The global warming crisis is now being rebranded as a climate change crisis because it seems that instead of getting warmer, we may actually be getting colder.

Some years ago the New Scientist published a report based on an interview with an Indian glaciologist who predicted that the glaciers in the Himalayas would disappear by 2035 as a result of global warming.

This could have catastrophic water implications for people living in some of the most densely populated areas. As many as half-a-billion people are dependent on water from the Himalayas.

The new data, released in recent weeks, indicates that 30 of the 96 glaciers in the Himalayas actually increased in mass during 2007-2008. Glaciers are also expanding in the Antarctic, New Zealand, and Norway.

Scientists who have been questioning the whole global warming hysteria have been largely ignored because what they have been saying does not suit what is essentially a political agenda.

We are being told that anthropogenic global warming (AGW), which is "global warming caused by man," is going to have catastrophic consequences. AGW alarmists claim that man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) is causing the globe to heat up, thereby putting life as we know it at risk. Is the earth really warming?

The warmest year in the 20th century was 1934 and it was followed by five of the coldest years in the century. While 1998 was the second warmest year of the century, temperatures have flattened since then. The hysteria is as unconvincing as the science behind it.

In 1975, climatologists were warning that the earth was entering a new ice age. Some desperate solutions were advocated, such as coating the North Pole with soot to absorb solar energy to prevent the anticipated global cooling.

Bert Bolin, a Swedish climatologist, advocated that people burn more coal and oil in order to generate greenhouse gas to stave off the anticipated ice age. The same Bert Bolin became the first chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been warning of impending doom due to AGW.

The first IPCC report in 1991 included a graph of temperature over the last 1,000 years. It depicted the medieval warm period from 900 to 1300 AD, followed by the little ice age, which lasted from 1300 to 1850.

An IPCC report in 2001, however, included a new graph which showed the global temperature on a relatively flat line from 1000 to 1850, with a dramatic spike up after that. This graph, which ignored both the medieval warm period and the little ice age, has been totally discredited.

The earth has gone through cycles of global warming and cooling even within recorded history. From 200BC to 600AD was known as the Roman warming period, from 600 to 900 was the cold period of the Dark Ages, and from 900 to 1300 was the medieval warming period. During the latter period, which was before Christopher Columbus "discovered" America, the Vikings settled in Greenland.

The remnants of some of their farms have been found. One farm had barns capable of holding about 160 cows, while the barns at two other farms could hold between 30 and 50 cows each.

Where did they get the hay to feed the cows in winter? Clearly, Greenland was able to grow the grass for winter feed for the cattle and must have been much warmer then than it is today.

How could the IPCC have got its 2001 report so wrong? It certainly raises serious questions about its science. Dissenting scientists contend, for instance, that the IPCC reports were to serve a political agenda rather than science.

Contributing scientists were told their dissenting commentaries were deleted from the final report of 1996 "in order to ensure that it conformed to the policymakers' summary". The policymakers' summary should be based on the report, not the other way around.

This was not the way a scientific report should be written. They came up with a phoney consensus by ignoring the dissenting views of participating scientists.

Last autumn the so-called Climategate scandal erupted following the unauthorised release of emails and other documents from the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia. The scandal exposed arbitrary manipulation of climate data in order to fit preconceived hypotheses.

When the Journal of Climate Research published papers challenging the notion that the temperatures in the late 20th century were warmer than a millennium earlier, for instance, the author of the discredited 2001 graph essentially suggested trying to put that journal out of business.

"Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal," he wrote in one of the emails. "We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board."

The arrogance and the distortion of both the scientific methods and ethics, which the emails revealed, was nothing short of astounding. Why would any reputable scientist do that? East Anglia University announced a wide-ranging probe into allegations that its scientists manipulated data about global warming. This review will examine all the email exchanges to check for evidence that data were manipulated or suppressed in ways that are "at odds with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes", according to the university.

AGW alarmism has been be serving a number of agenda. The motives include environmentalism, ego, greed and political goals that span the spectrum.

SOME authorities argue that the focus on biofuel has actually increased the amount of oil used and greenhouse gas generated. Following studies at Princeton University, for instance, Prof Tim Searchinger reported in 2008 that substituting biofuels for petrol will nearly double emissions of greenhouse gases when all the carbon costs of producing the biofuel and the lower energy content of the biofuel are taken into account.

In its cover story on April 7, 2008, Time magazine described how turning crops into fuel increases food prices. In the pursuit of biofuels the US could for the first time actually become a grain importer, rather than exporter. This could have disastrous implications for those areas of the world where people are starving already.

The whole thing is not going to curb CO2 emissions, with the result that the environmental justification for the biofuels is flawed. Maybe there could be justification for using biofuels in order to cut down or eliminate our dependence on imported oil, but let that be the reason for doing so.

Careers, reputations, and bureaucracies now depend on there being a climate crisis. Al Gore collects a $200,000 fee for presentations, and that is possibly minor compared to what he will earn in carbon trading fees from Generation Investment Management, which he co-founded and which is an investor in the Chicago Climate Exchange.

An article in The Wall Street Journal last October suggested that carbon permits could become the largest commodity market in the world, growing to as much as $3 trillion by 2030. Bernie Madoff got away with his Ponzi scheme for so long because people were afraid to question what he was doing. Surely we should be questioning the so-called global warming scam.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Saturday, January 30, 2010