When global-warming skepticism reaches the BBC, then it has become a major issue.  This weekend, the BBC asked the question, “What happened to global warming?”, and then answered it with a balanced article that reported on the response from both sides of the debate to the fact that the Earth has cooled over the last eleven years, despite an increase in carbon dioxide release.  Skeptics point out that the models never predicted it, while advocates say that massive warming is still just around the corner:

For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise. …

So what does it all mean? Climate change sceptics argue that this is evidence that they have been right all along.

They say there are so many other natural causes for warming and cooling, that even if man is warming the planet, it is a small part compared with nature. …

In addition, say Met Office scientists, temperatures have never increased in a straight line, and there will always be periods of slower warming, or even temporary cooling.

What is crucial, they say, is the long-term trend in global temperatures. And that, according to the Met office data, is clearly up.

For the sake of argument, assume that the last statement is true.  That in and of itself proves … nothing.  It proves that the Earth warms at times, and cools at others.  The question isn’t really whether the Earth has warmed over the last several decades — the question is whether that warming is anthropogenic, or man-made, through the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Clearly, as the modeling of the advocates has failed to predict a cooling cycle, the answer appears to be no.

Besides, weather cycles of this sort do not move in decades.  They move in centuries, or millenia, or eons.  Fluctuations from one decade to the next would be akin to determining that a hurricane is approaching because the wind shifted direction over the space of a few minutes.  Meteorology is at best an inexact predictive science even at its basic level, precisely because the weather gets impacted by myriad factors whose interaction dynamics cannot be predicted easily.

Global-warming advocates have used higher temperatures in the 1990s as a “sky is falling” data point, but have been thoroughly unable to connect that to carbon dioxide release as a primary or even minor cause.  Their predictive computer models have failed to predict actual temperatures for the last eleven years, which for any other “science” other than that which means tons of government cash for scientists and state control of energy production would mean the discrediting of the models and the hypotheses of their authors.  Even the BBC has begun to notice that global warming, like its predecessor hysteria The Coming Ice Age, is little more than hot air from environmental activists.

Update: Just in case you thought Saturday was a fluke:

Update: Here’s the second clip I took this morning, and finally figured out how to upload in HD. This is the view from the back yard: