Hysterical pronouncements of upcoming doom because of global warming have apparently reached the point of diminishing returns. Joe Romm is as good an example as any of the doom-mongers, although he certainly isn’t alone. Global warming is losing all force as a political issue because the Joe Romms have cried wolf once too often.
Evidence that global warming is losing political momentum comes from a variety of sources:
The BBC: “What happened to global warming? This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise. So what on Earth is going on?”
The Houston Chronicle: “It seems pretty clear that the models forecast a steady upward trend in global temperatures as long as carbon dioxide levels rise. (Which they have). Yet according to satellite and surface temperature measurements the global average temperature has essentially remained flat for the last 12 years. This strikes me as somewhat curious.”
The Christian Science Monitor: “How do you reconcile the early snow in Minneapolis, ski resorts already opening in Nevada, and that August chill in North Dakota with expert warnings about a warming climate?You don’t. Why? The Earth isn’t warming right now, is why. It may even be cooling down somewhat.Five major climate centers around the world agree that average global temperatures have not risen in the past 11 years, according to the BBC. In fact, in eight of those years, global average temperatures dipped a tad.”
And opinion poll after opinion poll show that Americans, despite considering themselves environmentalists and being concerned about pollution, put global warming last on any and every list of issues of importance.
The reason is that the purple prose of panicked flacks like Joe Romm have just jumped the shark. Named Hero of the Environment by Time Magazine, Romm’s blog yesterday trumpeted, “As the planet hits record high temperatures, a falsehood-pushing film-maker tries to shout down real journalists from asking Al Gore questions.” There’s a headline right out of People’s Worker Daily. (I can say that–I’m to the left of PWD.) I wonder if he means that at the exact moment that the planet hit a record, the film-maker timed his remarks? Never mind that temperatures are not at a record. Never mind that Romm hasn’t seen the film or talked to the film-maker. He had the temerity to question Al Gore about the UK court ruling that said his own film, An Inconvenient Truth, err, pushed… well, falsehoods. Of course, maybe Romm has other reasons for defending Mr. Gore?
I would be remiss if I didn’t include his headline from today, trumpeting my acceptance of his long-standing wager on temperatures in 2019: “Memo to deniers, delayers, and disinformers: When I propose a sucker bet, the only conclusion you can draw is that I’m looking for suckers.” I think he writes his own headlines.
In addition to declaring victory a tad early–well, actually, he claims to be a winner before the period in question actually starts–Romm does a lot of hand-waving to disguise the timidity of his position in the bet. Romm has written that he believes temperature rises will be dramatic–5 degrees Celsius (7-9 Fahrenheit) by 2100. But our bet, which covers the next decade, is only for 0.15 degrees Celsius. He must be expecting a heckuva ninth inning rally to push those temperatures up. He even has a clause in our wager that if there are two big volcanic eruptions, he can call it off.
Although my tongue has been in cheek for most of this article, what’s happening is really a tragedy. The tone deafness and hysteria of people like Romm have made it much less likely that we will take the real steps we need to take to address the global warming that I do believe will occur. While Romm rants and raves about ‘deniers, delayers and disinformers,’ the fact is he is a dunderhead, a dodo and a bit dyspeptic. First clue? I had the temerity to call him Mr. Romm on his blog. His response? ‘You can call me Doctor Romm.’ Well, Joe, actually I could call you a number of things