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INHOFE FLOOR SPEECH ON GLOBAL WARMING: 2007 - GLOBAL WARMING ALARMISM REACHES A TIPPING POINT
October 26, 2007

CONTACT:  

 

MARC MORANO (202) 224-5762

marc_morano@epw.senate.gov

MATT DEMPSEY   (202) 224-9797

matthew_dempsey@epw.senate.gov

 

UPDATE: LINK TO FULL SPEECH NOW AVAILABLE HERE

To Read Senator Inhofe's views about Hollywood promoting fears to kids click here:

To Read Senator Inhofe's views on costly "solutions" to global warming click here:

To Read Senator Inhofe discuss activists who believe global warming has 'co-opted' the environmental movement click here:

INHOFE GLOBAL WARMING SPEECH

2007 - GLOBAL WARMING ALARMISM REACHES A ‘TIPPING POINT’  

WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, delivered a speech more than two hours long on the Senate floor Friday revealing the very latest in peer-reviewed studies, analyses, and data error discoveries in global warming science. The new developments have prompted many scientists to declare that the scientific basis for fears of catastrophic man-made global warming are collapsing. Senator Inhofe also detailed how children have been impacted by climate propaganda from their schools, Hollywood and our pop culture. Further, Senator Inhofe exposed the painful economic realities of global warming cap-and-trade legislation.

"I agree with [former Vice President Al] Gore. Global warming may have reached a ‘tipping point,'" Senator Inhofe said in his speech today. "The man-made global warming fear machine crossed the ‘tipping point' in 2007. I am convinced that future climate historians will look back at 2007 as the year the global warming fears began crumbling. The situation we are in now is very similar to where we were in the late 1970's when coming ice age fears began to dismantle. We are currently witnessing an international awakening of scientists who are speaking out in opposition to former Vice President Al Gore, the United Nations, the Hollywood elitists and the media-driven "consensus" on man-made global warming."

Who: Senator James Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

What: Speech titled "2007 - Global Warming Alarmism Reaches a ‘Tipping Point'"

When: TODAY, Start Time Between 11:00AM ET - 2:15 PM ET Friday, October 26, 2007

Where: Floor of the United States Senate (Coverage on C-SPAN and C-SPAN Radio, or online on CSPAN.org

Selected Speech Excerpts:

Senator Inhofe on Climate propaganda to Kids:

Hollywood activist Leonardo DiCaprio decided to toss objective scientific truth out the window in his new scarefest "The 11th Hour." DiCaprio refused to interview any scientists who disagreed with his dire vision of the future of the Earth. In fact, his film reportedly features physicist Stephen Hawking making the unchallenged assertion that "the worst-case scenario is that Earth would become like its sister planet, Venus, with a temperature of 250 [degrees] centigrade."  I guess these "worst-case scenario's" pass for science in Hollywood these days. It also fits perfectly with DiCaprio's stated purpose of the film. DiCaprio said on May 20th of this year: "I want the public to be very scared by what they see. I want them to see a very bleak future." < >  Children are now the number one target of the global warming fear campaign. DiCaprio announced his goal was to recruit young eco-activists to the cause. "We need to get kids young," DiCaprio said in a September 20 interview with USA Weekend. Hollywood activist Laurie David, Gore's co-producer of "An Inconvenient Truth" recently co-authored a children's global warming book with Cambria Gordon for Scholastic Books titled, The Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming. David has made it clear that her goal is to influence young minds with her new book when she recently wrote an open letter to her children stating: "We want you to grow up to be activists." Apparently, David and other activists are getting frustrated by the widespread skepticism on climate as reflected in both the U.S. and the UK according to the latest polls. It appears the alarmists are failing to convince adults to believe their increasingly shrill and scientifically unfounded rhetoric, so they have decided kids are an easier sell. < > And this agenda of indoctrination and fear aimed at children is having an impact.  Nine year old Alyssa Luz-Ricca was quoted in the Washington Post on April 16, 2007 as saying:  "I worry about [global warming] because I don't want to die." Unfortunately, children are hearing the scientifically unfounded doomsday message loud and clear. But the message kids are receiving is not a scientific one, it is a political message designed to create fear, nervousness and ultimately recruit them to liberal activism. 

Senator Inhofe on how many on the Left have become disenchanted with global warming activism:

The global warming scare machine is now so tenuous, that other liberal environmental scientists and activists are now joining [Geologist Dr. Robert] Giegengack and refuting the entire basis for man-made global warming concerns. Denis G. Rancourt Professor of Physics and an environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa, believes the global warming campaign does a disservice to the environmental movement. Rancourt wrote on February 27, 2007: "Promoting the global warming myth trains people to accept unverified, remote, and abstract dangers in the place of true problems that they can discover for themselves by becoming directly engaged in their workplace and by doing their own research and observations. It trains people to think lifestyle choices (in relation to CO2 emission) rather than to think activism in the sense of exerting an influence to change societal structures." Rancourt believes that global warming "will not become humankind's greatest threat until the sun has its next hiccup in a billion years or more in the very unlikely scenario that we are still around." He also noted that even if CO2 emissions were a grave threat, "government action and political will cannot measurably or significantly ameliorate global climate in the present world." Most significantly, however, Rancourt -- a committed left-wing activist and scientist -- believes environmentalists have been duped into promoting global warming as a crisis. Rancourt wrote: "I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth. In my opinion, activists who, using any justification, feed the global warming myth have effectively been co-opted, or at best neutralized." "Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middleclass," Rancourt added. < > Left-wing Professor David Noble of Canada's York University has joined the growing chorus of disenchanted liberal activists. Noble now believes that the movement has "hyped the global climate issue into an obsession."  Noble wrote a May 8 essay entitled "The Corporate Climate Coup" which details how global warming has "hijacked" the environmental left and created a "corporate climate campaign" which has "diverted attention from the radical challenges of the global justice movement." 

Senator Inhofe on how the poor will pay for symbolic climate measures:

What few Americans realize is that the impact of these policies would not be evenly distributed. The Congressional Budget Office recently looked at the approach taken by most global warming proposals in Congress - known as cap and trade - that would place a cap on carbon emissions, allocate how much everyone could emit, and then let them trade those emissions. Let me quote from the CBO report: "Regardless of how the allowances were distributed, most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would."  Think about that. Even relatively modest bills would put enormous burdens on the poor. The poor already face energy costs much higher as a percentage of their income than wealthier Americans. While most Americans spend about 4 percent of their monthly budget on heating their homes or other energy needs, the poorest fifth of Americans spend 19 percent of their budget on energy. Why would we adopt policies which disproportionately force the poor and working class to shoulder the heaviest burdens through even higher energy costs?

Senator Inhofe on Kyoto style attempts to control global temperatures:

First, going on a carbon diet would do nothing to avert climate change. After the U.S. signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, Al Gore's own scientist, Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, calculated that Kyoto would reduce emissions by only 0.07 degrees Celsius by the year 2050. That's all. 0.07 degrees. And that's if the United States had ratified Kyoto and the other signatories met their targets. But we didn't and they won't. Of the 15 original EU countries, only two are on track to meet their targets. And even one of those, Britain, has started increasing its emissions again, not decreasing. Similar calculations have been done to estimate other climate bills. The Climate Change Stewardship Act that was defeated 38-60 last year would have only reduced temperatures by 0.029 degrees Celsius, and another bill modeled on the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP) report would have only reduced temperatures by 0.008 degrees Celsius. That's right - 0.008 degrees Celsius, or less than one percent of one degree.

Senator Inhofe on new scientific developments:

We have witnessed Antarctic ice GROW to record levels since satellite monitoring began in the 1970's. We have witnessed NASA temperature data errors that have made 1934 -- not 1998 -- the hottest year on record in the U.S. We have seen global averages temperatures flat line since 1998 and the Southern Hemisphere cool in recent years." (...) Current temperatures in Greenland -- a poster boy for climate alarmists - are COOLER than the temperatures there in the 1930's and 1940's, according to multiple peer-reviewed studies. Yes, you heard me correctly. Greenland has COOLED since the 1940's! A fact the media and global warming activists conceal.  Greenland reached its highest temperatures in 1941, according to a peer-reviewed study published in the June 2006 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research. And, keep in mind that 80% of man-made CO2 came AFTER these high temperatures. How inconvenient that the two poster children of alarmism - Greenland and Antarctica -- trumpeted by Al Gore and the climate fear mongers, have decided not to cooperate with computer model driven fears.

Senator Inhofe on the challenges of controlling emissions:

Many times I have heard that America is the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide and thus is the problem. But that is no longer true. Earlier this year, China surpassed the United States as the world's largest emitter of carbon. Only 6 years ago, it was estimated that China's emissions would still lag those of the United States in 2040. China's emissions growth is explosive and climbing upward. Just to put things in perspective, the United States did not build a single new coal-fired power plant in the last 15 years up to 2006, although there are now some efforts underway to change that. In comparison, according to the New York Times, "China last year built 117 government-approved coal-fired power plants - a rate of roughly one every three days, according to official figures." We won't complete that many in the next decade. India's emission increases are not far behind China, and Brazil is not far behind them. The fact is that if these countries do not curb their rapidly accelerating emissions growth, then embracing a carbon diet and sluggish economic growth by developed countries will accomplish nothing. Moreover, many of the carbon reductions achieved through lost manufacturing jobs in developed countries are simply emitted elsewhere as jobs are created to make the same product in countries that do not ration energy. The U.S. emissions as a measure of productivity are far lower than China's. Cement manufacturing is a perfect example. Every job sent there will increase emissions, not lower them.

Senator Inhofe on the path forward:

So what's the path forward? I categorically will oppose legislation or initiatives that will devastate our economy as well as those that will cost jobs simply to make symbolic gestures purely to start us down the ruinous economic path of energy rationing. I believe such measures will be defeated because the approach is politically unsustainable. We are seeing the first signs of that in Europe right now. Even if the alarmists were right on the science - which they are not - their command-and-control approaches sow the seeds of their own failure. As long as their policies put national economies in the cross-hairs, they will stoke the fires of opposition and eventually collapse of their own weight. Stabilizing emissions can not happen in 20, 40, or even 60 years because our world's infrastructure is built on fossil fuels and it will continue to be so for a long time to come - the  power plants and other facilities being built now and in the future will emit carbon for a half century after they're completed. Quite simply, the technology does not exist to cost-effectively power the world without emitting carbon dioxide. And I and many others who reject climate alarmism or ineffective yet expensive solutions will block efforts to implement mandatory carbon restrictions. I find it unfortunate that so many politicians and climate advocates focus on trying to resurrect a mandatory carbon cap policy in the face of its demonstrated failure in practice in the countries that have adopted it. In the process, they are ignoring the best path forward. There is only one approach so far that I know of that will work - it is the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. Why? Because this approach serves multiple purposes - it will reduce air pollution, expand our energy supply, increase trade, and along with these other goals, reduce greenhouse gases as a byproduct. Others might put this list together differently in terms of priority, but my point is that the Asia-Pacific Partnership meets the criteria for success - it is a politically and economically sustainable path forward that addresses multiple issues in the context of their relation to other issues. Perhaps other approaches in the future will meet these criteria as well, but the APP is currently the only one that does.

Senator Inhofe on how scientific studies reveal climate changes on Earth lie well within the bounds of natural climate variability:

"A June 29, 2007 paper by Gerd Burger of Berlin's Institute of Meteorology in the peer-reviewed Science Magazine challenged a 2006 study that claimed the 20th century had been unusually warm. Ivy League geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack, the chair of Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, noted in May 2007 that extremely long geologic timescales reveal that "only about 5% of that time has been characterized by conditions on Earth that were so cold that the poles could support masses of permanent ice." Giegengack added: "For most of Earth's history, the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has rarely been cooler."

Inhofe on how fear is being driven by unproven and un-testable computer model fears of the future:

Even the New York Times has been forced to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that the Earth is currently well within natural climate variation. This inconvenient reality means that all the warming doomsayers have to back up their climate fears are unproven computer models predicting future doom. Of course, you can't prove a prediction of the climate in 2100 wrong today, which reduces the models to speculating on what ‘could' ‘might' ‘may' happen 50 or 100 years from now.  But prominent UN scientists have publicly questioned the reliability of climate models. In a candid statement, IPCC scientist Dr. Jim Renwick-a lead author of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report-publicly admitted that climate models may not be so reliable after all. Renwick stated in June: "Half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don't expect to do terrifically well." Let me repeat: a UN scientist admitted, "Half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable." Also in June, another high-profile UN IPCC lead author, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, echoed Renwick's sentiments about climate models by referring to them as nothing more than "story lines." A leading scientific skeptic, Meteorologist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a scientific pioneer in the development of numerical weather prediction and former director of research at The Netherlands' Royal National Meteorological Institute, recently took the critique of climate computer models one step further. Tennekes said in February 2007, "I am of the opinion that most scientists engaged in the design, development, and tuning of climate models are in fact software engineers. They are unlicensed, hence unqualified to sell their products to society." 

Senator Inhofe debunks "More CO2 = A Warmer World" simplicity:

Scientists and peer-reviewed studies are increasingly revealing that catastrophic climate fears of rising CO2 are simply unsustainable.  In May 2007, the "father of meteorology" Dr. Reid Bryson, the founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at University of Wisconsin, dismissed fears of rising CO2 bluntly saying: "You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide." Bryson has been identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world. Climatologist Dr. Ball recently explained that one of the reasons climate models are failing is because they overestimate the warming effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. Ball described how CO2's warming impact diminishes. "Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal. The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint," Ball explained in June 2007. Environmental economist Dennis Avery, co-author with climate scientist Dr. Fred Singer of the new book "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years," explained how much impact CO2 has had on temperatures. "The earth has warmed only a net 0.2 degrees C of net warming since 1940. Human-emitted CO2 gets the blame for only half of that-or 0.1 degree C of warming over 65 years! We've had no warming at all since 1998. Remember, too, that each added unit of CO2 has less impact on the climate. The first 40 parts per million (ppm) of human-emitted CO2 added to the atmosphere in the 1940s had as much climate impact as the next 360 ppm," Avery wrote in August. Avery and Singer's book details how solar activity is linked to Earth's natural temperature cycles. < > [Dr. Robert] Giegengack said: "[Gore] claims that temperature increases solely because more CO2 in the atmosphere traps the sun's heat. That's just wrong ... It's a natural interplay."  He continued, "It's hard for us to say that CO2 drives temperature. It's easier to say temperature drives CO2." "The driving mechanism is exactly the opposite of what Al Gore claims, both in his film and in that book. It's the temperature that, through those 650,000 years, controlled the CO2; not the CO2 that controlled the temperature," he added.

Senator Inhofe debunks the so-called "consensus":

The notion of a "consensus" is carefully manufactured for political, financial and ideological purposes. < > Key components of the manufactured "consensus" fade under scrutiny. We often hear how the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) issued statements endorsing the so-called "consensus" view that man is driving global warming. But what you don't hear is that both the NAS and AMS never allowed member scientists to directly vote on these climate statements. Essentially, only two dozen or so members on the governing boards of these institutions produced the "consensus" statements. It appears that the governing boards of these organizations caved in to pressure from those promoting the politically correct view of UN and Gore-inspired science. The Canadian Academy of Sciences reportedly endorsed a "consensus" global warming statement that was never even approved by its governing board. Rank-and-file scientists are now openly rebelling. James Spann, a certified meteorologist with the AMS, openly defied the organization when he said in January that he does "not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype." < > There are frequently claims that the UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers is the voice of hundreds or even thousands of the world's top scientists. But such claims do not hold up to even the lightest scrutiny. According to the Associated Press, during the IPCC Summary for Policymakers meeting in April 2007, only 52 scientists participated. The April 9, 2007 AP article by Seth Borenstein reported: "Diplomats from 115 countries and 52 scientists hashed out the most comprehensive and gloomiest warning yet about the possible effects of global warming, from increased flooding, hunger, drought and diseases to the extinction of species." Many of the so-called "hundreds" of scientists who have been affiliated with the UN as "expert reviewers" are in fact climate skeptics. Skeptics like Virginia State Climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels, Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy, New Zealand climate researcher Dr. Vincent Gray, former head of the Geological Museum at the University of Oslo, Tom V. Segalstad, and MIT's Dr. Richard Lindzen have served as IPCC "expert reviewers" but were not involved in writing the alarmist Summary for Policymakers.

Senator Inhofe on the UN IPCC process:

The UN allowed a Greenpeace activist to co-author a key economic report in 2007. Left unreported by most of the media was the fact that Bill Hare, an advisor to Greenpeace, was a lead co- author of a key economic report in the IPCC's 4th Assessment.  Not surprisingly, the Greenpeace co-authored report predicted a gloomy future for our planet unless we follow the UN's policy prescriptions. The UN IPCC's own guidelines explicitly state that the scientific reports have to be "change[d]" to "ensure consistency with" the politically motivated Summary for Policymakers. In addition, the IPCC more closely resembles a political party's convention platform battle - not a scientific process. During an IPCC Summary for Policymakers process, political delegates and international bureaucrats squabble over the specific wording of a phase or assertion. Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, served as a UN IPCC lead author in 2001 for the 3rd assessment report and detailed how he personally witnessed UN scientists attempting to distort the science for political purposes. "I was at the table with three Europeans, and we were having lunch. And they were talking about their role as lead authors. And they were talking about how they were trying to make the report so dramatic that the United States would just have to sign that Kyoto Protocol," Christy told CNN on May 2, 2007. Former Colorado State Climatologist Roger Pielke Sr. also detailed the corruption of the UN IPCC process on September 1, 2007:  "The same individuals who are doing primary research in the role of humans on the climate system are then permitted to lead the [IPCC] assessment! There should be an outcry on this obvious conflict of interest, but to date either few recognize this conflict, or see that since the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda, they chose to ignore this conflict. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow," Pielke explained. He added: "We need recognition among the scientific community, the media, and policymakers that the IPCC process is obviously a real conflict of interest, and this has resulted in a significantly flawed report." Politics appears to be the fuel that runs the UN IPCC process from the scientists to the bureaucrats to the delegates and all the way to many of the world leaders involved in it. And another key to the motivation of the UN was explained by former French President Jacques Chirac in 2000: Chirac said Kyoto represents "the first component of an authentic global governance."

Senator Inhofe on Polar Bears:

The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the polar bear population is currently at 20,000 to 25,000 bears, whereas in the 1950s and 1960s, estimates were as low as 5,000-10,000 bears.  We currently have an estimated four or five times more polar bears than 50 years ago. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain noted that the polar bear populations ‘may now be near historic highs.' Top biologists and wildlife experts are dismissing unproven computer model concerns for polar bears. In 2006, Canadian biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor, the director of wildlife research with the Arctic government of Nunavut, dismissed these fears with evidence based data on Canada's polar bear populations. "Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present," Taylor said, noting that Canada is home to two-thirds of the world's polar bears. He added: "It is just silly to predict the demise of polar bears in 25 years based on media-assisted hysteria." In September, Taylor further debunked the latest report hyping fears of future polar bear extinctions. "I think it's naive and presumptuous," Taylor said, referring to a recent report by the U.S. government warning that computer models predict a dire future for the bears due to projected ice loss. Taylor also debunked the notion that less sea ice means less polar bears by pointing out that southern regions of the bears' home with low levels of ice are seeing booming bear populations.  He noted that in the warmer southern Canadian region of the Davis Strait with lower levels of ice, a new survey will reveal that bear populations have grown from an estimated 850 bears to an estimated 3000 bears. And, despite the lower levels of ice, some of the bears measured in this region are among the biggest ever on record. "Davis Strait is crawling with polar bears. It's not safe to camp there. They're fat. The mothers have cubs. The cubs are in good shape," he said, according to a September 14, 2007 article. He added: "That's not theory. That's not based on a model. That's observation of reality." Other biologists are equally dismissive of these computer model based fears. Biologist Josef Reichholf, who heads the Vertebrates Department at the National Zoological Collection in Munich, rejected climate fears and asserted any potential global warming may be beneficial to both humans and animals. In a May 8, 2007 interview, Reichholf asked: "How did the polar bear survive the last warm period?"

Reichholf also debunked the entire notion that a warmer world will lead to mass species extinctions. "Warming temperatures promote biodiversity," Reichholf explained. "The number of species increases exponentially from the regions near the poles across the moderate latitudes and to the equator. To put it succinctly, the warmer a region is, the more diverse are its species," he added. 

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Related Links:

Senator Inhofe September 25, 20076 Speech: HOT & COLD MEDIA SPIN CYCLE: A CHALLENGE TO JOURNALISTS WHO COVER GLOBAL WARMING

http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=263759

New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears

Global Warming "Consensus" Continues To Melt Away (Op-Ed By Senator Inhofe, Power Magazine) 

Cutting Emissions May Cost U.S. Economy Up to $1.8 Trillion

Senators Propose $4500 Climate Tax on American Families

Newsweek Editor Calls Mag's Global Warming 'Deniers' Article 'Highly Contrived'

Newsweek's Climate Editorial Screed Violates Basic Standards of Journalism

Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt

EPA to Probe E-mail Threatening to ‘Destroy' Career of Climate Skeptic  

Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics

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October 2007 Press Releases

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