The devil can quote Scripture, as any theologian can tell you, and just because Vladimir Putin says something doesn't make it not so. The big chief of the Russians has challenged the theology of the Church of Global Warming in advance of a convocation of nations this month in Paris to come up with ideas for monetizing a myth.
The wise men of the world, the leaders of governments and a clutch of double-dome prelates and other academics, have prepared a treaty to create an International Tribunal of Climate Justice, with enforcement powers, to enable the deadbeat countries of the third world to nibble at the sovereignty of their betters, and to hail the United States into kangaroo courts to take up American violations of "climate justice," "climate finance," "climate debt" and "technology transfers."
IISD Reporting Services, which tracks what it calls the global sustainable development movement, reports that the conference is empowered to adopt all manner of bad things. The baddest bad thing is the adoption of "a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force . . . applicable to all parties." We see writ very large exactly what Barack Obama had in mind when he promised "fundamental change."
He intends to do as much damage as he can while he still can. A treaty from the Paris conference will be right up the president's street. He wants the unexceptional nation to be whittled down to the size of Kenya or Indonesia so it can take its place with the inconsequential nations of the world, leaving America tied down, like Gulliver, by the Lilliputians of the modern age.
Vladimir Putin recognized opportunity, and boldly and without apology asserted dominion in the Middle East. Now he has challenged the fraud of global warming, or climate change, or whatever this week's correct label might. He applies common sense, backed by accumulating scientific evidence, to the to the factoids adduced by global-warming hysterics in the West, and dismisses it as mere propaganda. He learned about the uses of factoids-as-evidence when he was an operative of the KGB.
Andrey Illarionov, who was Mr. Putin's senior economic adviser a decade ago and is now a scholar at the Cato Institute in Washington, tells Reuters how he and the Putin staff "did very, very extensive work trying to understand all sides of the climate debate. We found that, while climate change does exist, it is cyclical, and the [human] role is very limited. It became clear that the climate is a complicated system and that, so far, the evidence presented for the need to 'fight' global warming was rather unfounded."
Mr. Putin acknowledged four years ago, when he went to the South Pole to inspect the polar ice cap, his belief that the climate is indeed changing, but he doubts that humans are causing the sun to shine, the rain to fall and the winds to blow. Earlier generations, more modest than our own, ascribed such phenomena to nature (and nature's God). Modern man has such a difficult time getting over himself. It's one of the greater ironies of our time that tutelage for Barack Obama must come from a man like Vladimir Putin. Mr. Obama has lately been learning many things from Mr. Putin, and seems doomed to learn more.
Only last week researchers from several of the usual sources of climate science - NASA, the University of Maryland, Sigma Space Corporation, an engineering firm - reported in the Journal of Glaciology that the polar ice cap is not shrinking, as the scientists insist with religious fervor that it is, but actually growing. An analysis of satellite data shows that ice over Antarctica grew by 112 billion tons between 1992 and 2001, and by 82 billion tons of ice each year between 2003 and 2008.
So much for Antarctica sinking into a rising sea. The polar bears are safe. The climate scientists, always ready with a new excuse, insist the new findings don't really mean what they mean, and demonstrate only how hard it is to be a climate scientist. They just need better tools at the South Pole.
But confronting the politically correct science of weather is still risky business. Philippe Verdier, a popular television weatherman in France, was sacked last week for being insufficiently respectful of the doctrines of the church of weather science . He writes that he was inspired to write his new book, "Climate Investigation," by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius when he met with television meteorologists to persuade them to cook the news about global warming to the politically correct recipe.
Acute indigestion usually follows gluttony. A Frenchman should know better.