Four centuries ago, “heretics” who disagreed with Church orthodoxy were burned at the stake. Many were the dissenting views that could send offenders to a fiery end.

In 1633, the astronomer Galileo Galilei came within a singed whisker of the same fate, for arguing that the sun (and not the Earth) was at the center of the solar system. He was saved only because he was already famous, had good friends in high government places, and agreed to recant his “heresy” (at least publicly) and submit to living under house arrest until the end of his days.

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin FREE

Growing evidence ultimately proved Galileo was right, and the controversy dissipated.  Theology gave way to nature in determining the truth about nature. 

We wish that were the case today. Unfortunately, lessons learned 400 years ago have yet to be adopted where the Church of Anthro-Climatism is involved. Burning dissenters at the stake may no longer be an option – perhaps because it would send prodigious quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, many other ingenious punishments are often meted out, to ensure that dissent is kept within “acceptable” limits, or dissenters no longer dissent.

Just recently, as scientists who specialize in environmental science, climatology, and solar variability, we welcomed the acceptance of our scientific session, Diverse Views from Galileo’s Window: Researching Factors and Processes of Climate Change in the Age of Anthropogenic CO2. The session was to be hosted at the upcoming Fall 2009 Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.

Our session was to focus on “knowledge that spans an extremely diverse range of expertise” and provides “an integrated assessment of the vast array of disciplines that affect and, in turn, are affected by the Earth’s climate.” Our ultimate goal was to stimulate discussion at this professional meeting, prior to the upcoming UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fifth assessment report.

We developed this session to honor the great tradition of science and scientific inquiry, as exemplified by Galileo when, 400 years ago this year, he first pointed his telescope at the Earth’s moon and at the moons of Jupiter, analyzed his findings, and subsequently challenged the orthodoxy of a geocentric universe. Our proposed session was accepted by the AGU.

Willie Soon and David Legates

Dr. Willie Soon is a scientist who studies solar and climate co-variability. Dr. David Legates is a scientist who studies climatology and hydrology.