What Happened to Global Warming?

Debra J. Saunders :: Townhall.com Columnist

by Debra J. Saunders – Tuesday, October 13, 2009 – for Townhall.com

“What happened to global warming?” read the headline — on BBC News on Oct. 9, no less. Consider it a cataclysmic event: Mainstream news organizations have begun reporting on scientific research that suggests that global warming may not be caused by man and may not be as dire and eminent as alarmists suggest.

Indeed, as the BBC’s climate correspondent Paul Hudson reported, the warmest year recorded globally “was not in 2008 or 2007, but 1998.” It’s true, he continued, “For the last 11 years, we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.”

At a London conference later this month, Hudson reported, solar scientist Piers Corbyn will present evidence that solar-charged particles have a big impact on global temperatures.

Western Washington University geologist Don J. Easterbrook presented research last year that suggests that the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) caused warmer temperatures in the 1980s and 1990s. With Pacific sea surface temperatures cooling, Easterbrook expects 30 years of global cooling.

EPA analyst Alan Carlin — an MIT-trained economist with a degree in physics — referred to “solar variability” and Easterbrook’s work in a document that warned that politics had prompted the EPA and other countries to pay “too little attention to the science of global warming” as partisans ignored the lack of global warming over the last 10 years. At first, the EPA buried the paper, then it permitted Carlin to post it on his personal Web site.

In May, Fortune reported on the testimony of University of Alabama-Huntsville Earth System Science Center Director John Christy’s before the House Ways and Means Committee. Christy is a 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report signatory who believes human effects have a warming influence, but rejects the disaster scenarios.

As Christy told the committee, climate models rely on land temperature data that are distorted and exaggerated by surface development — that is, asphalt and buildings. In a nice bit of research, Christy, who is also the Alabama state climatologist, debunked the temperature-increase predictions made by NASA scientist James Hansen in 1988. “The real atmosphere,” Christy testified, “has many ways to respond to the changes that the extra CO2 is forcing upon it.”

Add Christy, Easterbrook and Corbyn to the long list of scientists who see climate as a complex issue rather than an opportunity to sermonize and lecture the general public.

Over the years, global warming alarmists have sought to stifle debate by arguing that there was no debate. They bullied dissenters and ex-communicated non-believers from their panels. In the name of science, disciples made it a virtue to not recognize the existence of scientists such as MIT’s Richard Lindzen and Colorado State University’s William Gray.

For a long time, that approach worked. But after 11 years without record temperatures that had the seas spilling over the Statue of Liberty’s toes, they are going to have to change tactics.

They’re going to have to rely on real data, not failed models, scare stories and the Big Lie that everyone who counts agrees with them.

Readers’ comments

elko-mikeLocation: NV

Reply # 1 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 12:42 AM EST

A Bit Geeky

but for a while one of the pillars of global warming has been knocked flat. See http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/cl imate-change/DavidEvansmissingsignature.pdf

The basics are that if greenhouse gases are causing a warming of the planet then they would leave an atmospheric “fingerprint” that can be detected experimentally. In science such fingerprints are called signatures. Despite many experiments and a ton of money spent, no signature has been detected. This is significant as it disproves the scientific underpinnings of global warming.

There was a Theory of Global Warming, which was used to develop the models that predicted the temperature increases. This theory predicted the signature that would be found in the atmosphere. When the experimental data found no signature — as was the case here — then the theory is wrong. It is a canon in science that the theory is proven wrong when it is contradicted by experiment.

Now we have further evidence that the planet has entered a cooling period while greenhouse gases continue to climb.  

Can one conclude that greenhouse gases don’t cause warming? No. One can conclude that it isn’t the primary cause, and also that much more research is necessary before implementing public policies, such as cap and trade, that cause economic harm.

Now we have the typical liberal pivot. They change the vocabulary to Global Climate Change. The climate is always changing and they take it as an article of faith that man causes whatever change is observed. This justifies more government interventions in our lives.  

We need to stop this madness.

RockyMountainRobLocation: CO

Reply # 2 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 1:07 AM EST

Hot/Cold? So What? It “Changed”

The global warming nuts have already covered themselves on the global COOLING that could be coming our way. 

They re-worked the language to “climate change,” remember? That wasn’t by chance; it was by design. Now they can say, “See? Hot/cold–what’s the difference. We told you it was going to ‘change.’ We still need your support because now those polar bears are gonna increase in numbers and wipe out all the seals. We have to save the seals.”

Go to: http://rohrabacher.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?Docu mentID=91424
to read Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s excellent/humorous House floor speech on the whole global-warming scam.

CharlieLocation: MO

Reply # 5 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 4:26 AM EST

Sky Pete………….

……….they are called “CYCLES” – not the eleven year solar flare nonsense – real weather cycles that span hundreds of years. We are a flea on an elephant’s back, and we are NOT changing the weather.

The polar ice caps will come back – they have melted before, and they will refreeze and melt again.

The fact that this is a LIBERAL CAUSE isn’t the reason we disagree with global warming/climate change, the reason we disagree is because there is no scientific evidence to back up any of it.

The fact that it is a LIBERAL CAUSE just makes it funny to watch you scurry around changing your alarm cry from “GLOBAL WARMING!!!!” to “CLIMATE CHANGE!!!!”  

Makes all those involved appear just plain stupid.

JimLocation: VA

Reply # 6 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 4:33 AM EST

The Hysteria Channel

Well, remember how inspirational it was when The Weatherman’s Channel went wacko, and Heidi Cullen, resident Climaxologist ecstatically announced the end of the world – and the end of certification for Meteorologists if they refused to join in the circus?

That’s when I stopped watching the Weatherman’s Channel. Too many bombs. It’s as if it were run by Bill Ayers itself.

The sky is falling. Big deal. It falls every day, somewhere – according to the Weatherman’s Channel.

JimLocation: VA

Reply # 8 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 4:44 AM EST


But Rob! Your link! The link fails to mention the biggest source of Greenhouse Flatulence of all: Al Gore, Nobel Prize winner!

Wasn’t it Al who said that Climax Change was going to require every nation to give up sovereignty, and to bow prostrate (or prostate, given the direction) to the Unfurled Nitwits?

Funny link! Thanks!

JimLocation: VA

Reply # 9 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 4:57 AM EST


Solar cycles aren’t fake, but…they aren’t exactly predictable, either. I’m more worried about an event similar to the one in 1859 (solar flares,) or the extended period called the Little Ice Age.

By the way, the End of the Era (the Hysteria Era) probably began with a Southpark episode. ‘Tis fitting.

PaleoconLocation: VA

Reply # 10 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 6:04 AM EST

Ms. Saunders

A useful essay on a topic long neglected by the dinosaur media.

“Indeed, as the BBC’s climate correspondent Paul Hudson reported, the warmest year recorded globally ‘was not in 2008 or 2007, but 1998.'” Even so, Hudson is off by two generations. The correct answer is 1934.

“EPA analyst Alan Carlin — an MIT-trained economist with a degree in physics — referred to ‘solar variability'” — which is a very important consideration. Americans driving SUVs may be turning the planet into an uninhabitable hothouse, but how can anyone blame them for the increase in reflected solar radiation observed on Neptune?

“They’re going to have to rely on real data, not failed models, scare stories and the Big Lie that everyone who counts agrees with them.”

Or they can move the goalposts and change the game, which is just what they’re doing. _Global warming_ has been discreetly replaced by _climate change_, a meaninglessly broad term that comprises warming, cooling, unexpected variation, uncommon stability, and male-pattern baldness. No matter what happens now, blowhards like Al Gore can scream Climate change! with less fear of contradiction as they destroy wealth and freedom.

P.S.: the adjective you need near the end of the first paragraph is _imminent_, not _eminent_. I don’t usually cavil about grammar, spelling, or stylistics. God knows, I’m no great shakes as a writer. But I’m just a volunteer on this forum. You get paid.

BudLocation: OK

Reply # 11 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 6:25 AM EST

Global Warming / Climate Change 

This whole thing has been concocted for two reasons: (1) to provide an excuse to shift more wealth to politicians, facilitating a larger and more controlling government, and (2) to preserve the government grants of folks who’ve been sounding the alarm bells for these many years. 

It used to be global cooling, then it was global warming. Now the new mantra “climate change” gives the advocates a simple way to hedge their bets. The truth is that climate is guaranteed to change over time, whether people have much to do with it or not.

Stand back and look for a bit of perspective. The totality of human energy consumption is < 0.01% of the effective solar load on the earth (back of the envelope computation). The total concentration of C02 in the atmosphere is 0.0383% (source: Wikipedia), meaning it is a trace element, of negligible import when compared to the most significant greenhouse gas – water vapor. Life has persisted on this earth with widely varying levels of C02 in the atmosphere, suggesting that feedback mechanisms are in place that tend to stabilize the biosphere.

Take a serious look at the qualified skeptics writings on the subject: http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/

bincLocation: IL

Reply # 18 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 7:39 AM EST


Millions have died since the environmental crowd yowled about DDT and it’s effect on egg shells. I have yet to read one article placing the blame for these deaths on those that caused it. Google “the malaria clock” to read about the devastation the greens caused with that pet cause of theirs. If the media actually did their job and reported what they should, less people would be eager to jump on the next environmental bandwagon

Libertarian pragmatistLocation: VA

Reply # 19 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 7:47 AM EST


I am a meteorologist by profession, so I have more expertise in this matter than Al Gore.  

Climate changes constantly, due to several factors. There are ocean temp changes over decades, solar flares, and over thousands of years time, there is the alteration in the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit and axis tilt.  

Algore (it’s a joke libs) is a huge socialist who desires to control people’s behavior, much like the great book 1984.  

My opinion of global warming is that there may be a slight increase in temp based upon enhanced CO2, but most of the change is caused by the oceans and sun.

beowulfeLocation: MA

Reply # 21 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 7:53 AM EST

Fact that global warming nuts hate…

Everyone says that we haven’t warmed since 1998. Even the AGW fanatics have now come to admit it. However that is untrue.

Because of the methods for calculating global temperatures, there is a margin of error of 0.2 degrees. Therefore, a more accurate year is 1987. Yes, you heard right, we have not had any global temperature change of any statistically meaningfulness since 1987 — 22 years ago.

So tell me, AGW kooks, if our global temperature hasn’t changed in any detectable way since the Reagan Administration, what’s the big deal?

Bulldog74Location: MA

Reply # 22 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 7:59 AM EST

All I know is

…we’ve frozen our butts off the last two winters here in New England, and it looks like this winter is shaping up to be more of the same. And I think our summer lasted about two weeks this year.

johnLocation: PA

Reply # 23 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 8:12 AM EST

sky pete

If everything the global warming folks say is true, then we will have to adapt. To adapt we need a robust flexible adaptable economy and economic growth. This means the government needs to back off, reform the destructive tax code, replace regulation by bureaucrats with regulation by transparent law. So even if the alarmists are right, (which is hard to know because you can’t find their models, data, or analysis on line) everything they recommend is exactly wrong. You don’t create new technology by wishing it to exist, mandating it, subsidizing some special interest nor by shackeling the economy.

RussLocation: MI

Reply # 26 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 8:24 AM EST

They are still out there……

Finally, some common sense is beginning to emerge on the global warming/climate change front.  

However, the scare tactics coming from Al Gore and the environmental left are far from over. we “deniers” must be ever vigilant. There is too much at stake for the climate scare mongers to let go.

The GW/CC science is melting under a heat wave of contradictory research, but the control freaks of the left are clinging desperately to their political foothold like allegedly endangered polar bears to the last remaining chunk of arctic sea ice.  

Their foothold extends to the very top of the federal government. Obama is an avowed “believer” and has stated very pointedly that he means to have his Cap-and-Trade legislation. The Waxman-Markey bill has already passed in the House.  

No matter that Cap-and-Trade is a tax on the people and a drain on the economy. It’s a rare politician that doesn’t love a tax, even if it is based on faulty grounds and leads to economic disaster.

We can’t afford to be complacent just because GW/CC is falling out of favor. There are still plenty of “Sky Petes” around.

RayLocation: TX

Reply # 27 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 8:27 AM EST

Did you see Al at GW conference?

Did you see Al Gore at the Global Warming conference where someone in the audience ask him how he could explain that Polar Bear numbers had actually gone up not down?

Al’s only response was, “Do you not think Polar Bears are in danger?” Obviously he was amidst a friendly crowd so he continued to get away with not answering the question.

Man’s impact on global temperatures is unmeasurable. Global Warming and Global Cooling have occurred since the beginning of time. Global Warming is what brought and end to the Ice Age. Without some global warming we would not have enough arable land to grow the crops necessary to feed the world’s pupulation.

The Mt. St. Helen’s eruption, brush fires and forest fires spew more emissions into the upper atmosphere than all of man’s production since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

The Earth has been cleansing itself long before Al Gore came along.

Al Gore’s net worth when he left office was right at $1 Million. It is now over $100 Million. He hasn’t had a job since he left office. What do you suppose Global Warming is really all about?

Basset HoundLocation: TX

Reply # 28 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 8:33 AM EST

Mark Twain is appropos here

“There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

Or as George Carlin once said..

“The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are….”

RayLocation: TX

Reply # 29 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 8:42 AM EST

Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid!

Don’t drink the Cool-Aid folks it’s got cyanide in it!!

These Climate Change fanatics would love for everyone to just go along with their theory and not ask too many questions. Don’t question how the Alaskan glaciers have acutally increased in size for 6 years in a row. Don’t question how long it’s been since the global temperature has actually increased by any measurable amount. Don’t ask what the ideal average temperature of the Earth should be. Just drink the Climate Change Kool-Aid and go along with their plan.

Sound a little like Jim Jones Guyana does it? Well that’s why if you disagree you’re called irrational and ignoring “science.” Of course what they don’t tell you is it’s only their scientists and not all scientists.

It was the so called “scientific community” that dreamed up the “smoke enema.” Some people continue the practice today. They’re called Liberals.

RussLocation: MI

Reply # 30 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 8:47 AM EST

HL Mencken is apropos, too….

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

If ever there was an imaginary hobgoblin, AGW is it.

Flag as Offensive

Sil in CNYLocation: NY

Reply # 31 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 8:57 AM EST

When someone says….

When someone says “the debate is over”…that tells me they cannot win the debate with facts.  

And Sky Pete…don’t forget the lowered standard of living we will all have, thanks to energy costs that will “necessarily skyrocket”. 

One day, “global warming” will be seen as the hoax it is. The climate changes…it has since the earth was formed…the idea that we are the biggest cause of ANYTHING on a global scale, warming or cooling, is no more than man’s ego thinking he is more than the speck on the earth he is…..

Flag as Offensive

bostguy112Location: MA

Reply # 32 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 8:58 AM EST

Al dore

Lets think about this for a minute. If you turn on the news and the weatherman or weathergirl is giving the 5 or 7 day forcast i am thinking that what they say for the 5th 6th or 7th day is going to be correct maybe 50% of the time. (Totally unscientific poll). But Al Gore can tell you what its going to be like in 30 yrs. With nothing in his background to make these claims. I dont think i am buying that one as i sit in my house in a sweatshirt… with the hood on!

Flag as Offensive

CorktipLocation: LA

Reply # 33 
Date: Oct 13, 2009 – 9:00 AM EST

Absolute Zero

The sun heats the earth from very near absolute zero Kelvin up about 300 degrees to a nice standard day of 59F. If the sun was switched off the oceans and atmosphere would freeze solid in very short order. Carbon dioxide is less than 1% of the composition of the atmosphere. The only thing that affects global warming (climate change)in any real way is the sun. It is cold in the winter because of the tilt of the earth reducing the hours of sunlight in the hemisphere, warm in the summer for the opposite reason. “It’s the sun!” Don’t confuse radical eco-politics with reality, the sun is real.

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