For Immediate Release: August 6, 1998
Contact: David Ridenour
(202) 543-4110 or [email protected]

 

Global Warming Not to Blame for Heat Wave, Temperature Data Shows

President Plays Upon Fears and Emotions of Public to Advance Political Agenda

 

Contrary to statements by both President Bill Clinton and Vice President Albert Gore, the recent heat waves afflicting the south and west do not demonstrate that global warming is underway, according to a new report released by The National Center for Public Policy Research.

At a speech before the American Federation of Teachers on July 21, 1998, President Clinton blamed the recent heat waves on global warming, saying, "As you can see from this sweltering heat the Vice President is right: The climate of our country and our globe is changing. The globe is warming."

But according to the just-released paper, "Don't Like the Weather? Don't Blame it on Global Warming," there are at least two major problems with the President's assertion. First, local weather events don't say very much about the global climate. Because it is unusually warm in one area of the world does not mean the entire planet is warming. In fact, according to NASA's Tiros series of weather satellites, the temperature of the planet actually dropped slightly between 1979 and 1997.

Second, the heat waves in the south and west are not particularly unusual, nor have the high temperatures this year been record-breaking. Los Angeles hit 109° on July 12, 1891, ten degrees warmer than this year's high; Little Rock broke 112° in July 1986, eleven degrees warmer than this year's top temperature; and Death Valley hit 134° on July 10, 1913, five degrees warmer than this year's high.

"President Clinton has seen the 1998 heat wave as an opportunity to generate fear and play on the American people's emotions to promote his global warming policies," said David Ridenour, Vice President of The National Center for Public Policy Research and author of the paper. "What makes 1998 different than other years is not that there is a heat wave, but that a President of the United States would use the human suffering resulting from a heat wave to promote his own political agenda."

At this writing more than 130 people have died from heat-related causes in the south and west since the heat waves began.

The paper also shows that a number of the reports calling the summer of 1998 the warmest on record were based on incomplete temperature records and thus inaccurate. It also shows why claims of a link between global warming and other extreme weather events ­ including this year's Florida fires, 1996's Northeastern blizzard and 1995's hurricanes ­ are false.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, non-profit educational foundation based in Washington, D.C. For copies of the report, "Don't Like the Weather? Don't Blame it on Global Warming," or to arrange an interview, contact David Ridenour at 202/543-4110 or via e-mail at: [email protected]. The paper is also available on the web at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA206.html.

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