It’s a point that the denialists just don’t get. If Gore were wrong, if warming isn’t occurring, or if the warming were found to be part of a deeper cycle and all we need to do is hang on for another five or six years until the cycle shifts, that would be great news.
No one would complain about a study that actually showed that.
But no study shows that. And the e-mails that somebody purloined from an English research center, if the worst allegations about scientists were true, can’t affect warming. In fact, as I understand it, the chart that was “doctored” got its new, non-tree-ring data from actual thermometer readings — which, of course, show warming.
Worse, the chart’s predictions for following years turn out to be low! Warming is outpacing some of the pessimists’ predictions.
Every day, I pine for the global warming deniers to be proved right. I loved the old world – of flying to beaches wherever we want, growing to the skies, and burning whatever source of energy came our way. I hate the world to come that I’ve seen in my reporting from continent after continent – of falling Arctic ice shelves, of countries being swallowed by the sea, of vicious wars for the water and land that remains. When I read the works of global warming deniers like Nigel Lawson or Ian Plimer, I feel a sense of calm washing over me. The nightmare is gone; nothing has to change; the world can stay as it was.
But then I go back to the facts. However much I want them to be different, they sit there, hard and immovable. Nobody disputes that greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, like a blanket holding in the Sun’s rays. Nobody disputes that we are increasing the amount of those greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And nobody disputes that the world has become considerably hotter over the past century. (If you disagree with any of these statements, you’d fail a geography GCSE).
Alas, there is no significant or credible evidence that warming is not occurring, nor that we humans are not playing a huge role.
So, in Copenhagen where the world’s leaders and other policy makers are meeting this week to discuss the situation, there will be no champagne to toast an end to global warming.
That would be good news. It’s not the news we get.