November 16, 2006
Statement by Chairman of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) at a press conference on Capitol Hill:
Thank you for joining us today. As you know, we had an election last week in the U.S. Many of you might be thinking that the Democrats’ razor thin majority means that global warming legislation is somehow going to sail through the next Congress. Well, I can assure you that will not happen.
I look forward to leading the effort in the Senate to oppose any such legislation and am confident we will prevail.
In a few minutes, I will have much more to say about these issues and offer some analysis on the UN climate conference concluding in Kenya this week. But first, I want to introduce the scientists with me today. As you will hear, climate skepticism – or evidence-based science – is alive and well.
Joining me are Ben Herman, Joe D’Aleo, and Bill Gray – Each is expert in his area. Ben Herman is an atmospheric physicist and an established expert in areas such as satellite monitoring. Joe D’Aleo is a former Chair of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting and co-founded the Weather Channel. Bill Gray has spent more than 40 years researching tropical storms and some have called him the Father of Hurricane Research.
(The Three Scientists’ Then Presented the Latest Scientific Research Debunking Global Warming Alarmism) (http://epw.senate.gov/repwhitepapers/DCMeetingNov16.pdf Scientists' Presentation on Global Warming at Press Conference PDF)
Senator Inhofe Full Speech:
You have just heard from extremely knowledgeable experts about the real facts about climate change. Unfortunately, facts are not what have driven the climate debate. Nor has concern for the environment.
Each year the UN hosts a lavish event to encourage countries around the world to believe that man is responsible for climate change. At the same time, a UN employee group called Step-by-Step claims that the UN’s employees – not even counting the thousands of attendees to its events – fly enough miles to make 77 trips to the moon and back every year.
The United Nations annual climate conference this week exposed what I have known for a long time – that the real focus has little to do with the fate of the planet and much to do about money – who has it, and who wants it.
Not surprisingly, many of the proposals at the UN conference involved transfers of wealth from the United States to the rest of the world. For instance, one non-governmental organization (NGO) proposal was to distribute carbon rations according to population, so poor countries like China and India would get the bulk of carbon credits which would then be purchased by Americans – it is hard to imagine a more insidious and effective plan to ensure America surrenders its economy.
UN CHILDREN'S BOOK PROMOTES GLOBAL WARMING FEARS
This year has been an unprecedented attempt by climate alarmists to convince people that they should fear the so-called impending doom of cataclysmic global warming. As we speak, the United Nations Environment Program is selling its self-published children’s book at the climate conference in Kenya. (http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=265811 ) The disturbing aspect of this is not that the book contains numerous errors, but that it is simply an attempt to instill fear in young impressionable minds. This is paid for by the United Nations and it's brainwashing little kids.
Of course, the recurring theme is that we can avert this catastrophe if we simply ration our energy and redirect massive amounts of our economy toward fighting this supposed threat.
The hysteria has reached such a fever pitch that the British government signed up a former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, to lobby the U.S. in a desperate attempt to bail Europe out the failed Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto is the program, you will recall, in which 13 of the EU-15 will miss their targets. And almost every participating nation has been increasing its emissions in recent years, not decreasing. I am a U.S. Senator, and a former mayor and businessman – and I don't claim to be a climate scientist or to have invented the internet like some other politicians you may know. But I do understand politics, and can tell you that the science of climate change is being politicized. As you have just heard, it is simply untrue that there is consensus on this issue and endless repetition of this propaganda by environmentalists won't make it true.
Unfortunately, too many scientists have put aside their objectivity to embrace political activism in the guise of science. As prominent German researchers Dr. Hans von Storch and Nico Stehr – who are not climate skeptics, incidentally, wrote in Der Spiegel:
"Other scientists are succumbing to a form of fanaticism almost reminiscent of the McCarthy era..."
But for all their efforts to quash dissent, the alarmists have failed to shut down the debate, as new science and data are increasingly leading to skepticism. A recent LA Times/Bloomberg poll found the number of Americans that believe warming is due to natural variability has increased more than 50 percent in the last 5 years.
Prominent international figures are beginning to question the science as well. Recently, for instance, Czech President Vaclav Klaus reportedly said that fears of manmade global warming were "a fatal mistake of the present time." We have also recently seen the conversion of Britain's famed environmental campaigner, David Bellamy, to a climate skeptic. Bellamy now calls fears of manmade catastrophic global warming, "poppycock."
In addition, renowned French geophysicist Claude Allegre recently reversed himself on global warming. (http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=264777 ) Allegre is a former French Socialist Party leader and a member of both the French and U.S. Academy of Sciences. More than a decade ago he signed a letter warning of the dangers of global warming – but in September published an article criticizing claims of man-made global warming, saying the cause of warming was unknown. He cited the alarmists' incorrect use of Mount Kilimanjaro's receding ice caps as proof of manmade global warming. Allegre pointed out that local factors were the cause of the disappearing ice, not global warming.
Allegre also accused proponents of manmade catastrophic global warming of being motivated by money, noting that "the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!"
I find it ironic that a free market capitalist in the U.S. Senate and a French Socialist scientist both apparently believe that sound science is not what is driving this debate, but greed by those who would use this issue to line their own pockets.
The simple fact is that there is a lot of money at stake in this debate – the U. S. alone will spend $6.5 billion this next year.
Certain companies stand to profit by forcing the rest of us to pay. And there is much to be gained by developing countries if the United States agrees to subsidize the world. Given this, it's not surprising that the UN's International Panel on Climate Change has been taken over by bureaucrats attempting to abuse the report in order to sway American public opinion.
UN PROCESS FLAWED & POLITICIZED
Late last year I wrote Chairman of the IPCC, Dr. R. K. Pachauri, expressing my concern with his statements in Montreal in regard to a public opinion survey of Americans' attitudes about climate change. (http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=249544 ) Dr. Pachauri stated:
"In the fourth assessment, we will conduct an extensive outreach effort. If facts are highlighted, not exaggerated... then it will help in changing public perception."
In other words, he is not trying to educate on science, but rather to persuade and thus influence policy.
Such thinking is not new. In a speech a year ago, I spelled out the irregularities of the last two IPCC assessment reports, citing illicit additions to the text after it was approved, the highlighting of faulty irreproducible studies and of scientists who, despite preeminence in their field, felt excluded from contributing to the fourth assessment because they refused to play off the alarmists’ handbook.
Unfortunately, this political mindset remains alive and well at the IPCC. Perhaps Lord Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and a Member of the Committee, was right when he stated:
"I believe the IPCC process is so flawed, and the institution, it has to be said, so closed to reason, that it would be far better to thank it for the work it has done, close it down, and transfer all future international collaboration on the issue of climate change..."
Let me end with this thought – I realize that the lack of reporting on Kenya is because little is being accomplished there and there is talk of legislation here next Congress. I will be glad to take your questions on this, but let me be absolutely clear: our government is not going to embrace economy-killing carbon caps next Congress.
The McCain-Lieberman climate bill that was overwhelmingly voted down last year would still be defeated by a majority of the Senate despite election losses – and even if Senators like Barbara Boxer who voted against it were willing to embrace nuclear power as some other Democrats do.
Since it only takes 41 Senators to defeat legislation, it is hard to imagine any scenario where the McCain-Lieberman bill would pass even two Congresses from now. Oddly, it is the Bingaman Sense of the Senate passed last year that exposes the fundamental problem of every climate bill proposed in this body – they all fail its test that any legislation: 1) must not harm the U.S. economy; and, 2) should encourage action from developing countries such as China and India.
I look forward to answering your questions. If you have questions requiring specific scientific or technical expertise, please address them to the appropriate expert here with me today.
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