Is Climate Change Truly an Existential Threat? Allow Science, not Hysteria, To Decide

March 6, 2019

On Feb. 20, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump plans to set up a Presidential Committee on Climate Security, to be headed by Dr. William Happer, a Professor of Physics at Princeton University. This committee would be liberated to do the unthinkable: To engage in an open, public discussion of whether human emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere can cause significant and possibly irreparable harm to present and future generations, and to the Earth itself (whatever that might be taken to mean).

On this topic, we've heard it repeated that the science is settled; that apart from some climate deniers (a term chosen for its parallel to Holocaust deniers), the vast majority of scientists working in the relevant fields are of one mind — they believe disaster is upon us if drastic changes are not urgently made. It is solemnly intoned that this is a matter of science rather than politics, and that disagreement with the teachings of climate change adherents is a kind of heresy against knowledge itself.

Leaving aside the questionable basis for the oft-repeated claims of scientific unanimity, ask a more fundamental question: Have you ever come to know that something is true, on the basis of hearing that many other people believe it? Is that really how science works? One single person can be right, while everyone else is wrong. In fact, this is how all great discoveries have been made!

What is there to fear from an open, public review by a government committee of the available evidence? Is it a sin to question the perceived status quo? If the science is so certain, why the fear about subjecting it to reasoned scrutiny?

Is there something we are not supposed to find out?