The Late, Great Global Warming Scare; Americans See Al Gore as the Boy Who Cried Wolf

Article excerpt

Byline: Ben Lieberman , SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Global-warming skeptics were hit with numerous setbacks over the past few years - from a major 2007 U.N. report that seemingly confirmed the warming crisis, to Al Gore's popularization of this gloomy message through his book and Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

And let's not forget the shifting political winds that elected a greener Congress and brought in an administration that made climate change a priority.

But now those skeptics are facing a new challenge: overconfidence.

That's because everything of late has been breaking their way.

OK, overconfidence may be an exaggeration, but the wheels are really coming off the global-warming cart.

Climategate - the recent leak of e-mails showing gross misconduct among scientists with key roles in the U.N. report - raises serious questions about how much of the global-warming science we can trust. The scientists were, after all, manipulating the temperature data to show more warming and subverting requests by independent researchers to see the underlying data.

Other scary claims in the U.N. report, such as the assertion that Himalayan glaciers are on pace to melt completely by 2035, also turned out to be false and have been retracted recently.

Climategate and other scandals only add to the reasons for doubt. At the same time, Mr. Gore's many terrifying predictions are not withstanding the test of time. His book and movie really played up the supposed link between global warming and Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately for the scaremongers (and fortunately for those who live on the coast) we haven't seen anything even close to Katrina since. The 2006 through 2008 hurricane seasons were at or below average, and the 2009 season went down as the weakest in more than a decade. So much for a global-warming-induced hurricane trend - and many other such scares.

Another thing missing from the global-warming crisis? Global warming. Temperatures have been flat for more than a decade, and 2009 adds one more year to that trend. …