Special Report

All Seriousness Aside

Global warmists scramble to retain what's left of their professional credibility.

By 1.30.09

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It is like the Peanuts gang laughing in derision after yet another Charlie Brown gaffe. It is like the doubling-over at the double-stumble (video) during fashion week in Paris.

The cackles and guffaws now come routinely. Global warming alarmists, led by inconvenienced (because of cooling weather) Al Gore, are seeing their prophecies of doom dissolve. Now that big ice grows, big winter is bad (like last year), cold temperatures hit record levels, and global mean surface temperature has not continued upward -- despite continued increases in that demonized "greenhouse" gas, carbon dioxide -- the panic peddlers look like flailing jesters. 

Look at the recent responses to the self-caricature, Gore. The late nighters already found global warming (targeting both sides) to be fodder for yuks. But after the former vice president gave a repeat command performance before Congress this week, the scorn against alarmists is stronger than ever. The acerbic Dennis Miller, who said Gore probably is otherwise a good guy, called him a "doofus" because of his global warming beliefs. And during Gore's Wednesday testimony one of those independent, go-astray-to-not-get-along Western congressmen dribbled sarcasm during his questioning:

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged (Gore) to look further into the future. "What does your modeling tell you about how long we're going to be around as a species?" he inquired.

(Gore) chuckled. "I don't claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator."

While the rest of us flick dandruff over why the timeframe of human extinction falls outside Gore's Magic 8-Ball, even those in the mainstream media who once bowed before him now write in mockery:

The lawmakers gazed in awe at the figure before them. The Goracle had seen the future, and he had come to tell them about it. 

What the Goracle saw in the future was not good: temperature changes that "would bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fabric of life everywhere on the Earth -- and this is within this century, if we don't change." 

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry (D-Mass.), appealed to hear more of the Goracle's premonitions. "Share with us, if you would, sort of the immediate vision that you see in this transformative process as we move to this new economy," he beseeched.

"Geothermal energy," the Goracle prophesied. "This has great potential; it is not very far off."

Those, skeptics and alarmists, were the observations of the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, about whom the Powerline blog's Scott Johnson observed, "Milbank himself is generally a reliable indicator of mainstream liberal opinion. Is anthropogenic global warming not the crisis it's cracked up to be?" 

Actually it's the proponents who are cracking up as their theories crumble and the opposition strengthens. One alarmist blogger -- an Al Gore camp counselor -- devolved into a snit over the proliferation of skepticism produced by Internet search results. 

Causing them greater concern is the parade of their former rally monkeys marching into the skeptics' camp. As word of the scientific skeptical mass mounts, the public appears to follow. A Rasmussen poll conducted earlier this month found that more people believe global warming is due to planetary trends instead of human activity. And a Pew Research poll determined that global warming gave respondents the chills, ranking it dead cold last (20th of 20) among policy priorities for 2009. 

Juxtaposed against Gore's remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it's easy to see why Milbank takes him less seriously than he used to. Here's Al: 

"We have arrived at a moment of decision. Our home -- Earth -- is in grave danger. What is at risk of being destroyed is not the planet itself, of course, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings." 

"This is the one challenge that could completely end human civilization, and it is rushing at us with such speed and force." 

"If something has never happened before, we tend to think, 'Well, that's not going to happen.' The problem is, the exceptions can kill you, and this is one of them." 

It's not limited to Gore. Even scientists recognize they have a credibility and perception problem, yet they still can't harness their own panicky rhetoric

"I think you have to think about (greenhouse gases) as more like nuclear waste than acid rain: The more we add, the worse off we'll be," said NOAA senior scientist Susan Solomon. "The more time that we take to make decisions about carbon dioxide, the more irreversible climate change we'll be locked into."

The faltering reputation of the alarmists, so dependent on the climate change industry bubble they've inflated, now drives environmental reporters to find quotes that attempt to shore up credibility:

Miss Solomon's report "is quite important, not alarmist, and very important for the current debates on climate policy," said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate researcher at the University of Arizona. 

Since when does the mainstream media need quotes of validation to support their fellow environmental activists? You would never have seen this, even six months ago. The alarmists are desperate.

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About the Author

Paul Chesser publishes CarolinaPlottHound.com, a news aggregator for North Carolina, and is a contributor of articles, research and investigative reports for both national and state-level free-market think tanks.