The problem with the statement: "belief or disbelief in the greenhouse effect, global warming, and other properly scientific matters cannot be a political issue in a free society" is that it presupposes that the evaluation of fact and fiction will be conducted in a manner that is "free and fair", and that all those concerned will stipulate to the same set of facts.

Unfortunately, as Orwell so brilliantly described, and as further illustrated by the shenanigans surrounding Climategate, this is nowhere near the case.

We cannot stipulate "facts" such as "the icecaps are melting", "the earth is getting warmer", "the earth is warmer than it has ever been", or "central control increases efficiency". First and foremost, they have not received proper scientific scrutiny and validation -- but have been advanced through politically contaminated means. When -- as is proper through intellectual inquiry -- the models and data were questioned, the questioners were stonewalled, subjected to vitriolic personal attacks, lied to, blackballed, and became targets of political force. To allow such activities to be used to create "facts" makes a mockery of Western Civilization.

That is not to say that the opposite of each "fact" is proved -- indeed, to make this finding because of the political maneuverings intended to enshrine these statements as factual would be just as great a perversion of the concept.

The sad fact is that these currently are "a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing." Unless and until valid science is performed -- not a political count of noses among scientists -- not statements made that gain the most grant money -- not a reliance on authority....then it is necessary that "belief or disbelief in the greenhouse effect, global warming, and other properly scientific matters" be "a political issue in a free society".