God bless Pope Francis. But he is wrong about global warming, and even wronger about “special interests” trying to keep global warming going.
The Holy Father knows a lot more than I ever will about the Catholic faith, but he doesn’t know much about the physics of fluid flow on a rotating sphere, nor is he aware of the difference between scientific claims about reality and reality itself. About these subjects, I know much more than he.
NAIROBI, Kenya — Pope Francis has warned that it would be “catastrophic” for world leaders to let special interest groups get in the way of a global agreement to curb fossil fuel emissions on the eve of make-or-break climate change talks in Paris.
This is not only wrong, but backwards. The only “special interest groups” to fear are those aiming to make a buck out of global warming, and those seeking to gain political power to fight the unbeatable. Which is to say, “climate change”: it is impossible—not unlikely, impossible—to stop the climate from changing.
Regular readers know that my total lifetime compensation for all the work I have ever done in climatology is in the low four figures, mostly from speaking fees (I average about one compensated speech per year). This wealth is not unusual. All the skeptics I know are similarly rewarded, though it’s true that some make less (yes, less). And all of us take it in the neck when we deal with the public. I’ve lost track of the jobs and opportunities I’ve lost because I’m a “denier.”
Contrarily, the government hands out BILLIONS—that’s billions-with-a-B—to those who support the government’s goals. Environmental groups rake it in from the government and—drum roll—from oil companies, who are more than generous with their moola in that direction. True, some coal companies have spent a comparative pittance defending themselves against baseless and ridiculous charges. This defense is taken by the weak-minded as proof that these companies are covering up deep global-warming secrets, in much the same way the deluded take denials by the Air Force that they have UFOs on ice as proof the Air Force is lying.
Take the appalling, immoral Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who was behind the move by the twit Jagadish Shukla to have the government RICO prosecute those who dare to speak against prophecies of doom. This offensive creep Shukla pays himself and his wife half a million dollars a year with government money to do very little except write letters asking for his enemies be prosecuted. Nineteen other big name climate scientists signed the farcical letter demanding their critics be tossed in the hoosegow.
If that’s not a special interest, I don’t know what is. This is only one of hundreds of examples.
Now for the science. The Pope can be forgiven for not understanding American power politics, for not fathoming how slimy leaders would lie, lie, lie, and lie some more in an effort to have their way with the world. But he ought to understand reality has not conformed to the thousands of predictions of apocalypse that have been made these past twenty, thirty years.
Global warming models stink. They are lousy. They cannot make skillful forecasts. They haven’t been able to match reality in a very long time, for some twenty years. It is well past the time to conclude that the theories on which the rely are broken. It used to be a fundamental scientific principle—it was part of the famed scientific method!—that when a theory didn’t work, it was tossed out. Now the opposite is true: if reality doesn’t match the theory, it’s reality that’s dumped. Or “readjusted”, but only ever in the direction of the theory.
I mean, really. Who is fooled by this? I’ll tell you who isn’t. Our dear leaders in Washington, who damn well know the truth. They know that storms have not been increasing, that non-existent global warming has not caused terrorism, and that none of the doom we have been promised has happened. But they don’t care. They only care that they that can save us. What was it Mr Obama said upon election? We are are the ones we have been waiting for. Hello, hubris.
Francis has made ecological concerns a hallmark of his nearly 3-year-old papacy, issuing a landmark encyclical earlier this year that paired the need to care for the environment with the need to care for humanity’s most vulnerable.
Francis argues the two are interconnected since the poor often suffer the most from the effects of global warming, and are largely excluded from today’s fossil-fuel based global economy that is heating up the planet.
Again, the opposite is true. Take cheap, reliable, efficient fossil fuel away from up-and-coming economies and you doom them to real poverty. Further, everybody knows this. There has been no global warming. Our best records, the satellites, show this.
The Pope declared it would by “‘sad, and I dare say even catastrophic,’ were particular interests to prevail over the common good at the upcoming climate conference in Paris.”
It would be sadder if we signed over to politicians even more control than they already have to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. That would really hurt The Poor™.
So why does the Pope believe all these demonstrably false things? Bad advice, in part. He cocks his ear towards fringe scientists who do not hold the best interests of the Church in mind, but who believe the earth is alive and can get sick (yes). Plus, the fellow who runs the Vatican’s science academies can’t abide being told he’s wrong. He also desires to please the world.
There’s another part, though. Any leader may receive faulty intelligence, but the actions taken on that intelligence are the leader’s responsibility. That’s the price paid to be in charge. The Pope ought to realize the full scope of what he is asking for. That starts by educating himself at least on the science.
Holy father, God bless you. I’m available for consultation any time.