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At Australian Catholic University, lecturer challenges Cardinal Pell’s views on climate change

September 27, 2012

Speaking at Australian Catholic University in Sydney, a Melbourne ethics professor recently challenged Sydney Cardinal George Pell’s views on climate change.

“Cardinal George Pell has become a prominent climate science denier,” said Clive Hamilton. “Last year, in a widely disseminated speech in London, Cardinal Pell reproduced a farrago of false claims about climate science, claims that he had transcribed from denialist websites or simply plucked out of the air. Anyone who studies the arguments of deniers soon discovers that, although the terrain of the debate appears to be science, in truth it is about deep cultural and political beliefs, and Cardinal Pell is no exception.”

“Despite his expressions of disdain for ‘post-modernism,’ Cardinal Pell weaves a story about the social construction of science that would be worthy of any cultural studies academic,” Hamilton added. “To explain away the consensus of opinion among qualified climate scientists he resorts to conspiracy theories.”

Hamilton concluded by offering Pope Benedict’s teaching on the environment as a contrast.

A link to Hamilton’s talk, delivered on August 29, was distributed on September 26 by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, whose participants include the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In its e-mail, the Coalition highlighted Hamilton’s discussion of Pope Benedict rather than his critique of Cardinal Pell.


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