March 20, 2007

A Denier Recants

"I, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei of Florence, being 70 years old... swear that I have always believed, believe now and, with God's help, will in the future believe all that the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church doth hold, preach and teach. But since, after having been admonished by this Holy Office entirely to abandon the false opinion that the sun is the center of the Universe and immovable, and that the Earth is not the center of the same and that it moves. That I was neither to hold, defend, nor teach in any manner whatsoever, either orally or in writing, the said false doctrine. After having received a notification that the said doctrine is contrary to Holy Writ, I wrote and published a book in which I treat this condemned doctrine and bring forward very persuasive arguments in its favor without answering them. I have been judged vehemently suspected of heresy, that is of having held and believed that the Sun is at the center of the Universe and immovable, and that the Earth is not at the center and that it moves. Therefore, wishing to remove from the minds of your Eminences and all faithful Christians this vehement suspicion reasonably conceived against me, I abjure with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith these errors and heresies. I curse and detest them as well as any other error, heresy or sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church. And I swear that for the future I shall neither say nor assert orally or in writing such things as may bring upon me similar suspicions. And if I know any heretic, or one suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor or Ordinary of the place in which I may be." - Galileo Galilei (recanting his scientific beliefs before the Inquistion,1633)


Posted by Kate at March 20, 2007 1:39 AM

My favourite political cartoonists, Cox & Forkum. Thanks, Kate.

There are four problems the CO2 bandwagon has to overcome. (1) The causality from CO2 to temperature is backwards. (2) The total contribution of human-produced CO2 as a portion of the beneficial green-house gas effect is miniscule. (3) It would be better if the planet were a few degrees warmer. (4) We know about the positive-feedback funding loops and the ponzi scheme and protection market proclivities of some humans.

In order for the CO2, Kyoto, and carbon-credits fear-mongers to survive the long term, they need to find some way to show that three out of the four conditions I have placed above are falsified. I don't think that's going to happen.

That they ululate at the skeptics, when skepticism is one of the founding principles of science, that they besmirch the empirical process, when empiricism is one of the founding principles of science, these are the sorts of over-reaching that are slowing starting to erode the false edifice they have attempted to construct.

Don't forget, Galileo didn't principally get into trouble for the heliocentric theory of Copernicus that he experimentally confirmed, he got in trouble for pissing off the Pope over politics (pardon my language). Sound familiar?

Posted by: Vitruvius at March 20, 2007 2:40 AM

As amusing as this may be at first glance, there's simply no comparison. On the one hand, there's scientists who may end up a bit short of cash if they go against the flow. On the other, you've got a man who was threatened with torture and a brutal execution if he did not recant his life's work. Sorry, but this is no better than when the lefties call George Bush a Nazi. I'd suggest you moderate your message a bit, lest you be seen in the same light as those you oppose.

Posted by: Alex at March 20, 2007 2:43 AM

Well, it is a metaphor, Alex. I am a scientist and an engineer (not P.Eng). I see my life's work, science and engineering, going up in smoke under the thumb of fear-mongering politics. True, I'm not being tortured, but I think there's clearly at least a degree to which the metaphor applies, as there is a degree to which it doesn't. Metaphors are like that.

Posted by: Vitruvius at March 20, 2007 3:12 AM

" I'd suggest you moderate your message a bit, lest you be seen in the same light as those you oppose. " Ha .
Denying a denier the right to denial ...... wonder how the offsets work ?

Posted by: Bill D.Cat at March 20, 2007 3:29 AM

my findings are that the astronomers of the roman catholic church knew galileo was right, they had to, it was their job to know these things AND support the status quo but golly, how much does a bible weigh as opposed to an entire planet? a half dozen of them?

so the trick then was to keep it all hush hush, dont let the truth out, far too dangerous and shocking since the serfs gonna start wonder if there was anything else kept under wraps....

howcum mars keeps lurching backwards boss?

the sacred cow today is that politishuns are going to solve the nation's problems (hint: which THEY created). lock onto that. flog that idea and if that isnt enough, flog the skeptics and if that aint enough flog a literal interpretation of the bible.

and mix is some well known truth just like joe g taught us.

Posted by: robertbollocks at March 20, 2007 3:33 AM


It's a cartoon.

Posted by: ural at March 20, 2007 4:28 AM

And Alex, according to the link and as noted elsewhere, Dr. Timothy Ball and other "deniers" have received death threats. Seems to me the cartoon is appropriate.

Posted by: Eeyore at March 20, 2007 6:48 AM

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600): Heretic. Death. Recurrent Cycles?

"All things are in the universe, and the universe is in all things:
we in it, and it in us: and in this way everything harmonizes
in perfect unity."

Giordano Bruno is the first pantheist in the modern mould. Completely abandoning Christian theology, he resurrected the materialism and Stoicism of the ancient world and combined it with a prophetic view of an infinite universe of solar systems, united in a single interpenetrating unity. For his intellectual courage he was condemned by the Inquisition and burned at the stake in Rome on February 17, 1600. ...

He is stripped naked, tied to a stake, and burned alive, while the cantors sing continuous litanies. ...-

Posted by: maz2 at March 20, 2007 6:52 AM

The funny thing about Prof. Wunsch is he says he was misled, but on his own webpage he shows the email sent to him.

"Dear Professor Wunsch,

Many thanks for taking the time to talk to me this morning. I found it really useful and now have the issues much clearer in my mind.

I wanted to email you to outline the approach we will be taking with our film to clarify our position. We are making a feature length documentary about global warming for Channel Four in the UK. The aim of the film is to examine critically the notion that recent global warming is primarily caused by industrial emissions of CO2.� It explores the scientific evidence which jars with this hypothesis and explores alternative theories such as solar induced climate change. Given the seemingly inconclusive nature of the evidence, it examines the background to the apparent consensus on this issue, and highlights the dangers involved, especially to developing nations, of policies aimed at limiting industrial growth.

We would like to do an interview with you to discuss the notion that there is a scientific consensus on the effects of global warming on the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift. It has been widely reported that Britain and Western Europe could soon be plunged into a mini ice age, and we would like to show that it is simply not true that they will shut down. We would like to talk to you about the numerical models and whether they give us a realistic perspective of the impact of climate change on the oceans. We would also like to talk to you about the 'memory' of oceans, and how it can take varying amounts of time for a disturbance to be readable in the North Atlantic. Fundamentally, we would like to ask you whether scientists have enough information about the complex nature of our climate system. Do the records go back far enough to identify climate trends, and can we conclusively separate human induced change from natural change?"

Posted by: Kitchener Conservative at March 20, 2007 8:29 AM

Galileo's daughter spent her entire adult life in a convent, (not a lot of career choices for women back then). Of the extensive correspondence between her and her dad, the letters to her father are still in existence. (Her dad's letters to her, were burned by the church when she passed away.)
Too bad- those letters would be money in the Banco Ambrosiano, if they had survived.......

Posted by: davie at March 20, 2007 8:45 AM

I like the engineer (not a P. Eng) above. I am a geologist & a P. Geol. to boot. The record of our planet is written in the rocks, for all who wish to see. This place has been warmer in the past than it is postulated to ever become by the warm-mongers. And that statement is a fact. The ancients worshipped the sun, because even they knew that it provided heat and light and the cycle of the seasons. They, even in their ignorance, knew something that even our "consensual" scientists refuse to recognize by observation. They really can't see the forrest for the trees. Anything that didn't survive those warmer periods (or cooler ones) in the past, died out because they, or it didn't adapt fast enough to changing conditions. from what I rad from the warm-mongers, we are quibling over a few decimal points of a degree of change over a postulated, computer generated, expected rise in temperature. GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. Hopefully, some of the warm-mongers will die off in the near future and we less consensual persons can get on with the job of advancing the human race to levels as of yet unexplored. I would personally prefer that winter be allieviated to a milder performance than I have been accustomed to and pursue the benefits of a warmer climate, without the interference of all those carping, harping climate fixers.

Posted by: just-thinking at March 20, 2007 9:00 AM

I Love the added touch of the one inquisitor having a "Gaia" bible under his arm....let's play where's Waldo and search the picture for the "arc" of the earth charter...hey I think I see it under the rack but it's obscured with crusted blood from Gaia sacrificial victims....gotta love that Cox and Forkum.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at March 20, 2007 9:06 AM

Sorry for the typos in my last post, I get excited when I read about "scientists" who deny the scientific rules of the game, (the science is proven tribe, don't argue with us). rad should read, read and I twitched when I typed forrest, instead of forest, tsk. This planet needs a few less control freaks and a few more open minds on this subject, as well as a better sense of humour. The sky is not going to fall, the planet will not die in 2012, or 2050, unless of course you are a Jim Jones adherent, in which case the planet would be better off without you. You know, survival of the smartest and all that other inconvenient stuff.

Posted by: just-thinking at March 20, 2007 9:13 AM

Great cartoon sure beats the liberal crap like THE BOONDOCKS or DOONSBURY and the other liberal junk and your so right the enviromentalist wackos including AL GORE are big time GAIA worshippers and the whole globla warming thing is a lie and a big time consperacy

Posted by: spurwing plover at March 20, 2007 10:38 AM


you're a geologist, help me out with this. I was reading a site that talks about the climate during the Carboniferous Period.

They have a graph that show during the Cambrian Period CO2 Concentrations as high as 7,000 PPM and avg temp ~22c and then during the Cretaceous CO2 from 1000-2000 PPM and avg temp ~22c. It also shows CO2 ~4000 PPM and avg temp ~12c.

First, have you seen this type of graph before and how is the data calculated for it?

My thought on it, is if there's real weight to this kind of data, it's another example that blows the roof of the CO2 being the main driver behind climate change.

Posted by: Kitchener Conservative at March 20, 2007 10:40 AM

from CTV(Tass)

In 2007, the March equinox – marking the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and of autumn in the southern – occurs at 8:07 p.m. ET March 20, although in other time zones it occurs on March 21.

nope, I think its march 20 all across the 6 zones , 3 on each side of central canada

Posted by: cal2 at March 20, 2007 11:04 AM

The global warming / climate change debate has degenerated into a shouting match. I say a pox on both sides. While I have no time for the proponents the deniers are no better. Too many of them are associated with big energy and strike me as PR shills.

We are basing this debate on about 100 years of robust observations at the most. Any data derived from the past is suspect, and extrapolating data in the future a wild guess. If warming does indeed accelerate as predicted by the doomers and flooding of low-lying areas ensue, then OK, we have a problem. But even that won't occur overnight (if at all), it will take decades, and we'll have time to take appropriate measures.

With that said, what's wrong with conserving fossil fuels? We all know this is a finite resource, and we'll exhaust it this century at the rate things go. Don't we want to use those precious fuels more prudently, at least until something better is discovered or invented? Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: GreenNeck at March 20, 2007 11:55 AM

It is not a stretch at all to think of Tim Ball on the rack.

Galileo said the sun was at the centre.

Tim Ball says the sun is at the centre, of climate change on the Earth.

Galileo was forced to recant and his career, life destroyed.

Tim Ball has been publicly humiliated by the likes of Suzuki, Bennet, and especially by the press. He has received many death threats. Govmit funding to Tim Ball was non-existent under the Federal Liberals while the liers received Billions. Tim Ball was refused a place at the Dion's Dec 05 Montreal UN scam show.

If the above is not being 'on-the-rack', what is ??

Tim Ball is truely a modern day Galileo.

Posted by: B. Hoax Aware at March 20, 2007 12:27 PM


Being of a "Papist" persuasion, I must say that I'm rather disappointed that you chose to resurrect the ghost of Galileo in order to make a point about the global warming hysteria. I'm no fan of the craze, either, but trying to use Galileo as a comparison just ends up opening a can of worms for the number of readers who might actually be Catholic.

First off, there are a lot of common misconceptions about the Galileo case, which was fueled just as much by self-interested scientists and Galileo's assertive personality as it was by the admittedly heavy-handed rulings of the Church. Plus, Galileo got off relatively easy: one of his "punishments" was house arrest at the fancy estate of a noble friend.

The entire argument about Galileo's daughter is also very dubious, especially since some/most of those letters are suspected or have been revealed as clever forgeries.

Now, I'm not trying to start a fight about the whole Galileo thing (thus I won't post any links that more closely examine the case), nor do I disagree with the whole point of global warming sceptics being sent death threats. However, I find it a sad irony that you'd illustrate a historical misconception through a story burdened with historical misconceptions.

P.S. I suspect that some of you are probably thinking that my Catholicism gives me a strong pro-Church bias, but under that logic I could also say that your Protestantism or non-religiousness is evidence of an anti-Church bias. I hope that this isn't the case.

Now, back to the topic at hand n.n;

Posted by: Juan Tolentino at March 20, 2007 12:35 PM

On that note, though, I am not against a comparison to what actually happened with Galileo, but only the commonly-contrived story that places most of the blame (not just some) on the Church, without bringing to mind the rival scientists who initiated the inquisitorial process.

Posted by: Juan Tolentino at March 20, 2007 12:38 PM

Frankly, folks we've lost this debate - science doesn't matter any more than it did during the Y2K scare. I believe the AGW crowd will be proven wrong, eventually; that won't help us now. Sometimes you have to pick your fights, and this is a loser; deniers will be cubby-holed with the Nazis and terrorists; witness the "Climate Criminal" banner yesterday at PM residence.

Folks, the best we can do is insist that any emission reductions include all pollution, and stupid ideas like CO2 sequestration where we emit CO2 to trap CO2, must be non-starters. We must stop Dion's marxist plan to punish the "man" (also known as capitalist enterpreneurs) for their climate crimes. We must, above all, prevent a situation where feel good politicians foist Kyoto on us, which results in worse pollution, as ET and others have argued. In short, we must be true environmentalists, not the temper tantrum types like Suzuki and Gore, who have no clue, and are hypocrites. We must reveal the Kyoto cultists for what they are, marxists in environmentalist clothing who want to end the influence of modernity, along with their terrorist compatriots.

That is the battle we can win; let's go for it. The first salvo must be pointing out the costs to Joe and Mary Sixpack for negligible results and doubtful benefits from enormous costs. Read this, the first arrow in your quiver:

Of course, Bjorn Lomborg is one of the climate criminals. In the end if we stick to our science and common sense positions, the moonbats will be revealed for what they are - people who expect others to clean up their messes and live with their ignorance and flawed ideology - just like Dion.

Posted by: Shamrock at March 20, 2007 1:03 PM

Are scientists in universal agreement that terrorism remains a threat?

Posted by: Crabgrass at March 20, 2007 1:06 PM

"P.S. I suspect that some of you are probably thinking that my Catholicism gives me a strong pro-Church bias, but under that logic I could also say that your Protestantism or non-religiousness is evidence of an anti-Church bias. I hope that this isn't the case."

You're new here, aren't you?

Posted by: Kate at March 20, 2007 1:13 PM

The Gaia bible under the arm of the "Religious Guy" is VERY telling.

Any idea who that may be ?? Hint, Oak Lake Manitoba.

Posted by: B. Hoax Aware at March 20, 2007 1:18 PM

Correction; brible.

Posted by: B. Hoax Aware at March 20, 2007 1:21 PM

of course current thinking is that every point in the universe was at the centre at the beginning and since the space is expanding every point could still be at the centre, there is no edge and travelling out in any or every direction will just bring you back here in about 20 billion years at the speed of light.

Posted by: cal2 at March 20, 2007 1:34 PM

Posted by: Alan at March 20, 2007 2:32 PM

geologists claim the earth formed over some X billion years from a dust cloud from which formed all the other planets and the sun in the middle which at some point ignited into fusion combustion.

I prefer to think the big bang had very tight clusters of stars very early on, many of which went supernova and left planet sized bodies behind.

my theory fits ALL the evidence:
- iron core (look up the highest element from normal stellar fusion),
- increasing scarcity of everything above element 26 (because there is only a split second in the supernova to create it)
- molten magma all the way down
- pockets ('hot spots') of specific mineral deposits
- thin hardened crust
- different geology on ALL planets and moons (no supernova is the same)
- etc etc

hint: how much and how fast can you generate heat from radioactive decay, as opposed to the fact rock is a CRAPPY insulator and thus will dissipate it as it is generated?

alas, the dyed-in-the-wool high school text book crowd cannot bring themselves to barbeque their sacred cow 'dust cloud' and therefore remain in the dark (pun intended).

model !! model !!! they cry. where is your model !!!

oh, you mean the thing Im standing on?

Posted by: I_invented_the_internet at March 20, 2007 4:05 PM

there is no edge and travelling out in any or every direction will just bring you back here in about 20 billion years at the "

actually cal, this notion is long out of favour with me.

the present edge of the visible universe has continued to move outward from its apparent position, meaning just what we can see is now actually vastly bigger. but, very very important point: its what we cant see beyond that, objects, a universe so vast the light from which has hardly begun to get here.

picture a bubble, the visible universe, within a collosally larger bubble.

now youve got it.

also the smaller bubble is nowheres near being centred in the big one, its off to the side somewhere, hardly noticeable in the hubbub of activity.

the question is just how massive is the actual full sized universe? the dimensions of the larger bubble?

Posted by: I_invented_the_internet at March 20, 2007 4:14 PM

Kitchener Conservative: sorry to take so long to reply, I'm busy drilling a gas well right now. The Carboniferous name for that particular period of the earth's history should give you a hint. During that period plant life flourished and their remains are being mined as coal deposits today, probably in China. The high CO2 concentrations were "food for the masses" so to speak and their rotting plant remains formed massive coal deposits, thereby storing carbon. The earth's atmosphere was in another process of changing towards it's current composition and high CO2 concentrations were taken up by plants and also in the oceans to form caronate deposits, thats limestone to the lay person. CO2 is readily adsorbed into warm water and will precipitate out as Aragonite, a form of CaCO3 to form oceanic lime deposits. The process continues today in the warm waters of the Bahamas. Dr. Suzuki could have told you that, I'm sure, but that would be an inconvenient truth.

Posted by: just-thinking at March 20, 2007 5:10 PM

Someone tell Cox & Forkum that their web page on Glowball Vorming has an ad to "save the Polar Bears!"

Posted by: Doug at March 20, 2007 5:47 PM

ps, to those who claim the hydrocarbon oil and gas deposits are from the decomposed carcasses of dinosaurs over millions of years, ummm, how do you square the fact the atmosphere of neptune has methane in it? dinosaurs at -200 F ?

oil and gas deposits are also and in fact considering the quantities and depth of the deposits, primarily from GEOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL processes. not biological.

another sacred cow, er, dinosaur dead dead dead.

Posted by: I_invented_the_internet at March 20, 2007 9:13 PM

Mr. Robert Bollocks did not Invent_the_Internet. However, to his credit, he did invent a style of thought and interlocution that has earned him a place in the pantheon of the laughing stocks of the Internet, in the category of "You can tell from his first few words that his comment is not worth reading".

Posted by: Vitruvius at March 20, 2007 10:27 PM

I could settle the whole matter of the trail of Gallilao in a minute. I and a few of my fellow inventors of Time Machines were in a row just above the Prosecutor. Was it ever a passionate exchange by both sides. I thought Old Gali was winning the trail. Unfortunately when we got back to the Hospital we realized none of use could speak Italian.

Posted by: ronrob at March 20, 2007 11:25 PM

There is a Charley Chaplin silent film where Charlie, as an unemployed character in rags gets a job as a laborer in a shipyhard. A big bully straw boss shows a wooden wedge and points at Charley to go get some more them and Charley brings back a broom. Belted on the head for his trouble he is sent out again and brings back a keg of nails, and a third effort is equally hopeless. Charley rejoins the unemployed. It is pretty funny and so are some of these posters who think they can better the carefully developed studies of thousands of scientists with neat and pretty silly Simple Simon "insights". Lots of luck, guys,I can see you really need it.

Posted by: garhaneg at March 21, 2007 12:36 AM


Thanks!!!! Can't even begin to describe what you think means to me!!!!

Posted by: ural at March 21, 2007 1:51 AM

Hey garhaneg
There were no wedges to be found,...right; So he was fired for not making up false wedges.
Brilliant, thanks, Charlie Chaplin remains uncorrupted !
Exactly the point of the cartoon.

Posted by: richfisher at March 21, 2007 9:47 AM

AL GORE is a snake oil slaesman and who wants to oil a snake?

Posted by: spurwing plover at March 22, 2007 9:58 AM