Today’s hearing is on the Asia Pacific Partnership and the underlying approaches embodied in this Administration initiative. Before we proceed, let me once again state my belief that global warming alarmism is a hoax and that my belief has only strengthened with each passing month as the new science comes in, such as findings in peer-reviewed literature over the last few years that the Antarctic is getting colder and growing, not warmer and shrinking. And recent projections by the Russian Academy of Sciences that we are about to enter a global cooling phase. And earlier this week, a study in Geophysical Research Letters found that the sun is responsible for about 50% of the observed warming since 1900. So today’s hearing should not be misconstrued as a global warming hearing.
The climate alarmism we hear in the media about impending planetary doom has taken on a striking resemblance to the classic children’s story of Chicken Little. As you would recall, the ending was not pleasant – not because the sky fell, but because Chicken Little and his followers reacted unwisely out of fear. The lesson? Having the courage and wisdom to act wisely when faced with fear. But this lesson appears to have been forgotten in the modern sky-is-falling alarmism of global warming.
One proposed, yet unwise, course of action is to impose hard caps on carbon dioxide. It is widely recognized that these are feel-good proposals that would do little to seriously address man-made climate change, even assuming the alarmists are right about the science, which they are not. The Kyoto Protocol, even if the U.S. had joined and every nation complied, would only have reduced global temperatures by 0.07 degrees Celsius – a negligible amount. Yet all but two of the EU-15 will not reach their targets because the reality is a cap on carbon is a cap on the economy through the rationing of energy. In the United States alone, the costs of complying with Kyoto would have cost $2,700 per household and 2.4 million jobs, according to the Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates.
Any approach to climate change must begin with the realization that energy growth is essential to pursuing our many competing priorities and that any approach which threatens that is unsustainable. I look forward to the testimony of the witnesses at today’s hearing on how to pursue multiple goals and how to prioritize them in the context of the Asia Pacific Partnership.
Abundant growing energy has been and will continue to be a major driving force behind our economy. Our stock market is nearing record highs, wages and salary are increasing 10% annually and Gross Domestic Product is expanding faster than any other major industrialized country – up 20% since President Bush’s 2003 tax cut. And our energy use is also quickly expanding. The fact is: energy and economic growth go hand and hand. The Asia Pacific Partnership is not about climate change, but about working to achieve an energy abundant future that looks at the whole picture. Through technology transfers, information sharing and other aspects of the partnership, the members will work toward growing their energy supplies while reducing the serious problem of air pollution, such as SO2, NOx, and mercury in some of these countries. They will work toward cost-effective energy efficiency projects, which reduce the amount of fuel necessary to generate the same amount of power and, incidentally, reduce carbon dioxide along with real pollutants.
That is why I support full funding of this important Administration initiative.
I am particularly interested in the testimony of two of our witnesses, who will examine why increasing technology is superior to a carbon cap approach. Bjorn Lomborg will examine today’s topic from an economic perspective and Cal Beisner will examine it from an ethical perspective.