Happy UN Day!

Today’s the day the United Nations crawls out of its hole and, depending which way the wind is blowing, predicts the global climate.

And the UN is out of the hole. It sees its own shadow!

Bad news people. Looks like six more centuries of global warming.

Of all the major news sources we follow, only the Toronto Sun and Car Advertiser caught the irony of the UN’s releasing its first major climate study report since 2001 on Groundhog Day (“It’s Unanimous: Early Spring“). After all, on Feb. 2, tradition has it, some rodent awakens from hibernation and is either frightened back to ground by the sight of its own shadow (predicting six more weeks of winter) or not (spring’s on its way!). That this is junk science at its most elemental level is besides the point: that the “groundhog day denial” crowd is heavily funded by the oil and gas industry is not.

The New York Times and Car Advertiser today runs this headline: “Even before its release, World Climate report is criticized as too optimistic.” According to the report, the UN has played down the catastrophic aspects of the predicted rise in sea levels, to its own discredit. “[E]xperts say that unless the finding is modified, the panel — widely cited as an authoritative voice on climate change — risks condemning itself to irrelevance.”

The Toronto Star and Car Advertiser meanwhile, which arrives at our doorstep in a carbon tube tied with a rubber band every morning, has laid its hands on the actual report, not just the namby-pamby “draft” copy that the Times (that Star wannabee) refers to. According to the Star and Car Advertiser article, “Climate change unstoppable, say scientists,” “One of the authors, Kevin Trenberth, said scientists are worried that world leaders will take the message in the wrong way and throw up their hands. Instead, world leaders should to [sic] reduce emissions and adapt to a warmer world with wilder weather.”

“The point here is to highlight what will happen if we don’t do something and what will happen if we do something,” said another author, Jonathan Overpeck at the University of Arizona. “I can tell if you will decide not to do something the impacts will be much larger than if we do something.’’

Um, we are sure the report, at 21 pages, reads better than these quotes.

But is anyone listening?

More to the point, is George Bush listening?

Sharon Hays, associate director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, welcomed the strong language of the report.

“It’s a significant report. It will be valuable to policy makers,” she told The Associated Press in an interview in Paris.

Hays stopped short of saying whether or how the report could bring about change in President Bush’s policy about greenhouse gas emissions.

We suspect we know the answer. After all, it was only the associate director that the Americans sent on this Paris jaunt.

Where was the Director, John H. Marburger III? We understand President Bush had assigned him a “more important” mission:
John Marburger III: No, the one in the tophat, dummy!

After all, who cares about the next six centuries. What the prez wants to know is if there’s to be six more weeks of winter this year.

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