Galileo vs. Global Warming

The recent East Anglia Climate Research Unit scandal dubbed “Climategate” has spurred massive debate on the subject of global warming: whether or not it is caused by humans and the evidence pertaining to those studies. Emails released to the press from East Anglia have shown that data which does not support the theory of human caused global warming and writings of global warming “skeptics” have been kept from the public by some people wishing to support a larger, more popular theory, and perhaps more in keeping with their political agenda. This hints of history repeating itself…

About four hundred year ago, Galileo Galilei made some very interesting discoveries about the universe we live in. At that time, the popularly accepted theory was that all planets revolved around the earth. A newer theory was introduced a few decades before Galileo by a man named Nicolaus Copernicus. His radical idea was that the planets revolved around the sun and not the earth.

Galileo’s observations using his telescope (a new invention) provided evidence for this theory. Yet, instead of being praised, he was charged with heresy and put under house arrest by the Catholic Church. His books were burnt and banned, the new theory altogether condemned. Why? Because the Catholic Church had encouraged the Biblical belief that man was the center of the universe. Galileo’s talks of the earth being a moving body and revolving around the sun were a threat to the church’s political hold over the people. So he was stifled. Sound familiar?

Here we have the widely accepted theory of global warming caused by our carbon footprint — a theory supported by the government, a theory deemed “politically correct.” Yet, there are other theories, one example being solar cycles, where the process of global warming is a naturally occurring event. These have been, however, suppressed. Why? Obviously because they go against what we “ought” to believe, what has been taught to us for years: that we, terrible humans, have cruelly wasted our precious Earth.

Galileo’s discoveries sparked a change in our perception of science. Science should be purely experimentation based on calculation and deduction, unpolluted by politics or theology. Last year (2009) was the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s telescope, of the change Galileo had effected in the world and in science. Sadly, 2009 was also the year where science took a turn for the worse in keeping from the public the other half of the story concerning global warming. While we look back and condemn the Catholic Church’s narrow minded view, we fail to see the fact that our government and our scientific community are doing exactly the same thing. Doubtless, we shouldn’t stop our efforts to conserve natural resources, but we should also filter out the politics in the global warming argument and look at the plain, bare, scientific facts themselves, lest the legacy of Galileo be totally wiped away.





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

burningembers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm
You write amazingly well--and I agree with you completely
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback