Yesterday, President Obama delivered a speech at the U.N.’s climate change summit, saying the U.S. is “determined to act,” that “the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing,” and “the time we have to reverse this tide is running out.”
Last night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity and former Bush adviser Karl Rove predictably mocked Obama. It’s “his mandatory jab at America,” Hannity said. “I love the blame America first,” Rove piled on. The anti-Obama duo then moved into global warming denier territory:
HANNITY: You know, we just came off one of the coolest years on record. […]
ROVE: In 2006, only one major industrial economy in the world actually grew and at the same time reduced the absolute level of greenhouse gas emissions put out. Guess what that country was, Sean? The United States of America. He should be heralding our leadership in reducing greenhouse gases by applying technology and market economy to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.
Actually, 2008 was the coolest since 2000, not “on record,” as Hannity claimed. In fact, according to a NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies analysis released in January, last year was likely the ninth warmest on record. The warmest ten years have all occurred since 1997. Moreover, the study said that we should expect the warmest year on record within the next few years:
NASA climate scientists released a new analysis today showing 2008 was the coolest year on record since 2000 but warned a new high temperature record could be broken in the next couple of years. […]
“It still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years,” the authors said.
Rove’s global warming denier claim is slightly more sophisticated than Hannity’s but also highly misleading. While overall emissions dropped from 2005-2006 in the U.S., 2007 saw an increase from 2005 emissions. The 2006 decline was mostly due to a mild winter rather than as a result of any Bush administration policies as Rove suggested. Moreover, the U.S. wasn’t alone in seeing a drop in greenhouse gas emissions that year; the European Union’s emissions also dropped slightly during that same period.