The end of November closed the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which is easily one of the quietest on record, a fact climate-change skeptics admit is not proof they are correct but is part of a mountain of evidence showing climate change to be cyclical, natural and unaffected by human activity.
"One hurricane season doesn't mean anything, but an alleged increase in hurricanes was at one time asserted as the best indicator of the clear and present danger of global warming. Yet, all of that was built not just around one year but really around one hurricane, Hurricane Katrina," said journalist and attorney Michael Fumento, who formerly wrote for Reason magazine, the Washington Times and the Hudson Institute.
"If they can build this huge case around this single hurricane, then they should be the first to admit that one of the quietest hurricane seasons on record must go against their position," he told WND.
Fumento said the Hurricane Katrina argument often fails to remind people that the storm had dissipated strongly before reaching shore and only became a humanitarian disaster because of where it struck.
"It's just incredible," he said. "It's like the case for global warming was built around problems with the New Orleans levee system. It's that absurd.
"The logical thing was to look at the entire hurricane record, going as far back as there were data. And depending on what you mean as data, it goes back 150 years to see if, in fact, there was any kind of a year-to-year or decade-to-decade increase. The answer quite flatly was no, no increase whatsoever. It was a dead issue from the very beginning."
According to Fumento, there's much more evidence that the climate is not in crisis and not even warming, as so many scientists had predicted. In a Dec. 5 New York Post column, Fumento said, "Arctic ice increased by almost a third this past year, while that at the South Pole was thicker and wider than it's been in 35 years."
Even more significant, he said, is the quiet admission from the climate-change activists that there has been no increase in the planet's temperature for more than a decade, a fact he says is very significant.
"Even warmists admit in the last 15 years there has been no warming whatsoever. Fifteen years of warming and yet greenhouse gas emissions are pouring out at the highest rate ever and they're at the highest level ever. How can that be? The only explanation, which they admit, is there's something natural preventing this connection right now. But if that's true, couldn't warming have entirely been natural the whole time? And the answer, of course, is yes," Fumento said.
Most climate-change activists contend the 15-year cooling trend is merely a "pause" in the warming of the earth that will result in major ecological problems if industrialized nations do not take significant steps to reduce emissions.
Fumento said scientists simply looked at concurrent acts over a limited period of time.
"There has in fact been global warming. It's been tracked very carefully since 1951. There has in fact been a tremendous increase in emissions and ambient levels of so-called greenhouse gases, the most important of which is carbon dioxide. So the global warming people put two and two together, and they came up with 17," he said, noting the climate has always gone through major warming and cooling cycles.
"Nobody would have ever heard of the Vikings but for a 400-year warming period that allowed them to escape their fjords and go almost literally all over the world. That was a 400-year warming period just a little before carbon dioxide and things like that became a big issue," said Fumento, who noted in his column that the warming period ended around the year 1300.
Nonetheless, President Obama is forging ahead with administrative action to advance his climate-change agenda. In his New York Post column, Fumento reported Obama "signed an executive order establishing a Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience that could dramatically expand government bureaucrats' ability to restrict Americans' use of their property, water and energy to reduce so-called 'greenhouse gas emissions.'"
"There's always people out there who say that doing the right thing environmentally can be free or even pay for itself," Fumento said. "It's never, ever true. These things all cost money. It's just a matter of how much, because you're telling a business or individual to do something that they wouldn't otherwise be doing. Why? Because it costs money. We don't know how much money these things might cost, but they definitely will cost money. The last thing the American public needs is more money spent on chasing what appears entirely to be phantom."
So will a lack of ongoing evidence of global warming trigger a major reverse in public opinion in this debate, or will the entrenched conventional wisdom win the day? Fumento is not optimistic.
"It's definitely got momentum because so many people have reputations involved, whether it's politicians, whether it's scientists, whether it's ex-politicians," he said. "So many people may have a stake so that the science may not matter at all."
Fumento said his work in the 1980s and 1990s debunking the threat of AIDS to heterosexuals was proven true, but that hasn't really changed government policy.
"I'm famous for debunking this 'Everybody's going to die of AIDS' thing. I began in 1987. In 2013, the federal government spends more on AIDS than all other diseases combined," he said. "The science did not matter. The science may not matter here, either."