In a piece ironically titled “Be prudent with climate claims” (behind The Australian‘s paywall, search for the title if you want to read it) George Pell declares that, unlike him,
“many politicians have never investigated the primary evidence.”
However, if you look at the sources he cites, you’ll find that by “primary evidence” he means claims made by Monckton and Plimer, not peer-reviewed work by climate scientists. He only manages one cite to the IPCC reports and that is just to quote an out of context sentence to make it look like the IPCC as saying that climate is no more predictable than weather. That’s not what they say at all. It’s unclear whether Pell misrepresented the IPCC by stripping that sentence from its context or whether he just copied from someone like Monckton.
It is unfortunate that Pell has failed to learn from The Bureau of Meteorology Greg Ayer and repeated claims already shown to be false.
The Australian, of course, simply does not care whether the material it prints is true or not.
Tim Stephens in the Jesuit’s Eureka Street comments:
Climate science is complex and not explainable in sound-bites. Of necessity the layperson must defer to the experts. If Pell had offered views on neuroscience, quantum computing, immunology, the geology of Mars or any of the other topics covered in the latest issue of Nature we would rightly be scratching our heads at his intervention, unless he truly were a polymath of Galilean standing.
But the discourse of climate change has become so debased and post-modern that any views, however bizarre, can be given an airing. Like homeopathy and astrology, Pell’s pseudo-science should be ignored, and the scientific method allowed to continue, however unpalatable the conclusions may be.
Robert Manne (who Pell bizarrely accuses of making a “category error” for suggesting that we should be guided by the scientific consensus) writes:
Cardinal Pell apparently believes that someone like himself – without scientific training; without scientific publications; without the capacity to read and understand academic scientific literature – is in a position to disregard the conclusions of 97 per cent of climate scientists actively publishing in peer-reviewed journals which have been supported by the world’s major scientific academies. In denying the existence of a consensus among the climate scientists on core questions, and in arguing that laypeople without scientific understanding or expertise can come to their own conclusions on global warming, as if it were all merely a matter of opinion, Pell has committed what he might call a category error but which I prefer to call a cardinal mistake.