EDITORIAL: Snowmageddon is nigh

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As Washington digs itself out from under the Snowpocalypse, the region braces for yet more flurries. At least 18 inches of snow lie on the ground at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and some places were blanketed under as much as three feet. More arctic blasts this week could drive 2010 into the history books as the capital’s snowiest winter ever.

The news must send chills up the spines of global warming adherents, for whom this winter has been marked by discontent. Several of the movement’s high priests have been exposed as charlatans. The famed “hockey stick” chart - cited as indisputable evidence that the planet has been warming for a century owing to carbon emissions - was exposed for fraudulently doctoring data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures. When the the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that glaciers were melting as a result of the selfishness of mankind, the claim turned out to be a complete fabrication.

The left now must dig itself out from under more than just snow. Public acceptance of a massive cap-and-trade scheme to control carbon emissions diminishes as neighborhood snowdrifts climb ever skyward.

Of course, those who question the dire predictions of catastrophic warming still will be mocked as rubes by the liberal elements of media and academia. But the left’s battle to win the hearts and minds of the masses has been forever lost by the extravagance of the doomsday cult’s own weather-related predictions. Conjuring imaginary climate-change hobgoblins to advance a public-policy agenda only works as long as Mother Nature plays along.

This isn’t the first time that climate hysteria has been used in this way. A debate raged more than 130 years ago over the idea of digging a Panama canal. Some opposed it on honest grounds of protectionism and opposition to free trade. The March 7, 1876, edition of the New York Times took a different approach, proclaiming that the canal’s merging of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans would cause the “immediate disappearance of the Gulf Stream” with catastrophic results. “The valleys of the St. Lawrence and the Thames would be filled with enormous glaciers, and the coasts of Ireland and England would be inhabited only by wandering Esquimaux, seals and Polar bears,” the Gray Lady proclaimed. “London would slowly disappear under a mountain of snow and ice.”

By the time the canal opened in 1914, the predictions had long since been forgotten. The igloos have yet to make their permanent appearance in Great Britain. Over the ensuing century, the apocalyptic visions have gyrated from hysteria over extreme warming to a coming ice age and back, always in service of a big-government agenda. With naked socialism largely vanquished in the intellectual arena, global warming seemed to be the ticket that could drive the public into the open embrace of more government control.

Those who value freedom should thank Mother Nature for her sense of humor, undermining the case for global warming one flake at a time. So although we’re quite tired of shoveling, we say, “Bring on the blizzard.”

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