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Monday, June 8, 2015

Neologism, non sequitor collide

On the last Fox News Sunday, Rick Santorum explained how, at heart, he is just one more American Catholic who follows the Pope's lead when it suits him:

WALLACE: Pope Francis will release an encyclical on the environment on June 18th, and you suggested recently that the Holy Father should stay out of the debate on climate change. Here you are.


SANTORUM: The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think that we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we do -- what we're really good at, which is -- which is theology and morality.


WALLACE: Two points -- if he's not a scientist, and, in fact, he does have a degree in chemistry, neither are you.

SANTORUM: I agree. But --

WALLACE: That's one point. And the second point is somewhere between 80 percent and 90 percent of scientists who have studied this say that humans, men -- human activity, contributes to climate change. So, I guess the question would be, if he shouldn't talk about it, should you?

SANTORUM: Well, we have to make public policy with regard to the environmental policy. I --

WALLACE: But you're not a scientist. You said leave the science to the scientists.

SANTORUM: But the point is that politicians, whether we like it or not, people in government have to make decision with regard to public policy that affect American workers. Look at the administration is proposing this ozone regulation that will simply shut down any manufacturing expansion in this country. So, yes, there are things that are going to happen here that scientists are going to determine whether we need ozone regulations or not.

WALLACE: And you don’t think the pope has the right --

SANTORUM: But there are political --

WALLACE: You don't think the pope has a right to talk about this?

SANTORUM: The pope can talk about whatever he wants to talk about. I’m saying, what should the pope use his moral authority for? And I would make the argument --

WALLACE: Well, he would say he's protecting the Earth.

SANTORUM: That's important but I think there are more pressing problems confronting the Earth than climate change. And I would suggest that, particularly when it comes to me as someone who's trying to go out there and make sure we have a revitalization in manufacturing, to energy production, the things to create jobs and opportunities, that speculative science, which has proven over time not to have checked out, all the predictions that were made 15 years ago, none of them have come true.

So, all of this certainty, which is what bothers me about this debate, the idea that science is settled. Any time you hear a scientist say the science is settled, that's political science, not real science, because no scientists in their right mind would say ever the science is settled.

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