I’ve had another sudden fit of pseudo-artistic buffoonery.
In February this year a new group emerged: the Galileo movement. Its scientific advisers are the who’s who of the international climate sceptics movement. Its patron is the powerful Sydney radio personality Alan Jones. The Galileo movement is aiming to kill the carbon tax, and it’s aiming to do this through attacking the science of climate change.
This is a fabulously un-self-aware group of climate change denialists who liken their cause to that of Galileo, and who purport to offer the Real Truth of the Earth’s climate. They are the living epitome of the Galileo gambit, which itself is much older and is described by RationalWiki as follows:
They made fun of Galileo, and he was right.
They make fun of me, therefore I am right.
I feel the following diagram adequately summarises the situation:
This is all very Australia-centric, of course, and wholly political, though they claim otherwise. The stated purpose of the Galileo Movement is merely to stop Australia’s carbon tax – an entirely political goal – not to actually redress the horrific corruption of science they claim to be occurring. The “corruption of science” seems more like an excuse for their own political predicament than an actual problem that must be solved. If such systemic corruption of the scientific process was real, after all, it would be far worse a problem than any mere tax1. However, the movement’s scientific literacy is clearly razor-thin, with adorable statements like this:
We care about freedom, security, the environment, humanity and our future.
The Galileo Movement’s co-founders are retirees Case Smit and John Smeed. Their business backgrounds are in science and engineering – science’s real-world application. Their experience is in environmental protection and ensuring air quality.
At first they simply accepted politicians’ claims of global warming blamed on human production of carbon dioxide (CO2). When things didn’t add up, they each separately investigated. Stunned, they discovered what many people are now discovering: climate claims by some scientists and politicians contradict observed facts.
Here’s another theory: Case Smit and John Smeed have never been involved in actual climate-related research at all, but through some intrepid Googling discovered that People On The Internet were having arguments. A stunning revelation indeed. Not having any particular notion of what real science is actually supposed to look like, they simply believed those people who appeared to be more outraged. Just as in Galileo’s time.
- Denialists rarely realise the scale of the allegations they so casually make; if they did, they would have to confront their implausibility. [↩]