Here's something you don't see every day: an article at the New York Times skeptical about imminent planetary doom at the hands of manmade global warming.
Maybe it's a spoof.
Whether satirical in nature or not, John Tierney's "‘Feel Good' vs. ‘Do Good' on Climate" should be must-reading for liberals around the country who need a little sanity from a source they trust to offset the alarmism they're receiving from other outlets they also hold in undeserved esteem (h/t Glenn Reynolds, emphasis added throughout):
After looking at one too many projections of global-warming disasters - computer graphics of coasts swamped by rising seas, mounting death tolls from heat waves - I was ready for a reality check. Instead of imagining a warmer planet, I traveled to a place that has already felt the heat, accompanied by Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish political scientist and scourge of environmentalist orthodoxy.
Methinks soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore is ready for a similar reality check. But I digress:
It was not an arduous expedition. We went to an old wooden building near the Brooklyn Bridge that is home to the Bridge Cafe, which bills itself as "New York's Oldest Drinking Establishment." There's been drinking in the building since the late 18th century, when it was erected on Water Street along the shore of Lower Manhattan.
At this moment in the text, I began thinking similarly to Reynolds who humorously pondered, "I wonder if there's a bar around here where I can conduct a climage-change investigation?"
So do I, Glenn. However, there were serious conclusions afoot:
Since record-keeping began in the 19th century, the sea level in New York has been rising about a foot per century, which happens to be about the same increase estimated to occur over the next century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The temperature has also risen as New York has been covered with asphalt and concrete, creating an "urban heat island" that's estimated to have raised nighttime temperatures by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. The warming that has already occurred locally is on the same scale as what's expected globally in the next century.
The impact of these changes on Lower Manhattan isn't quite as striking as the computer graphics. We couldn't see any evidence of the higher sea level near the Bridge Cafe, mainly because Water Street isn't next to the water anymore. Dr. Lomborg and I had to walk over two-and-a-half blocks of landfill to reach the current shoreline.
Hmmm. So species actually adapt to changing environments without going extinct? Shocking. But there was more, for despite the Global Warmingist-in-Chief's concerns about a warming planet causing mass-murder, Tierney injected some truths into the discussion alarmists would find mighty inconvenient:
[W]inter can be deadlier than summer. About seven times more deaths in Europe are attributed annually to cold weather (which aggravates circulatory and respiratory illness) than to hot weather, Dr. Lomborg notes, pointing to studies showing that a warmer planet would mean fewer temperature-related deaths in Europe and worldwide.
The second factor is that the weather matters a lot less than how people respond to it. Just because there are hotter summers in New York doesn't mean that more people die - in fact, just the reverse has occurred. Researchers led by Robert Davis, a climatologist at the University of Virginia, concluded that the number of heat-related deaths in New York in the 1990s was only a third as high as in the 1960s. The main reason is simple, and evident as you as walk into the Bridge Cafe on a warm afternoon: air-conditioning.
Yes, but if Gore had his way, everyone except him and his followers would have to turn off their air conditioners due to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during the process by which electricity is generated.
Which raises an interesting Andy Rooneyesque question: Have you ever wondered if Gore's global warming mission isn't all about punishing Americans who voted for George W. Bush in November 2000?