Bump. Thanks, Keenan. This is well worth the read!
[b]This is a great column. We are going to go broke trying to stop something that we don't know whether it exists or not?[/b]
The Global Warming Attack
by Raymond J. Keating --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Attacks by the global warming crowd are being stepped up in the media, in Congress and around the globe.On Monday, June 13, a front-page headline in USA Today announced â€˜The debateâ€™s over: Globe is warming.â€™ This story didnâ€™t report anything new. It simply rehashed the grand assertions by global warming activists that the science is not in dispute and the globe faces grave warming over the coming century unless something is done about human beings and fossil fuels. This was more an opinion piece than a news story.Last week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was in the U.S. to pressure President George W. Bush to ease opposition to the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Blair has declared that climate change will be a key focus of the G-8 Summit in Scotland next month.For good measure, during the debate over energy legislation, the U.S. Senate will debate bills that seek to cap or reduce CO2 emissions. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) will be back pushing their domestic version of Kyoto. Also, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is proposing a mandated reduction in so-called greenhouse gas intensity, that is, greenhouse gas emissions divided by GDP.A few things must be highlighted in reaction to these misguided and dangerous efforts.â€¢[b] First, the often-cited absolute agreement within the scientific community on the existence of global warming and its causes simply does not exist. It is worth noting the June 7, 2005, statement issued by Dr. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, and former director of the National Weather Satellite Service, in response to a call by the science academies of the G-8 nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and warning that delays would be costly. Singer responded:â€˜But is there really a Global Warming? The Statement simply regurgitates the contentious conclusions of the IPCC report of 2001, which have been disputed by credible scientists. The so-called â€˜scientific consensusâ€™ is pure fiction.[/b]â€˜The claimed warming for the 20th century occurred mainly before 1940 when greenhouse-gas levels had not increased much. Since 1940, there has been a 35-year-long cooling trend -- and not much warming in the past quarter-century, according to global data from weather satellites.â€˜To estimate temperatures for the year 2100, the Statement relies on conflicting answers -- 1.4 to 5.8 degC -- from several climate models. These differ by 400 percent; yet none of them have been validated against observations. Meanwhile, an extrapolation of the satellite data gives at most a fraction of a degree rise for the 21st century.â€˜The IPCC claims to be able to reproduce the temperature history of the 20th century; but with the use of a number of adjustable parameters this becomes simply a curve-fitting exercise. The IPCC further claims that the 20th century was the warmest in the past 1000 years; but this myth is based on a seriously flawed publication. The IPCC also claims that sea levels will rise by up to nearly a meter by 2100; but every indication is that they will continue to rise inexorably - and much less -- as they have for nearly 20,000 years -- since the peak of the last ice age. â€˜There is little left then of the â€˜threatâ€™ of Global Warming. So what do the academies want? What`s all the hue and cry about? While their Statement calls for G8 statesmen to â€˜acknowledge the threat of climate change,â€™ many of their recommendations are quite innocuous and recognize the need for adaptation to inevitable future climate changes from all sources, including natural causes. After clearing away a lot of verbiage about â€˜leadership,â€™ â€˜mobilizing the scientific community,â€™ â€˜assisting developing nations,â€™ etc. etc., the action recommendation boils down to â€˜identify cost-effective stepsâ€™ for energy conservation. Who can disagree with that? For once, a real consensus.â€™â€¢ Second, it has not been widely reported that the European Union, a leader in crusade for emissions reductions to fight global warming, will quite likely miss its own targets under the first phase of Kyoto. Iain Murray, a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, explained in a May 10, 2005, article (â€˜Europe Adds Headache to Blairâ€™s Post-Election Hangover,â€™ Tech Central Station):â€˜While the EU as a whole is committed to an eight percent reduction in emissions (on 1990 levels), the EU itself admits that policies currently in place (other policies are unlikely to be adopted) will lead to a reduction of only 1 percent in 2010. The implications of this are huge.â€˜The EU`s collective target is there because they put in place a burden-sharing agreement, hoping to take advantage of the inbuilt advantages of the UK, France and Germany in reducing emissions on 1990 levels -- the politically-driven phase-out of coal, heavy use of nuclear energy and the closing of East German smokestack industries respectively. By taking account of these advantages, other countries would not have to be as severe in their emissions policies as they would be under the original Kyoto agreement.â€˜However, those other countries have for the most part massively increased their emissions from 1990 levels, wiping out the big nations` reductions. If the EU does not meet its collective target, as seems almost certain, then under Article 4 of the Kyoto Protocol itself, each individual country becomes responsible for a reduction of eight percent. At least 12 of the 15 EU countries concerned are on target to breach this target, nine of them spectacularly (having emissions increases of between 20 and 77 percent).â€˜The Kyoto Protocol also spells out what happens to countries that breach their commitments. There is a 130 percent penalty in the second Kyoto period for each ton by which the targets are breached. That means that the second-period targets will be considerably larger than the first period`s, targets which the EU countries are already finding impossible to meet.â€˜The EU has set great store by its Emissions Trading Scheme, which it thinks will help meet the targets. Unfortunately, again under the terms of the Protocol, such schemes become inapplicable if the first period targets are breached. The EU violators will be forced to make real, deep cuts in emissions rather than relying on buying hot air credits from elsewhere.â€™The bottom line? Kyoto does not work.â€¢ Finally, there are the very real economic costs of heading down the path of Kyoto, whether internationally or in some domestic version, such as McCain-Lieberman or the Bingaman proposal. A newly updated study by Charles River Associations done for United for Jobs has found that the McCain-Lieberman climate bill could cost the U.S. 1.3 million jobs over 15 years, jack up electricity costs by 20% by 2020, cost households $810 annually once fully implemented, and increase natural gas prices by 47%. By 2020, annual lost GDP output could reach as high as $507 billion. The study also found that a Bingaman-style plan would cost the U.S. $27 billion annually, while doing little to impact emissions.In the end, the only thing we can say with absolute certainty today regarding the debate over global warming is that the solutions being pushed by the proponents of global warming theory will carry heavy costs for the economy. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This column may be reprinted with appropriate credit.
Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
[url=http://www.sbecouncil.org/LatestNews_Action.asp?FormMode=CyberColumn&ID=... page[/url][url=http://http://www.insightmag.com/media/paper441/news/2004/04/27/features... great interview with Dr. Singer from April of last year.[/url]