Our Galileo, Will we do better this time?
Posted by Jeff Condon on January 9, 2010
M. I. Bhat
Science has taken a leap four centuries back to dark age when science lost to theology. Then the butt of condemnation and punishment were just two souls – Bruno and, the better remembered, Galileo. Now it is a huge horde of scientists from across the planet, who dare challenge the mainstream belief in CO2-induced global warming or anthropogenically-induced global warming (AGW), that are being condemned with calls for punishment of these “traitors” for committing “high crimes against humanity,” “deserving Nuremberg-style trials,” ……… Reviling and calls for punishment are unending. If theology was settled then for a particular cosmological view, now it is “science is settled’ for AGW. Then it was cosmological data gathered through telescope versus theological view; now it is clean, hard core science versus manipulated science backed by political interests. Then it was Cardinal Bellarmine backed by Pope Clement VIII/Pope Paul V; now it is Dr. R. K. Pachauri backed by our political Pope, Mr. Banki Moon.
More than any of the “skeptics” it is the Swedish scientist, Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner who, I believe, has been condemned the most by not just IPCC but by the Nobel Committee as well. As the President of International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) who could possibly have been better placed to talk of sea level change than him. Under his charge, when INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, after deliberations and discussions at several international meetings, declared a possible sea level change of +5 cm ±15cm by the year 2100, it was based on a huge amount of world-wide data gathered by scientists from different parts of the globe. No politics, business or no activist interests were involved; just hard-core science.
Bruno and Galileo had the good fortune of a trial and hearing, not Dr. Mörner. His science got swamped in the din of media-hyped hoarse cries by Al Gore and IPCC about the alarming rise in sea level. Norwegians Nobel Peace Prize Committee could hear these cries from across the Atlantic but didn’t bother to hear the sane voice from across the border before deciding the recipients. More unfortunate is that the Swedish Government and the Swedish people, who have funded Dr. Mörner’s research that took him to such a high scientific position, didn’t even murmur in his favor.
No wonder then that even political non-entities didn’t take Dr. Mörner and his Commission’s scientific findings seriously. The President of Maldives saw international value in his political gimmick of holding under the water cabinet meeting but didn’t see merit in acknowledging the two letters that Dr. Mörner wrote him pleading “Your people ought not to have to suffer a constant claim that there is no future for them on their own islands.” He provided him the scientific basis as well:
“In 2001, when our research group found overwhelming evidence that sea level was by no means in a rising mode in the Maldives, but had remained quite stable for the last 30 years” But notice the brutal political return to the most humane gesture: “I thought it would not be respectful to the fine people of the Maldives if I were to return home and present our results in international forum. Therefore, I announced this happy news during an interview for your local TV station. However, your predecessor as president censored and stopped the broadcast.”
As the people across the continents have witnessed the meeting in Copenhagen was not about science of global warming or climate change but pure and plain political drama under the aegis of UN. The people who did talk about science (the “climate skeptics”) were ignored both by organizers of the meeting and the media, reminding one of Galileo’s words to Keppler (Wikipedia): “My dear Kepler, I wish that we might laugh at the remarkable stupidity of the common herd. What do you have to say about the principal philosophers of this academy who are filled with the stubbornness of an asp and do not want to look at either the planets, the moon or the telescope, even though I have freely and deliberately offered them the opportunity a thousand times? Truly, just as the asp stops its ears, so do these philosophers shut their eyes to the light of truth.”
It seems our political Pope has conveniently forgotten the world-wide condemnation of his fellow citizen Dr. Hwang Woo-suk for faking stem cell research and the apology that his Prime Minister had to tender on behalf of South Koreans. Otherwise instead of seeking action against climategate fraudsters (the “Hokey Stick Team”) he would not have been working with them and using their deceptive science to befool the world. Or, is it for the glamour of his position that he tolerates this hypocrisy?
Dr. Mörner (and his fellow skeptic) may have lost this round but with an ocean of scientific data – the telescope of Galileo, so to say – and the current record-breaking winter temperatures across northern hemisphere on his side he may not have to wait long to be declared the real winner.