Book review: The Inquisition of Climate Science

The Inquisition of Climate ScienceDuring the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo for espousing the view that the Sun, not the Earth, lies at the centre of the solar system.  In modern times, climate scientists are being subjected to a similar inquisition, waged by those who deny the science.  The persecution of climate scientists and of science itself is thoroughly documented in a new book, The Inquisition of Climate Science, by former Reed College president and National Science Board member James Powell.

Climate scientists, like Galileo, turn to empirical evidence and the scientific method as the basis of our understanding of how the world works.  In contrast, climate "skeptics", conservative think tanks, ideologues and the fossil fuel industry now play the role of the "establishment", waging a war on science. Powell's book documents the industry of denial and their many prongs of attack on climate science:

However, Powell points out one distinction between the Roman Inquisition and the modern day Climate Inquisition.  At least the Roman inquisitors had an alternative theory - Ptolemy's 2nd Century theory of Earth-centered astronomy.  The Climate Inquisition have no alternative theory that can explain the many lines of evidence that point to human caused global warming

The persecution of Galileo is highly instructive in putting today's climate controversy in proper context. The Inquisition Of Climate Science, available in hard cover and as an e-book that can be read on Kindle, iPad and computer, is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand the full scope of the denial industry and their modern day persecution of climate science.

Note: SkS have also reviewed James Powell's books 2084: An Oral History of the Great Warming and Rough Winds: Extreme Weather and Climate Change.

Posted by John Cook on Saturday, 8 October, 2011

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