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On Sunday, Norfolk received a couple of inches of snow — enough that some cars slid around and people had to scoop their sidewalks and driveways. There was a continuous light snow for several hours during the day.

The National Weather Service’s recording instruments, which are located at the Norfolk Regional Airport, recorded Norfolk’s snowfall total for the day as a trace.

Huh? How can that be?

It isn’t the first time that there has been differences in what people paying attention to the weather observe and what actually gets recorded, especially when it comes to precipitation. Anyone who has lived through a few Nebraska winters or summers knows that precipitation — whether snow or rain — can be spotty.

Yet when it comes to climate change, it seems what is recorded is often presented as evidence of global warming or climate change — even if it seems there could be another explanation.

With precipitation, for example, there can be major differences in amounts across just a few miles. There also can be errors in recording.

But when it comes to climate-change alarmists, however, anyone who disagrees gets branded a “denier.” That’s even being polite.

The problem, as we view it, is there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. Also, when was this matter discussed publicly and settled? We certainly don’t remember when it was up for a public discussion. After Al Gore went on a crusade in the 1990s, it seems like it became accepted as “fact.”

If global warming and climate change truly can be explained by science, shouldn’t there be freedom to challenge the hypotheses. If not in the past, how about now?

Could it be, for example, that the earth might be warming, but perhaps it is part of a natural phenomenon? Scientists agree that over the billions of years that the earth has existed, there have been several ice ages. In between, there have been periods of warming.

So might it be that the rise in temperatures being observed in recent decades could be natural? Or perhaps — maybe it is actually caused by a greater production of carbon dioxide, mostly caused by humans.

Usually when there is uncertainty on a topic, debate is encouraged. Most of the time, scientific discussion wants respectful discourse.

Those old enough remember at one time, the scientific community didn’t think that cigarette smoking caused cancer. Or that marijuana was addictive. Luckily, more scientific research and discussion ensued.

Finally, if global warming truly is so dangerous — the most dangerous threat facing the planet right now — why don’t the leaders of greenhouse gas theories quit flying in private jets to warn the public?

It’s time for respectful, honest discussion.

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