May 2001 (vol. 17, #4)
1601 N Tucson Blvd #9, Tucson AZ 85716
c 2001 Physicians for Civil Defense
When President Bush rejected the Kyoto Treaty, he cited economic reasons, noting that 80% of the world, including heavy CO2 emitters India and China, is exempted from compliance. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage announced that the United States would propose a new plan to curb global warming by July. Thus, the global warming hypothesis still enjoys official endorsement.
Environmental extremists such as Friends of the Earth have organized a ``Flood George Bush with E-Mail'' campaign, claiming that more than 150,000 people from all continents have participated (www.foeeurope.org/lifeboat/letter.htm). The cut-and-paste message asserts that ``sabotaging the Kyoto Protocol puts the USA into a position of environmental isolationism and makes it responsible for climate catastrophe.''
Time magazine chose a different metaphor, the earth as fried egg, for its April 9 cover and presented an ``argument by celebrity''-a petition signed by major experts including Mikhail Gorbachev and Harrison Ford.
All but an embattled few scientists supposedly agree with these worthies. John Houghton, head of the science panel of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that ``worldwide there were no more than 10 scientists active in the field and well-versed in the arguments who disagreed with the notion of human-induced climate change.'' Fred Singer's translation of the qualifier: ``recognized by the IPCC and committed to our position.'' He also observes that the IPCC has never polled all the contributing scientists about whether they agree with the conclusions in the Summary for Policymakers.
Thus, it is timely to remind the President of the 17,000 scientists who signed the anti-Kyoto petition-ten times as many as have endorsed all pro-global warming statements combined. Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) sent a bound list of scientist signatories to the President, Vice President, and all Cabinet secretaries, together with a letter from Dr. Frederick Seitz, and the review article posted at www.oism.org/pproject. The scientists were also contacted, and more than 100 have sent DDP a copy of a letter they wrote to the President. Additional signatures continue to come in to the Petition Project.
In the scientists' letters, several themes were dominant:
Volcanos, very active in the 150 years prior to 1912 and relatively quiescent since, possibly account for current milder conditions, suggests geologist Randall Weege. Geophysicist Lon McCarley agrees that volcanic eruptions dwarf all human emissions and adds that methane from world methane gas hydrates vastly exceeds all human extracted and agricultural sources. Moreover, the ``solar constant'' used by climate modelers is not a constant, as sunspot observations and temperature records since the time of Galileo show. Along with these variables, Calvin Donaghey lists perturbations in the earth's orbit, magnetic disturbances, and meteorite impacts. Given these powerful natural forces, C.E. Carlson, who has 50 years experience in geology, states that ``mankind has about as good a chance of stopping global climate change as he would have stopping continental drift.''
``The idea that we can control a chaotic climate governed by a billion factors through fiddling about with a couple of politically selected gases is carbon claptrap,'' writes Philip Stott, professor of biogeography at the University of London (Wall St J 4/2/01). Global warming, however, especially in Europe, has become a ``new fundamentalist religion,'' with the Kyoto Protocol as its articles of faith. Dissident scientists are treated as blasphemers-but the earth still moves.
The Petition signed by 17,000 persons with known scientific credentials, and 2,000 others, reads as follows:
``We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan, in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
``There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."
John Laidig's handwritten message to President Bush, asking him to reject phony science and save our way of life, and emphasizing that global temperatures track solar activity, is written on a picture postcard. Mr. Laidig has observed that he gets more meaningful responses to letters to his congressmen when sent in this format rather than typed or handwritten on regular stationery. ``It seems as if someone actually reads them. But, after all, can you think of anything which is more clearly not mass manufactured mail?''
It is not possible to do justice to the many insightful and articulate letters that DDP received from petition signers. A few additional gems:
``If CO2 is proclaimed to be a pollutant on a treaty-mandated reduction list then the remaining energy choices become nuclear power, hydro power, or no power, the latter enjoying a notable debut in California.
``It is amusing to watch environmentalists attempt to make the Hobson's choice that their irrational behavior
has necessitated. They are clearly on record as vehemently opposing nuclear power, and they hate hydro power
dams, agitating to shut down and remove these intrusive artifacts.... They have attacked wind farms for knocking
birds out of the air; ... geo-thermal power [as] a threat to scenic natural resources;... and solar power arrays as a
blight on desert viewscapes. `No power' is rapidly becoming their only available alternative.''
``Energy issues ... cannot be dealt with intelligently as long as [we] let the media be the arbitrator of what is
science. The media way is often to set an outright unchallenged [liar] alongside a highly knowledgeable but
carefully speaking counterpart, and argue that both sides have been heard.''
Robert L. Brueck
``Man's ability to influence the world climate now or in the future ... [is about the same as] my ability to
increase the velocity of a tornado by blowing my breath into it.''
Kent C. Dixon
``An even greater danger [than a policy requiring radical changes in lifestyle] is the acceptance and approval
afforded pseudo-science by policy based on its conclusions.''
A. M. Laurie
``During my 40 years of teaching physics and astronomy, I have seen fads come and go. The media hop on
each and every new theory as though it is a pronouncement from God.''
Along with 58 other organizations in a coalition led by Bluewater Network, PSR is urging Governor Gray Davis and California legislators to support A.B. 1058, which would direct the State Air Resources Board (ARB) to adopt regulations to achieve ``the maximum feasible reduction in carbon dioxide emitted by passenger vehicles and light- duty trucks.''
A letter signed by 34 scientists declares: ``California cannot afford to wait for a national policy on global warming before taking action.'' That State is the largest contributor of CO2 in the U.S., and accounts for a disproportionate share of global CO2 emissions (2%). (See www.earthisland.org.)
According to the Bluewater ``fact sheet,'' transportation is responsible for 57% of the emissions from hydrocarbon fuels, compared with 32% nationwide. ``Potential impacts'' of global warming include disease and pest outbreaks, forest fires, sea level rise, floods, and droughts. Tragically, ``communities of color and low-income populations may be affected disproportionately by both environmental and public health impacts'' of global warming-but not, presumably by the cost of regulations.
Other coalition members include the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Lung Association, the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Scientists include butterfly expert Paul Ehrlich.
The California legislative analysis noted that the lack of health-based criteria to establish goals for ambient air levels of CO2 could make the process of developing regulations relatively difficult. The cost estimate was $800,000 to develop the rules and a ``moderate'' $300,000 annually for the ARB for administration and enforcement. The cost to citizens was not mentioned (see www.leginfo.ca.gov).
The bill was passed out of the Assembly Committee on Transportation on April 16. A Bluewater press release asserts that ``the overwhelming majority of scientists now agree that global warming is real.'' It applauds the ``bold break from Bush policy,'' which has set us on a ``collision course with an environmental and economic disaster of planetary proportions.'' California will show President Bush how to ``protect the environment while maintaining a strong economy.''
Part I of a fictional speculation on the consequences of electing candidates such as those probably favored by Bluewater -Moonshine by Jane Orient and Linda Wright-is available free of charge at www.janeorient.com.