The latest incitement to panic over global warming is the recently released summary of a 1,400-page report by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We won't get to see the actual report till May, but the IPCC's chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, says "I hope this report will shock people."
Given the media's hype concerning the human causes of global warming, it undoubtedly will. But the actual figures, when compared to those in the IPCC's last report in 2001, are downright encouraging. Christopher Monckton, a British analyst, points out that the new summary "more than halved its high-end best estimate of the rise in sea level by 2100 from 3 feet to just 17 inches." (Al Gore predicts 20 to 30 feet.) Monckton adds that "The U.N. has cut its estimate of (the human) net effect on climate by more than a third."
Part of the problem is that the earth's temperature is always in motion, up or down. At the moment, it is trending slightly up -- three-hundredths of a degree Celsius since 2001. Before that, in the midyears of the 20th century, it was actually falling -- providing grist for the media's hysterical predictions of a "new Ice Age" back in the 1970s.
Meanwhile, you can count on the liberals to demand savage cutbacks in the output of America's "greedy" corporations (never mind what that does to the economy) and on the opportunistic hacks in the science faculties of our universities to carve still bigger grants for themselves out of the federal and state budgets to finance more justifications for the panic.
William Rusher is a Distinguished Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and author of How to Win Arguments .
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