Global Warming? Hot Air!
by John Loeffler
World Affairs Editor
President Clinton heads to Japan this month for the purpose of signing a "global climate change" treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide. This continues the globalization of environmental green law which we saw in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro.
As a runup to the President's trip, we will be inundated by propaganda designed to scare the American public into believing that scientists agree that global warming is a threatening fact that requires radical governmental response. We will be shown charts of the earth's average temperatures since 1850. We will be told there is a consensus of atmospheric scientists. We will be told the polar ice caps will melt, storms will become severe, and the coastlines will flood. Even severely cold winters will be blamed on global warming. All of this is known as the White House Effect, which is probably a bigger producer of hot air than the greenhouse effect.
What Do the Data Say About Global Warming?
The methods used to predict future global warming are based on computer models, not actual temperature readings. And even the models are changing their forecasts. In 1990 the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said global temperatures would climb more than 3 degrees C by the year 2100 if we didn't make radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane. Now the same group says the earth might only warm 1degree C. One degree? But the earth was that warm a thousand years ago during the last climactic optimum! So why the alarm?
The History of Global Warming
Whether the earth is warming or cooling depends on when you begin making measurements. Over the last two decades, satellite sensors show that the earth has been cooling. If measurements begin in 1850, at the end of the little ice age and the point alarmists love to start their charts, the earth has heated about 1 degree C.
For the last couple of decades, we have had satellite readings of both land and sea temperatures. Prior to that, for about a century or so, temperature readings were confined mostly to land. Prior to that, scientists rely on historical data.
From about 800 a.d. to 1200 a.d., the earth's average climate was warmer than it is today-at least 1 degree C warmer-the same amount everyone is panicked about. It was the period when Vikings crossed the oceans in open boats without cabins and were able to settle and raise crops in Greenland, because it wasn't covered with a sheet of ice. Note that the oceans didn't flood the continents. Scientists refer to this period of time as the "climactic optimum"-an optimum and not a disaster!
From 1200 a.d. onward, the earth began to cool. The period between 1450 and 1850 is the period scientists refer to as the "little ice age." The Vikings had to abandon Greenland since it became covered with perpetual ice.
The most severe storms of history set in during this time and are related to global cooling rather than global warming. The worst storms on record in the North Sea occurred during this time. Storms in 1421 and 1446 claimed 100,000 lives while a storm in 1570 claimed over 400,000.
Only two of the 20 deadliest storms occurred since 1962 and none of them occurred in the 1980s or 1990s, when we were first warned about the global warming "crisis."
By 1850, the cooling cycle reversed and the earth began warming to the temperature norms we see today. It is clear the earth passes through normal long-term cycles, attributed to sunspot cycles and other factors. Our current fluctuations are normal variations not caused by human activity.
Is There a Consensus?
There is still much debate and absolutely no consensus among scientists about global warming, no matter how hard President Clinton tries to tell us otherwise.
In 1992, over 400 scientists from around the world signed the Heidelberg Appeal prior to the UNCED conference in Rio. They expressed their doubts about global warming and asked the delegates not to bind the world to any radical treaties based on global warming. Today scientists agreeing with the Heidelberg Appeal number over 4,000!
The UN's IPCC report on climate change put together by atmospheric scientists meeting in Bonn, Germany last year had significant sections by atmospheric scientists who said there is not enough data to suggest that man is radically altering the temperature on the planet.
When the report was published, however, the United Nations had systematically removed that information in over a dozen pages to eliminate the appearance of disagreement. The scientists were outraged at politics hijacking science by means of fraud. But you'll still hear global warming buffs cite the UN report as saying that the scientists all agree that global warming is a fact. That's an outright lie and they know it.
Does CO2 Cause Global Warming?
The planet's temperature increased 1.5 degrees C since the mid 19th century, two-thirds of which occurred before 1940, when carbon dioxide emissions by humans were minimal. Since 1979, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have risen 19%; yet the planet cooled 0.09 degree C during that period. One must seriously ask how the earth's temperature rose before human-caused CO2 was put into the atmosphere? This is a case of an effect coming before the cause.
The chief hothouse gas is water vapor-not carbon dioxide or methane. It accounts for over 90% of global heat retention. Currently, human activity puts about 6 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. Non-human activity, mostly volcanoes, accounts for about 200 billion tons. Human activity, then, constitutes 2-3% of carbon dioxide, which itself is less than 10% of the total. As professor of physics at Purdue University L. van Zandt said in the National Review:
Human activity, carried out at the present rate indefinitely (more than 12 years) cannot possibly account for more than 6 per cent of the observed change in CO2 levels. Entirely shutting off civilization-or even killing everybody-could only have a tiny effect on global warming, if there is any such thing.1 He went on to say:
Why do all these supposedly educated, supposedly sane people want to end civilization? Since humanity can't possibly be causing the CO2 level to go up, isn't it time to start wondering about what is?2
The Push for a Global Climate Treaty
Let's start wondering. First of all, the treaty President Clinton will sign isn't global. Roughly two-thirds of the countries expected to sign the treaty won't have to do anything, including China. Developing countries, those who will produce the most greenhouse gas over the next 50 years, will not have to comply with the treaty at all. Only developed countries, especially the United States, will have to radically pull in the belt and strangle their economies.
But this fits the entire rhetoric of the UNCED conference in Rio in 1992. Dixy Lee Ray, the former governor of Washington State, attended the conference. She documented in her book, Environmental Overkill, that:
Planning for the Earth Summit began at the 1987 Stockholm conference that produced the report "Our Common Future." That meeting was chaired by Norway's Prime Minister Gro Harlem Bruntland, who was also the vice president of the International Socialist Party...Prime Minister Bruntland freely acknowledged that the Earth Summit's agenda was based upon the International Socialist Party's platform.3 She also said:
This theme-that nature has been irreparably damaged by industrialization and that the only remedy is to reduce progress and economic growth in the industrialized world -was one of the two underlying principles that guided UNCED. It was repeated over and over. The United States was singled out as the main culprit. Curiously, the other guiding principle for UNCED was the industrialized nations, accused of causing all the problems, must now pay for them by transferring large sums of money and technical know-how to the Third World. How this is to be accomplished by the industrialized nations while they simultaneously lower living standards and retrench economically was not explained or even discussed.4
So this is what it's all about: punishment of capitalism and transfer of wealth. Karl Marx must be cheering in his grave. But what will your punishment be?
The Treaty's Cost
The Clinton administration has done no studies to date to show what enforcing such a treaty will cost the American people, all in the name of junk science and a contrived threat. Given current discussions, a fuel tax reaching $0.60/gallon will most likely be the torture of preference. A fuel tax has a hidden multiplier effect, since it affects all commodities delivered to you by fossil fuels-road, rail or air. Producers and suppliers will have to raise prices to allow for the fossil fuel tax and pass them along to you.
Estimates are that compliance costs will be crushing-in the trillions of dollars. Meeting the treaty's demands in a short amount of time will cost one million jobs immediately. The average family will see a $1,000 to $4,000 a year increase in energy costs. Food costs will skyrocket since the whole food production and distribution system is fossil-fuel based. The tax will obviously fuel growth of a massive governmental enforcement bureaucracy while crippling the economy. Wait until the American people discover what this will really mean to them in the pocketbook. Global warming will become a foul expression.
Learning from Freon
In 1992 a team of NASA scientists found evidence that the ozone layer over North America could be damaged if the right conditions came about. They wanted to do more research. One of them, however, rushed to a press microphone and announced the discovery of an ozone hole over North America. Then-Senator Al Gore rushed to the spotlight and led the stampede to outlaw freon in five years; through all of this there was no confirmation that freon was doing anything. The science was flaky at best and now there is no known substitute for freon that is non-toxic, non-flammable, or non-corrosive, as are the new substitutes we have foisted on us today.
As a result, the price of freon is skyrocketing-it is now the second ranking item smuggled into the U.S. (next to drugs) and Americans are being forced to retrofit all their refrigerating devices to accept the lousy substitutes. You can chalk it up to junk science, socialist thinking and fanatical green politicians. Let's not make that mistake again.
- National Review, October 5, 1992.
- Dixy Lee Ray, Environmental Overkill, Regnery Gateway, Washington, D.C., p.5.
- Ibid, p.4.
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