Newly empowered Democrats in the 110th Congress appear ready to make a major push to solidify their “global warming mantra” on the American people. Get ready for a new Democratic barrage asserting that there is “scientific consensus” the earth is getting warmer because of greenhouse gas emissions from burning hydrocarbon fuels.
Sen. James Inhofe (R.-Okla.) is to be complimented in holding his last hearing as chairman of the Environmental and Public Works Committee to expose global warming as a hoax. Yet, the global warming retort form Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) was that Inhofe will not make the global warming crisis go away by blaming the press and Hollywood for crating a media “hype.” Boxer intends now to call Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to testify about the new California law requiring businesses to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
Why a new Democratic Party push to create a global warming hysteria now?
When the Democrats assume their new majority control of the 110th Congress in January, the “Stern Review” will ready to hit bookstores in the U.S. for the first time. We expect the Democrats to call for new, possibly televised hearings to set the stage for harsh legislation designed to exact Kyoto Protocol-like penalties on motorists and businesses that burn hydrocarbon fuels.
The report, fully titled the “Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change,” was submitted in November 2006 by Sir Nicholas Stern, former chief economist to the World Bank, to the British government. In the report, Stern argues that global warming could shrink the global economy by 20%, unless we take steps now to reduce carbon emissions. The 700-page report prompted British Prime Minister Tony Blair to say that “the evidence of global warming is overwhelming” and its consequences to the public are likely to be “disastrous.” The executive summary the “Stern Review” now available on a British government website is “must reading” for those who mistakenly think debunking the Democratic attack as “junk science” will be easy.
An insightful analysis by Yale economist William D. Nordhaus concludes that the “Stern Review” presents an economic cost-benefit analysis and argues for the economic advantage of societies as they get richer shifting investments toward policies that intensify the pace of emissions reductions or otherwise slow greenhouse gas emissions. Nordhaus notes that the “Stern Review” provides politicians what President Truman complained he wanted—a one-handed economist who presented decisive and compelling answers, rather than equivocating that multiple explanations, alternative actions, and different outcomes are possible.
In a technical but important argument, Nordhaus demonstrates that the “Stern Review” mistakenly assumes that the social discount rate is zero. The crux of the Nordhaus counter-argument is that “if we were to substitute more conventional discount rates used in other global-warming analyses, by governments, by consumers, or by businesses, the Review’s dramatic results would disappear.” In layman’s terms, Nordhaus argues that inducing dramatic reductions of carbon emissions now will cost more than the value of the good as a result in the future.
The “Stern Review” proceeds as if there were scientific consensus that the causal links associating observed global warming with human causation or carbon dioxide emissions are established or valid. In the executive summary, Stern presents a frightening Figure 2 that shows dire earth changes with severe consequences to human beings worldwide if we are not able to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions dramatically right now. We should expect to see much of this Figure 2 touted by Democratic majority committee staffers as they press their political agenda in the new Congress. Just recall the use Democratic committee staffers made use of the specious Michael Mann “hockey stick” graph in the 109th Congress. In the final analysis, Nordhaus properly concludes that the “Stern Review” is as “a political document.”
Global warming enthusiasts point to studies such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the U.N. Environmental Programme’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and their “Third Assessment Report on Climate Change 2001.” While the IPCC report is now five years old, the “Stern Review” will add new credibility. “How can both the UN and the British government be wrong?” Democratic Party global warming enthusiasts will certainly cry out, especially when the cameras are running.
The Democratic Party will attempt to scare the U.S. public that if we do not accept their economic formulas, we will suffer all the terrible consequences envisioned in Figure 2 of the “Stern Review.” Entire regions of the world will experience major declines in crop yields; extreme weather events, including the increasing intensity of hurricanes, will kill millions; and the sea levels will rise to threaten major cities including London, Shanghai, New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.
Radical global warming alarmists do not care if economic penalties punish the U.S. disproportionately. We will be surprised if the Democrats advancing this agenda propose an alternative fuel that we should all use, other than hydrocarbons. Deep down, the global warming political agenda is motivated by a desire to punish the United States economically for the disproportionate use we make of world resources in our advanced level of economic activity.
Remarkably, the British government has now hired Al Gore as an adviser. Just to keep the drum roll going, in February 2007, Al Gore is expected to publish a new hardcover edition of his book, “An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming.”
As we have argued before, the earth is a lot warmer today than it was at the end of the last ice age when glaciers covered most of the northern hemisphere. Moreover, scientists are not in agreement that carbon dioxide is the culprit in the earth warming up. Where were the human beings at the end of the Cretaceous Period when the earth was so warm that ocean water covered New Jersey?
Scientists have proven that the sun is right now more active than it has been for 300 years. Could this be the reason the earth is warmer? Russian Academy of Sciences astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov and his research colleagues predicted in October 2006 that we could see a global cooling of the Earth’s climate by the middle of the 21st century, as the beginning of a regular 220-year-long cycle of the climate’s global warming at the start of the 22nd century. Abdusamatov told the RIA Novosti news agency that “Earth’s global temperature will decline to a climatic minimum even without the Kyoto Protocol.”
Unfortunately, the Atlantic Ocean rising to cover much of the eastern seaboard is exactly the type of event Al Gore and the radical global warming alarmists want us to believe is right around the corner once again, maybe as soon as 2050 if we don’t start taxing motorists and businesses for burning hydrocarbon fuels. Regardless how much science groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute send over, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D.-W.Va.) will most likely continue writing letters like the one he just wrote to ExxonMobil executives encouraging them to recite the Democrat’s global warming mantra or face economic pain. If this sounds like extortion, just get ready for the global warming agenda the Democratic Party has planned for the 110th Congress.
The problem is that Sen. Olympia Snowe (R.-Maine) joined Rockefeller in his letter to ExxonMobil. If President Bush had truly governed as a conservative, we may yet have a Republican majority in Congress. Now the question is whether Bush will “stay the course” on global warming, or will a lame duck White House rescind President Bush’s letter of March 13, 2001, rejecting the Kyoto Protocol?
We can only hope that Inhofe will continue to win the day on the global warming debate that is certain also to occur even within the Republican Party in the next few months.