Though professional hysterics may seek to "hide the decline," there has been a noticeable drop in the number of Americans who believe that global warming is a man-made phenomenon. Pause on that for a moment. Though Americans have been harangued about global warming for more than a decade, only 35 percent told a recent Pew survey that global warming is a serious problem, compared with 44 percent the previous year.
This skepticism predated the exposure of the East Anglia e-mails -- those playful missives that reveal some of the most prominent climate researchers to be, if not outright charlatans, at least partisans.
Why don't people buy global warming? Doubtless the poor economy has pushed less immediate worries to the background. But even before the e-mails revealed that supposedly neutral truth seekers were prepared to "redefine peer review" and engage in statistical sleight of hand "to hide" inconvenient truths, there were ample reasons for skepticism.
It's chilly: There is the pesky fact that, contrary to the dire predictions of climate alarmists, there has been no measurable increase in world temperatures since 1998. Yet the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere has continued to rise. The computer models immortalized by Al Gore did not anticipate this; in fact, they predicted that temperatures would continue to rise steeply more or less forever, except that human beings would all die in 50 years or so with unknown (though presumably salutary) effects on the by-then Venus-like surface of planet Earth.
Bullying: Every time a scientist or policymaker slammed his hand on a desk and growled "The science is settled!" he demonstrated how remote he was from the scientific method. In true science, nothing is ever settled.
It's Freudian: The Viennese analyst taught that if you say you hate your mother, you hate your mother. And if you say you love your mother, you are in denial about hating your mother. Climate change believers are like Freudians. If the weather is warm, it's proof of global warming. But if the weather is cool, this, too, is evidence of the sinister tricks global warming can play.