Irony alert: The unusually chilly global-warming summit

The Week – December 9, 2010

The irony: As negotiators from nearly 200 countries met in Cancun to strategize ways to keep the planet from getting hotter, the temperature in the seaside Mexican city plunged to a 100-year record low of 54° F. Climate-change skeptics are gleefully calling Cancun’s weather the latest example of the “Gore Effect” — a plunge in temperature they say occurs wherever former Vice President Al Gore, now a Nobel Prize-winning environmental activist, makes a speech about the climate. Although Gore is not scheduled to speak in Cancun, “it could be that the Gore Effect has announced his secret arrival,” jokes former NASA scientist Roy W. Spencer.

 
 The reaction: ClimateGate was “bad enough,” says Duncan Davidson in Wall Street Pit, but Cancun’s weather is particularly “inconvenient” for global-warming alarmists. It’s a reminder that global temperatures have “flatlined” despite rising carbon dioxide levels, “which is decidedly chilling against the concept of hampering economic growth to limit Co2 emissions.” Grow up, says Tony Juniper in The Independent. “Sure, it’s cold outside,” but “the trend data show that the world is warming, that the climate is changing, and that the release of greenhouse gases is the cause.” The longer we use every cold snap as an excuse to put off reducing emissions, “the bigger the risk we run. Tick tock, tick tock.”

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