I have heard a lot about Global Warming in the news during the past year, driven primarily by the bad 2005 hurricane season and El Nino. Most of the television coverage centered about Earth Day (April 22, 2006) events, which drew the likes of Al Gore, John Kerry, Edward Kennedy and Howard Dean. It is obvious that they hope to make this an issue the far left can rally around. Al Gore and John Kerry have long supported the doom and gloom of global warming, and hope to gain votes by raising the issue to a higher level. Al Gore is starring in a movie titled “An Inconvenient Truth”, which will be released around Memorial Day. Howard Dean
would like to muzzle America’s churches and religious group such as Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA) because they counter the extreme left’s desire to support the Kyoto Accord and ignore the impact on the poor of the world and on our economy. Celebrities like Julia Roberts and George Clooney, as “climate experts” have gotten into the act as well. Fortunately, President Bush and the administration are pushing private industry to work on this issue.
I enjoy nature, wildlife, the outdoors, and the American way of life, so I decided to look into the subject. I wanted to understand if global warming is a real issue, if it is an issue what can be done about it, and is it an issue that requires the drastic action some scientists and politicians are pushing. Was President Bush right in not signing the Kyoto agreement? I reviewed more than 20 articles and Web sites and was surprised at the amount of data available. Most of what I found causes me to disagree with the very vocal far left.
The Kyoto Accord legally binds participating developed countries to cut their combined greenhouse gas emissions to 5 % below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The United States and Australia are among those who did not sign this agreement. (The countries not signing did agree to non-binding talks on a climate-change agreement that will eventually replace ‘Kyoto’.)
The first question that came to my mind was, How much has the temperature of the earth changed in recent years? The answer is, less than .5 degree increase since 1940. Is this a lot, considering how the industrial complex of the world has grown? Has man’s environment improved, and have we done a responsible job? Should we go back to living like the American Indians prior to the arrival of the first colonists? Is the hype associated with global warming justified, or is it just the result of irresponsible alarmists? From my limited research it appears that the latter is true.
Two of the articles I read were written by Marc Morano: “Media Darling on ‘Global Warming’ Assailed by Colleagues
” and “Scientist Alleging Bush Censorship Helped Gore, Kerry
”. A third article was written by Randy Hall: “Global Warming Alarmists Seek ‘Circle of Death
,’ Group Says”. These articles point out that much of the hype about global warming centers around a NASA scientist named James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Dr. Hansen has spoken out in the news media about global warming, and because of his position at NASA the news media, including the New York Times and “60 Minutes”, proclaimed him a renowned scientist with unassailable credibility on the subject. Now it appears that his colleagues at NASA do not agree with him. NASA encourages their scientists speak publicly, but there is a protocol to be followed which Dr. Hansen chooses to ignore. Data releases, and the data itself, have to be approved by NASA Headquarters before going to the media. Hansen refuses to do so. In an interview he gave on ABC’s “Good Morning America”, he declared that 2005 had tied 1998 as the warmest year on record, but an internal NASA memo provides he failed to clear his data. In addition, none of his peers agreed with his interpretation of the data. George Deutsch, former NASA public relations employee, was warned by other employees (not political appointees) at NASA that Hansen is an alarmist and exaggerates. Deutsch does not appear to be the best source for information -- he had to resign his position due to a resume problem (he was one course short of having the degree claimed on his resume) -- but he provided CNS News with documentation that backs up his accusations.
CBS News “60 Minutes” in their March 19, 2006 show profiled Hansen and detailed his accusations of censorship by the Bush administration, but did not mention his link to Gore, Kerry, and Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. Hansen has contributed to the Gore and Kerry campaigns, and has accepted a $250,000 Heinz Award granted by the foundation run by Teresa. On that same day, Hansen endorsed Senator Kerry’s presidential candidacy! Is Hansen’s position based on politics more than facts? YES!! Also, “60 Minutes” has a history of distorting the truth for the liberal cause.
Why are many countries backing away from the Kyoto agreement? Why is the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA) so concerned about how we (the world) address the issue of global warming? The answer illustrates just how complex the problem and solution are. We must understand the causes of global warming; we must address the problem in a way that does not harm or impede the improvements in the lives of the world’s poor; we need to remember that mankind is principally the producer and steward of the world, not the consumer polluter; and we must develop a sound environmental ethic.
We have to act responsibly and recognize alarmists like Dr. Hansen, John Kerry, Al Gore, etc. and not jump off the deep end. Are the greenhouse gas emissions the cause of global warming? Based on my reading, the answer is No. According to research done by scientists such as K. Lassen (Danish Meteorological Institute) and Nicola Scafetta and Bruce West (Duke University), the major cause is solar warming. A paper by K. Lassen
shows clear evidence that there is a direct correlation between solar activity (sunspots) and temperature changes on Earth during the past 130 years. I am not saying that the greenhouse gas emissions are not contributing to the problem, but we need to understand the full problem in order to take correct action. We should ask, “Is there anything in the atmosphere that reduces the impact of solar activity?” Also, climate experts such as Gabriele C. Hagerl
of Duke University say the greenhouse gas buildup will cause significant climate change in the coming century, but not the extreme changes predicted by some studies. New research shows that extreme changes are unlikely to occur.
Based on the information I found in 20-plus articles and Web pages, the Bush administration was correct in not signing the Kyoto agreement. Enforcing the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as proposed in ‘Kyoto’ may cause hardships on many people, economies, and countries. Not that we should not take action, but if the U.S. follows President Bush’s proposals to develop the hydrogen engine to power our motor vehicles, construct nuclear power plants, which provide a much cleaner supply of electricity than fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal), and continue to increase our production of ethanol fuel, we could make a significant impact on our greenhouse emissions without hurting the economy.
If we take the approach of forcing tougher restriction on power plants, manufacturing facilities, and motor vehicles, the cost of the products produced will be driven up. This will have an inflationary impact on the economy and will affect low-income families the most. We need to be careful here. Technology can help, but raising taxes to fund these activities can also have a negative impact on the economy and on middle and lower income families in our country.