The following excerpts are from a speech by Sen. Inhofe, Chairman of the Committee On Environment and Public Works, delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate on July 28.
As chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, I have a profound responsibility, because the decisions of the committee have wide-reaching impacts, influencing the health and security of every American.
Thats why I established three guiding principles for all committee work: it should rely on the most objective science; it should consider costs on businesses and consumers; and the bureaucracy should serve, not rule, the people.
Without these principles, we cannot make effective public policy decisions. They are necessary to both improve the environment and encourage economic growth and prosperity.
One very critical element to our success as policymakers is how we use science. That is especially true for environmental policy, which relies very heavily on science. I have insisted that federal agencies use the best, non-political science to drive decision-making. Strangely, I have been harshly criticized for taking this stance. To the environmental extremists, my insistence on sound science is outrageous.
For them, a “pro-environment” philosophy can only mean top-down, command-and-control rules dictated by bureaucrats. Science is irrelevant-instead, for extremists, politics and power are the motivating forces for making public policy.
But if the relationship between public policy and science is distorted for political ends, the result is flawed policy that hurts the environment, the economy, and the people we serve.
Sadly thats true of the current debate over many environmental issues. Too often, emotion stoked by irresponsible rhetoric rather than facts based on objective science shapes the contours of environmental policy.
A rather telling example of this arose during President Bushs first days in office, when emotionalism overwhelmed science in the debate over arsenic standards in drinking water. Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, vilified President Bush for “poisoning” children because he questioned the scientific basis of a regulation implemented in the final days of the Clinton Administration.
The debate featured television ads, financed by environmental groups, of children asking for another glass of arsenic-laden water. The science underlying the standard, which was flimsy at best, was hardly mentioned or held up to any scrutiny.
The Senate went through a similar scare back in 1992. That year some members seized on data from NASA suggesting that an ozone hole was developing in the Northern Hemisphere. The Senate then rushed into panic, ramming through, by a 96-to-0 vote, an accelerated ban on certain chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants. Only two weeks later NASA produced new data showing that their initial finding was a gross exaggeration, and the ozone hole never appeared.
The issue of catastrophic global warming, which I would like to speak about today, fits perfectly into this mold. Much of the debate over global warming is predicated on fear, rather than science. Global warming alarmists see a future plagued by catastrophic flooding, war, terrorism, economic dislocations, droughts, crop failures, mosquito-borne diseases, and harsh weather-all caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
Hans Blix, chief UN weapons inspector, sounded both ridiculous and alarmist when he said in March, “Im more worried about global warming than I am of any major military conflict.”
Science writer David Appell, who has written for such publications as the New Scientist and Scientific American, parroted Blix when he said global warming would “threaten fundamental food and water sources. It would lead to displacement of billions of people and huge waves of refugees, spawn terrorism and topple governments, spread disease across the globe.”
Appells next point deserves special emphasis, because it demonstrates the sheer lunacy of environmental extremists: “[Global warming] would be chaos by any measure, far greater even than the sum total of chaos of the global wars of the 20th century, and so in this sense Blix is right to be concerned. Sounds like a weapon of mass destruction to me.”
No wonder the late political scientist Aaron Wildavsky called global warming alarmism the “mother of all environmental scares.”
Appell and Blix sound very much like those who warned us in the 1970s that the planet was headed for a catastrophic global cooling. On April 28, 1975, Newsweek printed an article titled, “The Cooling World,” in which the magazine warned: “There are ominous signs that the earths weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production-with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth.”
In a similar refrain, Time magazine for June 24, 1974 declared: “However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades.”
In 1974 the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation, stated: “During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade.” Two years earlier, the board had observed: “Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end. . . leading into the next glacial age.”
How quickly things change. Fear of the coming ice age is old hat, but fear that man-made greenhouse gases are causing temperatures to rise to harmful levels is in vogue. Alarmists brazenly assert that this phenomenon is fact, and that the science of climate change is “settled.”
Sound Empirical Science Challenges Alarmists
Today, even saying there is scientific disagreement over global warming is itself controversial. But anyone who pays even cursory attention to the issue understands that scientists vigorously disagree over whether human activities are responsible for global warming, or whether those activities will precipitate natural disasters.
I would submit, furthermore, that not only is there a debate, but the debate is shifting away from those who subscribe to global warming alarmism. After studying the issue over the last several years, I believe that the balance of the evidence offers strong proof that natural variability is the overwhelming factor influencing climate.
Its also important to question whether global warming is even a problem for human existence. Thus far no one has seriously demonstrated any scientific proof that increased global temperatures would lead to the catastrophes predicted by alarmists. In fact, it appears that just the opposite is true: that increases in global temperatures may have a beneficial effect on how we live our lives.
For these reasons I would like to discuss an important body of scientific research that refutes the anthropogenic theory of catastrophic global warming. I believe this research offers compelling proof that human activities have little impact on climate.
This research, well documented in the scientific literature, directly challenges the environmental worldview of the media, so they typically dont receive proper attention and discussion. Certain members of the media would rather level personal attacks on scientists who question “accepted” global warming theories than engage on the science.
I believe it is extremely important for the future of this country that the facts and the science get a fair hearing. Without proper knowledge and understanding, alarmists will scare the country into enacting its ultimate goal: making energy suppression, in the form of harmful mandatory restrictions on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions, the official policy of the United States.
Such a policy would induce serious economic harm, especially for low-income and minority populations. Energy suppression, as official government and non-partisan private analyses have amply confirmed, means higher prices for food, medical care, and electricity, as well as massive job losses and drastic reductions in gross domestic product, all the while providing virtually no environmental benefit. In other words: a raw deal for the American people and a crisis for the poor.
Kyoto Treaty Would Wreck Economy
The issue of global warming has garnered significant international attention through the Kyoto Treaty, which requires signatories to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by considerable amounts below 1990 levels.
The Clinton Administration, led by former Vice President Al Gore, signed Kyoto on November 12, 1998, but never submitted it to the Senate for ratification.
The treaty explicitly acknowledges as true that man-made emissions, principally from the use of fossil fuels, are causing global temperatures to rise, eventually to catastrophic levels. Kyoto enthusiasts believe that if we dramatically cut back, or even eliminate, fossil fuels, the climate system will respond by sending global temperatures back to “normal” levels.
In 1997, the Senate sent a powerful signal that Kyoto was unacceptable. By a vote of 95 to 0, the Senate passed the Byrd-Hagel resolution, which stated that the Senate would not ratify Kyoto if it caused substantial economic harm and if developing countries were not required to participate on the same timetable.
The treaty would have required the U.S. to reduce its emissions 31% below the level otherwise predicted for 2010. Put another way, the U.S. would have had to cut 552 million metric tons of CO2 per year by 2008 to 2012. As the Business Roundtable pointed out, that target is “the equivalent of having to eliminate all current emissions from either the U.S. transportation sector, or the utilities sector (residential and commercial sources), or industry.”
The most widely cited and most definitive economic analysis of Kyoto came from Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates (WEFA). According to WEFA economists, Kyoto would cost 2.4 million U.S. jobs and reduce GDP by 3.2%, or about $300 billion annually, an amount greater than the total expenditure on primary and secondary education.
Because of Kyoto, American consumers would face higher food, medical, and housing costs-for food, an increase of 11%; medicine, an increase of 14%; and housing, an increase of 7%. At the same time an average household of four would see its real income drop by $2,700 in 2010, and each year thereafter.
Under Kyoto, energy and electricity prices would nearly double, and gasoline prices would go up an additional 65 cents per gallon.
Some in the environmental community have dismissed the WEFA report as a tainted product of “industry.” I would point them to the 1998 analysis by the Clinton Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Department of Energy, which largely confirmed WEFAs analysis.
Keep in mind, all of these disastrous results of Kyoto are predicted by Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates, a private consulting company founded by professors from the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton Business School.
In July, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provided further proof that Kyoto-like carbon regulatory schemes are regressive and harmful to economic growth and prosperity.
As the CBO found, “The price increases resulting from a carbon cap would be regressive-that is, they would place a relatively greater burden on lower-income households than on higher-income ones.”
Despite these facts, groups such as Greenpeace blindly assert that Kyoto “will not impose significant costs” and “will not be an economic burden.”
Among the many questions this provokes, one might ask: Wont be a burden on whom, exactly?
Greenpeace doesnt elaborate, but according to a recent study by the Center for Energy and Economic Development, sponsored by the National Black Chamber of Commerce and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, if the U.S. ratifies Kyoto, or passes domestic climate policies effectively implementing the treaty, the result would “disproportionately harm Americas minority communities, and place the economic advancement of millions of U.S. blacks and Hispanics at risk.”
Among the studys key findings: Kyoto will cost 511,000 jobs held by Hispanic workers and 864,000 jobs held by black workers; poverty rates for minority families will increase dramatically; and, because Kyoto will bring about higher energy prices, many minority businesses will be lost.
Environmental alarmists, as an article of faith, peddle the notion that climate change is, as Greenpeace put it, “the biggest environmental threat facing. . . developing countries.” For one, such thinking runs contrary to the public declaration of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development-a program sponsored by the United Nations-which found that poverty is the No.1 threat facing developing countries.
Some in this body have introduced Kyoto-like legislation that would hurt low-income and minority populations. Last year, Tom Mullen, president of Cleveland Catholic Charities, testified against S. 556, the Clean Power Act, which would impose onerous, unrealistic restrictions, including a Kyoto-like cap on carbon dioxide emissions, on electric utilities. He noted that this regime would mean higher electricity prices for the poorest citizens of Cleveland.
For those on fixed incomes, as Mr. Mullen pointed out, higher electricity prices present a choice between eating and staying warm in winter or cool in summer. As Mr. Mullen said, “The overall impact on the economy in Northeast Ohio would be overwhelming, and the needs that we address at Catholic Charities in Ohio with the elderly and poor would be well beyond our capacity and that of our current partners in government and the private sector.”
In addition to its negative economic impacts, Kyoto still does not satisfy Byrd-Hagels concerns about developing countries. Though such countries as China, India, Brazil, South Korea, and Mexico are signatories to Kyoto, they are not required to reduce their emissions, even though they emit nearly 30 percent of the worlds greenhouse gases. And within a generation they will be the worlds largest emitters of carbon, methane and other such greenhouse gases.
Despite the fact that neither of Byrd-Hagels conditions has been met, environmentalists have bitterly criticized President Bush for abandoning Kyoto. But one wonders: why dont they assail the 95 senators, both Democrats and Republicans, who, according to Byrd-Hagel, oppose Kyoto as it stands today, and who would, presumably, oppose ratification if the treaty came up on the Senate floor?
And why dont they assail former President Clinton, or former Vice President Gore, who signed the treaty but never submitted it to the Senate for ratification?
To repeat, it was the unanimous vote of this body that Kyoto was and still is unacceptable. Several of my colleagues who believe that humans are responsible for global warming, including Sen. Jeffords (I.-Vt.) , Sen. Kennedy (D.-Mass.), Sen. Boxer (D.-Calif.), former Sen. Moseley-Braun (D.-Ill.), Sen. Lieberman (D.-Conn.), and Sen. Kerry (D.-Mass.), all voted for Byrd-Hagel.
Again, all of these senators, the most outspoken proponents of Kyoto, voted in favor of Byrd-Hagel.
Remember, Byrd-Hagel said the Senate would not ratify Kyoto if it caused substantial economic harm and if developing countries were not required to participate on the same timetable. So, if the Bryd-Hagel conditions are ever satisfied, should the United States ratify Kyoto?
Answering that question depends on several factors, including whether Kyoto would provide significant, needed environmental benefits.
First, we should ask what Kyoto is designed to accomplish. According to the UNs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kyoto will achieve “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”
What does this statement mean? The IPCC offers no elaboration and doesnt provide any scientific explanation about what that level would be. Why? The answer is simple: thus far no one has found a definitive scientific answer.
Dr. S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Virginia, who served as the first Director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service (which is now in the Department of Commerce) and more recently as a member and vice chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere (NACOA), said that “No one knows what constitutes a dangerous concentration. There exists, as yet, no scientific basis for defining such a concentration, or even of knowing whether it is more or less than current levels of carbon dioxide.”
One might pose the question: if we had the ability to set the global thermostat, what temperature would we pick? Would we set it colder or warmer than it is today? What would the optimal temperature be? The actual dawn of civilization occurred in a period climatologists call the “climatic optimum” when the mean surface temperature was 1-2 degrees Celsius warmer than today. Why not go 1 to 2 degrees Celsius higher? Or 1 to 2 degrees lower for that matter?
The Kyoto emissions reduction targets are arbitrary, lacking in any real scientific basis. Kyoto therefore will have virtually no impact on global temperatures. This is not just my opinion, but the conclusion reached by the countrys top climate scientists.
Dr. Tom Wigley, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, found that if the Kyoto Protocol were fully implemented by all signatories-now I will note here that this next point assumes that the alarmists science is correct, which of course it is not-if Kyoto were fully implemented it would reduce temperatures by a mere 0.07 degrees Celsius by 2050, and 0.13 degrees Celsius by 2100. What does this mean? Such an amount is so small that ground-based thermometers cannot reliably measure it.
Dr. Richard Lindzen, an MIT scientist and member of the National Academy of Sciences, who has specialized in climate issues for over 30 years, told the Committee on Environment and Public Works on May 2, 2001 that there is a “definitive disconnect between Kyoto and science. Should a catastrophic scenario prove correct, Kyoto would not prevent it.”
Similarly, Dr. James Hansen of NASA, considered the father of global warming theory, said that Kyoto Protocol “will have little effect” on global temperature in the 21st century. In a rather stunning follow-up, Hansen said it would take 30 Kyotos-let me repeat that-30 Kyotos to reduce warming to an acceptable level. If one Kyoto devastates the American economy, what would 30 do?
So this leads to another question: if the provisions in the Protocol do little or nothing measurable to influence global temperatures, what does this tell us about the scientific basis of Kyoto?
Answering that question requires a thorough examination of the scientific work conducted by the U.N.s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which provides the scientific basis for Kyoto, international climate negotiations, and the substance of claims made by alarmists.
IPCC Assessment Reports
In 1992, several nations from around the globe gathered in Rio de Janiero for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The meeting was premised on the concern that global warming was becoming a problem. The U.S., along with many others, signed the Framework Convention, committing them to making voluntary reductions in greenhouse gases.
Over time, it became clear that signatories were not achieving their reduction targets as stipulated under Rio. This realization led to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, which was an amendment to the Framework Convention, and which prescribed mandatory reductions only for developed nations. [By the way, leaving out developing nations was an explicit violation of Byrd-Hagel.]
The science of Kyoto is based on the “Assessment Reports” conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. Over the last 13 years, the IPCC has published three assessments, with each one over time growing more and more alarmist.
The first IPCC Assessment report in 1990 found that the climate record of the past century was “broadly consistent” with the changes in Earths surface temperature, as calculated by climate models that incorporated the observed increase in greenhouse gases.
This conclusion, however, appears suspect considering the climate cooled between 1940 and 1975, just as industrial activity grew rapidly after World War II. It has been difficult to reconcile this cooling with the observed increase in greenhouse gases.
After its initial publication, the IPCCs Second Assessment report in 1995 attracted widespread international attention, particularly among scientists who believed that human activities were causing global warming. In their view, the report provided the proverbial smoking gun.
The most widely cited phrase from the report-actually, it came from the report summary, as few in the media actually read the entire report-was that “the balance of the evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” This of course is so vague that its essentially meaningless.
What do they mean by “suggests?” And, for that matter, what, in this particular context, does “discernible” mean? How much human influence is discernible? Is it a positive or negative influence? Where is the precise scientific quantification?
Unfortunately the media created the impression that man-induced global warming was fact. On August 10, 1995, the New York Times published an article titled “Experts Confirm Human Role in Global Warming.” According to the Times account, the IPCC showed that global warming “is unlikely to be entirely due to natural causes.”
Of course, when parsed, this account means fairly little. Not entirely due to natural causes? Well, how much, then? 1%? 20%? 85%?
The IPCC report was replete with caveats and qualifications, providing little evidence to support anthropogenic theories of global warming. The preceding paragraph in which the “balance of evidence” quote appears makes exactly that point.
Moreover, the IPCC report was quite explicit about the uncertainties surrounding a link between human actions and global warming. “Although these global mean results suggest that there is some anthropogenic component in the observed temperature record, they cannot be considered compelling evidence of a clear cause-and-effect link between anthropogenic forcing and changes in the Earths surface temperature.”
Remember, the IPCC provides the scientific basis for the alarmists conclusions about global warming. But even the IPCC is saying that their own science cannot be considered compelling evidence.
IPCCs Third Report Heavily Politicized
Five years later, the IPCC was back again, this time with the Third Assessment Report on Climate Change. In October of 2000, the IPCC Summary for Policymakers was leaked to the media, which once again accepted the IPCCs conclusions as fact.
Based on the summary, the Washington Post wrote on October 30, “The consensus on global warming keeps strengthening.” In a similar vein, the New York Times confidently declared on October 28, “The international panel of climate scientists, considered the most authoritative voice on global warming, has now concluded that mankinds contribution to the problem is greater than originally believed.”
Note again, look at how these accounts are couched: they are worded to maximize the fear factor. But upon closer inspection, its clear that such statements have no compelling intellectual content. “Greater than originally believed?” What is the baseline from which the Times makes such a judgment? Is it .01%, or 25%? And how much is greater? Double? Triple? An order of magnitude greater?
Such reporting prompted testimony by Dr. Richard Lindzen before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, the committee I now chair, in May of 2001. Lindzen said, “Nearly all reading and coverage of the IPCC is restricted to the highly publicized Summaries for Policymakers, which are written by representatives from governments, NGOs and business; the full reports, written by participating scientists, are largely ignored.”
As it turned out, the Policymakers Summary was politicized and radically differed from an earlier draft. . . . The final version looks quite different, and concluded instead: “In the light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”
In short, some parts of the IPCC process resembled a Soviet-style trial, in which the facts are predetermined, and ideological purity trumps technical and scientific rigor.
The predictions in the summary went far beyond those in the IPCCs 1995 report. In the Second Assessment, the IPCC predicted that the earth could warm by 1 to 3.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. The “best estimate” was a 2-degree-Celsius warming by 2100. Both are highly questionable at best.
In the Third Assessment, the IPCC dramatically increased that estimate to a range of 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celsius, even though no new evidence had come to light to justify such a dramatic change.
In fact, the IPCCs median projected warming actually declined from 1990 to 1995. The IPCC 1990 initial estimate was 3.2 °C, then the IPCC revised 1992 estimate was 2.6 °C, followed by the IPCC revised 1995 estimate of 2.0 °C.
What changed? As it turned out, the new prediction was based on faulty, politically charged assumptions about trends in population growth, economic growth, and fossil fuel use.
The extreme-case scenario of a 5.8-degree warming, for instance, rests on an assumption that the whole world will raise its level of economic activity and per capita energy use to that of the United States, and that energy use will be carbon intensive. This scenario is simply ludicrous. This essentially contradicts the experience of the industrialized world over the last 30 years. Yet the 5.8-degree figure featured prominently in news stories because it produced the biggest fear effect.
In short, these general circulation models, or GCMs as theyre known, create simulations that must track over 5 million parameters. These simulations require accurate information on two natural greenhouse gas factors-water vapor and clouds-whose effects scientists still do not understand.
Again, to reiterate in plain English, this means the models do not account for key variables that influence the climate system.
Despite this, the alarmists continue to use these models and all the other flimsy evidence Ive cited to support their theories of man-made global warming.
Kyoto: A Weapon Against the U.S.
As I have pointed out, the science underlying the Kyoto Procotol has been thoroughly discredited. Yet for some reason the drive to implement Kyoto continues apace, both here in the United States and, most fervently, in Europe. What is going on here?
The Europeans continue to insist that the U.S. should honor its international responsibilities and ratify Kyoto. In June of 2001, Germany released a statement declaring that the world needs Kyoto because its greenhouse gas reduction targets “are indispensable.”
Similarly, Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson in June 2001 said flatly, and without explanation, that “Kyoto is necessary.” The question I have is: indispensable and necessary for what?
Certainly not for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as Europe has proven. According to news reports earlier this year, the EU has failed to meet its Kyoto targets. And as we know, according to the best scientific evidence, Kyoto will do nothing to reduce global temperatures.
As it turns out, Kyotos objective has nothing to do with saving the globe. In fact, it is purely political. A case in point: French President Jacques Chirac said during a speech at The Hague in November of 2000 that Kyoto represents “the first component of an authentic global governance.” So, I wonder: are the French going to be dictating U.S. policy?
Margot Wallstrom, the EUs Environment Commissioner, takes a slightly different view, but one thats instructive about the real motives of Kyoto proponents. She asserted that Kyoto is about “the economy, about leveling the playing field for big businesses worldwide.”
To me, Chiracs and Wallstroms comments mean two things: 1) Kyoto represents an attempt by certain elements within the international community to restrain U.S. interests; and 2) Kyoto is an economic weapon designed to undermine the global competitiveness and economic superiority of the United States.
The Next Steps
I am mystified that some in this body, and in the media, blithely assert that the science of global warming is settled-that is, fossil fuel emissions are the principal, driving cause of global warming.
In a recent letter to me concerning the next EPA administrator, two senators wrote that “the pressing problem of global warming” is now an “established scientific fact,” and demanded that the new administrator commit to addressing it.
With all due respect, this statement is baseless, for several reasons. As I outlined in detail above, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of those who dont see global warming posing grave harm to the planet and who dont think human beings have significant influence on the climate system.
This leads to another question: why would this body subject the United States to Kyoto-like measures that have no environmental benefits and cause serious harm to the economy? There are several pieces of legislation, including several that have been referred to my committee, that effectively implement Kyoto. From a cursory read of Senate politics, it is my understanding that some of these bills enjoy more than a modicum of support.
I urge my colleagues to reject them, and follow the science to the facts. Reject approaches designed not to solve an environmental problem, but to satisfy the ever-growing demand of environmental groups for money and power and other extremists who simply dont like capitalism, free-markets, and freedom.
Climate alarmists see an opportunity here to tax the American people. Consider a July 11 op-ed by J.W. Anderson in the Washington Post. In it, Anderson, a former editorial writer for the Post and now a journalist in residence with Resources for the Future, concedes that climate science still confronts uncertainties.
But his solution is a fuel tax to prepare for a potentially catastrophic future. Based on the case Ive outlined today, such a course of action fits a particular ideological agenda, yet is entirely unwarranted.
It is my fervent hope that Congress will reject prophets of doom who peddle propaganda masquerading as science in the name of saving the planet from catastrophic disaster. I urge my colleagues to put stock in scientists who rely on the best, most objective scientific data and reject fear as a motivating basis for making public policy decisions.
Let me be very clear: alarmists are attempting to enact an agenda of energy suppression that is inconsistent with American values of freedom, prosperity, and environmental progress.
Over the past two hours, I have offered compelling evidence that catastrophic global warming is a hoax. That conclusion is supported by the painstaking work of the nations top climate scientists.
What have those scientists concluded?
The Kyoto Protocol has no environmental benefits; natural variability, not fossil fuel emissions, is the overwhelming factor influencing climate change; satellite data, confirmed by NOAA balloon measurements, confirms that no meaningful warming has occurred over the last century; and climate models predicting dramatic temperature increases over the next 100 years are flawed and highly imperfect.