March 21, 2007
Thank you for holding this hearing, Madame Chairman, and to you also, Mr. Vice President, for agreeing to come before our Committee to testify about your perspectives. Your views are already known to many Americans, but today will allow us to engage in a dialogue which should be interesting.
It is my perspective that your global warming alarmist pronouncements are now and have always been filled with inaccuracies and misleading statements. Many of the peer-reviewed studies published in such journals as Nature, Geophysical Research Letters, and Science are radically at odds with your claims. I do not have time to delve into each flaw with your movie, but I do want to touch on just 2.
First, you have claimed that there is a “strong, new emerging consensus” linking global warming to an increase in hurricane intensity and duration. Yet last year, the World Meteorological Organization very clearly rejected this assertion, and other scientists agree.
Secondly, you said that East Antarctica might melt and this could raise sea levels by 20 feet, so we’re all going to die. However, according to many scientists, Antarctica is gaining ice mass, not losing it. In a 2005 study published in Science a team of researchers led by Dr. Curt Davis found an overall gain in ice mass in Antarctica over a ten year period.
And the public is catching on. Even the New York Times last week published an article about scientists, many of them your supporters, who say you have overstated your case on global warming — in fact, they warn that you may be hurting the so-called cause with your "alarmism."
Given that, it is no wonder you have turned down the chance to debate the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus. And now I understand a debate challenge has been issued by Lord Monckton of Benchley.
Now there is a reason for this.
When the debate is balanced, skeptics win, alarmists lose. In New York last week, for instance, a major debate took place to examine whether global warming is a crisis. Prior to the debate, the hand-wringers, the alarmists, in the audience outnumbered those who didn’t think it was a crisis 2 to 1. After the debate, the alarmists were outnumbered – a major turnaround in beliefs in a single night.
That shift mirrors a larger one taking place in the scientific community. Claude Allegre, a French geophysicist – Nir Shaviv, an Israeli astrophysicist – and meteorologist Reid Bryson have converted from alarmists to believing that climate variability is largely natural. In short, the ranks of converted scientists are skyrocketing.
Lastly, the cost: Global warming is now big business. Thousands of individuals and even some Fortune 100 companies stand to make tens of billions of dollars.
I was on the floor opposing the ’93 Clinton-Gore tax increase of $32 billion, but the cost of Kyoto and other CO2 reduction schemes are estimated to be over $300 billion, ten times the cost of your ’93 tax increase. And who’s paying for it? Those on fixed incomes and the poor, who as a percent of their monthly budget spend five times more on energy than the average household.
Largest tax increase in history – 10 times Clinton-Gore of ’93 and the poor pay for it… and the science isn’t there. We just can’t do that to America, Mr. Vice President… and we’re not gonna.
During this week's Senate hearing on global wamring, former Vice President Al Gore refused to take a “Personal Energy Ethics Pledge” to consume no more energy than the average American household. Senator Inhofe showed Gore a film frame from “An Inconvenient Truth” where it asks viewers: “Are you ready to change the way you live?”Click Here for Link to Chart
Gore has been criticized for excessive home energy usage at his residence in Tennessee. His electricity usage is reportedly 20 times higher than the average American household.
It has been reported that many of these so-called carbon offset projects would have been done anyway. Also, carbon offset projects such as planting trees can take decades or even a century to sequester the carbon emitted today. So energy usage today results in greenhouse gases remaining in the atmosphere for decades, even with the purchase of so-called carbon offsets.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people who adore you and would follow your example by reducing their energy usage if you did. Don’t give us the run-around on carbon offsets or the gimmicks the wealthy do,” Senator Inhofe told Gore.
“Are you willing to make a commitment here today by taking this pledge to consume no more energy for use in your residence than the average American household by one year from today?” Senator Inhofe asked.
Senator Inhofe then presented Vice President Gore with the following "Personal Energy Ethics Pledge:
As a believer:
-that human-caused global warming is a moral, ethical, and spiritual issue affecting our survival;
-that home energy use is a key component of overall energy use;
-that reducing my fossil fuel-based home energy usage will lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions; and
-that leaders on moral issues should lead by example;
I pledge to consume no more energy for use in my residence than the average American household by March 21, 2008.”
Gore refused to take the pledge.
On Tuesday, Senator Inhofe applauded the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to reclassify the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in Florida from “endangered” to “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The decision provides hope that additional species that have been recovered, such as the American Burying Beetle, may soon also be reclassified or de-listed by the FWS.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to downgrade the American crocodile from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened’ is certainly good news,” Senator Inhofe said. “This Decision Provides Hope That Additional Species, Like The American Burying Beetle, That Have Recovered In Large Part Due To Private Recovery Efforts May Soon Be Removed From The Endangered Species List. ESA was never intended to permanently list species once they have recovered, and I am optimistic that Secretary Kempthorne and USFWS Director Dale Hall will continue to reevaluate all species on the Endangered Species list and reclassify or de-list as appropriate.”
In January, Senator Inhofe praised the decision by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to conduct a status review of the American Burying Beetle. The review will assess the American Burying Beetle to determine whether its status has changed since the time of its listing and whether it should be de-listed or classified differently. The American Burying Beetle (ABB) was listed as an Endangered Species in 1989 based on museum and collector's data (not actual scientific study data). Since its listing, the ABB has been found in many areas and is much more widespread than originally thought.
As Chairman of EPW Committee, Senator Inhofe held several hearings that focused on the ABB issue, including one in 2003 and 2004. Additionally, the ABB was a featured topic of Senator Inhofe in all of the EPW hearings on the Endangered Species Act held in the 108th and 109th Congresses.
Also on Tuesday, Senator Inhofe joined Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in announcing they sent a letter on Friday, March 16, 2007 to Chairman Byrd (D-WV) and Ranking Member Cochran (R-MS) on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, urging the Senate to reject any attempts to include the House language in the Senate version of the Fiscal year 2007 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act. The letter states that “further Congressional action at this time would unnecessarily frustrate the Department’s [Department of Homeland Security (DHS)] effort to secure our nation’s highest risk chemical facilitates.”
“I am committed to working together with Senator Collins and several other Senators to protect the compromise reached last year on chemical security legislation. The measure recently passed in the House will face tough opposition in the United States Senate.”
“It is critical that the Department of Homeland Security work to implement regulations to protect our most vulnerable chemical facilities from the threat of a terrorist attack. It makes no sense to delay these crucial efforts by rewriting the law just as the regulations are due to be implemented.”
Senators Inhofe and Collins worked together with a group of Senators last year to ensure passage of chemical security legislation. The chemical security provisions were included in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations conference bill. Last week, the House appropriations committee included language in the Iraq emergency supplemental appropriations bill that would significantly weaken the reasonable protections provided in last year’s DHS appropriations bill.
THE REAL INCONVENIENT TRUTH
BY SENATOR JAMES INHOFE
March 19, 2007
When the old gray lady says it's over, it's over.
The New York Times -- nearly a year late -- is finally recognizing the scientific reality regarding fears of a man-made climate catastrophe. On March 13, a landmark article stated "scientists argue that some of (former Vice President Al) Gore's central points are exaggerated and erroneous."
It appears we are all skeptics now.
It's about time the Times joined the growing chorus of scientists criticizing the alarmism. Even the United Nations, despite all the media hoopla, halved its estimates for sea level rise since 2001 and reduced man's impact on the climate by 25 percent in a recent report. A separate U.N. report last year found that emissions from cows do more to drive global warming than C02 from cars.
An increasing number of government leaders and scientists are finally realizing that much of the motivation behind the climate scare has nothing to do with science.
Recently, prominent French scientist Claude Allegre recanted his belief in man-made catastrophic global warming and now says promotion of the idea is motivated by money. (This coming from a French Socialist, no less.)
Other scientists have joined Allegre. One of Israel's top young astrophysicists, Nir Shaviv, recently reversed his opinion, declaring that the link between emissions and climate variability has nothing more than "circumstantial evidence." The United Kingdom's famed environmental activist David Bellamy also recently converted to skepticism. Meteorologist Reid Bryson has switched from a promoter of the 1970s global cooling scare to a global warming skeptic today.
New research by teams of international scientists is revealing that the sun has been a major driver of climate variability. Solar specialist Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center explained, "We have the highest solar activity we have had in at least 1,000 years."
The usual suspects will still insist that there is a "consensus" of scientists who agree with Gore. And yes, many governing boards and spokesmen of science institutions must toe the politically correct line of Gore-inspired science, but the rank-and-file scientists are now openly rebelling.
Just ask James Spann, a certified meteorologist with the American Meteorological Society. Spann, who has nearly 30 years of experience as a weather expert, said in January that he does "not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype." In February, a panel of meteorologists expressed unanimous climate skepticism, and one panelist estimated that 95 percent of his profession rejects global warming fears.
This shift follows a 2006 open letter by 60 prominent scientists to the Canadian prime minister stating, "If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary."
Leaders on Capitol Hill are also very late in recognizing this scientific awakening on climate variability.
There are more than half a dozen global warming proposals being floated about in both houses of Congress. They all have two things in common. The bills -- even if fully enacted -- would have a negligible impact on the climate. But the costs would be anything but negligible.
Don't take my word for it. The Washington Post in January clearly explained the hot air of Capitol Hill climate politics when it described a proposal by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).
"(Bingaman's) global warming bill aimed at getting bipartisan support in Congress could be implemented at modest economic cost but may do little to address the (climate) threat," the Post's Jan. 25 article stated.
The Post article continued by saying that under Sen. Bingaman's proposal, "Gasoline prices could be expected to increase by about 5 percent, electricity costs 4 percent."
Let me put this bluntly: Our political leaders in Washington are going to demand the American people make significant economic sacrifices by paying 4 percent more, 10 percent more or even higher for gasoline and home energy costs in order to "do something" to address the climate "crisis."
What do Americans get in return for this economic sacrifice?
They get real economic pain for no climate gain, and they get "solutions" that are purely symbolic. The American people may opt to shut down Washington, D.C., with a flood of phone calls, e-mails and faxes before they allow any of these "solutions" to become law.
Even the Kyoto Protocol -- a draconian international agreement -- would have a virtually undetectable impact on the climate, assuming full compliance and that its proponents were correct in their global warming predictions. But Kyoto would have a massive economic impact, imposing an estimated $300 billion tax -- 10 times larger than the previous biggest tax increase in U.S. history.
Europe and Canada are currently experiencing the utter failure of the Kyoto-style cap-and-trade approach. Thirteen of the EU-15 nations are failing to meet their emissions targets. Canada's environmental minister recently said that for his country to meet Kyoto's emission reduction target, it would suffer an economic collapse similar to the fall of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, China is on track to surpass the United States as the world's largest emitter within the year.
Ironically, climate skeptics may owe Gore, Hollywood, liberal environmental groups and the mainstream media a big debt of gratitude. If it were not for the shrill, "sky is falling" rhetoric emitted by the elite jet-setters hyping this issue, the silent majority of scientific experts who reject alarmism might not have been stirred to action.
The real inconvenient truth is that global warming fearmongers have overplayed their hand and are now suffering a massive scientific and media backlash. America needs a rational science debate about climate variability. Achieving that goal now appears closer to reality.
NOT EASY BEING GREEN
Thursday , March 22, 2007
By Terry Keenan
It's not easy being green. Just ask former Vice President Al Gore.
While the newly anointed Oscar winner has made what Katie Couric called a "triumphant return" to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Gore was tripped up by a simple question from Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. Late into the hearing, Inhofe showed Gore a clip from his film, "An Inconvenient Truth." The clip challenged the audience with this question: "Are you ready to change the way you live?"
Simple enough. But Inhofe took this question a step further, by placing it right at the foot of the former vice president. Correctly noting that Gore is adored by hundreds of thousands for his green message, Inhofe asked the Tennessee Democrat if he'd be willing to pledge to "consume no more energy for use in your residence than the average American household by one year from today?"
It was a "gotcha" moment, and one that was not widely reported in the mainstream media. Gore refused to take the pledge, adding that, "we live a carbon-neutral life."
Get ready to hear a lot about carbon-neutral living in the days and months ahead. It's the new euphemism for Escalade-driving environmentalists who "purchase" carbon credits to assuage any guilt about their private jets and 20,000 square foot summer homes.
In fact there is a $100 million dollar bull market in such credits — and it’s growing, with for-profit companies such as TerraPass, selling credits that give wealthy Americans a "pass" when it comes to actually cutting down on their own carbon consumption. The idea is so hot that several business schools have begun programs in environmental finance.
How do these carbon offsets actually work? Well, like a charm if you're in the business of buying your way out of looking like a hypocrite. And, if you're actually sincere about protecting the environment — well, the jury's out on that one.
In theory, these carbon credits could have a positive effect on the planet, by encouraging companies to cash-in on environmentally friendly practices by "selling" their credits to gas-guzzling greenies and the like. But a recent study by Businessweek shows that, in many cases, the environmental changes that resulted in companies earning these carbon offsets were just sound business moves, and had nothing to do with being environmentally friendly. As was the case with a huge garbage dump in Arkansas — the carbon credits were just a fortunate coincidence of decisions made by its owner, Waste Management, years ago. Other schemes were just that — a lot of hot air.
Yet Gore and the other greenies seem to be sleeping well at night, content that all of this paper shuffling allows them to live in carbon neutral bliss. What power these little credits possess — conferring upon their owners the right to consume carbon with abandon, while enjoying the moral high ground to lecture to the rest of us to cut back on energy.
Could Kermit have it wrong? Maybe it is easy being green after all.
Terry Keenan is anchor of Cashin’ In and is a FOX News Channel business correspondent.