Znanost in odpor

V reviji Physics Today je avstralski klimatolog Stephen Sherwood  nedavno objavil zanimiv esej, kjer primerja aktualni odpor proti podnebni znanosti z  znanimi zgodovinskimi primeri, kot je bil odpor proti kopernikovski paradigmi.

Inconvenient scientific claims also show parallels in their political progression. In the decades before Galileo began his fervent promotion of Copernicanism, the Catholic Church took an admirably philosophical view of the idea. As late as 1615, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine acknowledged that “we should . . . rather admit that we did not understand [Scripture] than declare an opinion to be false which is proved to be true.” But the very next year he officially declared Copernicanism to be false, stating that there was no evidence to support it, despite Galileo’s observations and Kepler’s calculations. Institutional imperatives had forced a full rejection of Copernicanism, which had become threatening precisely because of the mounting evidence. (...)
The agitations of modern greenhouse proponents appear to have provoked an antiscience backlash similar to the one against Galileo. In the space of only two years, almost as fast as Bellarmine changed his position on Copernicanism, leading moderates have been squeezed out of the main conservative political parties in both the US and Australia and replaced by hard-line rejecters of climate science. In Australia, climate policy was the leading issue behind the backlash; in the US it was one of many contributing factors. Because the Catholic Church of Galileo’s day had generally been a supporter of science and open inquiry, the condemnation of Copernicanism as it grew scientifically solid shocked many devout Catholics.2 Likewise, modern conservative political parties have until recently been friends of science, including climate and environmental studies. In the 1970s Republicans and Democrats in Congress were equally concerned about climate change, and as recently as 2004 leading Republicans were—at least in public—enthusiastic in their support of science. Their recent rejections of climate science have probably shocked many supporters. In both cases the backlash seems to have come when leaders were pushed to act on the basis of new evidence. (*)