Former Vice President Al Gore went on a profanity-laced tirade at the Aspen Institute Aug. 4 against the rising number of Americans who are skeptical about man-made global warming.
According to a Harris poll in July, only 44 percent of us now believe carbon dioxide emissions are warming the Earth, down from 51 percent in 2009 and 71 percent in 2007.
Global temperatures peaked in 1998. People have noticed winters are getting colder.
When evidence emerged in 2009 that scientists affiliated with the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Britain were "hiding the decline" by fudging data, few journalists paid much attention.
But a lot of Americans did, apparently. In a Rasmussen poll Aug. 3, 69 percent of respondents said it was at least somewhat likely scientists have falsified research data.
According to global warming theory, carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are trapping heat in the upper atmosphere, inexorably warming the planet.
The theory ignored inconvenient facts:
• In the Medieval Warm Period (950-1250 AD), and the Roman Warm Period (250 BC-400 AD), there were no automobiles or factories, but temperatures were warmer than now.
• In geologic history, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere were much higher, but temperatures often were lower. In the Late Ordovician Period, CO2 concentrations were 12 times higher than they are today. The Late Ordovician Period was an ice age.
• Vostok (Antarctica) ice core samples indicate temperature changes have preceded changes in CO2 concentrations by an average of 800 years. This couldn't happen if CO2 caused temperature changes.
• CO2 in the atmosphere has increased since 1998, but temperatures haven't.
Now a peer-reviewed study of NASA satellite data indicates the computer models warmists rely upon grossly exaggerate the amount of heat being trapped in the atmosphere.
Mr. Gore's alarmist predictions have proved false. Polar ice caps are larger. So is the polar bear population (and the scientist upon whom Mr. Gore relied for his claim that the polar bear is endangered is facing accusations of scientific misconduct). The rise in sea levels -- which has been going on since the end of the last ice age -- is slowing down.
Mr. Gore can respond only with curses, and ever more hysterical predictions of imminent doom. His credibility is in tatters. In the public mind, he's gone from Nobel Prize winner to Chicken Little.
Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is a "contrived phony mess that is falling apart of its own weight," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a candidate for president. It's the most harmful hoax in history, because President Barack Obama bases job-killing policies on it.
Thanks to the new technique of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which makes it possible to recover oil and natural gas trapped in shale, the United States now has more reserves of oil, coal and natural gas than any other nation, concluded the Congressional Research Service.
"Shale gas doesn't change everything, it's much more important than that," said British energy expert Nick Grealy.
If these resources were exploited properly, America could be energy independent very soon. Millions of well-paying jobs would be created. New tax revenues would flood the Treasury. The cost of gasoline and electricity would plummet.
But the government forbids oil drilling in most of Alaska, most areas offshore and much of the West. Regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coal and electric power industries, and send electric bills soaring.
Mr. Obama's efforts to force Detroit to build electric cars consumers don't want (think a Chevette with a Cadillac price tag) may cost 220,000 jobs in the auto industry.
Our economically illiterate president prattles on about "green jobs." But so-called "renewables" require massive government subsidies to produce little energy. Studies in Spain, Britain and Italy indicate each subsidized "green" job costs, respectively, 2.2, 3.7 and 4.8 jobs in the private sector.
Industrial wind turbines -- a favorite of Mr. Obama's -- cause real environmental harm. Fossil fuels are persecuted for their alleged contributions to a phantom problem. To protect us from that phantom, President Obama is killing our economy.
Jack Kelly is a columnist for the Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio ( firstname.lastname@example.org , 412-263-1476).