Promoters of Questionable Climate Change Losing CloutPosted: May 23, 2014
Promoters of Questionable Climate Change Losing Clout
By JBS President John F. McManus
Rio de Janeiro played host for the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), more commonly referred to as the Earth Summit. More than 35,000 attendees heard dire predictions about looming environmental disasters. Out of the massive gathering came the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and occasional reports insisting that the earth is warming and it will cause an environmental cataclysm.
The most recent IPCC report arrived only weeks before the May 7th issuance of the U.S. government’s 840-page “National Climate Assessment.” Barack Obama succumbed to the claims of both documents. He insisted that their dire forecasts shouldn’t be looked upon as “some distant problem in the future.” In somber tones, he added: “This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now.” An increasing number of scientists disagree and point to the unreliable computer models on which the conclusions in these reports are based.
For solutions to the problem of “global warming” or “climate change” as it is more recently named, these reports recommend reductions in the burning of fossil fuels because such action produces greenhouse gases which they contend lead to warming, droughts, severe storms, etc. Always do we read about the supposed need for carbon taxes which would, if imposed, result in a diminished supply of electricity and rising costs for fuel consumers. If these recommendations are followed, the impact on our nation’s economy, because we are one of the “worst offenders,” would be catastrophic.
All of the scares from IPCC and the U.S. National Climate Assessment bring to mind the publication in 1968 of Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich’s book, “The Population Bomb.” It insisted there would be mass starvation in the 1970s-80s because of overpopulation. To address this supposed problem, Ehrlich recommended severe limitations on population growth. He was certain that “hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” Always, the solution to such claims emanating from the environmental fright peddlers is more government and control of the economic life of nations.
Ehrlich’s predictions received huge outpourings of publicity. But he was wrong and we should be thankful that government didn’t grow as fast as he hoped. The book did sell more than two million copies and it contributed greatly to increased concerns – real or imagined – about environmental matters. More recently, in his 2013 book, “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting,” journalist Jonathan Last labeled “The Population Bomb” “one of the most spectacularly foolish books ever published.” Well said!
Environmental doomsayers, however, seem never to cease making predictions based largely on skewed science. They don’t, however, hide their political goals. One result of the Rio conference was the 1997 Kyoto Treaty calling for carbon taxes, diminished use of electricity, and more. Happily, the U.S. never agreed to it. But late next year, there will be another massive gathering of environmentalists in Paris. They will be asked to produce a new climate treaty, one that will surely parallel what came out of Rio, Kyoto, the IPCC, and our own nation’s National Climate Assessment.
It’s doubtful that Paul Ehrlich will be invited to address the Paris conference. Perhaps its program will feature Al Gore who was a star of the 1992 event. As the number of Americans who don’t believe the scaremongers grows – now rising almost to 50 percent – the opportunity to build more government or even world government with highly questionable scientific claims becomes less of a threat. And this is good news.
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