The UN Secretary General today said that global warming was accelerating faster than anticipated:

He searched his vocabulary for the precise phrase to convey his deepest conviction … and you could see his eyes sparkle when he hit upon the shim-sham-inducing word, accelerating, to describe what was happening to global warming.

Good Lord! I thought to myself. This is bad! If global warming is accelerating, if it is worse than we have predicted — happening three times faster than any scientist ever feared in his worst nightmare — then, by golly, we sure ought to do something!

But as I was jumping up to write a check to the Sierra Club, I remembered. Hadn’t I heard Ban Ki-moon’s phrase somewhere else before?

I had. And often.

I turned to my trusty archives, and discovered something. At least since the late 1990s, and probably before, journalists, “activists,” and even politicians have been claiming: “It’s worse than we thought.”

Only two things can account for the constant use of these words:

(1) It really is, each and every time we turn around, getting hotter by amounts greater than we had predicted.

While this is logically possible, if this rhetoric were consistently true then by now the Earth’s fish would be swimming in water as hot as Tiger Woods is in.

(2) The politicians, etc., have forgotten the definition of accelerating.

This is plausible. It is, after all, a physical term, and most non-scientist global warming activists are demonstrably not well versed in their physics.

There is a third possibility, but knowing how earnest the Copenhagen crowd is, we can scarcely give it any weight.

It is — I hesitate when I write this — that the activists are exaggerating, even (gulp) fibbing.

For our own good, of course. To convince reluctant people to act. Let us hope this third scenario exists only in my fevered imagination.

Does anyone have any idea how they are defining “accelerating”(Because the surface temps have been flat or declining the last 10 years)? Its like in The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Really the only important thing that is accelerating is the political and media hype needed to create a regulatory regime controlled by our elites in order to address this non-accelerating “crisis.” And they need to close the deal very soon because:

  • Political will by western citizenry is starting to doubt the supposed crisis and are growing more hostile to the proposals to “solve” the problem.
  • Once you get the regulatory regime and the associated bureaucracies in place, they will be nearly impossible to remove
  • Given the global economic flameout we are experiencing, CO2 output will almost certainly decline and/or show a slowdown in its growth once the final accounting is done. The busybodies putting the regulations in place can then claim credit for this apparent decline in global warming the last 10 years.

(Yes, I know this is the 2nd time I’ve used the classic quote in a post. Its like a Seinfeld episode. There is just so much material there that applies to the real world.)