William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Nobody Expects The Roman Climate Inquisition—Guest Post by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

It is a sin not to believe the world is doomed by global warming and curable only by massive government intervention.

It is a sin not to believe the world is doomed by global warming and curable only by massive government intervention.

Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared at WND.com and is reprinted here with permission.

In the zany 1970s hit comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus, popular on both sides of the Atlantic, one of the best-loved sketches was “Nobody Expects The Spanish Inquisition!”

Nature imitates art. Last week Bishop Sánchez Sorondo, Prefect of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of Social Sciences at the Vatican, issued a Bull whose name epitomized its content.
Sorondo is an irreformable true-believer not so much in the Christian religion, which he is very seldom heard to mention, but in the New Religion—or, rather, the New Superstition—of climastrology. A religion may or may not be true; a superstition is demonstrably untrue. Climastrology is a superstition because it is bull.

Sorondo, in his more than usually half-witted statement proclaiming that the “teaching” of Pope Francis on climate change stands sacrosanct in that it is as much part of the magisterium or teaching authority of the Church as the teachings of earlier popes on the wickedness of abortion, has achieved something rare in the history of human thought (or, in his case, thoughtlessness).

Sometimes, as when Urban VIII allowed the Roman Inquisition to put Galileo under a loose form of house arrest for having suggested that the Earth goes around the Sun and not vice versa, folk get the science wrong. The Sun appears to circumnavigate the Earth, but in truth the Earth rotates as it circumnavigates the Sun.

At other times, as when the Left deny there is any God but the Communist Party Line, folk get the religion wrong.

Sorondo, though, has achieved a rare double-fault. He simultaneously gotten his science and his religion 180 degrees plumb wrong.

As they say in New York, Francis knows from nothing about climate science. Nor, as l’affaire Galileo ought to have reminded the hapless Sorondo, is it any part of the mission or teaching authority of the Church to make pronouncements on whether industrial civilization will cause dangerous global warming, or on any other scientific matter.

As it happens, Pope Francis’ encyclical, which—albeit at turgidly prolix length—restated the environmental theology that had already been stated more succinctly and far more beautifully in the Book of Genesis and in the sayings of his name-saint, Francis of Assisi, succeeded in outdoing even the Inquisition of Urban VIII in getting the science wrong.

Francis made seven scientific points about climate change, each of which was entirely, irredeemably, irremediably false.

What is more, Sorondo knows this perfectly well. For, after I had received my advance copy of the Pope’s encyclical letter earlier this year, I wrote to the Holy See pointing out each of the seven errors made by Pope Francis—or, rather, made by Herr Schellnhuber of the neo-Communist Reichsklimapropagandaamt in Potsdam, who did the sciencey bits for him.

I recommended that, before the Vatican allowed this half-baked document to be issued, it should consult experts on each of the seven issues.

I even provided names, brief biographies and contact details of the experts whom the Holy See should consult, one or two for each issue.

The Holy See, however, loftily refused to have anything to do with mere objective scientific truth. It had decided to throw in its lot, albeit belatedly and me-tooishly, with the rest of the governing class worldwide, which has naively, unquestioningly followed the Party Line on climate, and continues to do so even though each passing month provides yet further evidence that what was predicted and what has happened are clean different things.

At a recent Senate hearing on climate change, Senator Ted Cruz, chairman of the Space, Science and Competitiveness Committee (not sure why Competitiveness belongs with Space and Science, but there you go), prominently displayed the graph I sent to the Holy See, which now shows there has been no global warming for 18 years 9 months. The “Democrats”, whose political and anti-scientific beliefs are remarkably similar to those of the Reichsklimapropagandaamt, were visibly discomfited.

No matter how much Sorondo whinnies, it is neither possible nor acceptable for the Church to make pronouncements on scientific questions, for that is not her function; and it is neither justifiable nor permissible for her to make pseudo-scientific statements that, on a few moments’ enquiry, are shown to be self-evidently false, for that is to tell a lie, and to tell a lie is a sin.

On behalf of the Catholic Church worldwide, therefore, and with the full majesty of her teaching authority, I now formally repudiate Sorondo’s remarks to the effect that Francis’ false statements on the climate are to be regarded by Catholics as true; I designate Sorondo’s remarks as anathema; and I proclaim that no Catholic is under any obligation, legal, moral, social, religious, or other, to pay any heed whatsoever to Sorondo’s openly heretical remarks.

Lest you wonder whether a mere layman has the power to exercise the teaching authority of the Church, wonder no more: any layman, faced with any departure from the Church’s teaching so monstrous, so public, so flagrant that it constitutes outright heresy, not only has the power but also the duty to speak. Let Sorondo take heed, and desist.

There have been heretics at the Holy See before, and, no doubt, there will be heretics there again. However, as Cardinal Newman discovered during the process of enquiry that led him to join the Church, even when a Pope himself declares as a matter of faith that which is not a matter of faith his aberration is soon forgotten, for it is contrary to what was handed down to us and is, therefore, wrong, so that we will not accept it.

But it is Christmas. Let us forget the useless Sorondo and his pathetic, whining heresies. Instead, let us remember the tiny little child Whose blessed Mother did not have Him aborted. Let us celebrate the joy and the truth that no amount of custard-faced heresy, no amount of scientific fraud can eradicate.

In my beloved Scottish Highlands, at this time of year, it is the custom to play the wee bairns to sleep with a unique rendering of a suite of six Ecossaisen der ehemaligen by Schubert. These Scottish dances are normally played briskly, but at Christmas we play them andante and in a hauntingly beautiful quasi campanile style, so that the notes resonate like bells in a bell-tower.

My Christmas e-card to all my kind readers this year is the recording below, made by me with a whisper of backing from the Fiddles o’ the Hielan’s in Dunkeld Cathedral a couple of months ago. It will send any child, however excited by the merriment of Christmas, peacefully to sleep within minutes. A happy Christmas and a roarin’ Hogmanay to one and all.

29 Comments

  1. While one would hope Catholics worldwide would not feel obliged to accept the Pope’s declaration on climate, at least the poverty-stricken ones will fall for the bribes associated with the lie and go along. Holding a carrot on a stick is considered immoral when used on humans instead of greyhounds, yet that is exactly what is being done. Yes, it is lie, but the church apparently does not care as long as the money comes in. The leaders now worship money and power. False Gods, yet who will actually stop this? I suspect no one. No matter how much damage is done.
    (It is interesting that the church and news are not broadcasting the anti-gay marriage message that was delivered to voters in Slovenia by the Pope, nor do they ever mention the church stance on abortion. This should be clue, but it does not seem to be. Again, as an outside observer, the simple fact that this Pope is far more interested in appearing on television and riding through the crowds rather than spending time praying and communing with God should have been clue.)

  2. Now I’ve wiped my tears.
    Lord Monkton is a hero. Thank you for posting this article, I hadn’t read it.

  3. Thanks for an interesting article, Mr. Briggs, and best Christmas wishes to you and yours.

    Thanks also for the clear enunciation of the fact of the matter on Climastrology – it is an heresy and a superstition which is rash, temeraraious and offensive to pious ears. I can understand what Cardinal Newman said about heresy amongst pontiffs (that is, purported pontiffs, since it is at this point a certain doctrine of the Church that one publicly professing heresy cannot become/remain pope), but I would add that in a time of general apostasy, as the present manifestly is, while there is no danger of the Church failing entirely to exist, there is danger that many will fall away from the Church with false pontiffs, perhaps even while retaining the superficial appearance of being the Church merely by still controlling the buildings and institutions. Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, and more than one papal statement in recent centuries, indicated this was coming.

    As you point out that the layman has even the duty to speak out, I would add: the layman has a duty to withdraw from, and refuse his recognition or obedience to, manifest and public heretics, whether they are heretical on one or many points of heresy. I know that every man is conservative about the things he knows best, so I appreciate that you have accurately characterized the modern errors surrounding climatology. But the Catholic must hold the defined doctrine on all points, so far as he knows them, and must strive to know them as well as he may – and certainly, as clearly erroneous as Climastrology is, the attempt to re-write all Sacramental Rites, to propagate Liberalism/Modernism through false Ecumenism, repudiation of Supersessionism, promotion of abstract “rights” rooted in “human dignity,” etc., are all the more clearly heretical, being as they stand against prior definitions, decrees and common teaching.

    So, my Christmas wish to all fellow Catholics: may God grant you all an increase in Faith, Hope and Charity, and an infusion of all the virtues, especially Fortitude, so that we may manfully face our current situation and live as the Faith, rather than respectability, requires. Fiat!

  4. There’s nothing good, Catholic, or Christian about supporting pollution. It’s just sleazy.

    JMJ

  5. JMJ, you continually confuse pollution with global warming. They are DIFFERENT! We recycle and acknowledge the limited resources of our good planet. Please, learn about the difference between pollution and what climatastrologists (what a neat word!) rant against. The Chinese automobiles and factories pollute, make the air unbreathable–but that has nothing to do with global warming.

  6. It’s quite sad. Though I have had plenty of disagreements with Dr. Briggs, I’ve not known him to be simply a liar or a fraud. To see him publish a piece by a known promulgator of material easily shown (by a large number of people much more patient that I who have taken the time to slog through the slime) to be falsified and manipulated is quite disappointing.

    In person, Monckton is also simply a liar. For one example, videos are easily found of Monckton claiming not to have compared climate protesters to Hitler Youth, side by side with videos of him comparing climate protesters to Hitler Youth.

    And such fraud is not limited to climate. How is his cure for “various infectious diseases, including Graves’ Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI” along with promising results for HIV coming?

    If his faux lordship is true to form, he’ll publish something saying that he’s meeting with his lawyers to take legal action against me. Following such claim, nothing will happen.

  7. Only a nincompoop would conflate carbon dioxide (which is vital to life) with pollution.

    As for the argumentum ad hominem concerning Mr. Monckton, readers here need not be reminded that such an argument is regarded as a logical fallacy.

  8. Only a nincompoop would conflate carbon dioxide (which is vital to life) with pollution.

    As for the argumentum ad hominem concerning Mr. Monckton, readers here need not be reminded that such an argument is regarded as a logical fallacy.

  9. RR: Who agrees with anybody 100% of the time? Do we refuse to talk to people because we find some of their characteristics or views objectionable? As Ed Koch once said,

    “If you agree with me on nine out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.”

  10. Greyhounds eat carrots?!

  11. Gosh Monkton! – I didn’t know you were a musician too.
    Very nice, thanks.
    Sadly, we *do* now expect the Spanish Inquisition, together with their friends the Thought Police.
    Interesting point about our saviour’s mother. Thank God that her choice was “pro”; to be the handmaiden of the lord. Two millennia later, would she receive treatment for the voices in her head and be persuaded to make the “right” choice?
    Merry Christmas to you and Mr Briggs and keep up the good work both, there is much of it to be done 🙂

  12. Burning ever increasing volumes of fossil fuels all over the world strikes many informed, reasonable, intelligent people, probably most, as dangerous to the environment. Then there’s the geopolitics, overall polluting nature of the entire sector, and the way it imposes itself on our development… the only rational upside for anyone, really, would have to be profit. It somehow makes you money, or notoriety, or power, or sex, or whatever it is you really want. It is not logical to just ignore the problems associated with the fossil fuel sector unless there is some motivating factor that supersedes your care for your fellow man and your world.

    JMJ

  13. Jersey McJones

    Don’t be silly – or, if you must, please go and troll a Chinese or an Indian Blog.
    (hint: it’s there that the “ever increasing volumes” can be found)
    And what was the “sex” bit about, other than just daftness?

  14. JMJ: Again, CO2 is no more pollution than O2. You insist on asserting that a commonly occurring gas necessary for life is “pollution”. This makes you look very scientifically illiterate and very politically motivated, so politcally motived that you will not admit the truth if it gets in the way of your politics.

    As for most informed, reasonable, intelligent people opposing the use of fossil fuels, no, they do not. No one is ignoring the problems associated with fossil fuels, though I must say global warming fans are very much ignoring the extreme consequences of decarbonization, consequences not based on a computer model. Wanting your children to live in shacks and eat dirt like Haiti is not my idea of kindness, though it may indeed be yours. Also, power and profit are a HUGE part of the green agenda. The earnings of Greenpeace are astronomical. Poor people don’t fly to Paris and party a week. Al Gore is a millionaire, Tom Steyer is a billionaire and so are many of the so-called greens. If those preaching the sermon are not following it, one must conclude that either they want their children to live in abject poverty, they think their own children will be unaffected due to their extreme wealth (interesting that you so love rich people such as these) or they’re lying and hope you’re enough of a sucker not to notice.

    Rob Ryan: So you are asserting that one should not read anything written by anyone they don’t like, even if it is true. The speaker is more important than the content. Facts are not relevant, personality is what we go by. Isn’t that what the Apocalypse of CO2 believers say? We must only listen and read that which mainstream science, the false 97% consensus, says.

  15. Sheri: No, I read Briggs all the time as you well know. I can’t say whether I like him, I’ve never met him. Heck, I may even learn that I like you, were we to meet. I’m saying that I’m not aware that Briggs has a history of misrepresentation, fraudulent claims and lies. About half of what I read is written by people with whom I disagree (again, I don’t know if I would like most of them, I may either like or dislike people with whom I disagree).

    But his faux lordship is someone to whom I’d apply the phrase “just because he says it, it doesn’t NECESSARILY mean it’s false.” Why would I read a serial liar and fraud? If Monckton makes some claim, it’s as likely to be false (or more likely) than it is to be true. What’s to be gained? I’m disappointed to see him given a platform by someone with whom, whether I would like him or not, I frequently disagree but whom I respect and from whom I’ve learned.

  16. Rob Ryan: Briggs coauthored at least one paper with Monckton. There was no complaint about that association, so I was surprised to see one surface now.

  17. I kept it to myself. It was a refereed paper in a journal and I felt that I should only criticize it if I read and absorbed the actual content of the paper, which is on my excessively long “to do” list. And there’s no question that Dr. Briggs and Dr. Soon have significant grasp of the subject matter in the paper. Further, I stated (I believe here but certainly elsewhere) that I was horrified at those who took the position that Dr. Soon should be ignored and even punished for his funding sources. Nonetheless, I will state that I was disappointed to see Dr. Briggs sully himself by associating with Monckton. But allowing Monckton “air time” in a personal blog was more disappointing to me.

  18. Dear Mr. Moncton:

    re: the abuse of the church for political purposes. Quite.

    re: the Spanish inquisition.

    No. The inquisition is much more relevant today than you might expect. What actually happened is that Ferdinand (of Aragon) and Isabella (of Castile) united to fight the Islamic influence then resurgent in what is now Spain/Portugal. As part of rooting out the Muslim sympathizers still in place they co-opted the existing church infrastructure – turning it into a form of national political/secret police. One result was an organizational split with the fully co-opted part running what became known as the inquisition while the main body of the church carried on its regular businesses.

  19. Rob Ryan: Got it. Thank you for explaining.

  20. Briggs

    December 23, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    All,

    Even more comedy: The Genetic Fallacy.

  21. The Genetic Fallacy:

    That’s a good piece. I hope his Lordship reads it.

  22. The carbon dioxide sequestered in “fossil fuels” was in the atmosphere at one time – not as pollution but as part of the air. It certainly wasn’t killing anything back then. In fact, quite the opposite happened when the Earth was warmer and had more CO2. Burning those fuels only releases part of the CO2 back that was there in the past – ipso facto the stuff that comes from burning “fossil fuels” is not pollution.

    This is a lecture on the horrors of CO2 from a lefty so it must be true: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/15/greenpeace-founder-delivers-powerful-annual-lecture-praises-carbon-dioxide-full-text/

  23. ‘Briggs & Monckton’ – a fine, colourful, and I do hope, highly influential combination. I have had excellent service from a lawnmower with an engine from similar-sounding manufacturer. It turns my unruly, unsightly grass into something much more attractive and life-enhancing. May Messrs Briggs & Monckton continue to do the same as they mow down the growths of junk science defacing our generally lovely world. God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay!

  24. Stopped mass attendance about the time this Papal ‘bull’ was published.
    Having read this great piece by His Lordship, thinking of going back tomorrow, even if I may have to hold my nose.
    Btw I an not get the imbedded video to play.
    Any suggestions?
    A very happy Christmas to our wonderful host and all contributors – and I mean ALL.

  25. Should say – I cannot get video to play – any suggestions please?

  26. Lee: I had noticed Monckton dropped the “Lord” designation.

    Patrick: Today I just get a blank box where the video should be. Of course, it’s the day before Christmas and internet traffic is incredible, so that may have something to do with it. It might load if I leave the window open long enough.

    Paul W: Very interesting link. I shall have to study it in detail as it answers some of the statements concerning fossil fuels that believers don’t answer.

    All: Yes, the genetic fallacy. However, after Rob Ryan’s answer, I got the impression that he is not actually guilty of said fallacy, but rather so offended by the actions of Monckton that reading him would be a waste of time. If one does not trust the source of information, one must take a great deal of time to verify what is and is not true. Is it worth it? Depends on the topic and how much free time one has. It seems fairly clear Rob Ryan did not summarily dismiss all arguments from people he doesn’t like, just in this case. While I will read what Monckton wrote, I would not allow him to publish on my personal blog. As I have stated before, he is the skeptic’s equivalent of Al Gore—loud and prone to exaggeration. He may be useful in getting emotional individuals to reject global warming, much the same way Al Gore gets them believe global warming, but he’s offensive to many in the science fields. I suppose he does serve a purpose in that sense.

  27. ” I had noticed Monckton dropped the “Lord” designation.” Actually, he doesn’t need to drop it. This page at Debrett’s http://www.debretts.com/forms-address/titles/viscount-and-viscountess tells us that the correct mode of address for a Viscount is “Lord”. And the letter linked above on the UK Parliament tells us he is indeed a Viscount. So not a ‘faux lordship’ but not a member of the House of Lords. The House of Lords Act 1999 kicked out a lot of lords from the House of Lords.

    Maybe he dropped it because he was tired of the contention over it.

  28. O dear,
    JMJ,
    As far as I am concerned, Sincerely, you aren’t a troll.
    There are no trolls.
    There are differences of opinion and different levels of informedness.
    All:
    On Monckton’s remarks to students:
    There is, was, last I looked videos showing Monckton speaking about to the students where he apologises unreservedly. I would recommend watching the on line lectures and videos. Blogs clearly aren’t the place any longer for reasoned and sensible argument. Unless you’re commenting just to agree with the narrative. I can’t see JMJ finding out anything here but rather a sort of sift through nastiness to try and find the basic truth.
    As for projecting hate, it is very self destructive for the hater.
    I hope everyone has a peaceful Christmas.
    God bless everyone from a woman who is not Catholic but C of E.

    Joy

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