Here they go again: this time, it’s the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG).
In a new “study” (such groups are awfully prolific), U.S. PIRG makes the case for Kyoto and Kyoto-like policies to stop global warming. The argument can be neatly encapsulated in a syllogism: extreme weather events cost Americans $20 billion in 2002; extreme weather events are caused by global warming; global warming is caused by CO2-spewing SUVs and power plants; therefore, draconian reductions in CO2 eliminate global warming, and, by extension, droughts and hurricanes–all in turn saving us lots of money.
Oh yes, and we could save even more, $70 billion in fact, and “cut global warming pollution” too, if we would just kick our fondness for SUVs and accept CAFĂ?â?° standards of 40 mpg.
“People say we can’t change the weather, but due to global warming we may already have,” said U.S. PIRG. “While the U.S. does nothing to curb global warming, consumers are losing out on the money-saving benefits of clean energy solutions, and we all pay the price to deal with the consequences.”
FACT: USPIRG’s study is pure alarmist fantasy, and if the group had its way, Americans would be paying hefty prices, with serious economic consequences, and no environmental benefits.
Even assuming U.S. PIRG is right–that taking their recommended steps would save $90 billion–the Kyoto Protocol would cost the U.S. economy $400 billion, according to the Clinton Energy Department. The Lieberman-McCain global warming bill, modeled after Kyoto, would reduce U.S. GDP by $106 billion, not to mention the competitiveness of American manufacturers, already a beleaguered lot.
CAFE at 40 mpg? The National Academy of Sciences said CAFE kills an additional 2,000 people a year.
So much for “savings.”
As for the science, U.S. PIRG is wrong: there is no connection between global warming and extreme weather. Case in point: Dr. William Gray, professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, and the world’s foremost expert on hurricanes, found that hurricane activity follows a natural 20 to 30 year cycle in ocean currents. Even the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that, “Overall, there is no evidence that extreme weather events, or climate variability, has increased, in a global sense through the 20th century.”