ITEM: The headline of a USA Today article on June 12 tried to slam the door on the issue: "The debate's over: Globe is warming."
ITEM: The Denver Post for July 4 reported: "The evidence of human-caused global warming becomes more clear every day, and with it the need for governments to take effective action.... Based on fresh research, there's no longer any real doubt that by burning fossil fuels, humans are changing Earth's climate."
CORRECTION: Saying something three times, or 333 times, doesn't make it so. Propagandists repeatedly insist that the "debate" about global warming is over, that humans have dramatically changed the Earth's weather and need to make radical amends, and that there is a scientific consensus about all such "facts." But the propagandists are wrong, and in the "global warming tug of war" there is no reason for George W. Bush to allow himself to be "dragged modestly closer to" the alarmist position.
Yet the president is moving in the alarmist direction, albeit not as fast as environmental doomsayers would like. Indeed, the Bush White House is boasting that the U.S. "is investing more than any other nation for climate change programs." Since 2001, brags the White House "Fact Sheet," the administration "has spent over $20 billion on climate change activities, and proposes $5.5 billion more for 2006." And the president himself even said at a news conference in Denmark on his way to the G-8 summit. "I recognize that the surface of the Earth is warmer and that an increase in greenhouse gases caused by humans is contributing to the problem."
Supposedly the Bush administration is being forced to catch up to the scientific consensus, but contrary to the media-created perception, there is no consensus. Last April, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, informed his colleagues that a 2001 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, cited by global warming alarmists as evidence of scientific consensus, does no such thing. Inhofe noted: "Dr. Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT, and a member of the NAS panel that produced the report, expressed his amazement" about the misrepresentation of the report when he wrote in the Wall Street Journal that "the NAS report showed 'there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them.'" Inhofe continued: "Yet to this day, the media continues to report exactly the opposite."
Of course, money is the underlying factor leading to much of the errant reporting. When science is subsidized and industries and advocates seek tax changes and policy favors, politicking becomes keen. Indeed, as already noted, the Bush administration admits it has already spent more than $20 billion on climate-change programs. There is intense pressure to keep that gravy train rolling.
Green lobbies whose positions seem diametrically opposed to the Bush administration turn out to be on the federal payroll. For instance, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) maintains, "Global warming is fast becoming the number one environmental problem of our time," and has pushed legislation that would set mandatory caps on carbon-dioxide emissions, which the administration publicly opposed. Yet, the NRDC and Environmental Defense, according to a report by the George C. Marshall Institute, were among the top recipients of nearly $125 million in grants given by the government for climate-change projects from 2000 to 2002.
Corporate interests are also learning how to game the system. Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal for July 6 described how British Petroleum (BP) began promoting its cost-cutting moves as "emission cuts" of carbon dioxide. There came a "dawning realization" that a company "might actually get paid twice for these efficiency gains." BP's lobbyists began promoting a bill on Capitol Hill that "would grant tax breaks for companies that reduce C[O.sub.2] emissions"
And, as it turns out, much of the international pressure behind global warming initiatives was really more of an economic political gambit; it was not environmentally motivated. Many of the nations berating the U.S. for not attaining Kyoto Treaty limits on emissions have fallen far short of meeting their commitments. (Such countries, keep in mind, ratified the treaty--while the U.S. did not.) A number of U.S. public-policy groups, in a letter to Congress, pointed out: "Emissions have been rising in many EU member nations and in Canada more rapidly than in the United States, despite lower economic and population growth."
A major objective of this campaign is to drive down U.S. productivity. If the U.S. had been idiotic enough to impose the emission levels demanded by the UN-sponsored Kyoto Treaty, it would have cost up to $400 billion annually in reduced GDP, according to an estimate by the U.S. Energy Information Administration--against a possible "gain" of 0.07 degrees C. in lower global temperature five decades down the road.
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|Title Annotation:||CORRECTION, PLEASE!|
|Author:||Hoar, William P.|
|Publication:||The New American|
|Article Type:||Correction Notice|
|Date:||Aug 8, 2005|
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