Sunday, January 16, 2011
Europeans coming to their senses on global warming...
By Hans Labohm
The fight against the delusion of dangerous man-made global warming remains an uphill struggle. For decades, the climate debate has been obfuscated by cherry-picking, spin-doctoring and scaremongering by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate alarmists, including the environmental movement and mainstream media. Their massive campaign to overstate the threat of man-made warming has left its imprint on public opinion.
But the tide seems to be turning. The Climate Conference fiasco in Copenhagen, the Climategate scandal and stabilization of worldwide temperatures since 1995 have given rise to growing doubts about the putative threat of "dangerous global warming" or "global climate disruption." Indeed, even Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit and one of the main players in Climategate, now acknowledges that there has been no measurable warming since 1995 despite steadily rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.
People are paying attention, and opinion polls in many countries show a dramatic fall in the ranking of climate change among people's major concerns. People also are beginning to understand that major rain- and snowstorms, hurricanes and other weather extremes are caused by solar-driven changes in global jet streams and warm-cold fronts, not by CO2, and that claims about recent years being the "warmest ever" are based on false or falsified temperature data.
In various parts of the world, the climate debate displays different features. The U.S. and other parts of the non-European Anglo-Saxon world feature highly polarized and politicized debates along the left-versus-right divide. In Europe, all major political parties are still toeing the "official" IPCC line. In both arenas, with a few notable exceptions, skeptical views - even from well-known scientists with impeccable credentials - tend to be ignored and/or actively suppressed by governments, academia and the media.
Nevertheless, skepticism about man-made climate disasters is gradually gaining ground.
In my own country, the Netherlands, for instance, that skepticism even has received some official recognition, thus dissolving the information monopoly of climate alarmists. The Lower House's Standing Committee on Environment recently organized a one-day hearing at which both climate-chaos adherents and disaster skeptics could freely discuss their different views before key parliamentarians who decide climate policy.