Micheal Gerson is one of the good ones on the Right and his latest piece on climate change is brilliant. His second paragraph pretty much nails it.
The intersection of science and policy, of climate and politics, has become a bloody crossroads. Blog-based arguments over ocean temperatures and the thickness of the Greenland ice sheet are as shrill and personal as any Tea Party primary challenge. And the IPCC report — designed to describe areas of scientific consensus — has become an occasion for polarization.
Shrill, indeed. Scientific matters and their validity should not be decided based on fucking blog posts or comments. These sorts of discussions should be looked upon in the same way one views TMZ news on Molly Ray Cyrus.
Gerson astutely points out that the warming hiatus, which has elicited adolescent cries of GOTCHA!, is misleading and quite irrelevant. Climate change is something that occurs over several decades, not one and a half. And this trend doesn't take away from obvious facts.
The IPCC report is used or abused, it represents a consensus and not a conspiracy. “Each of the last three decades,” it concludes, “has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.” The oceans have warmed and grown more acidic. Ice sheets are losing mass. Sea ice and snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere are shrinking. Ocean levels are rising.
This is what is meant be settled science.
The rest of his piece defines the political problems that climate change has caused and, I hope, a solution to solving them.