Norman — I told you so. It has been a little more than three years since I published an editorial in The Transcript (Oct. 4, 2006,) asserting that Sen. Inhofe was correct about global warming. Since the Climategate scandal broke, the global warming hoax has collapsed like a house of rotten cards.
The Earth has not warmed appreciably for the last decade. There is no significant evidence that our climate has changed, or that the mild warming of the last 150 years can be attributed to anything other than natural variation. The Poles aren’t melting, polar bears are thriving and last year’s Atlantic hurricane season was below average in activity. And this bitter winter has brought home to Oklahomans the undeniable truth that cold weather is inherently more inclement than warm. The Christmas eve blizzard of 2009 was directly responsible for the deaths of at least nine people, and seven more died as a result of the recent storm that peaked Jan. 29.
I received little thanks for telling the truth as I saw it. I was called a “professwhore,” and a “denier” who didn’t care about the environment or the future. My integrity was questioned. I was accosted by angry students. The provost at the University of Oklahoma removed my freshman geology course from the list of approved general education courses. And contrary to popular belief, I have received no money from any energy company.
After my original article was published, some meteorologists at OU published a rebuttal (Oct. 10, 2006). They made the claim that I wrote with the intention of deliberately “misinforming” the public. But the Climategate e-mails demonstrate that it’s not skeptics like myself who have been misleading and misinforming the public. Climate researchers conspired to suppress the publication of dissenting views. Data were distorted and hidden for political purposes. The IPCC, that supposed bastion of objective and reliable science, has been revealed to be a political body that tendentiously manipulates data for ideological reasons. And we are just now learning that some of the IPCC’s wild predictions were not based upon scientific study, but upon speculative and self-serving claims invented by environmental advocacy groups. An IPCC allegation that mountain ice is disappearing around the world has been traced to an article published in a popular magazine for mountain climbers.
The Oklahoma Climatological Survey is charged with providing the Legislature and people of Oklahoma with accurate information and forecasts on climatic trends. In October 2007, the Climatological Survey released a statement on climate change. Modestly described as “a definitive statement on global climate change,” this report asserted “the climate will continue to warm through the 21st century.” Contemplate that while you’re shoveling snow off your driveway or chipping ice from your windshield.
We’re not supposed to confuse weather with climate. But the 2007 proclamation by the Climatological Survey explicitly predicted “warmer winters” and “fewer cold-air outbreaks and extremes.” The authors of the survey report were wrong. The second half of 2009 was “exceptionally cool,” and last October was the coldest October in Oklahoma since record keeping began in the year 1895.
As a result of the misinformation provided by the Climatological Survey, Oklahoma was ill-prepared for the severe winter weather we are currently experiencing. Ironically, Ken Crawford (then State Climatologist) was one of the people who publicly accused me of deliberately misinforming people.
Why was professor Deming, a geologist, able to get it right, while the professional climatologists got it wrong? The Climatological Survey report relied upon junk science produced by the IPCC. Political ideology was substituted for science. And intolerance produces bad science. If the meteorologists had engaged me in a constructive dialogue, they might have learned something. Instead, they closed their minds and imperiously asserted their pedantic authority. Now they are left with a shameful and embarrassing debacle.
When I testified before the U.S. Senate Dec. 6, 2006, I stated that the public was “vastly misinformed” on global warming, and that “there is no sound scientific basis for predicting future climate change with any degree of certainty.” Looks like I was right.
David Deming is a geologist, associate professor of arts and sciences at the University of Oklahoma and adjunct scholar at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. His books, “Science and Technology in World History: The Ancient World and Classical Civilization,” and “Science and Technology in World History: Early Christianity, the Rise of Islam and the Middle Ages,” are scheduled to be published this summer.