Can this marriage be saved? The union of junk scientists, on the prowl for government handouts to pay for their computer games, and eager politicians sniffing an enormous new source of tax revenue was a match made in a dark alley. The always gullible mainstream media was the guest at the wedding, and everybody won. Only the public was duped.
The global warming scam is in trouble because neither the globe nor the thermometer will cooperate. Congress is trying to decide whether to believe its own eyes or the hustlers who have been forced to change the name of the scam - we’re supposed to call it “climate change” now. The marketing men hired by Al Gore to “re-brand” the scam looked for inspiration to the country philosopher who observed that “if you’ve got one foot in the fire and the other foot in a bucket of ice, on average you’re warm.” The term “climate change” strikes a fraudulent average that can be applied to ice storms, heat waves, hurricanes and floods. Since the climate changes constantly, the new “brand” ought to last awhile.
Skepticism, once the mark of the ethical scientist, has been cast aside by the global warmists who behave like high priests, rigging the debate by protecting their doctrinal certitude that humans, who have been here a few hundred thousand years, provoke changes in the weather - sometimes warmer, sometimes cooler - which have been going on over a few billion years. (An imaginative, clever lawyer might find a high priest to sue for violating the religious freedom clause in the First Amendment.)
Some of the scientists have begun to speak up, unable any longer to keep their silence. They argue that the global-warming scam is self-perpetuating, that critics and their criticism are not only pushed to the sidelines, but face ex-communication from the Church of Global Warming. Theirs is a tough pope.
The church is rattled by the embarrassing disclosure of certain e-mail messages between prominent global-warming scientists, revealing what was suspected but not proved before, that skeptics of the theory are systematically ignored and shunned. This is accomplished by manipulation of “peer review,” that skeptics should not be listened to if their criticism is not published, after review by peers, in an approved scientific journal. Any journal brave enough to publish a skeptical scientist is to be shunned as well.
In one e-mail, marked “highly confidential,” Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, an early British center for climate research, wrote to Professor Michael Mann at Penn State that it was important to keep skeptical science out of the report of the International Panel on Climate Change, which will be big stuff next month in Copenhagen. Professor Mann, in his e-mail, said that he and a colleague “will keep [skeptics] out somehow, even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is.” Professor Mann argues that the revealing e-mail messages are merely part of the “vigorous debate” necessary to suppress debate. George Orwell lives.
The revelations of academic travesty have panicked the priests of the Church of Global Warming and friends and followers. The Washington Post, which built its reputation on leaked (or “stolen”) documents, prissily refers to the e-mail messages as “stolen e-mails” that prove nothing more than that suppressing debate must be done more discreetly. What panics the congregation is that this breaks just before the big Copenhagen warmfest.
President Obama, who earlier didn’t want anything to distract attention from his Nobel Peace Prize and said he would pass up Copenhagen to get on to Oslo, now intends to drop in on Copenhagen. The sudden discovery of room on his calendar was obviously the result of the revelations of scientific chicanery. Not only that, he’ll get to make not one but two speeches in Scandinavia, though it’s not clear what, beyond a nice speech, he can promise the Copenhagen congregation, since global-warming legislation is stalled, probably permanently, in the Senate. Not even the Democrats want to go home next year to explain why they voted to wreck health care and impose an enormously expensive cap-and-trade on U.S. industry, all in a single year. All the president can do is promise. But he does have experience in making promises.
A series of articles in the Lancet, the prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal, suggests what’s next on the global-warming agenda. Altering the weather is good for you. If you get rid of your car and walk to work, you might lose a pound or two. If you quit eating meat the ranchers would raise fewer cows, reducing bovine flatulence. Flatulence is a constant in the Church of Global Warming.
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.