Across Asia Pacific his week, there was a surge of global warming hype. The novelty for new alarmism goes to the English-language Viet Nam News which prominently carried a feature by a Reuters writer in Oslo about Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a Canadian Inuit campaigner, who has claimed that air conditioners are being installed in the tiny Inuit town of Kuujjuaq in Quebec's icy North because of global warming.
According to Watt-Clousier: "Our Artic homes are made airtight for the cold and do not 'breathe' well in the heat with this warming trend".
Mulling over the wider implications, the Reuters writer speculated that this trend suggests manufacturers of air conditioners and brewers seem obvious winners. Before you call your broker to get onto Anheuser-Busch and Nippon Denso stock before prices spike, check the rest of the story.
There is an afterthought from the mayor of Kuujjuaq. The air conditioners were being installed because windows had to be closed in summer to keep computers dust free. It seems the Information Age might the driver rather than global warming.
And the grand total of computers being installed is ten.
At least this was a new twist in climate change alarmism. Asia also got a dose of "Golden Oldie" catastrophism in the same week.
First there was the publicity of the release of "Time and Tide" a documentary made in New Zealand, by American documentary makers, Julie Bayer and Josh Salzman. They filmed the return of a group of expatriates to Tuvalu, an atoll in the Pacific with a population of 12,000.
Bayer says Tuvalu first attracted them because this enterprising mini state had sold their internet domain name rights (dot.tv) for US $ 50 million. Instead, she and Salzman got swept up (excuse the pun) with the story of the imminent submerging of this atoll state (average elevation above sea level is 12 inches, highest point 12 feet) and filming the world's first global warming refugees.
If anyone told Bayer and Salzman there was no news here -- Greenpeace declared twenty years ago that global warming was about to submerge Tuvalu -- maybe they weren't listening. They certainly weren't interested in the facts. A quick search on the web suggests such an inconvenient truth.
A nearby atoll hosts a Scandinavian oceanology institute which has reported consistently that sea levels in the immediate region have not risen in any significant way. The Australian Tidal Facility, a research Centre in South Australia which monitors sea levels in the Pacific, has research which corroborates this.
As any geologist or oceanologist will also tell you, there is no consistent pattern of sea levels in the world's oceans. In many areas they are simultaneously rising and falling as the seabed flexes and bulges in response to long term seismic events in the Earth's magma.
Not wanting to waste the wonderful image of expatriate Tuvaluans standing ankle deep in seawater washing over parts of the atoll, Bayer and Salzman kept the cameras rolling, no doubt encouraged by the buzz in documentary movie circles about Al Gore's new movie, "An Inconvenient Truth".
It was also released last week and given full front page treatment by Bangkok's "Nation" English-language newspaper. The local Greenpeace campaigner told readers there would be an exclusive pre-release screening and used the occasion to take a gratuitous crack at Thailand's leading power generator for investigating clean coal technologies to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide instead of giving up coal altogether.
Greenpeace evidently reckons Thais should read with candles and cook with portable gas camp stoves. It also rails against generation of electricity from (mostly carbon-neutral) hydropower, one of the best sources of renewable energy and major untapped source of electricity in mainland Southeast Asia, because this requires dams to be built.
That rural villagers in Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia continue to endure shorter life spans because of the long term effects of ingesting smoke trapped inside their houses from cooking on open wooden fires would not interest Greenpeace.
The swell also reached California. In the same week, Tony Blair visited The Golden State to bear hug California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for deciding to require business in California to buy permits to emit carbon dioxide. Blair must have considered this a success in an odd program of British global warming diplomacy.
The British Government has invested as lot of time and money trying to persuade State Governments in the US and Australia to adopt carbon emissions trading schemes in the face of refusal by their national governments to establish federal schemes.
British officials even suggest, as Blair reportedly did to Schwarzenegger, that these states could participate in the EU and British emissions trading schemes. Given how disastrously the EU program has begun, it would be more valuable to invite them to take shares in Eurotunnel. The Governor's response is not reported.
And let's hope someone explains to the Governor that is it is not a good time to raise energy costs in California, not just because the oil price is so high, but because there are many lower energy-cost locations for companies in States bordering California.
For the record, the global warming tide ebbed a little in Australia. Prime Minister John Howard recently announced that the ambition to make Australia a global energy superpower. It has vast reserves of coal and uranium and good reserves of gas. This was distinctly greenhouse politically incorrect and caused the Governments of Australia's six States to back away from costly and pointless plans (developed with British encouragement) to introduce their own system of trading permits to emit carbon. China's demand for energy continues to fuel prosperity in Australia.
Occasionally a glimmer of reality breaks though the gloom of the relentless campaign of global warming alarmism.
Alan Oxley is the Chairman of World Growth.