A couple of months ago, when there was snowfall on 49 of our 50 states, global warmists rushed to explain. More snow, it turns out, is a sign of a hotter planet.
But that’s not what they’ve always said.
Writing at Forbes, the Heartland Institute’s James M. Taylor notes that as recently as 2001, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) informed us that “Milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms.”
At a press conference held Tuesday by members of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Taylor reports, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Mark Serreze, offered this explanation for the turnabout:
Have we learned a great deal since the IPCC 2001 report? I would say yes, we have. Climate science, like any other field, is a constantly evolving field and we are always learning.
Now, surely no one can argue with Serreze about that. Well, except maybe global warming alarmists.
The importance of Serreze’s statement about a “constantly evolving field” in which scientists “are always learning,” Taylor argues, is not its essential truth — but that so many other scientists have tried for so long to, ahem, deny it:
Regardless of whether global warming is causing more heavy snow events, the alarmists’ about-face on snowfall calls to mind other alarmist global warming assertions that were supposedly “settled science”, but that were subsequently refuted by real-world climate conditions. The alarmists used to claim global warming was causing more hurricanes, but real-world data show hurricanes have fallen to historically lows levels.
The alarmists used to claim global warming was causing the retreat of Kilimanjaro’s mountain snowcap, but scientists now understand that local deforestation is the culprit. IPCC claimed in its 2007 assessment that global warming would likely melt the Himalayan glaciers by 2035, but IPCC now admits there is no scientific basis for such an assertion. IPCC claimed in its 1990 assessment that global temperatures should rise 0.6 degrees Celsius between 1990 and 2010, yet NASA satellite data show global temperatures warmed by merely half that amount, at most.
For years, alarmists have claimed “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.” Well, when was the science settled? When global warming would allegedly cause Himalayan glaciers to melt by 2035, or now that it won’t? When global warming would allegedly cause fewer heavy snow events, or now that it will allegedly cause more frequent heavy snow events? (links original)
The real debate about global warming has never been about whether the climate is changing (always has, always will) or whether mankind is making some kind of contribution to it (no serious person argues man has had absolutely zero effect; it’s a matter of how much).
The real debate has been whether we are sufficiently certain about what is happening and why, and what has happened in the past and why, to remake vast sections of our economies as a response — especially when even that level of response might not significantly alter how the climate changes.
And the repeated efforts from some quarters to say “the debate is over” has only fueled skepticism among members of the public who understand that’s very rarely the case in science.
– By Kyle Wingfield
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