For example, there are such facts as the unexpected expansion of Antarctica’s ice shelf or that Arctic ice remains, although somewhat diminished, despite predictions it would have disappeared by now.

Greenpeace founder Robert Johnson suggests we are moving from legitimate rational concern about changing global conditions and toward a state of “climate hysteria.” This, he suggests, is openly promoted by a scientific and political establishment fed, emotionally and sometimes economically, by selling ever more extreme scenarios. Climate scientists, notes the left-leaning magazine Oz, are even embracing emotion and salesmanship as a part of their job description as researchers, quite a departure from past standard professional behavior.

Rather than address possible shortcomings in their models, climate change activists increasingly tend to discredit critics as dishonest and tools of the oil companies. There is even a move to subject skeptics to criminal prosecution for deceiving the public.

How much this does for our understanding of the complexities of climate seems questionable, but the incessant campaign on the issue clearly is having an effect on the society’s rationality. Canadian psychologists have already found elevated levels of anxiety among young people, who, after all, have been told that their world could be coming to an end, no matter what we do.