Noonan: If Global Warming Is Real, Blame The Scientists

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan asks why all the top scientists can’t get together and decide if global warming is real:

During the past week’s heat wave–it hit 100 degrees in New York City Monday–I got thinking, again, of how sad and frustrating it is that the world’s greatest scientists cannot gather, discuss the question of global warming, pore over all the data from every angle, study meteorological patterns and temperature histories, and come to a believable conclusion on these questions: Is global warming real or not? If it is real, is it necessarily dangerous?

Actually, Ms. Noonan, that’s already happened. It’s called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which involves thousands of scientists from over 120 countries who develop detailed reports on climate change. Their most recent report (from 2001) was reviewed by more than 1,000 top experts, including so-called “climate skeptics” and representatives from industry. Here’s what they concluded:

There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.

The IPCC predicts that global warming will increase temperatures worldwide between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2100 if no action is taken to reduce greenhouse gases. This amount of warming, according to the IPCC, could raise sea levels by as much as three feet. That’s extraordinarily dangerous.

Noonan also laments that, if global warming is real, scientists won’t tell us what we need to do in response. Actually, they’ve done that too. Here’s Noonan’s big finish:

If global warming is real, and if it is new, and if it is caused not by nature and her cycles but man and his rapacity, and if it in fact endangers mankind, scientists will probably one day blame The People for doing nothing.

But I think The People will have a greater claim to blame the scientists, for refusing to be honest, for operating in cliques and holding to ideologies. For failing to be trustworthy.

Actually, the blame should go to people like Peggy Noonan who give our leaders the political cover to do nothing in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence.