Thursday, May 15, 2008

Climate Change and the Presidential Elections

Regardless of which candidate for the President you might support, chances are high that he or she has a plan to combat global warming. Their plans are all scary and will do unfathomable harm to America’s wavering economy. Referencing his plan, John McCain says it will “change the dynamic of our energy economy”—which is exactly the concern. One hope remains, that Mother Nature will course correct quickly enough that the drastic measures being proposed will be obsolete before they ever get implemented. As more and more data comes out on the cooling climate, there just may be a chance this will happen. We can always hope!

Here, read Steven Milloy’s comments on the new research and the IPCC’s acknowledgment that the global surface temperatures may not increase. (Gasp!)

The Great Global Warming Race
A new study indicates alarmist concern and a need to explain away the lack of actual global warming. Researchers belonging to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, reported in Nature (May 1) that after adjusting their climate model to reflect actual sea surface temperatures of the last 50 years, "global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations … temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming."

You got that? IPCC researchers project no global warming over the next decade because of Mother Nature. Although the result seems stunning in that it came from IPCC scientists who have always been in the tank for manmade global warming, it’s not really surprising since the notion of manmade climate change has never lived up to its billing.

When NASA’s James Hansen sounded the alarm in Congress 20 years ago, he predicted that rising concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, or CO2, would drive global temperatures higher by 0.34 degrees Celsius during the 1990s. But surface temperatures increased during that decade by only 0.11 degrees Celsius and lower atmosphere temperatures actually decreased.

Global temperatures remain well below an El Nino-driven 1998 spike despite ever-increasing atmospheric CO2. Global warming hysterics purport that manmade emissions of CO2 are the primary driver of global climate and that controlling emissions will favorably affect climate. While this is obviously not so since it virtually supposes that without human activity climate change would not occur, it nevertheless remains their viewpoint.

The Nature study, however, reasserts Mother Nature in her rightful place as our climate dominatrix. Although there is no evidence that manmade CO2 emissions play any detectable role in climate change, the very idea that Mother Nature may cool the planet despite humanity’s furious output of greenhouse gases should be even worse for the climate alarmists’ way of thinking.

It would mean that greenhouse gas emissions are actually beneficial, since without them, Mother Nature’s cooling could be quite damaging. The last time the Earth significantly cooled was during the 14th to 19th centuries--a period known as the Little Ice Age.

Among other things during that period, the Vikings were forced to withdraw from a freezing Greenland and cooler Northern Hemisphere temperatures were responsible for, and or contributed to, numerous famines and much-related social upheaval. So will the Nature study dump climate alarmism into the ash can of history? Doubtful.

Al Gore just drummed up $683 million for an investment fund that aims to profit from government-subsidized global warming-related technologies. A few weeks ago, Gore launched a $300 million global warming ad campaign. Do you think he’s at all interested in returning that money to investors and contributors? Or that he and the IPCC are interested in returning their Nobel Peace Prizes?

The federal government has been doling out more than $5 billion annually for research into climate change and alternative energy. A generation ago, there were only a handful of climatologists around the world; now there are legions of taxpayer-funded climatologists, scientists and public health professionals from many disciplines also hooked up to the climate gravy train.

What about the private-sector profiteers? Will the carbon footprint industry give up its CO2-offset ATM? Will companies that have been lobbying to receive trillions of dollars of free carbon credits from Congress — including Alcoa, Dow Chemical, and Dupont — stop pushing for all that free money?

How many outspoken politicians and celebrities will be willing to acknowledge that they have made fools of themselves? I suppose that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Madonna and others could at least jet on back to their hypocritical Green lifestyles with a clear conscience of sorts.

Finally, there’s the environmental movement that is now just a November presidential election away from its dream of turning the United States into a centrally planned Green state where under the guise of saving the planet, the Green elites would get to pick and choose who gets to use how much energy and at what cost.

The bottom line of global warming — and that is why so many are behind it — is that its many vested interests are on the verge of a financial and political bonanza, something that scientific facts and climatic realities are likely only to spoil.

So when global temperature doesn’t behave as predicted, excuses and explanations must be found to prevent the almost-mature golden goose from being roasted for dinner. The spin on the Nature study provided by its authors to The New York Times is that, "We’re learning that [natural] climate variability is important and can mask the effects of human-induced global change. In the end this gives more confidence in the long-term projections."

The attempted logic here is that even though the alarmists have been wrong in the past — been there, done that — their failure somehow sets them up for more certain future success. We look past this logical fallacy at our own peril. I can’t wait for their Orwellian pronouncement that global cooling is the new global warming.

For the next 10 years, while alarmists ram through their misanthropic agenda, their time-buying story line will be "aren’t we lucky that Mother Nature has given us a temporary reprieve."

This will no doubt be followed 10 years later by "Whew, aren’t we glad we spent trillions to prevent catastrophic global warming?"

Meanwhile, for trained observers, it will simply be a matter of realizing that the global warming apocalypse never materialized because it was simply never going to happen anyway.

Steven Milloy publishes and He is a junk science expert, advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Global Warming & Tax Hikes

Last week, here in New Mexico, CARE was thrilled to be a part of bringing ABC’s John Stossel to Albuquerque where he spoke to a full-house. He did a great job advocating for less-government and free-market values. Following his standing ovation, he stayed on the podium to take questions. Marita Noon, CARE’s Executive Director, stepped up and asked, “Would you share your views on climate change and what it is going to cost the business community?” He chuckled and answered the second part first, “It is going to cost you plenty!”

John Stossel did not go into specifics during the Q & A, but here, CARE’s Energy Counsel Member Paul Driessen does spell out how global warming policies will destroy jobs, profits and family budgets. (Please note: Paul Driessen will be speaking throughout New Mexico this month. Get complete details.)

Deficient Computer Models Drive Destructive Policies
America is in the throes of a major housing and financial downturn, soaring food and energy costs, rising unemployment and near recession. But legislators, bureaucrats and presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to restrict fossil fuel use, advance climate change legislation – and thereby increase energy prices, oil imports, and costs for families and businesses.

Now even President Bush wants action on climate change. “Reasonable and responsible” legislation is needed, the White House asserts, to avert a “regulatory nightmare” from overlapping state and federal rules. Are we supposed to think costly federal regulations, emission mandates and hidden cap-and-trade taxes would be reasonable and responsible?

Earth warmed slightly over the last quarter century, as it emerged further from the Little Ice Age, and humans likely played a role. However, literally hundreds of climate scientists say catastrophic climate changes and dominant human influences are over-hyped myths.

Our planet has experienced numerous climate shifts, they point out, including prolonged ice ages, a 400-year Medieval Warm Period and a 500-year Little Ice Age. Climate scientists still don’t understand what caused these events – or the temperature roller coaster of the last century: as carbon dioxide levels rose steadily, temperatures climbed from 1910 to 1945, fell between 1945 and 1975, and increased again from 1975 to 1998, notes Syun-Ichi Akasofu, founding director of the International Arctic Research Center.

Five of the ten hottest years in US history were in the 1920s and 1930s. Average global temperatures stabilized in 1998, and then fell 1.1 degrees F the past twelve months, satellite measurements show. Ice core data demonstrate that, over thousands of years, rising temperatures preceded higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, by hundreds of years – the exact opposite of climate chaos hypotheses. Interior Greenland and Antarctica appear to be gaining ice mass; they’re certainly not melting.

These inconvenient facts have forced alarmists to rely on computer models that generate Frankenclime monsters realistic enough to scare people into believing climate Armageddon is nigh.

Climate models do help scientists evaluate possible consequences of changing economic growth, emission, cloud cover and other variables. But they can’t reproduce the actual climate of the past century. They cannot make accurate predictions, even one year in the future, much less fifty. They do not represent reality, and should not be relied on to guide public policy.

Models reflect the assumptions and hypotheses that go into them – and our still limited understanding of complex, turbulent climate processes that involve the sun, oceans, land masses and atmosphere. They do a poor job of dealing with the effects of water vapor, precipitation and high cirrus clouds on temperatures and climate, because the underlying physics aren’t well understood, notes MIT meteorology professor Richard Lindzen.

Like the UN’s politicized IPCC climate control panel, models also place too much emphasis on carbon dioxide. They pay insufficient attention to extraterrestrial factors like changes in the Earth’s irregular orbit around the sun, solar energy levels, and solar winds that appear to influence the level of cosmic rays reaching Earth, and thus the formation of cloud cover and penetration of infrared radiation from the sun. They likewise fail to incorporate the profound effects that periodic shifts in Pacific Ocean currents have on temperatures and sea ice in the Arctic.

When the US National Assessment compared the results of two top-tier computer models for US geographic regions, the models frequently generated precisely opposite rainfall scenarios, University of Alabama at Huntsville climatologist John Christy points out. Depending on which model was used, the Dakotas and Rio Grande valley would supposedly become complete deserts or huge swamps; the Southeastern US would become a jungle or semi-arid grassland.

Activists, journalists, politicians, AlGoreans, and even scientists and corporate executives naturally select the scariest scenarios, call them evidence, trumpet them with hysterical headlines – and insist on drastic cutbacks in CO2 emissions and energy use. They’ll likely make millions, while other families and businesses suffer. Many are bullish on wind and ethanol, but negative about nuclear power.

Fully 85 percent of all the energy Americans use comes from fossil fuels. Less than 0.5% is wind power, which generates electricity only eight hours a day, on average. Over half of our electricity is produced by coal, because it is plentiful and affordable, and modern power plants emit few pollutants, but do generate abundant plant food (the same carbon dioxide we exhale when we breathe).

Any climate change regime would impose higher prices and new restrictions on coal-generated electricity, oil and gas drilling, air and ground transportation, and heating, air conditioning, agriculture and manufacturing. In fact, any facility or activity that generates more than 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year could be heavily regulated: bakeries, breweries, soft drink makers, factories, apartment and office buildings, dairy farms and countless others. Permit, regulatory, oversight, anti-fraud monitoring and polar bear endangerment rules would cost billions in still more highly regressive, hidden taxes.

Energy-killer activists want to slash US carbon dioxide emissions some 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, to stabilize global CO2 levels, even as China, India and other developing countries continue their economic and emissions boom. The last time the United States emitted such low amounts of CO2 was 1905! Where and how will your family and business achieve 80% emission reductions?

Welcome to the good old days--to Eco-Camelot, where “the climate must be perfect all year.” Poor minority and blue-collar families will be in for some serious belt-tightening, millions of jobs will head overseas, and demand for unemployment benefits, mortgage bailouts and energy welfare will soar, as state and federal coffers run dry.

Worst, in the end, all the cutbacks and sacrifices won’t make any difference, because our climate is not driven by carbon dioxide--but by the same natural forces that have caused major and minor climate changes since the dawn of time, say scientists like Roy Spencer, Robert Balling and Fred Singer.

Climate change is no longer science. It’s politics--and Democrats would be thrilled if a Republican president took the lead--and Republicans take the blame when the bills start rolling in.

Climate change is about power. Power to control--and curtail--the power we rely on: to build, heat and cool our homes … produce raw materials, food and consumer products … transport people and products … and support modern living standards.

It’s about the selection, production, taxation--and prevention--of energy. It’s about access to real energy, versus mandates to use futuristic, mostly illusory, and certainly insufficient “alternative” energy. It’s about who gets to decide: how much energy we will have … where that energy will come from … what it will cost … and whether there will be enough energy to lift more families out of poverty.

It’s about simulations, scenarios and monsters conjured up by computer models that should never be used to chart government policy--especially on matters that will profoundly affect our livelihoods, living standards, life spans and dreams of a better future.

So hold onto your wallets, and hope you can hold onto your jobs, homes and cars. You’re about to be put on a wild political roller coaster. And don’t expect much honesty, transparency or accountability from climate Armageddonites.

Paul Driessen is author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power ∙ Black death ( and senior policy advisor for the Congress of Racial Equality and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, whose new book (Freezing in the Dark) reveals how environmental pressure groups raise money and promote policies that restrict energy development and hurt poor families.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Should We Burn Food in Our Fuel Tanks?

Suddenly this week food shortages are in the news. If one did not know better, you’d have thought world hunger had gone away as the subject seemed to drop off the radar screen. Now, it is a hot topic. If you have been a regular reader of CARE’s Blog, you know we have been talking about it for more than a year. Now others are seem to have noticed that producing fuel from food is not such a good idea.

Here one of our Energy Counsel Members, Dennis Avery, offers his insights on the combination of food and fuel and the impact of global warming policies on both. Give it a look and let us know what you think.
While we are on the topic of Global Warming--or as they are now calling it: climat change--how much do you rally know about it? Check out this fun and factual quiz: Test Your Knowledge.

The Rush To Biofuels—The First, Big, Panicked Mistake Of The Global Warming Scare
A global food crisis looms, as crops are diverted to biofuels. Food prices have soared 83 percent in three years. Thousands of U.S. farmers are pulling their land out of the government’s biggest conservation program to plant millions of acres back to crops and pasture. U.S. environmentalists warn that “years of conservation progress” will be lost as America’s 35-million-acre Conservation Reserve dwindles, especially in the important bird-nesting areas of the northern Great Plains.

Global grain shortages are spreading. The World Food Program says it must abandon some of the drought-stricken hungry. U.S. hog farmers are quietly asking their veterinarians how to euthanize their baby pigs, corn prices have risen so high they’d bankrupt their families trying to feed the pigs to market weight.

Europe is buying Asian palm oil from what used to be tropical forests, to make biodiesel instead of cooking oil. Orangutans, man’s closest DNA relative, are being captured and killed by the thousands as they’re attracted by the palm seedlings. EU biodiesel mandates exacerbate the world’s cropland scarcity, setting the stage for still-higher grain prices and more hunger next year.

Asian countries are banning rice exports to make sure they can supply rice to their own consumers. Too much land in Asia has been growing increasingly valuable corn and tapioca for feed, instead of rice for food, because rich-country biofuel mandates raised feed prices worldwide. But, increased population and affluence continue to demand more rice.

Meanwhile, soil carbon lost from the replanted Midwest acres and the cleared tropical forests gases into the air, worsening global warming risks even as governments vainly promise to cut greenhouse emissions. And gas prices continue to rise

All of this because of the rush to biofuels—the first, big, panicked mistake of the global warming scare. The public was sold on the now obviously foolish idea that it’s better to burn food in our fuel tanks than to feed people and raise livestock from the world’s scarce cropland.

Economists began predicting these awful consequences two years ago when President Bush first announced his federal biofuels mandate. We already needed to double crop yields by 2050—to prevent the plow down of the world’s remaining wildlands while we supplied food and feed for the last global surge of world population growth, fast-rising affluence, and expanding pet numbers.

U.S. corn nets only about 50 gallons worth of gasoline per acre per year, and Americans burn more than 134 billion gallons of gasoline per year. We were already using virtually all of the country’s cropland to produce food. Biodiesel is no more productive. The massive land requirements of biofuels made this disaster inevitable—but few thought the disaster would arrive so fast.

Over the past two years, corn has soared from $1.86 per bushel to more than $6, and the U.S. spring planting intentions confirm there won’t be enough grain—for people or pigs—again this year. If we refuse to burn coal, drill for oil, or build nuclear power plants, this is what we must expect: hunger, deprivation, and destruction of the planet’s natural resources.

The earth’s global warming since 1940 totals only 0.2 degree C. We’ve had no warming at all for the past 10 years and temperatures dropped in 2007—while CO2 in the atmosphere continued to rise.

Must we sacrifice the wildlife even before we find out if CO2 really controls the climate? As President Bush finally caves in to the global warming alarmists, the answer is evidently “yes.”

DENNIS T. AVERY is a senior fellow for Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. and is the Director for Center for Global Food Issues ( He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. ALEX A. AVERY is the Director of Research at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues. Readers may write them at Post Office Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421.