martes, abril 22, 2014


As a child I relished picking through rocks to find fossils of the lush tropical swamp that once covered my corner of southwest Pennsylvania. On trips to Ohio I collected specimens of the briny brachiopods that littered the floor of an inland ocean. Climate changes. I knew that by age seven. Whether it is changing now in the manner of a tea kettle on slow boil is another matter. And whether such changes as can be observed, large or small, have much to do with human carbon dioxide emissions is still another.

Gradually I have found myself more impressed with the arguments of the climate change skeptics--the reviled "deniers"--than with the Michael Mann school of hockey stickology or the IPCC striptease in which it discards its pretences to "settled science" a glove at a time without ever getting down to bare truth.

But these are my personal opinions and I preside over an organization that takes no official position on climate change. The National Association of Scholars isn't a body that can weigh the substantive merits of competing scientific models. We are referees, concerned that all sides play by the rules, not goalkeepers, much less goalmakers. And we have members who have diverse opinions about whether, how much, and where from climate change happens.

That diversity, of course, is nearly unheard of in the academy itself, where a hardened orthodoxy is enforced with increasing determination. The enforcement itself tells a story. No one has to enforce an orthodoxy on plate tectonics, quantum theory, or Andrew Wile's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. All of these were once controversial. Wile's original proof was shown to be defective. He fixed it. The theories advanced by the accumulation of hard evidence and the rigor of the analysis.

Seguid leyendo.