Sydney, Australia, Feb 19, 2007 / 11:36 am
Cardinal George Pell is calling for caution regarding exaggerated claims of severe global warming and says he’s “deeply skeptical about man-made catastrophic global warming, but still open to further evidence.”
In his weekly Sunday Telegraph column, the cardinal-archbishop of Sydney said people have been “subjected to a lot of nonsense about climate disasters as some zealots have been painting extreme scenarios to frighten us.”
He called those who make claims about ice caps melting and ocean levels rising spectacularly “doomsdayers” and “scaremongers.”
He also called to account journalists who have called for Nuremberg-style trials for global warming skeptics and who have compared skeptics with “Holocaust deniers.” The media during the last 100 years, he also noted, has flip-flopped between promoting fears of a coming Ice Age and fears of global warming.
“What we were seeing from the doomsdayers was an induced dose of mild hysteria, semi-religious if you like, but dangerously close to superstition,” he said. “I would be surprised if industrial pollution, and carbon emissions, had no ill effect at all. But enough is enough.”
The cardinal acknowledged that enormous climate changes have occurred in world history, such as the Ice Ages and Noah’s flood. Long and terrible droughts are not infrequent in Australian history either, he pointed out.
He cited some scientific evidence to try to make sense of it and noted that the evidence on warming is, in fact, mixed.
He noted that:
• Global warming has been increasing constantly since 1975 at the rate of less than one-fifth of a degree centigrade per decade.
• The concentration of carbon dioxide increased surface temperatures more in winter than in summer and especially in mid and high latitudes over land, while there was a global cooling of the stratosphere.
• The East Anglia University climate research unit found that global temperatures did not increase between 1998 and 2005.
• A recent NASA satellite found that the Southern Hemisphere has not warmed in the past 25 years.
“The science is more complicated than the propaganda!” he concluded.