The Senate had a good old-fashioned sleepover last week, one in which members stayed up all night telling scary stories about the bogeyman. His name is global warming, and Senate Democrats one after another took to the podium to swear he is real. And to appease him, they say, we must continue to make human sacrifices. We must feed him jobs, like the 6,000 lost in Kentucky's coalfields since 2011 as a result of the war on coal, which was launched in the name of global warming.
For their efforts the Senate's climate change apostles were rewarded Monday with a rare weather calamity - 6 inches of snow on St. Patrick's Day, more than enough to shut down the federal government for the day in D.C.
Republicans, naturally, skipped the all-nighter. Also absent were a number of endangered Democratic senators, such as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mark Begich of Alaska and Kay Hagan of North Carolina.
And why would those senators skip this fun family event? After all, everyone with a brain knows global warming is real, don't they? The skeptics are just an ignorant few, plus a handful of ostriches and minions of evil corporations, right? The president and the media say so.
Given much of the reporting on the issue, people might be surprised to discover where Americans, and for that matter scientists, really stand.
A Gallup poll released the Friday after the Senate all-nighter shows 54 percent of Americans believe global warming is real and having an impact. On the other end of the spectrum, 34 percent believe it will not have an impact in their lifetimes or ever.
But the bigger question - and the one generally glossed over by most Democrats and their major-media friends - is the not whether global warming exists. It is whether it is manmade. The distinction is critical, because only if the latter is true does it make sense to shut down coal mines and oil drilling and throw millions out of work.
President Obama has claimed on several recent occasions that "97 percent" of the scientific community is in agreement that global warming is driven by human activity, primarily the burning of coal and other fossil fuels. Defenders of the global warming faith have taken to citing that statistic in their letters to us of late. But is it so?
A survey of the American Meteorological Society last November showed its members closely split on the issue. It found 52 percent of members believe climate change is occurring and mostly caused by human activity, while 48 percent do not believe global warming is manmade.
There is even greater skepticism about "manmade" warming among the American public. The Washington Post reported last April that while 69 percent of Americans believe global warming is happening (the number fell to 66 percent in last week's Gallup poll) only 42 percent believe it is due to human activity. The Post also reported that more than one-third of Americans believe climate scientists who say global warming is real reach those conclusions based on money or politics.
You wouldn't deduce that from coverage in most of the media, where manmade global warming is a matter of blind faith, believed by all but a few ignorant heretics. But the fact is a majority of the American public is rightly skeptical about "manmade" climate change, which is why Democrats who want to keep their jobs ducked last week's fright night.