What the heck—if the European Union can win the Nobel Peace Prize (can we have a sequel to “We Are the World” at the presentation ceremony—please, oh, please?), then can the coveted Power Line Green Weenie Award be given to a group instead of an individual or single organization? Yes we can!—as a certain contemporary figure likes to say (or used to like to say, until it became apparent that “No he can’t,” at least when it comes to safeguarding our diplomats or debating Mitt Romney). Our green weenie winner this week is . . . the Climate Campaign.
Now, I know I declared climate change to be the Dead Parrot Sketch of American politics last year, and downgraded my Power Line coverage of the issue appropriately, but sometimes a news story is just too juicy to pass up. The news out of the Met Office in England, one of the official keepers of the global warming faith, that global temperatures continue to be flat, and that there has been no rising temperature trend for 18 years now, ought to just about inter the parrot once and for all. From the Daily Mail story today:
The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.
The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.
This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.
The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported.
This stands in sharp contrast to the release of the previous figures six months ago, which went only to the end of 2010 – a very warm year.
Ending the data then means it is possible to show a slight warming trend since 1997, but 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, and thus this trend is erased.
Here’s the graph of the data in the Daily Mail:
Now, I’ve been wondering where the Green Weenie Hall of Fame will be located, and it looks like it should go in California, which, let’s face it, practically invented Green Weenieism. Notwithstanding the collapsing soufflé of catastrophic global warming, California is barreling ahead with its plant to install socialism in one state solve climate change in one state, with its own cap and trade program starting in January. The New York Times reports today:
The risks for California are enormous. Opponents and supporters alike worry that the program could hurt the state’s fragile economy by driving out refineries, cement makers, glass factories and other businesses. Some are concerned that companies will find a way to outmaneuver the system, causing the state to fall short of its emission reduction targets.
California aims to lower its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions back to 1990 levels over the next eight years. Hmmm, curious: in many parts of the country, GHG emissions are falling so fast that we’re almost back to 1990 levels already (a nasty recession helps—oops, did I day that?), because cheap natural gas is displacing coal without any regulatory program whatsoever. So won’t California go this way, too? Nope: California last had a coal-fired power plant inside its borders back around the time of the Boer War. It has had a low-GHG emissions profile for a long time, the byproduct of efforts to curb conventional air pollution. No coal plants to shut down. California’s per capital GHG emissions were already more than one-quarter below the national average (much of this difference is climate related, along with chasing out energy-intensive heavy industry like aerospace in the 1990s). Nice of California to be willing to sacrifice so much for the rest of country, not to mention the world. The Green Weenie Hall of Fame will likely be the only growth industry in the state over the next decade.