Magazine article Insight on the News

Mr. Gore's Wild Warming Theory

Magazine article Insight on the News

Mr. Gore's Wild Warming Theory

Article excerpt

The vice president believes so ardently in global warming that he wants to impose radical energy Americans. But many scientists say the theory is just hot air.

Vice President Al Gore is no Willard Scott. After all, Scott found his true vocation as the nation's most famous weatherman after a stint as Bozo the Clown. The vice president is engaged in a similar though possibly opposite career trajectory. How else might one explain Gore's mid-July pronouncement that the month of June was the hottest in all recorded history?

"Disasters around the country, like the devastating fires in Florida, show just how vulnerable we are to extreme weather" the vice president claimed. "That is why we must continue to develop commonsense strategies to protect future generations from the grave risks of climate change. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to listen to what the scientists tell us about global climate change, to speak out forcefully, and to act decisively. Numerous disasters and tragedies around the country tell us we cannot wait."

Wrong, says John R. Christy, an associate professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Speaking before the House Small Business Committee in late July, Christy not only disputed the methodology by which the administration is bolstering its claim of global warming, but slammed allegations that we currently are experiencing the "hottest weather" on record by citing records from the National Climatic Data Center. Indeed, the earth has not gotten warmer since the 1940s.

"The spin one places on extreme events can be very misleading," the respected climatologist said of an Associated Press story claiming that Huntsville was experiencing its hottest June on record. "I did some checking and found at least six other years between 1914 and 1953 in which June was hotter. Yes, it was hot in the South but this was due to a weather pattern that placed warm air in the South and cool air in the West. In fact, for the nation as a whole, the temperature in June 1998 was below normal."

Christy is in the mainstream of professionals on this one. A recent Gallop Poll of North American climatologists found that 83 percent reject the global-warming theory upon which Gore and the radical environmentalists base their cause (see p.4).

The vice president, however, is sure. Scientists aside, he has asked the American people to believe that global warming is occurring and is a man-made problem that can be cured only through drastic reductions in just the sort of "greenhouse emissions" that result from modern manufacturing and transportation. To stop the alleged problem, the administration is urging the Senate to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, an extremely controversial agreement that is part of a U.N.-sponsored climate treaty. Under the terms of this agreement the United States would reduce its greenhouse emissions during the next 10 years to 7 percent below 1990 levels.

Administration officials doubt they will receive approval from the Senate, where many question the wisdom of consenting to a treaty that excludes many developing countries including Mexico and China. However, that concern hasn't stopped the administration from throwing tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money to environmental organizations drumming up support for the protocol in what some critics believe is an out-and-out attempt to get it enacted without Senate approval.

"The administration has held town meetings around the country to build support for Kyoto-style policies," reports Joel Bucher, an environmental-policy analyst at the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation. "At these events, speakers from federal agencies typically warn that unless the United States and other nations reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, the local community or economy may be afflicted by outbreaks of malaria and dengue fever, floods, droughts, hurricanes or other natural disasters. …

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