woody_zimmerman_118_2007One of my favorite scenes in the dark film “Pale Rider” (starring Clint Eastwood) depicts a visit to the good-guy miners’ camp by the villainous young boss, accompanied by his giant thug, Club (played by 7’2” Richard Kiel). The purpose of the visit was to intimidate the miners and their new “preacher” – i.e., Mr. Eastwood’s mysterious character.

In his opening move of the dramatic scene, Club grabs a sledge and crashes a mighty blow upon a huge boulder, splitting it in half. After the Preacher drives the unwelcome pair away, he examines the split boulder, which he and one of the miners had been trying to break up. He quips: “Well, the Lord certainly does work in mysterious ways…” The miners proceed to break up the boulder, allowing them to get at the stream bed beneath it. Later, gold is found there.

What draws me to this cinematic tale is the idea that a dangerous threat can sometimes be turned into a blessing. In some cases the circumstances can seem supernatural – almost like a deliberate gift.

Most of us are preoccupied with gifts at Christmastime. Usually the gifts in our lives – either given or received – are expected, but sometimes an unexpected gift comes along. During recent weeks the American people saw a couple of such gifts – both delivered on a national scale, and neither of them entirely appreciated yet. Years – even decades – will pass before we fully realize their value. Eventually, historians will note that in the late fall and early winter of 2009, somebody was looking out for America, when two mega-gifts fell on us. This is the world according to me, but bear with me.

The first “gift” was a curious event that didn’t look much like a gift when it occurred. It was the public disclosure of over 1000 e-mails between climate scientists at East Anglia University and others in the climate-change “research” community. The unauthorized leakage became controversial beyond the aspect of mere “theft” when reporters saw that many of the e-mails mentioned “massaging” temperature data to make them conform to the “climate warming” story line.

Some of the e-mails expressed displeasure with scientists who wrote articles opposing the anthropogenic theory of global warming – i.e., the theory that human behavior is causing the earth to warm. Writers of the e-mails wanted these "deniers" punished. The indicated punishment was to freeze such people out of the climate-science community and cut them off from the lavish stream of governmental funding. Also, the boycotting of journals which published such articles was suggested.

Scientists wrote frankly in the e-mails of how they performed “tricks” with data to cover up epochs of “inconveniently” warm or cool temperatures that did not fit the theoretical profile laid out by Al Gore and his cadre of alarmists. The latter want us to severely curtail our modern industrialized society, with its cheap electrical power, mechanized personal transportation and multitude of effort-saving conveniences – all features that have built the greatest economy in history and made modern life easy and affordable. Millions of third-world people aspire to it.

Possibly the most shocking disclosure was what can only be described as a “conspiracy” to block the release of temperature data to people who request them under the Freedom of Information Act. Some leaked e-mails suggested that data should be destroyed outright, rather than be released to “outsiders.”

There were also indications that some empirical data have already been destroyed, leaving only the “adjusted” data. If so, this would be a complete corruption of scientific process, a fundamental principle of which is repeatable experimentation on the same evidentiary set. This would be impossible if empirical data were destroyed.

Mainstream Media outlets tried to squelch the story of the e-mails at first, or else tried to make a big deal out of them being “stolen." But the internet, Fox News, and various independent outlets refused to go along. The Washington Post – which famously published the classified Pentagon Papers stolen by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 – huffily refused to publish the “stolen” e-mails, but eventually, the story got too big, and the news of the climate-data conspiracy intruded into the public’s consciousness. Your typical man-on-the-street now knows that climate scientists have been cooking temperature data to promote the idea that we have to trash our economy and pay huge taxes to “save” the planet – except that the planet isn’t really warming, and our sacrifices would do nothing measurable except make us poorer.

I saw an interview in which Al Gore pooh-poohed the leaked e-mails, stating that the most recent one appeared to be ten years old. But Mr. Gore was either misinformed or else he lied: the most recent e-mail was just a month old. Besides, revelations of “manipulated” data are serious no matter how old they are.

In addition, this old "modeler" wishes to note that results produced by computer models are not “data,” and models constructed upon corrupted data are not trustworthy. Many of the predictions of future climate "doom" are based on these models, all of which are now potentially discredited. This scandal is far worse than uneducated reporters realize. The leaked e-mails will turn out to be the bust of all busts. Politicians might try to ignore them, but scientists know they cannot.

Politicians say timing is the key factor in politics. Indeed, some say timing is “everything.” The U. S. House of Representatives managed to sneak through a bill to control carbon dioxide emissions on June 25th, under the convenient cover of Michael Jackson’s death. Media outlets – including Fox News – dropped everything to furnish wall-to-wall coverage of the pop star’s passing. While the public’s attention was diverted, the “cap and trade” bill, which would impose immense new taxes on business and individuals, squeaked through the House by a vote of 219-212. Some political analysts believe it might have been stopped if its damaging provisions had been given full coverage in a timely way.

So what is the “miracle” of which I spoke earlier? The miracle is that same key factor of timing – but this time turned against furtherance of the global warming swindle. Just as the Senate was finishing up its health care reform bill and turning its attention to the House’s cap-and-trade bill – and just as the 193-nation conference on climate change was getting under way – the ruinous revelations of the leaked e-mails hit the public’s consciousness. For the “green” agenda, the timing could not have been worse; nor could it have been better for the hapless American taxpayer, who was looking at a deliberate wreckage of the American economy and its industrial base for the sake of an unproved theory.

The second, delicious part of the miracle does, indeed, have semi-divine aspects to it, as it involves the weather. Climate scientists like to claim that they can predict the weather 100 years out, but none evidently foresaw the gigantic snowstorm that dumped some 20” of snow on Washington, DC, and its suburbs on December 19th. It was the largest December snowstorm in Washington’s recorded history. The great irony is that the storm hit just as President Barack Obama was returning from an appearance at the Copenhagen climate conference, where he declaimed about the urgent need to “act” to stop the climate from warming. Even Mainstream Media talking heads guffawed about record cold and snow thwarting the “green” story-line and making Mr. Obama’s anti-warming crusade look ridiculous.

The Lord does often work in mysterious ways. I believe Americans might have reason in the future to look back on the twin miracles of the leaked climate e-mails and a December snowstorm as having combined to save our economy and our entire way of life from deliberate ruin by ignorant (and greedy) politicians. Decades from now, today’s young people might be telling their grandchildren how we came within an eyelash of going back to candles and bicycles at the height of the global warming scare.

It has often been waggishly said that God looks after fools and drunkards. To that short list we might add “the American people.” God bless us all, every one.