Reviving 'Global Warming'

Article excerpt


The Washington Times ran an Associated Press news article covering the environmental lobby's efforts to salvage its faltering movement ("Environmentalists seek to revive cause," Nation, Sunday). The cited factors behind the greens' malaise were "President Bush's re-election, the failure to slow global warming and the large number of Americans who dismiss environmentalists as tree-hugging extremists ... ." In this, AP and The Times elevate "global warming" and man's ability to control climate on an empirical par with U.S. election results and the greens' own decline.

The following are relevant considerations regarding the seriousness of this proposition. First, it was only upon Senate testimony in June 1988 by James Hansen (before a subcommittee chaired by Al Gore) declaring its advent that "global warming" became the politically useful climatic argument. Until that event, for decades the "consensus" phenomenon and inability to slow it bemoaned by the very same greens was the coming ice age, purportedly brought about by the very same activities. It similarly graced the media pages from Time (and AP) to Science and received the now de rigueur Newsweek cover story. …