The climate is changing. The thing is, the climate has always been changing. And I’ve known that since Sister Theresa Marie taught me about it in third grade, which was shortly after dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Here’s the more interesting question: to what extent is human behavior and, in particular, our use of hydrocarbons, accelerating the pace and magnitude of climate change? Yet many people think it’s heresy to pose that as a question as opposed to accepting human-caused global warming as some immutable truth.

I’m no scientist but I think it’s a reasonable and fair question to ask: how much is our use of hydrocarbons accelerating naturally occurring climate change? I’m pretty sure smart, reasonable experts differ on that one. And I am equally certain more people would differ on the follow-on question: does the impact of our hydrocarbon use outweigh the benefits hydrocarbon use produces worldwide? Again, I don’t know the answer to the question, but I don’t like that some people represent theory as fact and shutdown the opportunity for discussion.

More and more, simply questioning ideological positions evokes a violent and hostile reaction, which is amplified by a media that leans left, and often hard left. That’s too bad because there is real value in questioning and in respectful disagreement.

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