That idea that humanity would be overwhelmed by global warming never made much sense. Now the public is finally getting the rest of the story, definitive information on what drives climate change.

When the United Nations' International Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, it was preceded by several days by a competing report.

The earlier report was by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, and it was entitled "Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science." (Previous editions were published in 2009 and 2011.)

With thousands of peer-reviewed citations, CCR II ranks as the most comprehensive and authoritative critique yet published of the IPCC’s assumptions.

The evidence shows the UN’s assertion of 95 percent confidence that the current warming is manmade, unprecedented and catastrophic is grotesquely wrong.

Cold is radically more dangerous to human life and crops than heat. Even with modern furnaces, we still suffer far more deaths from cold than from heat, even in subtropical countries.

The Atlantic seabed sediments tell us there have been about 600 global warmings in the past million years. They were all moderate, featuring a 2- to 4-degree Celsius kink in the temperature record about every 700 years.

The cycle seems to be solar-driven, and even the alarmists acknowledge those past warmings and coolings occurred.

We have not lost any of our wild species to the recent warming because the critters evolved through these previous global warming and cooling cycles.

Any species that was unable to tolerate 2 to 4 degrees of change in its ecosystem disappeared long before our time.

It’s just that our biologists had never seen sudden, sharp warming for themselves — and so they denied it could happen without disaster.

That state of ignorance explains how the global warming panic got started. There were reputable climatologists who saw the surge of warming after 1976 and declared it “unprecedented.”

The UN, quick to recognize a politically profitable scare story, ginned up its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, headed by a railroad engineer from India.

The IPCC was charged with determining how humans might be altering our climate, with CO2 being the most prominent theory.

The media eagerly trumpeted the new climate worry because panics sell papers. Their predecessors often had successfully promoted climate change fears in the past.

This time, however, there was something new: computerized climate models. They gave us wonderfully “precise” predictions of the awful overheating to come.

Regardless of whether the models were valid, the public loved the new worry — as long as its economic consequences were off in the future.

The greenhouse theory quickly became an established and largely government-funded “fact.” The inconvenient truth that it was only a theory was pushed into the background.

The computer modelers do not like to admit it, but their models can’t even replicate the most significant abrupt climate changes in Earth’s recent past — the 25 shifts in the natural Dansgaard-Oeschger climate cycle that have occurred in the past 10,000 years.

Nor had the models predicted this fact: The planet hasn’t warmed in more than 15 years. Something has interrupted Armageddon.

The models clearly have failed, but their creators call it a “pause” and are scrambling to think of places they can claim the heat is hiding.

Fortunately, a few skeptics have continued to pursue real climate research. The IPCC claims it’s more certain than ever that catastrophic manmade global warming is still on the way.

The evidence, however, shows the only disaster in this area is the damage governments and the media have done to the pursuit of science.

Dennis T. Avery is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute.