Those who dare assert the Earth’s temperature isn’t on a perilous rise are derided as “deniers.” For liberals, the climate debate has ended, and it is an unquestionable article of faith that mankind’s carbon-dioxide emanations have set the stage for rising oceans, devastating hurricanes and disasters on a scale never before seen. To say otherwise is unthinkable, and that has created a dilemma. It’s not actually getting warmer.
In a paper published Tuesday, no less an authority than NASA scientist James E. Hansen wrote, “The 5-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slowdown in the growth rate of the net climate forcing.” Mr. Hansen is the intellectual godfather of the global-warming movement who advised Al Gore on his Oscar-winning climate-scare flick, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Mr. Hansen has just acknowledged more than the lack of warming. His words confirm nature, not mankind, played the decisive role in directing global temperatures over the past 10 years.
The anecdotal evidence has certainly not been friendly to climate hysteria. Southern England is covered in snow. Los Angeles has been shivering under what is — for Angelenos — a cold snap. The National Weather Service even issued a snow warning for the Washington area on Thursday. Frigid temperatures in January aren’t unusual, but the global-warming fanatics have been trying to pass off today’s climate as worse than the droughts and heat waves seen in the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s when carbon-dioxide emissions were far lower.
There has been no appreciable warming since 1998, as can be seen in the official forecast from the Met Office, the United Kingdom’s national weather service, which the agency released on Christmas Eve. Presumably, the British government’s climate scientists didn’t want anyone to notice they had lowered their forecast from previous years, with temperatures in 2020 predicted to be no warmer than they were in the late 1990s. Websites such as Climate Depot and Watts Up With That had long ago reported the same phenomenon, only to be ridiculed by the climate-change establishment. It turns out these climate realists were right all along.
To be sure, the left isn’t about to give up on global warming. Politicians need the scare to have leverage to raise taxes through “cap and trade” schemes and to regulate what types of light bulbs the public will be allowed to buy. It would be economic suicide for climate soothsayers to entirely drop their frightening prognostications because that is their source for billions of dollars in taxpayer funding. That’s why Mr. Hansen’s paper insists the “stand-still of global temperatures” is a short-term phenomenon within a long-term warming trend. The carbon-dioxide molecules that are the byproduct of economic progress are still setting the stage for the end of days. The apocalypse is just on holiday for a decade or two.