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  #1  
Unread 27th October 2011, 08:51 PM
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Cardinal Pell: Climate Hysteria is Hubristic

Today, George Cardinal Pell delivered a lecture at the invitation of the Global Warming Policy Foundation titled “Eppur’ si muove, or ‘yet it moves:’ One Christian Perspective on Climate Change.” He insisted that a scientific consensus is a lazy basis for the making of policy, and that before states impose drastic environmental regulations, an analysis of their demonstrable costs and benefits must be undertaken.

Galileo is supposed to have muttered the lecture’s title after recanting his heliocentrism in the face of a “scientific consensus.” Cardinal Pell spent a large portion of his lecture demonstrating the historical existence of a Medieval warm period which in the last ten years the green movement has tried to explain away, since it’s rather inconvenient to find that pre-industrial man lived in a hotter climate when you want to assert that carbon emissions must be causing current global warming. “And yet, it was warm,” the Cardinal is saying.

Cardinal Pell began with the Tower of Babel, and quoted Leon Kass’s description of that project as “the all-too-human, prideful attempt at self-creation.” Before making any sort of climate policy, the Cardinal warned,
we should ask whether our attempts at global climate control are within human capacity, (that is, the projected human imperium); or on the other hand, are likely to be as misdirected and ineffective as the construction of the famous tower in the temple of Marduk, Babylon’s chief god.

Where is the borderline separating us from what is beyond human power? Where does scientific striving become uneconomic, immoral or ineffectual and so lapse into hubris?
Even more dangerous than ineffectual scientific striving is ineffectual unscientific striving, which what we have when policy is made based not on scientific finding, but on scientific consensus. Of this consensus, Cardinal Pell says it “is a category error, scientifically and philosophically. In fact it is also a cop-out, a way of avoiding the basic issues.” He goes on:
What is important and what needs to be examined by lay people as well as scientists is the evidence and argumentation which are adduced to back any consensus. The basic issue is not whether the science is settled but whether the evidence and explanations are adequate in that paradigm.

The complacent appeal to scientific consensus is simply one more appeal to authority, quite inappropriate in science or philosophy.

Thomas Aquinas pointed this out long ago explaining that “the argument from authority based on human reason” is the weakest form of argument, always liable to logical refutation. [Summa I, 1, 8 ad 2]
Then the Cardinal goes into his lengthy defense of the Medieval warm period, which you may read for yourself in the full text of his speech.
Continued- http://blog.acton.org/archives/26964-cardinal-pell-climate-hysteria-is-hubristic.html
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The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, it’s more than that. It’s a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.


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  #2  
Unread 27th October 2011, 09:01 PM
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He's from Australia, is he not?

The southern hemisphere is much less affected by climate change--far less land mass in the southern hemisphere, and far less per capita energy use by the residents of the third world who occupy the southern hemisphere.

It's why Antarctica is so much larger than the Arctic, why the polar ice caps are so much larger in the south.

From his vantage point, it might be possible to deny global warming for a few more years.
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Unread 28th October 2011, 01:02 AM
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Scientific consensus is a "lazy" basis for determining policy on scientific issues? lol, ok.

His argument seems to be that we should never use science in determining policy because science isn't static, and it turns out to be wrong sometimes.

That doesn't really make any sense.
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Unread 28th October 2011, 01:28 AM
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Cardinal Pell, it sounds like, should stick to religious subjects and not make pronouncements about climate change. He should take a lesson from Church history that her track record of going against scientific findings is not a very good one.

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"The heavens declare the glory of the Lord" (Psalms 19:2a)
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Unread 28th October 2011, 09:24 AM
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Let's not let scientific facts get in the way of policy-making eh?
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