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.