Paul Greenberg
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You could almost feel the fear emanating from the official statement/caveat issued by the director of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Its scientists, it seems, had discovered something they shouldn't have. Uh oh.

It would have been different if CERN's experimenters had loyally backed up the conventional scientific wisdom/orthodoxy about Climate Change, formerly global warming. The name had to be changed when certain unfortunate facts kept turning up. As they will in real science.

Now the most embarrassing piece of evidence yet has made its appearance at that super-sophisticated physics lab over in Switzerland where they put atomic particles through their very fast paces.

This time CERN's researchers have found that nearly half of the global warming observed of late isn't traceable to man's activities after all but to sunspots, specifically the fluctuations in solar cosmic rays that promote cloud formation (I don't understand it, either, but I'll take the textbooks' word for it).

Whatever the scientific validity of the physicists' findings, it's dynamite politically. As CERN's director, Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer, must have well understood. Because, even before the experiment's findings were published, he told his scientists to "present the results clearly but not interpret them" -- lest they find themselves entering "the highly political arena of the climate-change debate." Which, of course, is just where they now find themselves.

How could it be otherwise when you're overturning applecarts everywhere in the Global Warming industry? There are certain possibilities you don't even want to hint at if you intend to stay a member in good standing of the scientific establishment. For climate change isn't just a theory any more, it's an article of faith. And anyone who dares dissent is treated as a heretic.

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The prudent thing to do, if a scientist must blab, is to present the results of his experiments "clearly but not interpret them." Some things should not be noised about. An Italian named Galileo Galilei got much the same advice from his friends in the church when he was challenging scientific dogma some time ago. But the man just would not shut up, or stop peering through his new-fangled telescope.

Scientists, the real ones, are like that: incorrigible. A stubborn bunch, they believe all theories are to be tested by the evidence. No matter how sacrosanct they have become. These types have no idea how politics works, whether it's of the church or state variety.

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Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.