True to their mission as the organs of the liberal establishment, Time magazine and the New York Times ran stories in the midst of the great snowmageddon warning us against drawing any politically incorrect conclusions. “Skeptics of global warming,” cautioned the Times, “are using the record-setting snows to mock those who warn of dangerous human-driven climate change — this looks more like global cooling, they taunt. Most climate scientists respond that the ferocious storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more frequent and more intense weather events.” Time agrees: “There is some evidence that climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm.”
Note how the Times contrasts “skeptics of global warming” with “climate scientists.” Bill Nye the Science Guy, appearing on MSNBC, used the same tactic, accusing skeptics about manmade global warming of “denying science.”
Those who now protest that any particular weather pattern should not be confused with global climate have short memories. Only yesterday, they were attributing every forest fire, drought, hurricane, and toad disease to global warming. Remember the “plight” of the polar bears? Turns out that polar-bear populations have been increasing, not decreasing, for the past 30 years, though yes, one photographer did manage to snap a picture of bears seemingly stranded on an ice floe. The alarmists are in no position to complain now that isolated weather events are being used to draw vast and unwarranted conclusions.
More preposterous is the conceit that only the warmists are actually taking account of hard science. In fact, the scandal of the past several months (which liberals have not digested) has been the long-term and systematic abuse of science in the name of politics.
As Jillian Kay Melchior notes in Commentary magazine, the Copenhagen conference — supposedly the summit of climatologists and policymakers — paid little to no attention to the revelation of scientific fraud. The Climategate e-mails from Penn State and East Anglia University were not trivial revelations. They involved deception, intimidation, and manipulation of records by two of the leading research institutions whose data form the backbone of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Melchior writes: “Despite the drumbeat informing the public that science strongly supports the climate-change thesis, the hacked data paint a picture of a community of experts afraid of scrutiny, willing to use underhanded methods to silence doubters, and content to eliminate evidence that might undermine both their theories and their funding.”
Scientists who disputed the manmade-global-warming hypothesis were not surprised by what the East Anglia e-mails revealed. It’s an open secret that academic institutions have been inhospitable to heretics on this question for some time. Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT, told Commentary, “These are not ambiguous. They’re talking about suppressing other scientists. But there’s no surprise. Those of us who are in the field have seen this. The only surprise is that someone actually got hold and sorted these documents.”
Not only did scientists twist the peer-review process, manipulate data, and attempt to suppress dissent, they also destroyed records — is this the scientific method for which liberals are going to the barricades?
The entire superstructure of climate alarmism rests on data that are doubtful and possibly fraudulent. The Science and Public Policy Institute has evaluated surface-temperature records and found, among other things, that 1) instrumental data from the pre-satellite era are virtually useless; 2) fewer than 25 percent of the 6,000 temperature stations that once existed are still operative; 3) comprehensive ocean data have been available only since 2003 and have shown no warming; and 4) higher altitude, higher latitude, and rural stations were the most likely to be lost, leading to a further serious overstatement of warming.
As John Hinderaker of the Power Line blog has reported, the U.N. IPCC report itself does not even accurately represent the views of the scientists who signed it. Key sections expressing caveats and acknowledging countervailing evidence were altered after the purported authors had put their names to it.
It isn’t the snow outside that has discredited global warming. It’s the chill the warmists have imposed on scientific inquiry. They are acting as enforcers of orthodoxy, not seekers of truth.
— Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2010 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been corrected since its original posting. We apologize for the error.