Michael Fumento

“Winter offered as proof of warming” declares a headline in the print edition of the Washington Post, although perhaps the irony of that  later struck the editors and they softened it a bit in the online edition to “Harsh winter a sign of disruptive climate change, report says.”

Nothing especially outrageous here. The enviros have been doing this for years; indeed, it’s why they adopted the term “global climate change” so that any change in climate or even just weather – which obviously this is – can be portrayed as a result of man’s nefarious activities in putting greenhouse gases into the air. The report, incidentally, is from the National Wildlife Federation that makes money by promoting global warming in the same way that GM makes money selling trucks.

But folks are having trouble buying it. A poll released Mondaypoll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press asked respondents to rank 21 issues in terms of priority. Global warming came in dead last. It’s come in last before, but this time just 28 percent of those surveyed list global warming as a top priority, down from 35 percent in 2008.

In an update to my blog on the alleged melting of the glaciers atop the Himalayas (and imminent extinction of the yeti), the scientist behind the bogus claim in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report claiming the Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the , did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the coordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

The claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 relied on magazine interviews with glaciologist Syed Hasnain, which were then recycled into a 2005 report by the warmist World Wildlife Fund. Lal and his team then cited this as their source.

Moreover, the WWF article also contained a arithmetic error. A claim that one glacier was retreating at the alarming rate of 134 meters a year should in fact have said 23 meters – the authors had divided the total loss measured over 121 years by 21, not 121, said the newspaper.

As to the 2035 melting date, it “seems to have been plucked from thin air.”

Which is only right, considering how very thin the air is atop the Himalayas.

“The glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, a large number of them may disappear by 2035 because of climate change.” Such was the lede of one of countless articles about how 1.3 billion Asians were in imminent danger of first flooding and then drought. And that’s not to mention the certain extinction of the abominable snowman.

You didn’t need a Cray computer to figure that this was nonsense, that temperatures would have to more or less instantly soar to incredible heights and stay there for this to happen. (As it turns out, 18 degrees Centigrade.) But people wrote it, read it, and believed it. You’d think a magazine with the name Technology Review would know better, yet its latest issue declares: “The Himalayan glaciers that feed rivers in India, China, and other Asian countries could be gone in 25 years.”

Why did they say it? In part, because it was convenient. And in part because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said it in its Fourth Assessment Report (2007). Now the IPCC is saying, “Whoopsie!”

In a statement released on Wednesday, the group admitted “poorly substantiated estimates.” More specifically, it appears to have been based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published in 1999. That story, in turn, was based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist in Delhi. And Hasnain has since admitted his assertion “speculation” unsupported by any formal research.

The IPCC says it will “probably” issue a formal correction. “Probably?”

But admit it guys, wasn’t it fun while it lasted?

The cover of Al Gore’s new book, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, features a satellite image of the globe showing four major hurricanes – results, we’re meant to believe, of man-made global warming. All four were photoshopped. Which is nice symbolism, because in a sense the whole hurricane aspect of warming has been photoshopped.

As I note in my article in Forbes, it was all really based on just two data points – with the names “Katrina” and “Rita.”

Now with both greenhouse gas emissions and levels in the atmosphere are at their highest, but this year had the fewest hurricanes since 1997, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For the first time since 2006 no hurricanes even made landfall in the U.S.; indeed hurricane activity is at a 30-year low.

Whoops! So much for Gore’s cover and all the hullabaloo.

In a 2005 column, I gave what now proves an interesting retrospective.

“The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name was global warming.” So wrote environmental activist Ross Gelbspan in a New York Times op-ed that one commentator aptly described as “almost giddy.” The green group Friends of the Earth linked Katrina to global warming, as did Germany’s Green Party Environment Minister.

The most celebrated of these commentaries was Chris Mooney’s 2007 book Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics and the Battle Over Global Warming. Mooney, for the record, is also author of the best-selling book The Republican War on Science.

Yet there were top scientists in 2005 such as Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, publishing data showing the Rita-Katrina blowhards had no business building a case around two anomalies. But his paper was squelched by Kevin Trenbarth of “Climategate” fame.

It’s fascinating stuff. Read it!

Or somewhere new, anyway. By necessity. So says Al Gore.

In a speech at the Copenhagen climate summit he declared: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

We’re talking a massive relocation of elves, folks.

In a curious twist, Dr. Maslowski thereupon claimed that Gore had distorted his views. ““It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” he told the Times of London. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

Another Gore fibbery! But apparently not.

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano obtained a Danish government handout citing the Monterey, California professor’s modeling and reaching the same conclusion as Gore. “Projecting the trend into the future indicates that autumn could become near ice free between 2011 and 2016 (Maslowski, 2009).”

Which simply means Gore didn’t intentionally misrepresent Maslowski, not that either the professor or the former veep is right. Still, you can’t blame Santa for being just a bit nervous.

“The decade of 2000 to 2009 appears to be the warmest one in the modern record, the World Meteorological Organization reported in a new analysis on Tuesday,” according to the New York Times. “The announcement is likely to be viewed as a rejoinder to a renewed challenge from skeptics to the scientific evidence for global warming, as international negotiators here [in Copenhagen] seek to devise a global response to climate change.”

Yes, and a false and misleading rejoinder at that. The statement appears here in what’s obviously a propaganda sheet. At a glance it would seem to refute my recent assertion in Forbes that there’s been no warming over the past decade.

But it’s a matter of which interpretation do you think counts. Yes, the last decade was warmer than the previous decade. But there has been no warming within that decade. My point remains intact: During the last decade GHG emissions and ambient levels have gone up every year whereas warming has not as this chart shows. That’s the only point I was trying to make, that even as every year the world poured more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the ambient concentrations of those gases rose, there was no rise in warming. The formula of “more GHGs = more warming” is overly simplistic; something is going on in nature that’s seriously impacting temperatures.

Oh, and as far as that “modern record” stuff goes, that’s sneaky stuff too. As I pointed out, and as this graph shows, it was much warmer in the medieval warming period – you know, back when those Viking ships were pumping CO2 in the atmosphere and when the Carolingian empire got most of its power from coal-fired power plants.

So, yeah, the WMO is kinda basically lying.

While climate experts were off at the Copenhagen summit working on their tans (in sunny Copenhagen), the EPA pulled a fast one. As the Washington Post noted in an article that was actually quite good in providing the negatives, the agency formally announced that six gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, pose a danger to the environment and the health of Americans and said it would begin drafting regulations to reduce those emissions.

So if you think the recent poll showing most Americans reject the basis of global warming legislation, plus the scandal over “climategate,” may have derailed the Waxman-Markey legislation you may be right. But you’d be wrong in thinking the crisis has passed. The EPA was explicitly given the power by the Supreme Court to regulate greenhouse gases and could produce a web of regulations far worse than Waxman-Markey. The only recourse of opponents would be in the courts (see previous sentence) or via Congress cutting funding to the agency. And would this Congress really do that?

For more, see this Forbes piece on the issue published before the EPA announcement, and the EPA press release. This is bad news, folks!

From the thousands of email and other documents that comprise “Climategate,” this is one of the most interesting: It’s a “travesty” that “we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment.” (Emphasis added.) Further, “any consideration of geoengineering [is] quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not!”

What does “at the moment” actually mean? Would you guess the past 10 years! That’s right; no warming in the past decade even as so-called “greenhouse gas emissions” and ambient concentrations are at historical highs! Does this prove global warming is a “hoax”? No. But it proves the simple equation of “more greenhouse gases = more warming” is false. Read about it in my new Forbes Online piece, “Show Me the Warming.”

After playing a news clip stating, “University scientists say raw data from the 1980s was thrown out” Daily Show host Jon Stewart declared, “Why would you throw out raw data from the ’80s? I still have Penthouses from the ’70s! Laminated!”

Whoa! Did we just have a hurricane season? Doesn’t seem that way. “2009 hurricane season ends quietly with fewest storms since 1997,” declares one headline. “The season featured nine named storms, the fewest since 1997, and for the first time since 2006 no hurricanes made landfall in the United States,” states the article.

That’s quite a change since 2005, when the coincidence of two major hurricanes striking the U.S. and causing lots of damage, Katrina and Rita, led to a storm of allegations that global warming was causing cyclones to rise up in revenge against man. Most notable was far-left science writer Chris Mooney’s Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming, which Amazon.com informs us is “bargain-priced” and probably for good reason. Mooney not coincidentally is also author of “The Republican War on Science” and “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future.” Perhaps it threatens our future, but in the meantime it’s very good for his wallet.

Not that Mooney was alone by any means. In my 2005 Scripps Howard column “Green Hotheads Exploit Hurricane Tragedy,” I provided what in retrospect proves an interesting blast from the past.

“The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name was global warming.” So wrote environmental activist Ross Gelbspan in a Boston Globe op-ed that one commentator aptly described as “almost giddy.” The green group Friends of the Earth linked Katrina to global warming, as did Germany’s Green Party Environment Minister.

Granted, as I’ve written recently there’s been no warming in the last decade. But there’s been no cooling since 2005, either. Same temperatures, far fewer hurricanes.

So as the Kingston Trio might sing, “Where have all the hurricanes gone . . . ? And where are all these blowhards now? Presumably blaming global warming for some sort of disastrous problem caused by a lack of hurricanes.