We were all supposed to be dead now, done in by AIDS, the gift of the gays. After that it was SARS, bequeathed to the world by China. Then it was avian flu, which, to be fair to the alarmists, did in fact result in the deaths of millions.
The millions were all chickens, true, but chickens have feelings, too. You could ask the folks at PETA.
One by one these terrors subsided, done in by reality, which is never as much fun as telling ghost stories around the campfire. (Let’s not forget the killer bees.) The hysterics in newsrooms and faculty lounges stumbled on, and finally found something truly hot, hot as in hip, and this one came with a messiah to lead us to heaven on earth. Now those hallelujahs and hosannas are beginning to subside as well. Reality is stripping even Al Gore of his priestly robes (in earth tones).
We’re not supposed to call global warming “global warming” any more. That’s so very 20th century. Now it’s “climate change,” just in time for the political high season, and convenient when the climate leaves the natural warming cycle and enters the cooling cycle, as it has done for millions of years. Climate change is the change that Obama, Hillary, John and the rest of us can all believe in, because changing is what the climate does best. Best of all, the hysteria so beloved by Chicken Little and his disciples is preserved, like the pickle we were never in.
In fact, the earth has been measurably cooling for the last decade, despite everything Al and his followers have done about it. The solar cycle peaked, the sun is quieter, the suns spots have faded and everybody but Al is cooling off. Even the United Nations agrees, and who could disagree with the United Nations? The director of the U.N.’s International Governmental Panel on Climate Change concedes that nature has overwhelmed everything man can do and it might even be another decade before man can rally and the warming resumes. Until then the U.N. and related bureaucracies, which have blown through billions of dollars in “research” to prove that man not nature rules the cosmos, must work hard to keep up the hysteria level.
What drives the global-warming skeptics is that the science of weather, such as it is, has been overwhelmed by the politics of the special pleaders. Richard Lindzen, the Harvard-trained Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meterology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is one of the skeptics. He agrees that the planet has warmed over the last century by 0.6 degrees Celsius, as measured by the global mean temperature, but he doesn’t agree that man has caused it.
“The notion that you’re ignorant of something and somebody comes up with a wrong answer and you have to accept that because you don’t have another wrong answer to offer,” he says, “is like faith healing, or quackery in medicine – if somebody says you should take jelly beans for cancer and you say that’s stupid, and he says, well, can you suggest something and you say no, does that mean you have to go with jelly beans?”
Well, yes, that’s what Al says, and his followers shout amen. And when they can, they read the skeptics out of the debate. The research director of the Royal Dutch Meterological Society, for example, was dismissed after he questioned the science of global warming; so were the director of the U.N.’s World Meterological Organization and several eminent Italian meteorological professors. When several hundred skeptics, many of them with impeccable scientific and academic credentials, met this spring in New York for the reading of dissenting research papers, the mainstream media, which has so much invested in the global-warming scam, studiously ignored it.
“There is no significant man-made global warming,” John Coleman, a trained meterologist and founder of the Weather Channel, told the conference. “There has not been any in the past, there is none now and there is no reason to fear any in the future. The climate of Earth is changing. It has always changed. But mankind’s activities have not overwhelmed or significantly modified the natural forces.”
That’s what bugs Al Gore and his fellow travelers most – having to accept the proposition that man proposes, and nature – and nature’s God – disposes. We’re just not as important as some of us think we are, and that smarts.
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Times.