Energy & Environment

Chicken Little and the North Pole Icecap

Late last week, the Drudge Report amplified a “shock claim” that “for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year”. Drudge linked to the claims originally trumpeted by the UK’s fading left-wing rag The Independent.

Just for context, that is a paper that in late 2005 ran a story about me leading a Big Oil-funded global conspiracy against the Kyoto Protocol — not true, but I am willing to listen to offers — based on a cobbling of unrelated offal-smeared papers taken from my trash and given them by the dumpster divers of Greenpeace. But at least they called me first, unlike The Guardian which pulled the same stunt the same day.

This time the Indy writer also claimed “The polar regions are experiencing the most dramatic increase in average temperatures due to global warming and scientists fear that as more sea ice is lost, the darker, open ocean will absorb more heat and raise local temperatures even further.” This is what we call a lie.  Overlayed with Homeric prose, it expands to become a scare.

“The polar regions are experiencing the most dramatic increase in average temperatures due to global warming” only in computer models. These taxpayer-funded PlayStations will crank out any result – cooling or warming – that you want. Given that warming is (for now) where the money is, our modern-day Willie Suttons queue up to model warming.

In fact, the Antarctic – South Pole – is gaining ice mass, and cooling.

In truth, the North Pole has warmed, but has more ice now than a year ago. And the researcher supposedly making this claim didn’t actually make it: moreover he rushed to say that his words were being salaciously hyped.

Having once before fallen for a “North Pole is melting!” scam, even the New York Times — on its blog, mind you, no need to tamp down alarmism on its print pages – admitted that the hyperventilated headline and lede “go way beyond what Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center tells the reporter.” Serreze claimed on an alarmist blog that his actual claims “quickly grew out of all reasonable proportion,” admitting that a summer loss of ice at the North Pole “summer would be purely symbolic, but symbolism can be pretty darned powerful” (prompting an alarmist, taxpayer-servant to call on his team to invoke such stunts more often).

This is what we should expect from a press corps fully vested in the global warming industry. It has gotten so bad that in January NBC News showed a moving piece on the plight of the Antarctic, with footage of polar bears. The news would’ve been how in the world those bears got to the other side of the planet from where they really live. Outdoing itself, NBC recently also ran a piece on the Arctic, and showed us penguins. Sigh.

To show how bad things were last week, the less alarmist portrayal came from CNN. Of course, CNN made no effort to inform viewers that the “on record” they were talking about is simply since satellites began sending images in 1972. Nor did they bother with relevant details about the Northwest Passage though it was traversed regularly before the cooling that began about 1940.

Putting things in that perspective, you could say we are simply returning to what we believe was normal before the three-decade cooling that caused so much panic in the ‘70s. Oh, the humanity.  Have I mentioned the recent discovery of undersea volcanoes near the northern ice melt? Coincidence.

One other trick of note was the claim, made only in the CNN piece, that the (not really) predicted melt was something that might occur “briefly in September”, September being the nadir of the ice mass. In fact, the alarmists are still dining out on their claim about the melt as of last September, despite current data being available.

Specifically, last year’s hype was constructed around Arctic melt as of September, which also coincidentally is when it maxes out. The ice recovered, and actually rose to above-normal levels (what, no cooling panic?). The alarmists stayed stuck, shrieking about the September figure throughout the winter despite the rank dishonesty of it all.

So, ice melts in summer. And then it doesn’t. More perspective. It seems that the alarmists proved too much. And we should say a silent prayer that people pay attention should the North Pole sea ice ever do what they alarmists assure us it will. Here’s the catastrophe that will befall you: none whatever. And that will be good for the current, risible shriek- and pander-fest that passes for today’s policy debate about global warming.

Here’s the deal, folks: the planet as a whole is cooling and is projected to do for decades. The Antarctic has 1 million square kilometers more ice than a year ago when it set an ice record. It is warming at one pole, the one up north, which is not greenhouse warming, which would be a warming at both. Yet the northern hemisphere has 1 million square kilometers more ice than it did last year at this time. World sea ice is at or near a modern high, despite modern measurements beginning in the coldest decade of the past century. You can look these things up. It’s called climate. Which changes. Always.

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