Ed Driscoll

Ever Get The Feeling You've Been Cheated?

A. Kam Napier, editor of Honolulu magazine writes, “I feel I’ve been had”:

If you write long enough, you will eventually have second thoughts about an article from your past. In our April 1996 issue, I wrote “The Angry Sky,” about the alarming impacts Hawai‘i expected from ozone depletion and global warming. You never hear about the ozone layer anymore, but global warming has come to dominate our conversations in ways I never imagined.

I never expected the terms “green,” “sustainability” and “carbon footprint” would be hurled at us daily, secular guilt crammed into every consumer choice. But I especially never expected that some of the leading scientists who argue the case for manmade global warming would be revealed as political partisans, who hid evidence against global warming, attempted to redefine the meaning of “peer-reviewed journals” to mean “only peers who agree with us” and, worst of all, conspired to delete data in anticipation of Freedom of Information requests.

Let me back up. Because of manmade global warming, I warned in 1996, that “sea levels could rise as much as three feet by the year 2100 … warming can lead to hotter and more frequent heat waves … stronger and more frequent hurricanes to Hawai‘i … endanger native plants species [and] coral reefs.” These dire predictions came from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Researchers at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia provide much of the IPCC’s analysis and predictions. In November 2009, hackers released thousands of e-mails from the CRU, going back years, and it is these e-mails that reveal the very unscientific, unethical activities I described above.

I feel I’ve been had.

One thing I could not have known in 1996 was that the IPCC’s warming predictions would be wrong. Mean global surface temperatures have not risen since 1998, and, by some measures, have dropped since 2001. The CRU e-mails show scientists trying to hide this decline, to give one detail—I don’t have room in this column to detail the extent of CRU’s shenanigans, nor could I tell the story as well as others, so please read this “Editor’s Page” online for links (see below).

This doesn’t necessarily mean manmade global warming is disproven. But it does deflate the certainty and moral righteousness of the Al Gores and the IPCCs of the world. At Copenhagen and in Congress, politicians have proposed massive disruptions to our economies and lifestyles in the name of halting global warming. It turns out they’ve been doing so, at least partly, with books that have been cooked more than the planet.

Gosh, go figure.