C alifornia Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told the United Nations General Assembly last week nations everywhere should emulate California’s climate control efforts because “The consequences of global climate change are so pressing.”
About the same time, nearly two dozen prominent scientists denounced an Associated Press story that had painted a similar picture of dread in predicting global warming will raise sea levels dramatically.
“Rarely have I read such a collection of unsubstantiated and scare-mongering twaddle,” said Dr. Richard S. Courtney, a climate and atmospheric science consultant and reviewer of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Not only do real studies show no increase to rate of sea-level change, the (AP) article gives reasons for concern that are nonsense.”
Sadly, the AP’s hyperalarmism is the same type of hyperbole on which Schwarzenegger bases his urgent call for worldwide action.
As we have noted, the globe has warmed less than 1 degree Centigrade in the past century — yes, there is climate change — and, contrary to Schwarzenegger’s hype, there is no scientific consensus that global warming — if it is occurring to any significant degree — is manmade.
Some scientists even dispute whether temperatures have increased during the past decade.
Schwarzenegger likened California’s flurry of anti-global warming legislation to European nations signing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
What Schwarzenegger didn’t mention was that Kyoto is failing miserably in Europe. He also didn’t mention that even if every nation on Earth fully implemented Kyoto’s Draconian restrictions at a cost of trillions of dollars, the global temperature would be reduced negligibly during the next century.
Signatories to the Kyoto Protocol are finding their strategies “yielding squat,” observed Peter Van Doren and Jerry Taylor, senior fellows at the libertarian Cato Institute. In fact, rather than reducing emissions, according to a recent U.N. report, “countries that promised emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol increased by 4.1 percent from 2000-04.”
Even environmental author Bjorn Lomborg, a former Greenpeace member who believes global warming is occurring, says there are far more important things to address than global warming.
Sea levels may rise about a foot in the next century, but they rose about a foot in the past century, and the world adapted quite well.
It’s better, Lomborg says, to spend money and energy on correctable, harmful conditions like disease and famine than to impose taxes and economically damaging governmental dictates that will have virtually no effect on global temperatures.
Schwarzenegger also didn’t mention the cost to the public for costly, ineffective mandates.
“Putting a stop to global warming would require Herculean social and economic changes, and the economic costs associated with those changes are steep — an annual $1,154 per household in the United States,” according to Cato’s Van Doren and Taylor.