"The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists... are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic." - Newsweek, April 28, 1975 (also the source for the 'inconvenient' chart we don't see anymore, at right, below)Today, by contrast, a UN climate panel is recommending a global temperature ceiling, seeming to forget that agricultural productivity is closely correlated (in a positive direction) with both temperature and CO2 levels. And higher agricultural productivity means 1) reduced possibility of famine, all other things being equal and 2) less need to cut down forests for farmland--a practice that tends to make species go extinct, cause erosion and soil leaching, etc. Yep, we conservatives are all greedy, irresponsible, corporate, anti-environmental yahoos.
This all from same UN that brought you this.
UPDATE I: The point about Mr. Ban Ki-Moon (the new Secretary General of the UN, pictured above) is not that he's necessarily a bad man. (I know very little about him.) The conventional wisdom seems to be that a) he deserves a honeymoon period and b) it would be hard to be worse than either of the previous two UNSGs. The point is an institutional one. I didn't elect him and--unless you're one of a very select few appointed elites--you didn't either.
The process for his (or any other UNSG's) elevation necessarily averages out the opinions of all the governments in power the world today, regardless of their moral foundations. That's very different from democracy, even representative democracy. If that averaging process were to produce something enlightened, it would be purely by accident.
I've said this before (can't find the post at the moment), but try this mental exercise: pick a time in history--any time--when an average of the opinions of the leaders of all the nations (or tribes, or empires or whatever) in power around the world would have produced anything to be proud of--anything that would have drawn us upwards towards something greater. E.g., Rome plus Ghenghis Khan plus Persia plus Greece. You get the idea. The result is inevitably moral mush, not moral leadership. Moral leaders have invariably been iconoclast plain-speakers (think Jesus, MLK, Ghandi, Churchill), not bureaucrats elevated by institutionalized elites.
UPDATE II: The Anchoress has a most righteous post on global warming, weaving together Gore, Couric and the Clintons: "There is no consensus on global warming. There are only people who say there is consensus and tell everyone else to shut up, or be threatened with their jobs. Which is actually called fascism, not environmentalism..."
UPDATE III (Thurs. nite): Welcome Anchoress readers! Her post today is most righteous and I heartily agree. The only silver lining in the Gore escapade: he is having to switch justifications so frequently, his grandiosity is becoming more transparent. Now there's a truly renewable resource: lies. I've just posted more on an extraordinary contradiction in the moral case for global warming here.