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Leipzig declaration.

One hundred climatologists gathered in Leipzig, Germany in 1995. They were concerned about the way in which scientific research was being twisted out of shape to serve certain political goals. They issued the "Leipzig Declaration" as an expression of their worries. They were most concerned about the use of computer modelling. They point out that the technique of asking a computer to predict the future is still in its infancy. The fact that a computer model based on fuzzy assumptions says Earth is going to warm up is not proof that this will, in fact, happen. But, some UN bureaucrats have been presenting these computer predictions as evidence of future global warming.

Since the Leipzig gathering, several thousand other scientists have signed the Declaration. Here are some of the points the scientists make:

* "Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide ... would require that fuel use be cut by as much as 60% to 80% -- worldwide.

* "In a world in which poverty is the greatest social pollutant, any restriction on energy use that inhibits economic growth should be viewed with caution.

* "We believe the Kyoto Protocol ... is dangerously simplistic, quite ineffective, and economically destructive to jobs and standards of living.

* "We consider the scientific basis of the 1992 Global Climate Treaty to be flawed and its goal to be unrealistic.

* "The policies to implement the Treaty are, as of now, based solely on unproven scientific theories, imperfect computer models -- and the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from an increase in greenhouse gases, requiring immediate action. We do not agree.

* "There does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide."

That's direct and hard-hitting enough for most people to grasp. But, the issue now has political momentum. It seems unlikely statements such as the Leipzig Declaration will have much effect on the global warming treaty process.
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Title Annotation:1995 climatologist gathering in Leipzig, Germany
Publication:Canada and the World Backgrounder
Date:Sep 1, 1998
Words:314
Previous Article:Science meets politics.
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