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TYRRELL: It’s cold outside

- The Washington Times - Friday, January 9, 2009

COMMENTARY:

If you are going out anytime over the next few months, may I suggest that you wear a hat? You might even buy earmuffs. We are experiencing yet another cold winter.

Al Gore may believe in global warming, but I suggest he have a word with his fellow environmental catastrophists at the United Kingdom's Hadley Center for Climate Predictions. Since the end of 1998, global warming has ceased. In fact, it is getting colder out there. Last year was possibly the coldest year of this young century. Over the last two years temperatures have dropped by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius - brrrr.

The reason I mention Al's co-religionists at the Hadley Center is that they have come to realize that computer projections of global warming have been wrong. Carbon dioxide levels have indeed increased but not temperatures. So bundle up, Al. Last year, in many parts of the world, snowfalls reached levels not seen in decades. The Associated Press recently shrieked that global warming "is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid," but the facts are otherwise. The computer models that have predicted global warming have failed just as the computer models that predicted very few financial losses for the insurance industry from credit default swaps (CDSs) failed.

Christopher Booker, writing in London's Daily Telegraph, observes that "2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved." I am not sure I would go that far, but I do believe the so-called consensus that the catastrophists claim exists among scientists has frayed, and it may be years before we know if global warming is long-range or what causes it. It may be caused by humans, but it may also be caused by natural activity on the sun.

From the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization has come a very interesting book of essays that displays the diverse views of some very serious scientific minds. One contributor, Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, raises the question: "Is the global warming alarm founded on fact?" He acknowledges that over the decades there has been some global warming but argues that the predictions of catastrophe are greatly exaggerated. "Actual observations suggest that the sensitivity of the real climate is much less than that found in computer models whose sensitivity depends on processes that are clearly misrepresented."

Then there is Freeman Dyson, who, in the June 12, 2008, issue of the New York Review of Books, writes very calmly about global warming. He assures us that "genetically engineered carbon-eating trees" are just around the corner, likely to be developed in 20 years, certain to be developed in 50 years. What is so promising about genetically engineered carbon-eating trees? Writes Mr. Dyson: "Carbon-eating trees could convert most of the carbon that they absorb from the atmosphere into some chemically stable form and bury it underground. Or they could convert the carbon into liquid fuels and other useful chemicals."

So relax. Our future is in the trees - genetically engineered carbon-eating trees. Frigid winters are on the return. Al Gore's next new thing will be the common cold. It is rather amazing to think of how he and the catastrophists whipped up hysteria worldwide. One wonders what their next fear will be - carnivorous trees?

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of the American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute.