Gary is an author, trial lawyer, Mequon-area resident and town of Cedarburg supervisor. He is a columnist for the News Graphic and writes for several Wisconsin area magazines and is a national columnist with The American Thinker and PJ Media. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and has three sons ages 18 to 28. Gary won Ozaukee County in his bid for the Wisconsin Assembly's 60th District in 2011, but came up just 58 votes short.
Some of you may remember several years back a fad which grew into a hoax which blossomed into a full-blown religion – known as anthropogenic global warming. It was the notion that somehow, the miniscule amount of CO2 produced by man in the atmosphere, which itself is a miniscule greenhouse gas, was responsible for changing the climate of the entire planet, and a companion theory that somehow this temperature change was bad – even catastrophic – to life on earth. It sounds preposterous now, but not too long ago, people began to change their lives thinking they were saving Earth, and companies began offering carbon offsets and "green" products.
In 2006, a former vice-president named Al Gore produced a political propaganda film entitled "An Inconvenient Truth" which was based on factual and scientific errors such as the sea will rise six meters, the Pacific Islands are "drowning", polar bears were losing their homes, the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro were melting, and CO2 was driving temperature increases. The film even blamed Hurricane Katrina on man and featured a now-discredited "hockey stick" graph that falsely attempted to abolish the Medieval Warm Period. But millions believed it. Hollywood movies were based on it. And American industries and businesses were targeted and blamed for it. It was a dark period in American political and scientific history.
The scientific and political conspiracy finally ground to a halt in 2009, when thousands of emails and documents from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit were leaked, revealing wide-spread collusion and fraud involving exaggerated warming data, illegal destruction of embarrassing information, an organized resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, and private admissions of scientific flaws and political agendas.
It became public that the entire concept of AGW was based on numerous scientific flaws, and that vested monetary interests in the scientific establishment and the media discouraged the public and the scientific community from acknowledging or even debating this. The manufactured notion of a "scientific consensus" as to AGW was revealed as the product of a global warming activist industry driven by a desire for research funding. Also jumping on board the religious fervor were Western environmentalists promoting expensive and inefficient solar and wind power and entire green industry. Capitalism attacked capitalism to create opportunity. It was an amazing period in scientific and political history.
There are continuing reminders of this not-too-distant part of our past. Just last week, a federal wildlife biologist named Charles Monnett – an Anchorage-based scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) - whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming religion, has been placed on administrative leave for scientific misconduct and intentionally falsifying the veracity of that article. (Note: this is just one of thousands of such organizations whose $50 million budgets could easily be abolished to help balance the budget).
To this day, I still see vestiges of this dark period in our nation's history. Looking at the website of a private jet rental company recently, I found a page which allowed customers to continue to purchase carbon offsets. Last month I received an email with an electronic signature which reminded us to save our climate. I did the right thing and brought the anachronistic signoff to the sender's attention. I even received an unsolicited email promoting a trip to Puerto Rico and lauding the entire Central American country as "environmentally friendly."
It is fascinating to study the death of global warming much as it was interesting to look at the rise and fall of the Charles Manson cult. It is interesting and informative to learn what motivates people and leads them to strange and self-destructive behavior. It is also constructive to look at the violent and threatening reaction the blindered climate zealots exhibited in the face of anyone who suggested they were wrong. It is the classic laboratory result when logic trumps emotion. It is a case study in the failure of liberalism wherever it is found.
Friends of mine – learned, respected, and tenured professors – who rabidly threw our country and its economy under the bus in the name of "fixing" climate change have now fallen mysteriously quiet. It is as though they never militated against anthropogenic global warming in the first place – as though their good intentions cancel out the nonsense they spewed while the global warming candle burned briefly but ever so brightly.
History will recall global warming hypocrites, such as the Weather Channel's Heidi Cullen, who wanted the American Meteorological Society to decertify any weathermen who didn't goosestep with the rest of the global warming crowd. It will recall the near disaster of the Kyoto Treaty which would have had no effect on climate, of course, but would have destroyed the U.S. economy while leaving those countries without any environmental controls whatsoever intact and prosperous.
History will recall a bumper crop of hypocrisy associated with the brief, but brightly-burning AGW hysteria. While the average household in America consumes roughly 10,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, the house of the hypocritical darling child of the AGW movement, Al Gore, devoured nearly 221,000 kWh. It will recall the global warming lectures of John Travolta, who owns five private jets, and the admonition from noted climatologist Sheryl Crow, who demanded we save the planet by using one square of toilet paper when doing our business, all the while touring the world with an entourage of two jet aircraft, three tractor trailers, four buses and six cars.
In hindsight, it is a little funny to recall the New York Times blaming global warming for high temperatures during the summer of 2000, but only a few years later blaming "natural variations" for all-time record cold temperatures during the summer of 2009. Who can forget that when temperatures began to fall, "global warming" conveniently became "climate change." And then President Obama's "Science Czar", John Holdren, having admitted that there hasn't actually been any global warming since 1998, decided it should be called "global climate disruption" instead. I think a sit com about the entire sordid hysteria would garner high ratings.
In the final analysis, however, I am just relieved it is over. As with so many things on the left, it's not that they're ignorant – it's just that they know so much that isn't so. They had the science right, except for natural cooling and warming trends endemic to the planet and the influence of that small, but significant celestial body we know as the Sun.
All of my friends on the left are now in a very precarious situation. Human nature makes it hard to admit that you were wrong. I think victorious conservatives and liberals who never drank the man-made climate change Kool-Aid ought to invite the global warming vanquished back to the fold of humanity. Let's congratulate them for changing the climate of the entire planet and defeating the enemy. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, 2010 was the coldest year since 2001 for dozens of nations around the globe. Seeing as the planet can't be getting colder and warmer at the same time, Al Gore must have saved the planet. Global warming is dead. This victory was won because concerned liberals pushed aside the ignorance of conservatives, and pulled together to slay the AGW beast. Meetings were held in places such Kyoto. Rousing speeches were made by world leaders. People clapped and felt good about themselves. Documents were signed. Fiction posing as documentaries were produced. Nobel Peace Prizes were awarded. Oscars were handed out. Clearly, with each meeting, each speech, each inked treaty, each carbon offset, each Peace Prize, and each award, global warming was slowly beaten back, until Earth finally capitulated and raised the white flag. History will remember the time when the fate of the planet lay in the hands of men, and cooler heads prevailed.