ImageIn the 19th century, fashionable ladies ate small amounts of arsenic to give their cheeks a pinkish tinge. Sometimes they overdosed, and the poison killed them, however.

I thought of this when I saw Al Gore on the news recently, blaming the destructive cyclone in Burma on manmade global warming. That queasy feeling it gave me made me wonder if I'm getting close to a fatal dose of Al Gore. If we hear much more from him, I'm afraid it could be curtains - not just for me, but all of us.

The latest dose of global warming "arsenic" administered by our environmental witch doctor to prop up his bogus empire was a new low. Shamelessly using tens of thousands of suffering people as a political prop, Mr. Gore got in front of TV camera to repeat his shtick-in-trade: i.e.,

  • Humans are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere;

  • The increased concentration of CO2 is warming the climate;

  • A warmer climate is causing a warmer ocean;

  • Warmer oceans are producing storms of increasing power;

  • We're all going to burn, we're going to drown, the polar bears will go extinct; yadda, yadda, yadda.

(Really, if I hear much more of this I'm going to barf.)

The great thing about politicized science (or science-tinted politics) is that you don't have to mess up a good story with facts. Not all of Mr. Gore's statements are wrong - earth's six billion people are certainly emitting CO2. But the rest of his tale is either questionable or simply false.

Despite what all three presidential candidates say, it is unclear to scientists if CO2 is warming the climate. Indeed, the climate cooled, 1940-'80 - an industrial period when automobiles, factories and wars produced much CO2. By the late 1970s, alarmists were drumming about a new "ice age". Increasing CO2 was being blamed for the cooling. By the 1990s, Al Gore and others had flipped the scare to warming, but the "proximate cause" was still CO2.

Politicians say "the argument is over", but in fact there is no scientific "consensus" that the climate is warming at all. From 1980 to '98 Earth did warm slightly, but temperatures evidently haven't increased since 1998, and may even have cooled. Al Gore's claim that the oceans are warming - a once-reliable mantra for climate-alarmists - is also in doubt. 3,000 automated buoys take temperature readings at ocean depths of 6,000 feet, releasing the data to the surface every week. Dr. Josh Willis notes that there has actually been "a very slight cooling" over five years of buoy-observations.

But don't warmer oceans produce more severe storms? Isn't that science "settled"? No - this was media-hype, not science. After Katrina, alarmists started claiming that global warming produces more severe storms, which they said would become increasingly common. And "hurricane shops" - including the one formerly run by Dr. William Gray, Colorado State University Professor of Atmospheric Science - began to attract major media attention when they announced their "predictions" for the coming hurricane-season.

In the spring of 2006, a crowd of reporters breathlessly received the CSU predictions of 17 named Atlantic storms, including 9 hurricanes, 5 of which would be major. The probability of a major hurricane striking the USA was estimated at 81%. Doom was certain, but you can never trust the weatherman. Through a long disappointing summer and fall, reporters waited with windbreakers at the ready while one tropical depression after another fizzled. Five storms reached hurricane strength, but none hit the United States. Insurance companies had used the draconian "predictions" to justify radically higher rates. No one called them on "climate-profiteering".

Undaunted, the hurricane industry issued predictions for 2007: i.e., 14 named storms, including 9 hurricanes, 5 of them "major", with a 64% chance that one would hit US coasts. But 2007 produced only four hurricanes, two of them major and none striking the USA. Weather guys (and dolls) spent another season desperately hoping for the Big One that never showed up.

For 2008, another very active Atlantic hurricane season is predicted, with above-normal storm activity (15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 majors). These predictions received nowhere near the media hype of the ‘06 and ‘07 predictions. Reporters are becoming wary about weather predictions based on computer models. Many climate experts question any linkage at all between warming and severe storms. Some have denounced the concept as outright fraud.

It's worth mentioning that Dr. William Gray, the highly respected CSU climate scientist, says a recent uptick in strong hurricanes is part of a multi-decade trend of alternating busy and slow periods related to ocean circulation patterns. Contrary to mainstream thinking, Dr. Gray believes ocean temperatures will drop in the next five to 10 years. He has gone on record denouncing Al Gore's theory that humans are warming the planet and "causing" stronger storms. This has not earned him any points with the crowd that makes its living in the climate-scare business.

In an October 2007 address to students and faculty at UNC Charlotte, Dr. Gray said, "We're brainwashing our children. They're going to the Gore movie and being fed all this. It's ridiculous." He went on to argue that a natural cycle of ocean water temperatures - related to the salinity of seawater - is responsible for the global warming that he acknowledges has taken place.

Dr. Gray said that cycle means a period of global cooling will soon begin and last several years. "We'll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realise how foolish it was," he said.  He cited hurricane statistics from the last 100 years to show that those who believe hurricanes have been growing stronger in recent years are in error.

Years

Named Storms

Hurricanes

Intense Hurricanes (Category 3, 4, 5)

1900-1949

189

101

39

1956-2005

165

83

34

"The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures," Dr. Gray said.

In truth, recent years have disappointed global warming preachers. The winter of 2007-'08 brought heavy snows and severe cold to the northern hemisphere. Jerusalem saw snow for the first time in decades. China suffered its most brutal winter in a century, and snow cover over China, Mongolia and Siberia was greater than at any time since 1966.

Cities in Northern New York and Canada had the heaviest snowfalls in their recorded history. This year's snow pack in the Northwest was between 133% and 330% above normal. In many locations in the central Rockies, the Midwest and northern New England, the highest snowfall amounts of any year were recorded.

Polar ice caps have evoked "grave concern" among the alarmist community since the 1990s. Americans believe they are melting away. Dramatic images of waves sweeping over Miami and New York City in Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth supposedly illustrate what the melting icecaps will lead to. Ice was said to be breaking off into the ocean in chunks the size of Connecticut. For years we've seen film-clips of polar bears swimming in the open sea, pathetically trying to find ice floes to rest on. School children can't sleep at night because heartless industrialists and drivers of SUVs (like the ones they travel to soccer practice in) are melting the ice.

Is the polar ice melting and breaking off as huge icebergs? Well, yes and no. In the Antarctic, for instance, some former shelves have collapsed, but all are small. Most are near the Antarctic Peninsula, which juts well out from Antarctica into the currents and winds of the South Atlantic. The peninsula lies in a tectonically active region with surface and subsurface active volcanic activity. Experts say the continent of Antarctica has actually cooled since 1979.

In the May 9th issue of his newsletter, "The Week That Was", Dr. Fred Singer furnished some information about the Wilkens ice shelf in Antarctica, which was much in the news when it broke off. He tried to correct the erroneous impression that the entire Antarctic ice sheet is breaking up:

"The full Wilkins 6,000 square mile ice shelf is just 0.39% of the current ice sheet. Only a small portion of it between 1/10th-1/20th of Wilkins has separated so far, like an icicle falling off a snow and ice covered house. And this winter...[the] ice is... running 60% ahead (4.0 vs 2.5 million square km extent) of last year, when it set a new record. The ice is already approaching the second highest level for extent since the measurements began by satellite in 1979, and just a few days into the Southern Hemisphere winter and 6 months ahead of the peak. Wilkins, like all the others that temporarily broke up, will refreeze soon. [It will] likely exceed last year's record. Yet the world is left with the false impression Antarctica's ice sheet is starting to disappear."

Other material will have to wait for a later article. I'll conclude this one with a notation about Professor Paul Ehrlich, Al Gore's hero and mentor. In 1968, Dr. Ehrlich predicted a major food shortage. "In the 1970s... hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death," he predicted. He believed 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989, and that by 1999 the U.S. population would be just 22.6 million.

It's good to recall how wrong forecasters of doom have been in the past before we swallow a lethal dose of Al Gore's "medicine". I'll try to hang on if my readers promise to do the same.

Meanwhile, strike a blow for freedom: don't change over to mercury light bulbs; don't stop breathing; and don't try to ride a bicycle to work (unless it's just a few blocks).

It won't matter how warm (or cold) it is if you get run over by a truck trying to ride a bike on a busy boulevard. We're just passing through a fad. Things will right themselves if we don't panic.