Wall Street Journal op-ed columnist Peggy Noonan is very worried that Pope Francis’s reported plans to argue against the effects of climate change on the poor may be premature. “The Vatican feels the science of climate change is settled,” she frets, and also, “the European elite is all in on climate change and the Vatican is in Europe. The Church fears being tagged as antiscience and antifact. But is the science of climate change settled?”
Don’t get Noonan wrong. She is very pro-science. She just wants authorities to stick to those scientific questions where the science is completely firm. Questions like, Can we be certain that a team of divine anti-communist dolphins delivered Elian Gonzalez to freedom? Noonan wrote a 2000 column castigating Bill Clinton for failing to endorse this theory:
It was a miracle a six-year-old boy survived the storm at sea and floated safely in an inner tube for two days and nights toward shore; a miracle that when he tired and began to slip, the dolphins who surrounded him like a contingent of angels pushed him upward ….
Mr. Reagan would not have dismissed the story of the dolphins as Christian kitsch, but seen it as possible evidence of the reasonable assumption that God’s creatures had been commanded to protect one of God’s children. … But then he was a man.”
We don’t know exactly what percentage of marine biologists subscribed to this interpretation, but it’s definitely got to be higher than the mere 97 percent of climate scientists who endorse the theory of anthropogenic global warming.