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Global warming that begat “climate change” is no exception. All the good politics in the world of blaming most bad weather on too much carbon dioxide cannot make it true if unquestioned climate data cannot support the notion of recent temperature increases being directly attributable to rising man-caused carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

In recent years, “settled science” with regard to the causes of peptic ulcers, the health benefits of Vitamin D, the need for annual mammograms and the prognostic value of the prostate-specific antigen test have all been turned upside down by dissident scientists offering new theories to interpret fresh data.

Yet for the new anti-empirical left, science becomes an ally only when refuting absurd religious theories that the Earth is 5,000 years old. Otherwise, it can prove irrelevant when it does not necessarily support pet causes.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian for the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.