In a letter to the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, professor of philosophy Jens Hansen takes exception to the plan to ring the bells of Catholic churches in celebration of the World Climate Summit that will take place in Copenhagen next month.
“I’m all in favour of a climate agreement,” he writes. “But I detest the idea that there is an infallible stance here. In particular, ringing the bells for the summit is a dreadful way to embrace the sciences that discovered the climate changes, researched them and described them….
“To sanctify the prevailing opinion among climate experts with a Catholic rite represents not only a break with a valuable tradition but also repudiates conflicting opinions. This is a step in the direction of opinion terrorism and brings back memories of the Inquisition, which saw [Giordano] Bruno burn at the stake and [Galileo] Gallilei sent to prison.
“Are we now jumping into the quagmire on the other side of the narrow path of virtue and sanctifying one particular scientific view? No, this way of creating heroes is wrong and undermines the independence of science, just as the proscriptions of the Middle Ages did.”