Fact? Or Junk Science? Are We Warming? Or Cooling? April 5, 2009Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
Tags: climate change, Global Cooling, global warming
By Frank W. Wagner, Virginia’s General Assembly
In its April 28, 1975, issue, 34 years ago, Newsweek magazine published an article titled “The Cooling World.” The article touted the “fact” that global cooling was the next great disaster to be visited upon the world. Data had been collected that indicated a great cooling trend, including shorter growing seasons and smaller crop harvests. This led some scientists to believe the Earth was entering a new ice age, the effects of which would change–or, in the worst case, destroy–human habitation.
Fast-forward to 2005: We are told global warming is the new threat to mankind. Further, we are told that human activity is the cause of this calamity; if we don’t make extreme changes–immediately–to basic human activities, the world as we know it will end. Puzzled? Me, too.
Consider this quote from the aforementioned Newsweek article. “To scientists seemingly disparate incidents represent advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three-quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the Earth’s climate seems to be cooling down.” Then comes renowned scientist Al Gore promoting just the opposite viewpoint. The Earth is warming and catastrophe is right around the corner.
I have followed scientists on both sides of the issue, and I am convinced that no one is absolutely sure what is going on climate-wise. Activity on the sun’s surface has more to do with our planet’s climate than does any other variable. And, by the way, data are in that indicate that not only has the global climate not warmed over the past eight years, it has entered another slight cooling period.
Back to the 1975 article. It stated: “Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for climate change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting Arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than they solve.” Thank God for the wisdom of those political leaders. Unfortunately, many of today’s political leaders are ready to “cap-and-trade” our economy to other countries and/or apply a carbon tax in an attempt to force America to unilaterally reduce CO2 emissions. There is little doubt that either of these measures will increase the cost of energy in the U.S.
Consider excerpts from a statement by Terry M. Dinan, senior advisor at the Congressional Budget Office, on March 12 before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee: “Under a cap-and-trade program, firms would not ultimately bear most of the costs of the allowances but instead pass them along to their customers in the form of higher prices. “Price increases would be essential to the success of a cap-and-trade program because they would be the most important mechanism through which businesses and households would be encouraged to make investments and behavioral changes that reduced CO2 emissions. Those increases, however, would impose a larger burden, relative to their income, on low-income households than on higher-income households.” Regarding how large a new tax would be under cap-and-trade, “CBO estimates that by 2020, the value of those allowances could total between $50 billion and $300 billion annually (in 2006 dollars).” Doing the math, this translates roughly to a new tax of between $142 and $857 annually, for every man, woman, and child in this country.
The report continues: “The higher prices that would result from a cap on CO2 emissions would reduce demand for energy and energy-intensive goods and services, and thus create losses for some current investors and workers in the sectors of the economy that supply such products.” At a time when our economy is on the brink, why would any thinking person in Washington consider legislation that could aggravate a bad situation? As a policymaker who enacts legislation that has real impact on the constituents who elected me, I am not prepared to support that which would weaken an already ailing economy.
WE NEED A PLAN
It is time for us to demand that our leaders in Washington develop a comprehensive and workable national energy plan that includes not just conservation and renewable energy, but an expansion of the nuclear industry and opening up America’s vast natural resources. An energy strategy for the commonwealth was created through the Virginia Energy Plan, which I submitted and which was passed in 2006. We now spend nearly $700 billion per year to purchase fossil fuels from outside of our borders. Currently, there is no policy in Washington to address this bleeding. Imagine that this money is spent in the United States, taking advantage of America’s natural resources, employing American workers to produce American energy for American homeowners and industries.
Pass cap-and-trade legislation and it will never happen. Under cap-and-trade, major global corporations will shutter their American plants, sell their carbon credits for huge dollars (with Wall Street getting more than its fair share), and expand operations in India and other emerging economies where protecting the environment is not on the short list. The results? No reduction in global carbon output, loss of American jobs, and big bucks for Wall Street.
The furor over this crisis du jour is based, at best, on a “theory” of imminent global warming, when actual data suggest the Earth is cooling. Just like in 1975.