Did the Pope just call skeptics on man-made climate change stupid?


Why does it need explaining? Does it somehow contradict man-made global warming today?


Nobody denies climate cycles and variations. Current climate science has determined that alternative explanations such as fluctuations in the sun’s radiation or the Earth’s tilt and other such things are not the cause for the current variations we’ve seen.


One reason for that is, in many other countries the scientific establishment is mostly associated with the advancement of learning and knowledge. In the United States, the scientific establishment is more heavily associated with people desiring to get their name in lights and make money.

In my current job, I work with research institutions on a regular basis, all over the world. I see this first hand.


The problem with the debate is that no one’s even wrong: the evidence just isn’t strong enough to conclude what exactly are the causes, and to what extent, of climate change are, including anthropological causes such as industry. As far as we know, this could be quite normal and natural when put into perspective.

The problem is that certain groups don’t like this uncertainty, so they try to use the god-like status of Science™ to justify (read: scare people into accepting) their political policies. It comes of as a secular Millennialism.

Christi pax.


It goes to show that warming and cooling are normal fluctuations, not necessarily caused by human activity. Climate is not static. I think the problem is we have whole industries and agriculture based on a particular climate for an area. We think we can control this naturally occurring phenomena and thus protect us from changing. The proposed solutions, like carbon credits and energy rationing just make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

I do agree we need to take better care of our planet and cut down on the man-made polution.


The same science that says Climate Change is likely caused by man also specifies the degree of certainty of these conclusions. It is not 100% certainty, so people who want to disbelieve the claims latch on to this uncertainty and exaggerate it. And that works because the layman generally has a lot of difficulty dealing with probability and statistics. That is why casinos and lotteries make so much money. But in truth, uncertain results are used all the time. Is smoking the cause of cancer? No one can say with 100% certainty that any one particular person’s lung cancer is caused by smoking. After all, some people get lung cancer who have never smoked in their life. But we do generally accept today that there is a significant statistical link, and establish public policy accordingly. If it were not for the fact that the fossil fuel industry is much more highly financed than the tobacco industry ever was, we would not have so much confusion in the public square over this issue. Even still, the tobacco industry successfully fought against public policy changes for a long time before the weight of public opinion finally won the day.


** Yes. But Irma was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded. As scientists keep pointing out (but I guess some people don’t pay attention), it’s not the number of hurricanes, it’s the severity of them text**

And this is key. We don’t know how strong hurricanes were before we began recording them.

Maximum Sustained
Storm Year Winds (mph)
Allen 1980 190
“Labor Day” 1935 185
Gilbert 1988 185
Wilma 2005 185
Irma 2017 185

In 1980, we were told the earth was cooling. The growing season in England was reduced by one day, which would result in catastrophic food supply shortages.


It shows that some warming and cooling are natural fluctuations. It does not show that all warming and cooling are unaffected by human activity.

As I said, I have no problem with disagreements about solutions. I also have my doubts about the effectiveness of carbon credits.


A few scientists made a claim about cooling that hit the media.


What are you talking about. I have not done any such thing.



It is not 100% certainty, so people who want to disbelieve the claims latch on to this uncertainty and exaggerate it.

I agree they might have ulterior motives, but they are correct that there is definitely not enough data to make the conclusions they are making with any level of reasonable certainty. We simply do not know how much human activity is affecting the climate, and the majority of the causes can simply be natural.

Is smoking the cause of cancer? No one can say with 100% certainty that any one particular person’s lung cancer is caused by smoking.

Your are conflating different levels of uncertainty here. Furthermore, we have a much, much stronger understanding of the causes of lung disease than of the totality of the climates.

If it were not for the fact that the fossil fuel industry is much more highly financed

The fossil fuel industry didn’t come up with these ideas; they are reacting to those who did, and those who came up with them simply do not have data they need to justify their demands with any reasonable level of certainty.

Christi pax.



And this is key. We don’t know how strong hurricanes were before we began recording them.

Another key point is that weather isn’t climate.

Christi pax.


Not true. I lived it. It was all over the place. I can’t prove it, but I believe I read it in National Geographic and Time Magazine. I was a teenager who thought we could change the world if we just did everything right.:star_struck:

Can’t find everything on the internet!


It was not “all over the place.” It was not accepted to the same degree that global warming is accepted today. The fact is scientists have been correct more often than they have been wrong. Their track record is much better than the track record of the popular media, for example.


The Pope might think me stupid for any number of reasons and be right. Undoubtedly some poster will be glad to second that judgment as it comes to MMGW.

I am inclined to believe in MMGW, but for a different reason than many do. I remember, years ago, being on the French island of St. Bartelemy. Part of the island is lush and green, but not much of it. Most of it is a desert or semi-desert. In talking to the locals, they informed me that it was not always like that; that it had been much greener and rainier before, and that there were also a lot of trees on the upper reaches of the mountains that make up the island. When the trees were cut down, the rain became much more sparse.

I did a little research on it later and found that, indeed, in many oceanic islands the rainfall is largely determined by the trees. They delay and hold passing clouds and cause some loss of moisture in the process.

Most of the world’s habitable surface consists in “drylands” of varying degrees; that is, lands that are very dry for part of the year to all year long. Those lands are delicate, and mismanagement can easily cause desertification; desertification that does, indeed, cause air temperature changes and changes in rainfall and atmospheric water content.

Of the drylands, about 1/3 has become desertified due to human mismanagement, and it’s getting worse. Those circumstances can be fixed, but it takes a concerted effort to restore drylands. Nobody pays the slightest attention to that very important fact except for various scientists at the agricultural universities. All focus is on fossil fuels, the use of which, ironically, could be brought to bear to fix desertification if done properly.

Until all those who worry about MMGW think to address what is probably a more significant cause of MMGW (and CO2…no plants, no CO2 uptake) I am disinclined to take very seriously the calls for making fuel artificially expensive. It is incomprehensible to me why people would concentrate on remedies that cause human suffering when they could perhaps do better to concentrate on remedies that would actually improve the environment as well as the food supply.


You illustrate my point by making a statistical claim (" there is definitely not enough data to make the conclusions they are making with any level of reasonable certainty.") without any reference to numbers. Degrees of certainty do have numbers, you know.


I don’t know anything about the science whatsoever, so I refrain from commenting on what I am entirely ignorant of.
But I’ve never understood why it is controversial to pollute less, use less plastic, invest in renewable energy etc etc. Surely if this also has the benefit of dealing with some aspects of climate change, that is merely an added benefit to the indisputable good of not ruining our environment?


Bob Kurtland wrote a comment about this in his blog post entitled “Hello, My name is Bob and I’m a climate change denier.”

He isn’t really a climate change denier but he does doubt that man made CO2 production has much to do with it.


The debate is not so much about pollution as it is about whether carbon dioxide must be considered a pollutant. All living beings with respiration take in oxygen from the air and exhale a certain amount of carbon dioxide resulting from metabolism. But plants, in addition to respiration, also engage in photosynthesis, taking in carbon dioxide and using it to make oxygen. It’s why there is oxygen in the air. Plants thrive in a relatively CO2 rich environment and produce more oxygen.


Friend several points on your assertion that AGW has not been debunked:

  1. The burden of proof in on the person making a claim. Not on the skeptic of that claim. AGW is still a hypothesis. It is not a fact at all. It has not passed the scientific method since no good empirical evidence to support it has been provided. Yes CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Yes mankind produces a relatively small amount of CO2. There is still no good evidence that shows that man made CO2 being released into an open system like Earth can significantly drive climate change (heat is not just stored up indefinitely and there re many factors which are at play besides greenhouse gases which affect global temperature)

  2. Several scandals have been rocking the scientific community on the side of man made climate change. The main ones are called Climtegate and Climategate 2.0. This a a link to so of the noteworthy emails which exposed the fraudulent behavior of several scientists working on climate research skewing and manipulating or hiding data which did not fit the popular narrative of man mande climate change. This is unscientific and has only fuelled an increased level of skepticism among scientists and non scientists when claims supporting AGW are made.

  1. The 97% consensus which is still touted as evidence for climate change has been utterly refuted from so many quarters I am mystified as to why politicians and other talking heads who should know better are still using this as justification to impose draconian and ineffective climate sanctions on people especially poor countries who need fossil fuels to raise themselves out of poverty due to it’s relatively low cost and efficiency.
  1. Even if there was consensus about the hypothesis “man contributes significantly to climate change by adding CO2 to the atmosphere” it would still mean nothing to science. Science doesn’t operate based upon consensus. It is based upon the scientific method. This includes presenting data and physical evidence to support your claim and using a “skeptical” approach (not an optimistic one) to try to knock down your hypothesis. All of the above ingredients are woefully absent in the approach to anthropogenic climate change by advocates of same. Galileo is a classic example of one man going against the scientific consensus of his day (most scientists believed that Sun revolved around the Earth at that time) and he was the one proved right afterwards.

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