Was 2008 the year that man-made global warming was disproved?

Controversial man made global warming debunker Christopher Booker has a piece in the Sunday Telegraph that he claims shows that 2008 was the year that man made global warming was "disproved:"

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.

Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to "natural factors" such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely "masking the underlying warming trend", and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).

As you might expect, Booker has been a controversial figure in the global warming debate - not only for his point of view but because he has been known to fudge his facts on a few occasions and ignore evidence that runs counter to his views. This is exactly what he accuses global warming advocates of doing which only goes to show the hazards of engaging in a scientific debate when there is evidence to buttress the case for both sides. It's what makes the debate over man made global warming so difficult.

And Booker may be exaggerating when he uses the word "disproved" about global warming. As the comments on this blog post will show, most anti-man made global warming advocates never accepted the findings of the Al Gores of the world in the first place. The significance of what has happened in the debate over the last year is that critics and skeptics appear to be gaining. Polls have shown both here in American and in Europe, roughly 50% of the populations are skeptical of claims made by man made climate change advocates. This is heartening to those who hope for open, honest scientific debate on the issue and further research on the subject before we ruin our economy by racing to reduce emissions in what could very well be a futile effort to stop the natural rise in temps that may or may not occur over the next century.

More accurately, 2008 will go down as the turn of the tide in the global warming debate: The year that skeptics gathered strength and were able to start making their case to the people. It was also a year that proponents of man made global warming were unable to smear skeptics as simple "tools" of industry - not when thousands of scientists not associated with any think tank or company that gets monies from the energy industry joined in an effort to stop this political juggernaut from overrunning common sense and bringing ruin to our economies.

As more and more prominent scientists call for slowing down this rush to judgment, it will get harder for man made climate change advocates to impose their draconian solutions. Mr. Booker did his part this year by publicizing many of the conclusions reached by these scientists and for that, he should be congratulated.