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Pacer 2010
Global Fizzle
By Wes Ishmael
The public and scientific facts are left to tell the truth about global warming.

You’re to be forgiven for expecting Climategate would be the story of the decade, or at least the year, or even the week for that matter. When all of those emails were leaked and the deliberate deception to substantiate global warming, though unsupported by sound science, began to unravel, logic said the popular media would attack with more ferocity than a dead guppy.

Instead, the media has remained mostly silent about the scientific scandal. It’s been mum, too, about the fact that global warming is not occurring, or that if it was, it wouldn’t be at the hands of man. Any climate news in the popular media still seems geared toward the alarmism of impending doom.

In fact, according to a recent study conducted by the Business and Media Institute, Networks Hide the Decline in Credibility of Climate Change Science, the three major television networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) ignored Climategate for 13 days after it became public knowledge.

According to the report, “Less than 10% of stories (13 out of 133) mentioning “climate change” or “global warming” brought up Climategate and other climate science scandals between November 20, 2009 (when the scandal surfaced), and April 1, 2010. Even in the few stories about the climate scandals, network reporters often downplayed the threat to the credibility of the so-called scientific consensus.”

Keep in mind, Climategate precipitated other newsworthy events.

For instance, an international conclave on climate change met in Denmark in December to wrangle what was supposed to be the successor to the Kyoto Protocol—an international agreement addressing global warming—which expires in 2012. The talks collapsed in light of the questionable science revealed in Climategate. You were hard-pressed to find news about it, let alone headlines.

“Despite these events, the debate over global warming is far from over,” said By Joseph L. Bast, president of The Heartland Institute (THI). “Global warming alarmism is fueled by billions of dollars in funding from government agencies, environmental advocacy groups, and the renewable energy industry. They won’t just quit and go home. Unfortunately, we will be reading and hearing about the “threat” of catastrophic global warming for the rest of our lives. But the scientific debate can be won, and the American people can be told the truth.”

Bast offered opening remarks at the THI 4th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC) in May. This was no local coffee klatch. The event was co-sponsored by 67 think tanks and advocacy groups from 18 countries. The event drew more than 700 participants from around the world to hear from 75 of the globe’s leading experts in climatology, economics and policy.

What Credible Science Says
“Global warming is over at least for a few decades,” said Don Easterbrook, a presenter at the ICCC. “However, the bad news is that global cooling is even more harmful to humans than global warming, and a cause for even greater concern.”

Easterbrook is emeritus professor at Western Washington University. He documented geologic evidence for sudden climate fluctuations of warming and cooling—all of which occurred before 1945, when carbon dioxide began to rise sharply.

According to Easterbrook, 10 abrupt changes occurred over the past 15,000 years, and another 60 smaller climate changes occurred in the past 5,000 years. Based on new analysis of ice cores from Greenland to Antarctica, Easterbrook said global temperatures rose and fell from 9° to 15° in a century or less, temperature swings he calls astonishing.

“Expect global cooling for the next two to three decades that will be far more damaging than global warming would have been,” Easterbrook said. He explained:

Twice as many people are killed by extreme cold than by extreme heat.
Global food production will suffer because of shorter, cooler growing seasons and bad weather during harvest seasons.

Energy consumption will rise, and consumer prices will rise along with it.
Political and social instability could result as the world population grows 50% in the next 40 years while food and energy demand soars.

“None of the scary stuff about global warming is true, and what is true about global warming, what the science actually tells us about man’s role in changing the climate, is far from terrifying,” said Ben Lieberman, Policy Analyst for Energy and Environment at The Heritage Foundation. “So those who have attended the Heartland conferences, or read its Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, are the ones least surprised by the lengths the U.N. scientists had to go in order to manufacture a global warming crisis.”

What Regulating Carbon Does
Facts regarding policy were just as stark at the ICCC.

“Global warming is not a crisis and should not be addressed as one. Pending global warming bills before Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations would do far more economic harm than environmental good.” Lieberman explained. Among his talking points:

The Waxman–Markey cap-and-trade bill seeks to drive up energy costs so that consumers and businesses are forced to use less energy.

Waxman–Markey and similar Senate bills would impose annual costs of nearly $3,000 for a household of four, and destroy more than one million jobs—a very expensive solution to an overstated threat.

Rather than imposing big government constraints on the economy, the government should unleash the forces of free markets, since they, not regulation, have a proven track record of fostering real environmental improvements over the long term.

“If there is one overall theme to the economics of cap and trade, or other proposed global warming abatement measures, it is that there is absolutely no cheap way to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. This is especially true if you want to reduce emissions substantially and over a relatively short timeframe, which is what most of the activists still insist is necessary,” said Lieberman. “Cap and trade has to raise energy prices high enough so that we are forced to use less in order to meet the emissions reduction targets. Inflicting economic pain is not some unintended consequence: It is how any system works that is designed to reduce carbon emissions.”

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a report asserting that global warming legislation being considered by the U.S. Senate would cost the average U.S. household $80-$150 per year. Proponents of carbon dioxide restrictions are heralding the study as proof American families can easily afford carbon dioxide restrictions.

EPA’s assessment, however, does not reflect economic reality, according to James M. Taylor, THI senior fellow for environment policy.

“The EPA report is dependent on many fanciful assumptions that have absolutely no chance of occurring in the real world. For example, EPA assumes nuclear power technology will lead to substantial efficiency gains and there will be no political opposition to a major expansion in U.S. nuclear power production. EPA also assumes all industrial nations will agree to cut their emissions by 83% by 2050 and all developing nations will cut their emissions by 26% by 2050, such that few if any jobs will relocate overseas as a result of disparate energy prices. Good luck on either of those scenarios happening in the real world.

“While EPA makes preposterous assumptions to paint carbon dioxide restrictions as affordable, President Barack Obama has acknowledged that ‘electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket’ under his cap-and-trade system. CBS News reports the Obama administration has privately concluded cap-and-trade legislation would cost the average U.S. household $1,761 per year. And the Obama Treasury Department reports cap-and-trade legislation would cost the average U.S. household nearly $3,000 per year.

“The American public is fed up with being sold costly big-government programs at pennies on the dollar only to find out later – the hard way – that these programs are going to cost much more than politicians initially admitted. This bait-and-switch approach may have worked for Obamacare, but the American public is wiser now, and it will not be fooled again.”

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