Throughout history few people gain the recognition to become part of humanity’s everyday lexicon, especially if they commit heresy. Indeed, Galileo, whose name rhymes with grade school learning, suffered ridicule at the hands of the world’s highest authorities in the 17th century. But, nowadays Galileo is a hero.
Arguably, Dr. James Hansen is today’s Galileo. The Inquisition still stands tall.
As of January 2015, Dr. Hansen, the world’s foremost climate scientist, says: “We can anticipate that global warming will continue on decadal time scales, because earth is out of energy balance – more energy coming in than going out—as a result of increased atmospheric greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide,” James Hansen, et al, Global Temperature in 2014 and 2015, January 16, 2015.
As Hansen discovered while in graduate school, Venus experienced a similar atmospheric complexity like Earth but many, many millennia ago. As a result, today Venus is 860 °F with very thick CO2 atmosphere.
In many respects Dr. Hansen is today’s carbon copy of Galileo. Similar to today, four-hundred years ago science was viciously attacked: “We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you, the said Galileo… have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the center of the world,” Galileo is Convicted of Heresy, This Day in History: April 12, 1633, History.com.
In 1633, Chief Inquisitor Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzola, who was appointed by Pope Urban VIII, convicted Galileo of heresy and sentenced to house arrest until he died blind at the age of 78.
Zooming ahead 400 years with television replacing scrolls and on March 17, 2006, Dr. James Hansen, America’s most renowned scientist, is interviewed on television’s 60 Minutes by Scott Pelley, who inquires about government censorship of science.