Good morning and happy Monday! We’re now three days from Thanksgiving in the United States, one of my favourite holidays. The great commute begins now: families getting together all over America at a time which is historically busiest for air travel and road travel. Yet it seems to me that, if you buy into the Al Gore credo, you should be travelling precisely nowhere this Thanksgiving. Air travel has a particularly high carbon footprint, let alone road travel. It seems to me that someone who believes that the earth is on the verge of catastrophic warming unless we change our lifestyles straightaway is being morally inconsistent to go anywhere for Thanksgiving except home. In any case, what’s there to be thankful for?

Rob Lyons has a great piece this morning on Spiked “separating fact from fright” on this issue, saying that the IPPC report “doesn’t match the alarmism”. I agree, wholeheartedly. It’s become embarrassing: the science says one thing, and the politically motivated hacks who are already predisposed to advocate this brand of government coercion hear it and, with a renewed spring in their step, go and preach something else entirely – with gusto, since it’s based on “science”. In my experience, many of these people wouldn’t know the scientific process if it were responsible for the contents of their Thanksgiving platter (and it turns out that it is). To say that they are exaggerating the science obscenely is no exaggeration.

“So, for example, while the headlines would suggest that the Greenland ice sheet is about to melt, catastrophically resulting in sea level rises of seven metres, the report makes clear that this process would take millennia. The report actually suggests that sea level will rise over the next century by 18-59 centimetres. Meanwhile, the report says: ‘Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and gain mass due to increased snowfall.’ In other words, unless great chunks fall off the edge of the South Pole’s ice sheet, the mass of ice is likely to get bigger. While the overall rise in sea levels could still be damaging to very low-lying coastal areas, there will be no need to build an ark any time soon.

“You would never get this more balanced impression from the mainstream media, however. For example, the UK Independent on Sunday ran the headline: ‘A world dying, but can we unite to save it?’ A recent environmentalist survival guidebook claimed that planet Earth is ‘speeding into a troubling void’. Such melodramatic outbursts have been widespread in the British and European media over the past couple of days. Television documentaries, commentators and politicians seem to be suggesting that civilisation itself is under threat, as they hint that we are heading for a future where a few hardy survivors will inhabit a scorched earth devoid of other animals or plant life, like something out of Mad Max. The truth is very different.”

And it goes on. It’s a very good critique by Rob Lyons – click here to see the rest.