday):

    Welcome message from former US Vice-President Al Gore

    Your all Holiness,

    I would like to welcome you to the United States and, in particular to the South. My own home is in Nashville, not far from New Orleans.

    From the days when I first addressed you as the Green Patriarch, our paths have crossed many times but we have both kept our course, struggling for a better future for our planet with the hope that our efforts will not fail.

    Never has it been more imperative to act than now.

    Never before have the dangers been so great, nor the opportunities so vast.

    And still, we know, although much has been achieved, the bulk of the work still lies ahead of us.

    Often we think how long will we have to fight? Why are the people in charge not responding with the urgency required?

    It turns out that raising ourselves above the personal interest is much harder than we thought.

    Your All Holiness, your perseverance in this struggle is demonstrated yet again by this waterborne Symposium.

    As Martin Luther King said, “Let’s not become silent about things that matter.”

    Al Gore

    Closing Remarks — His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

    We have come toward the end of our journey on the Great Mississippi. It was a journey that started in Memphis and concluded in New Orleans. A journey that learned from the Native American and from the African Americans. A journey that revealed the promise of the river and also uncovered the betrayal by humans. A journey that described the rich and diverse history of the region, as well as the hospitality and resilience of its people. A journey that started with “soul” and ended with “blues”. A journey with images of beauty and disaster, but also renewal and hope.

    We will return to our homes with clearer insight into the damage we have brought to God’s creation – ecological and social. We will come away with a sober reminder about how the deliberate actions of our greed, or the delayed actions of our indifference, destroy natural habitats and human lives. We will carry with us a sense of urgent responsibility for the situation here, as well as globally.

    We know now that we can never forget this city! We recognize that we must remember it in our prayers, as in our generosity, as in our pressure on politicians, as in our local or broader efforts for the preservation of this planet – from whatever position each of us holds: as a religious leader and as a scientist, as an elder and as a theologian, as a government official and as an NGO, as a local resident and as a global citizen.

    We are profoundly indebted to the extraordinary representatives of renowned scientific organisations and academic institutions, as well as to the leaders of religious groups and secular agencies, for their generous presence and contribution to the success of this, the 8th of our international interfaith, interdisciplinary Ecological Symposia, organised by Religion, Science and the Environment under the exceptional direction and skilful management of Mrs. Maria Becket.

    May God bless all of you as you return to your homes and positions. Let us not forget our responsibility toward this city as a microcosm of God’s creation, that is crying out for our gentle care and gracious renewal. Let us no longer be silent as we approach the meeting in Copenhagen. Let us persist and protest about what really matters – namely, the salvation of the soul of this planet.

  25. More EP Shenanigans! Check this out

    350 is an Act of Repentance

    The EP is still hawking man made global warming. Nobody sent him the climategate memo.

  26. Amazing Article!

    Galileo and the Dangers of Faith Based Science

    Now consider this, Could it be that the Green Patriarch is the modern day equivalent of the Pope at the trial of Galileo???

    The comparison is compelling on some levels.

    • The article cited appears to be based on a number of popularly-held myths. You might want to check out “Galileo Goes to Jail – And Other Myths about Science and Religion,” a book that was

      “rigorously researched and well footnoted, and written by 25 of the leading historians in the English-speaking world.”

      To quote a couple of relevant excerpts from The Weekly Standard review (Oct. 19, 2009):

      “. . . readers discover that Galileo never really was imprisoned (nor was he tortured). . . “


      While Christianity wasn’t the only factor that gave rise to modern science, it was certainly no hindrance. As one scholar put it, “The Roman Catholic Church gave more financial and social support to the study of astronomy for over six centuries, from the recovery of ancient learning during the late Middle Ages into the Enlightenment, than any other, and probably all other, institutions.”

      More to the point, George Michalopulos (the very same who often comments on these pages) wrote a terrific review of the new book by David B. Hart which demolishes this fiction. (If you wish to read it, it is on a sister-site: OrthodoxyToday.

      As for Galileo, Hart plumbs the historical record and proves that he was a prickly character who needlessly and with malice often provoked his many academic enemies. More to the point, his own astrophysical theories were not in themselves correct as his inquest pointed out. Indeed, the Church had no problems with his theories as they were essentially the same as Copernicus’, who some eighty years earlier, had received the imprimatur of the Church. And almost always left out of the modern secularist critique of the Church was the fact that he was a devout Christian, indeed more so than his great friend, Pope Urban VIII, who lavished upon him great accolades, pensions, and awards (thus further inflaming Galileo’s many enemies). More damningly, Galileo himself was not intellectually honest. He castigated competing astronomers such as Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, more out of spite than conviction. Indeed, it is Kepler’s system of celestial mechanics which we use today.

      While I am not surprised by the growing Climategate scandal (way, way too much money and power on the line), it is dishonest for the author of the linked article to take a (heavy handed) swipe at “faith-based science,” especially since – as the books described above both note – it was (at least in part) the faith of the Church in the the reason and care of God that provided the foundation needed to study the cosmos (literally “well-ordered” creation – the very opposite of chaos). Unfortunately, anti-Catholic myths have been a useful and socially-acceptable staple since the Reformation. Not that there aren’t genuine points of disagreement, but honesty is always essential.

      Unfortunately, a Chesterton noted, those who stop believing in God don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything. Most of the time, this disbelief seems to have a strong moral motivation behind it: God gets in the way of what one wants to do, so it’s easier to deny God than one’s self. A truly “faith-based” approach would (or should) have a deep respect for fact; by contrast, once one has rendered “truth” and “fact” as merely relative, one can feel free to “use” facts in the service of one’s agenda. (This appears to be a key assumption behind the agenda-driven journalism that has dominated our J-schools for at least 25 years and may be the element most responsible for the fragile credibility of the MSM.) So, perhaps it is not surprising that a handful of scientists with the chance to grab an awful lot of prestige and influence decided that Climate policy was their ticket.

  27. Eliot Ryan says

    Global-warming fraud harms science
    Fellow academics shocked by Climategate


    Physicist David Wright “…never did I see groups of people plotting to hijack the peer review process in order to shut out those who disagreed with them, or discussing how to hide data that did not look good for their side of the debate.”
    Few academics outside those directly snared in the e-mail exchanges are defending or downplaying what happened. Asking a scientist to “delete any e-mails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re [the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report]” is really asking someone to destroy evidence. The “trick of adding in the real temps to each series … to hide the decline [in temperature]” means just that: hiding data that disproves one’s position. Even most scientists can understand that is wrong.

  28. John Couretas says

    Jay Richards on AEI’s Enterprise blog:

    For years, I’ve warned fellow Christians not to confuse environmental stewardship with climate change alarmism. My experience is that many Christian environmentalists simply accept the conventional wisdom when it comes to the science, rather than studying it carefully. They place a lot of weight on the credibility of mainstream views. So I’m hoping that Climategate will cause many of them to rethink their uncritical embrace of what they learn from the cover of Newsweek.

    Of course, I’m not holding my breath waiting for mea culpas from, say, the Evangelical Environmental Network and National Religious Partnership for the Environment. But there are some hopeful signs among individual Christians who think about these issues. For instance, on November 20, “Blackadder,” at the (generally conservative) American Catholic wrote a post, “Are the GOP and/or Conservatives Anti-Science?” Among his examples: conservative skepticism about “evolution,” vaccines, and—you guessed it—global warming:

    I do find it startling that so many conservatives still reject the idea that human activity is a major cause of global warming. Not only that, but in discussions about the subject people often will use arguments or bring up points calling into question the validity of scientific knowledge in general, or in areas completely separated from the subject (one person recently told me during a discussion about global warming that there wasn’t any evidence in favor of heliocentrism).

    So in one short paragraph, Blackadder links skepticism about AGW (anthropogenic global warming) with heliocentrism, while using the bugaboo “anti-science,” which is an adjective often used by proponents of conventional wisdom to dismiss anyone who doubts said wisdom. Blackadder isn’t taking seriously the skeptical critiques of climate change orthodoxy, or even following the climate debate carefully. He’s just following conventional wisdom.

    Notice that the post appeared on November 20, the same day the news broke of the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. Then, on November 29, Blackadder posted “Conservatives and Science: A Partial Retraction.” Here’s what he says:

    Last Friday I wrote a post, Are the GOP and/or Conservatives Anti-Science, in which I described what I felt was a growing anti-scientific sentiment among certain segments of the conservative movement and the Republican party. One of my examples was continued conservative denial of the reality of anthropogenic global warming. In a case of what you might describe as Really Bad Timing, my post happened to coincide with the release of a lot of climate science’s dirty laundry.

    I’ve now taken a little time to digest the materials from CRU, and I have to say some of the stuff their strikes me as being pretty damaging. If I had to bet, I’d still say that human activity was a major cause of recent warming, and I still maintain that some of the arguments advanced by conservatives on this subject display a mix of scientific ignorance and/or anti-scientific bias (in fact, in some cases conservatives I’ve argued with have admitted as much). Nevertheless, based on the CRU material, I have to say that it was wrong to lump all climate skeptics into the “anti-science” camp.

    Mea culpa.

    Blackadder and others at American Catholic still need to study the substance of the issue, since they’re still appealing to the fake “consensus” on climate change; but this is progress. I’m hoping millions of religious Americans are also considering retractions, if only in the way they think about this issue.

  29. George Michalopulos says

    John, there’s a lot of crow to be eaten. We need to ask the GOA if humble pie is lenten.

  30. cynthia curran says

    What does global warming have to do with whether the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years? Even, how old the Earth is not certain since scientist or historians can’t be certain of anything prior to written langangue about 5,000 years ago among the Egyptians or Summerians. Granted, I doubt that Dinosaurs and man existence at the same time but the bible early history is very similar to early human history information given also by the Summerians, Akkiadians and Babylonians. The Bible is a lot less cruder than those tales.

  31. John Couretas says

    George F. Will in the Dec. 6 Washington Post:

    With 20,000 delegates, advocates and journalists jetting to Copenhagen for planet Earth’s last chance, the carbon footprint of the global warming summit will be the only impressive consequence of the climate-change meeting. Its organizers had hoped that it would produce binding caps on emissions, global taxation to redistribute trillions of dollars, and micromanagement of everyone’s choices.

    China, nimble at the politics of pretending that is characteristic of climate-change theater, promises only to reduce its “carbon intensity” — carbon emissions per unit of production. So China’s emissions will rise.

    Barack Obama, understanding the histrionics required in climate-change debates, promises that U.S. emissions in 2050 will be 83 percent below 2005 levels. If so, 2050 emissions will equal those in 1910, when there were 92 million Americans. But there will be 420 million Americans in 2050, so Obama’s promise means that per capita emissions then will be about what they were in 1875. That. Will. Not. Happen.

    Disclosure of e-mails and documents from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in Britain — a collaborator with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — reveals some scientists’ willingness to suppress or massage data and rig the peer-review process and the publication of scholarly work. The CRU materials also reveal paranoia on the part of scientists who believe that in trying to engineer “consensus” and alarm about warming, they are a brave and embattled minority. Actually, never in peacetime history has the government-media-academic complex been in such sustained propagandistic lockstep about any subject.

    Read The climate-change travesty

  32. John Couretas says

    Times of London (HT: Instapundit):

    The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails.

    The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012.

  33. Fr. Johannes Jacobse says

    The global warming fraud is like watching a building collapse in slow motion.

  34. George Michalopulos says

    Perhaps this is why the EP is putting out a seperate warning now about the minorities thing in Turkey? To deflect attention from the recent “Apostolic Journey” fete-that-never-was?

  35. John Couretas says

    Gas up the Gulfstream. From the Telegraph (UK):

    Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges

    Copenhagen is preparing for the climate change summit that will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough.

    On a normal day, Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen’s biggest limousine company, says her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the “summit to save the world”, which opens here tomorrow, she will have 200.

    “We thought they were not going to have many cars, due to it being a climate convention,” she says. “But it seems that somebody last week looked at the weather report.”

    Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. “We haven’t got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand,” she says. “We’re having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden.”

    And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? “Five,” says Ms Jorgensen. “The government has some alternative fuel cars but the rest will be petrol or diesel. We don’t have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars. It makes no sense at all, but it’s very Danish.”

    The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports – or to Sweden – to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers.

    Read more here.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Does anyone here actually think that a little thing like fraud will stop the statists from putting decimating regulations into effect against western industrialized countries while letting India and China run free?

      After all, according the the EPA, the science is settled and CO2 is a clear and present danger to all of us. The Amish may take over the economy.

  36. cynthia curran says

    This is true that Secularists and Protestants and the Orthodox have a view of the Roman Catholic Church being anti-science. Granted, Byzantium held an advantagee during most of the middle ages and the Islam was at its height in the early to mid- middle ages. But Catholic philosophers and scientist built upon the early contributations by the other two civilizations during the latter middle ages, and after the fall of Constantinople, a lot of Byzantines fled to the west mainly to Italy and encouraged more laity education and the Catholic West and later Protestant West took advantage of this.

  37. That the global warming is largely a politically, rather than scientifically-driven agenda has arguably been known for a long time, and I am saddened whenever Church leaders somehow buy into what I personally consider to be largely a deceptive mechanism, by which the global governmental system can gain totalitarian power over peoples and countries. It seems evident that people in high places put out a lot of disinformation, in the hopes of making detractors to the agenda of the day look like politically incorrect fanatics and/or conspiracy theorists. Meanwhile, the mass of the populations follow by public opinion or by force, the dictates of the powerful. And of course, in the name of ecological conservationism, civil and religious liberty is under serious threat.

    Yes, our planet is continued explicated by the rich; to the terrible cost of the poor, impoverished, enslaved and starving. May religious leaders of all Christian traditions take the lead in reminding the world that human sin – its rebellion against God – is at the heart of global ecological problems we now face. (see Romans 8:19-23), and that it is not the planet, but humanity, made in the image of God, that needs to be at the pinnacle of our agenda in prayers and action.


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