Sunday, April 21, 2002
Most scientists say the Earth is warming. Most of them also think that humans are responsible for it. Or at least they say that in an effort to get research money. I mean, after all, if it were normal for the Earth as a whole to periodically warm and cool, then there'd really be no worries. But, if humans are responsible, then something must be done about it.
I'm skeptical about global warming. I remember 20-some-odd years ago in all of the popular scientific magazines the climate experts warned of the coming ice age.
So, when environmental extremists suggest that we put the brakes on the recovering economy to lower the global temperature by less than 1 degree Celsius.
Former Vice President Al Gore is one of those who sees doom around every corner, despite all of the evidence to the contrary.
In an editorial today in The New York Times Gore takes Bush to task, and uses every one of the Democratic Party's "Big Lies" about Republicans.
Under the presidency of George W. Bush, the environmental and energy policies of our government are completely dominated by a group of current and former oil and chemical company executives who are trying to dismantle America's ability to force them to reduce the extremely dangerous levels of pollution in the earth's atmosphere.
There's "Big Lie" No. 1: Republicans hate nature. In fact, it was probably a Republican who killed Bambi's mom -- and Gore's still mad about it.
The first step was to withdraw from the agreement reached in Kyoto to begin limiting worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases. Then the administration cancelled an agreement requiring automobile companies to make the leap to more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Everyone knows Kyoto was a joke and would never be implemented. The Senate made that clear. Clinton knew it and that's why he never submitted it to Congress for ratification. Why in the world would the U.S. do environmental contortions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when China and India, under the protocol, would be free to emit as much as they want.
Other acts of sabotage are taking place behind the scenes. Just as Enron executives were allowed to interview candidates for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — and to veto those they didn't think would approve of Enron's agenda — ExxonMobil has been allowed to veto the United States government's selection of who will head the prestigious scientific panel that monitors global warming. Dr. Robert Watson, the highly respected leader of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, was blackballed in a memo to the White House from the nation's largest oil company. The memo had its effect last Friday, when Dr. Watson lost his bid for re-election after the administration threw its weight behind the "let's drag our feet" candidate, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri of New Delhi, who is known for his virulent anti-American statements.
There's "Big Lie" No. 2: Republicans are slaves to corporate America. The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats don't care if businesses fail, if a "greater good" results. The problem is that ofttimes the "greater good" is dubious economically.
Why is this happening?
Because the largest polluters know their only hope for escaping restrictions lies in promoting confusion about global warming.
Just as Enron needed auditors who wouldn't blow the whistle when the company lied about the magnitude of its future liabilities, the administration needs scientific reviews that won't sound the alarm on the destruction of the earth's climate balance.
How long they get away with it depends on how long they can sow confusion and doubt. But with folks wearing bikinis in Boston in the middle of April and with the massive melting of ice at both poles and in nearly every mountain glacier on earth, public awareness and concern are growing rapidly.
I love the argument that the science is settled, and if you don't believe me I've got some anecdotes that really settle it. Notice that today's argument is bikinis in Boston. But anytime there is weird weather they attribute it to global warming, even if it is a colder-than-normal winter. Whatever happens with the weather it's global warming.
At a time when the world needs enduring leadership from the United States to rally all nations to join in a concerted effort to stop global warming, the administration is working overtime to block any progress whatsoever.
So tomorrow, on this Earth Day, more than ever before, we need real, forward-thinking leadership and a renewed focus on the environment. True leadership means ensuring that we take the necessary steps to leave a cleaner environment for generations to come — and that means strengthening environmental protections.
The United States has some of the strongest environmental protections in the world. The environment is cleaner today than it was a century ago. It is cleaner today than it was 20 years ago. As far as stopping global warming goes, even Kyoto wasn't promising to put a halt to global warming. Rhetorically it sounds good, but it is also impossible.
I'm not even going to bother with the rest of Gore's column, because it's the same drivel over and over again. If Gore wants to run on this in 2004, he's welcome to. I don't think it will do him any good.