Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Climate Change: As a winter storm shutters D.C.-area schools, Al Gore does a show-and-tell on global warming before Congress. The road to Copenhagen is being paved with good intentions.
"When it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things," a joking President Obama told reporters Wednesday morning. Daughters Malia and Sasha had a snow day as the private school they attend, Sidwell Friends, closed due to a winter ice and snow storm.
Truer words were never spoken. When it comes to weather, the current Democratic majorities in the nation's capital don't have a clue. But neither that nor the weather deterred Gore from testifying Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the need to pursue a treaty to lower carbon emissions at a United Nations conference in Copenhagen next December.
The storm has been blamed for at least 23 deaths and a glaze of ice and snow that caused widespread power failures from the Southern Plains to the East Coast. As the roads in D.C. iced and the snow fell, Gore might as well have quoted Groucho's line: "Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?"
Gore would probably blame the storm on global warming too. In his eyes and those of fellow warm-mongers, global warming causes everything — including the global cooling that has been both obvious and documented since 1998. These cyclical trends used to be called weather. Now they're ominously called "climate change."
To underscore his point, Gore flipped through more than four dozen new slides showing melting ice caps, Western wildfires, deforestation and oxygen-depleted seas in a hearing room where the lights were dimmed. Dim bulbs or not, some facts were left out of his presentation.
Each year, millions of square miles of sea ice melt and refreeze. The amounts vary from season to season. Despite photos of floating polar bears taken in summer, data reported by the University of Illinois Arctic Climate Research Center show global sea ice levels the same as they were in 1979, when satellite observations began.
The island nation of Tuvalu, poster child for rising sea levels, is still well above water at last report.
Pictures of a collapsing Antarctic ice shelf that's been warming for decades are common. But the shelf in question constitutes just 2% of the continent, and temperatures show that the entire continent has been cooling for decades, with thickening ice.
Western wildfires are due in large part to the failure to clear dead trees and underbrush that fuel these fires because lumber companies might profit or the habitat of endangered critters might be harmed.
Deforestation has been fueled by the Gore-induced quest for biofuels and the planting of cleared areas with crops like corn to be put in our gas tanks. The Paris-based OECD says the use of fuels such as ethanol made from corn, palm oil and other sources using crops as raw material amounts to "a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal."
Oxygen-depleted seas are caused in part by this increased planting of crops for biofuels such as ethanol to replace petroleum, something Gore supports. This has created dead zones for marine life in places like the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, while driving up food prices around the globe.
Gore insists that climate change brings drought, famine and increasing numbers of ferocious storms. However, total hurricane energy activity, as measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has dropped by two-thirds since the record was set in 2005. Hurricane activity, like all weather, is cyclical.
As environmental guru Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," points out, famine has declined rapidly over the past half-century even as greenhouse gases have risen.
That is, until we started using food to fuel our cars. The World Bank estimates that this policy has driven at least 30 million people worldwide into hunger.
If it keeps snowing, Al, there's a shovel-ready job waiting for you in D.C.