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February 2005



"Meeting the Climate Challenge": Left-of-Center Groups Warn of Impending Doom


by Amy Ridenour

 

Whether you love them or would just love to leave them out in the cold, enthusiastic advocates of the global warming theory are not known for an exquisite sense of timing.

A year ago, former Vice President Al Gore picked a sub-zero, wind-whipped day in Manhattan to take over the stage of the storied Beacon Theater and accuse President Bush with ignoring the perils of global warming. Gore's rant was delivered on the coldest day in a decade in New York City, while a stagnant cold front sent wind-chill readings plunging to 100 degrees below zero in parts of New England.

This January, as an Arctic clipper sailed across the northern United States and blanketed New England with several feet of snow, global warming alarmists topped Gore's act - and then some.

A new report called "Meeting the Climate Challenge" by three liberal think-tanks in the U.S., Britain and Australia generated dozens of headlines around the globe similar to this one in Britain's London-based Independent: "Global Warming Approaching Point of No Return."

In creating a collaborative product by the Center for American Progress, the U.K.'s Institute for Public Policy Research and the Australia Institute, the authors went far further in terms of predicting a climate change disaster than any other global warming advocates to-date.

While the U.N. Panel on Climate Change and many environmental groups project severe climate change occurring by the end of this century, the latest report warns the point of no return is only 10 years away.

To ward off the coming apocalypse, the report warns, the U.S. and other wealthy countries must immediately commit themselves to drastic cuts in oil and gas consumption and agree to tap a quarter of their electricity from renewable resources such as solar and wind power. It also calls for them to double their research spending on low-carbon energy by 2010.

This latest over-the-top warning of impending doom appears to be a last-ditch assault by the international global warming lobby to pressure the U.S. to impose draconian cuts in energy consumption equivalent to those demanded by the 1997 Kyoto Treaty on climate change.

The treaty, which would curtail current U.S. energy use by some 30 percent, becomes binding on its signatories in mid-February, but many of the world's largest emitters of carbon dioxide - including China, India, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico - are exempt from its provisions.

The U.S. Senate voted 95-0 in 1997 to urge the Clinton Administration not to send the treaty to Capitol Hill for ratification. President Bush formally rejected Kyoto in his first term.

While Russia recently ratified it, many observers believe Putin was pressured into it by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other European Union officials who threatened to deny membership in the World Trade Organization - a denial that would have cost Russia tens of billions of dollars annually.

Andrei Illarionov, Putin's chief economic adviser, repeatedly has cast doubts on whether Putin will uphold his commit to Kyoto, noting that none of the treaty's assertions about climate change have been documented by scientific data.

"There is no evidence confirming a positive linking between the level of carbon dioxide and temperature change," Ilarionov says. "The U.N. panel's so-called scientific data are considerably distorted and in many cases falsified."

Ilarionov further contends that global warming crusaders are spurred by an ideology that compares with "the human-hating totalitarian ideologies like Nazism and Marxism, which we had the bad fortune to deal with during the 20th Century."

Ilarionov and others contend the sole objective of climate change advocates is to disrupt the advanced economies of the U.S., Europe and Japan by convincing multi-national companies to move plants and jobs to developing countries that don't have to comply with emissions restrictions.

"The wealth of the United States is, and has been the prime target," says Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center in Warrenton, Virginia. Moving American factories to Third World nations doesn't make sense, he contends, "because that means the same emissions will be coming out of the jungles of South America instead of Chicago. So where is the protection of the environment?"

He's right. The latest spurge of dire warnings about global warming deserve instant burial in the snow drifts currently laying siege to the United Nations complex along Manhattan's East River.

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Amy Ridenour is president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Comments may be sent to [email protected].


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