A French doubter who authored a book arguing that solar activity — not greenhouse gases — was driving global warming, Philippe de Larminat sought a spot at a climate summit in April sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Nobel laureates would be there…After securing a high-level meeting at the Vatican, he was told that, space permitting, he could join. He bought a flight ticket from Paris to Rome. But five days before the April 28 summit, de Larminat said, he received an e-mail saying there was no space left. It came after other scientists — as well as the powerful Vatican bureaucrat in charge of the academy itself — insisted he had no business being there. “They did not want to hear an off note,” de Larminat said.
For advice, he turned to a number of scientific advisers who supported the consensus that human activity was warming the earth. They included Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. A professed atheist, Schellnhuber nevertheless saw a chance for a massive coup in the climate debate if a sitting pope issued an ode to Earth and the ills of carbon emissions. But not everyone, he said, seemed to want the encyclical to take sides. He said he was stunned to hear that de Larminat, the French doubter, almost made it to the key Vatican climate summit in April.
De Larminat, in March, had had a cordial meeting with Cardinal Peter Turkson, a senior member of the clergy and a key supporter of the pope’s encyclical. In it, both men said, Turkson promised to try to secure a space for the Frenchmen at the April summit.
However, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences – a body of luminaries, religious and not, dating back decades but with roots in the 17th Century – effectively vetoed de Larminat’s presence.
Some prominent conservatives — particularly economic and environmental ones — were consulted by the Vatican during the process, but “many were sort of shocked that none of their contributions made it in there,” Raymond Arroyo, news director at the Catholic mega-channel EWTN, said Friday.
Complete Washington Post article here.