The science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans' economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that's not settled yet, to me, is... nonsense. I mean... just because you have a group of scientists that have stood up and said here is the fact, Galileo got outvoted for a spell.What's stupid about that? Fallows says:
[U]ntil this evening's debate, the only reason anyone would use the example of Galileo-vs-the-Vatican was to show that for reasons of dogma, close-mindedness, and "faith-based" limits on inquiry, the findings of real science were too often ignored or ruled out of consideration. And Perry applies that analogy to his argument that we shouldn't listen to today's climate scientists? There are a million good examples of scientific or other expert consensus that turned out to be wrong, which is the point Perry wanted to make. He could have used IBM's early predictions that the total world market for computers would be a mere handful, or the "expert" resistance to public-health and medical theories by Pasteur or Lister, or anything from the great book The Experts Speak.You know, when you're calling somebody "a flat-out moron," you'd better be sure you're not missing something. It's extremely common to portray environmentalism, as practiced in present-day America, as the equivalent of a religion. Just the other day, for example, I wrote: "enviromentalism is the religion taught in public schools, and it's the kind of religion done with shaming young people." Here's a World Net Daily article from back in 2008 called "The Climate Change Religion." The Freakonomics blog had an item in 2009: "Is Climate-Change Belief a Religion?"("Actually, yes..."). Here's a piece in Forbes from last April: "Climate Change As Religion: The Gospel According To Gore."
The reason I think this stings over time is that it's like someone who tries to fancy himself up by using a great big word -- and uses it the wrong way. Hey, I'll mention Galileo! Unfortunately in mentioning him, I'll show that I don't know the first thing about that case or what an "analogy" is. It's better to be plain spoken.
In this context, Perry's invocation of Galileo makes perfect sense, and if anybody's a flat-out moron here, it's Fallows.