Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #184

The Week That Was: June 20, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

The Encyclical: Early in the week, an Italian newspaper leaked a version of the Pope Francis’ highly anticipated encyclical letter on the environment and climate change. After a flurry concerning the unauthorized release, a final document has been released, which is under review. [There is a bit of irony here because Galileo wrote his scientific works in “vulgar” Italian rather than “scientific” Latin.]

The Pope’s encyclical does not advance science. It offers no empirical evidence that 20th century warming resulted from human carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (and other greenhouse gas emissions). The primary, critical hypothesis needed to be tested is that CO2 emissions are causing dangerous global warming, now called climate change. The pope’s advisors do not advance empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis. The failure of the globe to warm is more than sufficient evidence that there are problems with the hypothesis. Local and regional climate change from land use changes are a secondary issues.

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The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science

By Matt Ridley – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com
(Note: due to the length of this essay, I am only including paragraph excerpts here. See the link at the end for the full essay. – Anthony)

Thanks largely to climate science, bad ideas can persist for decades, and surrounded by myrmidons of furious defenders they become intolerant dogmas. For much of my life I have been a science writer. That means I eavesdrop on what’s going on in laboratories so I can tell interesting stories. It’s analogous to the way art critics write about art, but with a difference: we “science critics” rarely criticise. If we think a scientific paper is dumb, we just ignore it. There’s too much good stuff coming out of science to waste time knocking the bad stuff.

Sure, we occasionally take a swipe at pseudoscience—homeopathy, astrology, claims that genetically modified food causes cancer, and so on. But the great thing about science is that it’s self-correcting. The good drives out the bad, because experiments get replicated and hypotheses put to the test. So a really bad idea cannot survive long in science. Or so I used to think. Now, thanks largely to climate science, I have changed my mind. It turns out bad ideas can persist in science for decades, and surrounded by myrmidons of furious defenders they can turn into intolerant dogmas.

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