SAN FRANCISCO -- So-called "global warming" has shrunk from problem to punch line. And now, Leftists are laughing, too. It's hard not to chuckle at the idea of Earth boiling in a carbon cauldron when the news won't cooperate:
Nearly four inches of snow blanketed the United Arab Emirates' Jebel Jais region for just the second time in recorded history on Jan. 24. Citizens were speechless. The local dialect has no word for snowfall.
Dutchmen on ice skates sped past windmills as canals in Holland froze in mid-January for the first time since 1997. Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop, who inhabits a renovated 17th Century windmill, stumbled on the ice and fractured his wrist.
January saw northern Minnesota's temperatures plunge to 38 below zero, forcing ski-resort closures. A Frazee, Minnesota dog-sled race was cancelled, due to excessive snow. Snow whitened Surf City, North Carolina's beaches. Days ago, ice glazed Florida's citrus groves.
As Earth faces global cooling, both troglodyte right-wingers and lachrymose left-wingers find Albert Gore's simmering-planet hypothesis increasingly hilarious:
"In terms of (global warming's) capacity to cause the human species harm, I don't think it makes it into the top 10," Dr. Robert Giegengack, former chairman of University of Pennsylvania's Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, told the Pennsylvania Gazette. Giegengack voted for Gore in 2000, and says he likely would again.
Commentator Harold Ambler declared Jan. 3 on HuffingtonPost.com that he voted for Barack Obama "for a thousand times a thousand reasons." He added that Gore "owes the world an apology for his actions regarding global warming." He called Gore's assertion that "the science is in" on this issue "the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of mankind."
"Not only is it false that human activity has any significant effect on global warming or the weather in general, but for the record, global warming is over," retired Navy meteorologist Dr. Martin Hertzberg wrote on carbon-sense.com. The physical chemist and self-described "scientist and life-long liberal Democrat" added: "The average temperature of Earth's atmosphere has declined over the last 10 years. From the El Nino Year of 1998 until Jan. 2007, it dropped a quarter of a degree Celsius (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit). From Jan 2007 to the spring of 2008, it dropped a whopping three-quarters of a degree Celsius (1.35 degrees Fahrenheit). Those data further prove that the fear-mongering hysteria about human-caused global warming is completely unjustified and is totally counterproductive to our Nation's essential needs and security."
"It is a tribute to the scientific ignorance of politicians and journalists that they keep regurgitating the nonsense about human-caused global warming," veteran Left-wing commentator and Nation magazine columnist Alexander Cockburn wrote. "The greenhouse fear mongers rely on unverified, crudely oversimplified models to finger mankind's sinful contribution -- and carbon trafficking, just like the old indulgences, is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism, and greed."
Some leftists believe the collective hallucination of warmism distracts from what they consider urgent progressive priorities:
"The most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might," University of Ottawa physics professor Dr. Denis Rancourt has written. "The global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth."
Social historian Dr. David Noble of Canada's York University concurs. He has lamented that warmism is "diverting attention from the radical challenges of the global justice movements."
Geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre, previously Education Minister in France's late 1990s Socialist government, denounced the "prophets of doom of global warming." He sounded amused in a September 2006 L'Express article. "The ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people."
"The so-called 'consensus' on man-made global warming is not holding up," Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told his colleagues Jan. 8. "It is becoming increasingly clear that skepticism about man-made global warming fear is not a partisan left vs. right issue."
So-called "global warming" has accomplished the impossible: It has united liberals and conservatives in laughter.
Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock@gmail.com