Hysteria Over Paris Pullout

Let's have a high-level debate on this issue and settle it once and for all.

By Cal Thomas Published on June 6, 2017

For sheer hilarity and hyperbole it’s hard to beat a recent headline on a Washington Post editorial opposing President Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the nonbinding and unenforceable Paris climate agreement.

“Trump turns his back on the world,” it screamed.

A close second goes to the headline on a New York Times piece by columnist David Brooks: “Donald Trump Poisons the World.”

Dishonorable mention goes to former presidential adviser David Gergen, who said on CNN that Trump had committed “one of the most shameful acts in U.S. history.”

The secular progressives have again revealed their diminished capacity, which ought to disqualify them from leading anything, especially the country.

The central argument supporting “climate change” has been that a “scientific consensus” exists on the subject. Two things about this. The first is that climate scientists who disagree on that consensus have been largely shutout of the debate. Their papers and ideas are blocked from mainstream scientific journals and, thus, are not subject to peer review. Politics appears to have overshadowed science.

The secular progressives have again revealed their diminished capacity, which ought to disqualify them from leading anything, especially the country.

Second, there have been numerous cases in the not too distant past where an empirical conclusion among scientists was touted as rock-solid truth, but which later, after further examination, proved to be dead wrong. As with climate change, politicians and editorialists told us we had to accept the conclusions, related costs and possibly even diminished lifestyles in order to save the planet. After all, these were scientists and were thought by many to be as close to God as secularists get.

Newsweek magazine featured a cover story in 1975 about “global cooling.” That was supposed to be a scientific consensus.

A June 2010 article in Reason magazine lists some of the other Chicken Little claims about doomsday being just around the corner. The magazine’s science writer, Ronald Bailey, found a July 1, 1979 issue of The Washington Post claiming a “broad scientific consensus” that saccharin causes cancer. It took 30 years before the National Cancer Institute reported, “There is no clear evidence that saccharin causes cancer in humans.”

That same year, notes Bailey, the Post published a story citing researchers who believed eating more fiber appeared to significantly reduce the incidence of colon cancer. “Twenty years later,” writes Bailey, “a major prospective study of nearly 90,000 women reported that, ‘No significant association between fiber intake and the risk of colorectal adenoma was found.'”

President Trump should counter his critics by convening a White House conference on climate.

Prior to 1985, there was “scientific consensus” that acid rain caused by electricity generating plants fueled by coal and emitting sulfur dioxide was destroying vast acres of forests and lakes in the eastern U.S. In 1991, notes Bailey, “after 10 years and $500 million, the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program study … concluded, “That acid rain was not damaging forests, did not hurt crops, and caused no measurable health problems.”

There is much more in the article that is worth reading. It should humble the scientists, politicians and editorialists who want us to embrace another “scientific consensus” on “climate change.”

President Trump should counter his critics by convening a White House conference on climate. In addition to the apostles of climate change, he should invite scientists — and only those specializing in climate science — that have been marginalized from the debate. These would include MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen, who claims believing that CO2 controls the climate “is pretty close to believing in magic.”

None of those participating in the proposed conference should be academics or scientists who receive federal grants or have other connections to government. This might give them a conflict of interest and reduce their credibility.

Let’s have a high-level debate on this issue and settle it once and for all.


Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

Copyright 2017 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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  • Dena

    I work for the US Government. Recently at my work we had a meeting on climate change. My senior thesis in college was on climate change, so I’ve always had an interest in it. I believe it’s possible it could be happening, but I have many questions. At the time I did my study I had trouble proving man made climate change was happening either way. There are other factors involved like natural fluctuations in climate and other factors that can affect weather like increased sunspot activity, volcanoes, cloud cover, etc. We only started recording global weather back around 1880. Ice core data and chemical analysis of coral reefs show fluctuations of temperatures in the past. However, the spike in weather warming since the individual revolution is suspect. Also to what degree is climate change happening, how fast is it happening, how much can humans actually affect it and are we able to reverse it?

    In our meeting we were told that 97% of scientists believe man made climate change is happening. We were told you either believe in it or your an idiot. Some people were offended by that and asked are we even allowed to question it? They’re response was what is there to question- it’s fixed science!

    I disagree. A good scientist always asks questions and test different theories. If Galileo didn’t question the status quo of his day, the world would still be flat. I think it’s unhealthy to completely disregard man made climate change, but at the same time we should be free to question it and test other theories. Weather is complex and other factors could be involved that we’re over looking.

    • Christian Cowboy

      Well said

    • Timothy Horton

      Everyone is free to propose and test other hypotheses. Right now virtually every scientific study done shows anthropogenic climate change is real and will have large negative consequences for humans and the planet if nothing is done about it. The only scientific disagreements are over the magnitudes, timing, and locations of the most severe effects, and how best to mitigate them.

      Fossil fuel company funded climate change deniers try to drum up a fake controversy in the scientific community where one doesn’t exist. It’s exactly the same as the Yong Earth Creationists claiming there is a scientific controversy over evolution.

      • mbabbitt

        Garbage recycled. Calling people deniers, sick. Tectonic plate theory fought tooth and nail by the consensus.

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