I am no chemist so maybe I am missing something here but, as far as I know, CO2 absorption into water is greatest in COLD water. So it should be global COOLING that causes an increase in ocean acidity. So is all the panic about ocean acidification -- as in the paper below -- an acknowledgment that it is cooling, not warming, that threatens us? Journal abstract follows. -- JR
Evidence for Upwelling of Corrosive "Acidified" Water onto the Continental Shelf
Richard A. Feely et al.
The absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into the ocean lowers the pH of the waters. This so-called ocean acidification could have important consequences for marine ecosystems. To better understand the extent of this ocean acidification in coastal waters, we conducted hydrographic surveys along the continental shelf of western North America from central Canada to northern Mexico. We observed seawater that is undersaturated with respect to aragonite upwelling onto large portions of the continental shelf, reaching depths of ~40 to 120 meters along most transect lines and all the way to the surface on one transect off northern California. Although seasonal upwelling of the undersaturated waters onto the shelf is a natural phenomenon in this region, the ocean uptake of anthropogenic CO2 has increased the areal extent of the affected area.
Science 13 June 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5882, pp. 1490 - 1492
Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas
By meteorologist John Coleman
You may want to give credit where credit is due to Al Gore and his global warming campaign the next time you fill your car with gasoline, because there is a direct connection between Global Warming and four dollar a gallon gas. It is shocking, but true, to learn that the entire Global Warming frenzy is based on the environmentalist’s attack on fossil fuels, particularly gasoline. All this big time science, international meetings, thick research papers, dire threats for the future; all of it, comes down to their claim that the carbon dioxide in the exhaust from your car and in the smoke stacks from our power plants is destroying the climate of planet Earth. What an amazing fraud; what a scam.
"The future of our civilization lies in the balance": That’s the battle cry of the High Priest of Global Warming Al Gore and his fellow, agenda-driven disciples as they predict a calamitous outcome from anthropogenic global warming. According to Mr. Gore the polar ice caps will collapse and melt and sea levels will rise 20 feet inundating the coastal cities making 100 million of us refugees. Vice President Gore tells us numerous Pacific islands will be totally submerged and uninhabitable. He tells us global warming will disrupt the circulation of the ocean waters, dramatically changing climates, throwing the world food supply into chaos. He tells us global warming will turn hurricanes into super storms, produce droughts, wipe out the polar bears and result in bleaching of coral reefs. He tells us tropical diseases will spread to mid latitudes and heat waves will kill tens of thousands. He preaches to us that we must change our lives and eliminate fossil fuels or face the dire consequences. The future of our civilization is in the balance.
With a preacher’s zeal, Mr. Gore sets out to strike terror into us and our children and make us feel we are all complicit in the potential demise of the planet. Here is my rebuttal.
There is no significant man made global warming. There has not been any in the past, there is none now and there is no reason to fear any in the future. The climate of Earth is changing. It has always changed. But mankind’s activities have not overwhelmed or significantly modified the natural forces.
Through all history, Earth has shifted between two basic climate regimes: ice ages and what paleoclimatologists call “Interglacial periods”. For the past 10 thousand years the Earth has been in an interglacial period. That might well be called nature’s global warming because what happens during an interglacial period is the Earth warms up, the glaciers melt and life flourishes. Clearly from our point of view, an interglacial period is greatly preferred to the deadly rigors of an ice age. Mr. Gore and his crowd would have us believe that the activities of man have overwhelmed nature during this interglacial period and are producing an unprecedented, out of control warming.
Well, it is simply not happening. Worldwide there was a significant natural warming trend in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a Solar cycle peaked with lots of sunspots and solar flares. That ended in 1998 and now the Sun has gone quiet with fewer and fewer Sun spots, and the global temperatures have gone into decline. Earth has cooled for almost ten straight years. So, I ask Al Gore, where’s the global warming?
The cooling trend is so strong that recently the head of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had to acknowledge it. He speculated that nature has temporarily overwhelmed mankind’s warming and it may be ten years or so before the warming returns. Oh, really? We are supposed to be in a panic about man-made global warming and the whole thing takes a ten year break because of the lack of Sun spots. If this weren’t so serious, it would be laughable.
Now allow me to talk a little about the science behind the global warming frenzy. I have dug through thousands of pages of research papers, including the voluminous documents published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I have worked my way through complicated math and complex theories. Here’s the bottom line: the entire global warming scientific case is based on the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels. They don’t have any other issue. Carbon Dioxide, that’s it.
Hello Al Gore; Hello UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Your science is flawed; your hypothesis is wrong; your data is manipulated. And, may I add, your scare tactics are deplorable. The Earth does not have a fever. Carbon dioxide does not cause significant global warming.
The focus on atmospheric carbon dioxide grew out a study by Roger Revelle who was an esteemed scientist at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute. He took his research with him when he moved to Harvard and allowed his students to help him process the data for his paper. One of those students was Al Gore. That is where Gore got caught up in this global warming frenzy. Revelle’s paper linked the increases in carbon dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere with warming. It labeled CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
Charles Keeling, another researcher at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute, set up a system to make continuous CO2 measurements. His graph of these increases has now become known as the Keeling Curve. When Charles Keeling died in 2005, his son David, also at Scripps, took over the measurements. Here is what the Keeling curve shows: an increase in CO2 from 315 parts per million in 1958 to 385 parts per million today, an increase of 70 parts per million or about 20 percent.
All the computer models, all of the other findings, all of the other angles of study, all come back to and are based on CO2 as a significant greenhouse gas. It is not. Here is the deal about CO2, carbon dioxide: It is a natural component of our atmosphere. It has been there since time began. It is absorbed and emitted by the oceans. It is used by every living plant to trigger photosynthesis. Nothing would be green without it. And we humans; we create it. Every time we breathe out, we emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is not a pollutant. It is not smog. It is a naturally occurring invisible gas.
Let me illustrate. I estimate that this square in front of my face contains 100,000 molecules of atmosphere. Of those 100,000 only 38 are CO2; 38 out of a hundred thousand. That makes it a trace component. Let me ask a key question: how can this tiny trace upset the entire balance of the climate of Earth? It can’t. That’s all there is to it; it can’t.
The UN IPCC has attracted billions of dollars for the research to try to make the case that CO2 is the culprit of run-away, man-made global warming. The scientists have come up with very complex creative theories and done elaborate calculations and run computer models they say prove those theories. They present us with a concept they call radiative forcing. The research organizations and scientists who are making a career out of this theory, keep cranking out the research papers. Then the IPCC puts on big conferences at exotic places, such as the recent conference in Bali. The scientists endorse each other’s papers, they are summarized and voted on, and voila! we are told global warming is going to kill us all unless we stop burning fossil fuels.
May I stop here for a few historical notes? First, the internal combustion engine and gasoline were awful polluters when they were first invented. And, both gasoline and automobile engines continued to leave a layer of smog behind right up through the 1960’s. Then science and engineering came to the environmental rescue. Better exhaust and ignition systems, catalytic converters, fuel injectors, better engineering throughout the engine and reformulated gasoline have all contributed to a huge reduction in the exhaust emissions from today’s cars.
Their goal then was to only exhaust carbon dioxide and water vapor, two gases widely accepted as natural and totally harmless. Anyone old enough to remember the pall of smog that used to hang over all our cities knows how much improvement there has been. So the environmentalists, in their battle against fossil fuels and automobiles had a very good point forty years ago, but now they have to focus almost entirely on the once harmless carbon dioxide. And, that is the rub. Carbon dioxide is not an environmental problem; they just want you now to think it is.
Numerous independent research projects have been done about the greenhouse impact from increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. These studies have proven to my total satisfaction that CO2 is not creating a major greenhouse effect and is not causing an increase in temperatures. By the way, before his death, Roger Revelle coauthored a paper cautioning that CO2 and its greenhouse effect did not warrant extreme countermeasures.
So now it has come down to an intense campaign, orchestrated by environmentalists claiming that the burning of fossil fuels dooms the planet to run-away global warming. Ladies and Gentlemen, that is a myth.
So how has the entire global warming frenzy with all its predictions of dire consequences, become so widely believed, accepted and regarded as a real threat to planet Earth? That is the most amazing part of the story.
To start with, global warming has the backing of the United Nations, a major world force. Second, it has the backing of a former Vice President and very popular political figure. Third it has the endorsement of Hollywood, and that’s enough for millions. And, fourth, the environmentalists love global warming. It is their tool to combat fossil fuels. So with the environmentalists, the UN, Gore and Hollywood touting Global Warming and predictions of doom and gloom, the media has scrambled with excitement to climb aboard. After all the media loves a crisis.
From YK2 to killer bees the media just loves to tell us our lives are threatened. And the media is biased toward liberal, so it’s pre-programmed to support Al Gore and UN. CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press and here in San Diego The Union Tribune are all constantly promoting the global warming crisis.
So who is going to go against all of that power? Not the politicians. So now the President of the United States, just about every Governor, most Senators and most Congress people, both of the major current candidates for President, most other elected officials on all levels of government are all riding the Al Gore Global Warming express. That is one crowded bus.
I suspect you haven’t heard it because the mass media did not report it, but I am not alone on the no man-made warming side of this issue. On May 20th, a list of the names of over thirty-one thousand scientists who refute global warming was released. Thirty-one thousand of which 9,000 are Ph.Ds. Think about that. Thirty-one thousand. That dwarfs the supposed 2,500 scientists on the UN panel.
In the past year, five hundred of scientists have issued public statements challenging global warming. A few more join the chorus every week. There are about 100 defectors from the UN IPCC. There was an International Conference of Climate Change Skeptics in New York in March of this year. One hundred of us gave presentations. Attendance was limited to six hundred people. Every seat was taken.
There are a half dozen excellent internet sites that debunk global warming. And, thank goodness for KUSI and Michael McKinnon, its owner. He allows me to post my comments on global warming on the website KUSI.com. Following the publicity of my position from Fox News, Glen Beck on CNN, Rush Limbaugh and a host of other interviews, thousands of people come to the website and read my comments. I get hundreds of supportive emails from them. No I am not alone and the debate is not over.
In my remarks in New York I speculated that perhaps we should sue Al Gore for fraud because of his carbon credits trading scheme. That remark has caused a stir in the fringe media and on the internet. The concept is that if the media won’t give us a hearing and the other side will not debate us, perhaps we could use a Court of law to present our papers and our research and if the Judge is unbiased and understands science, we win. The media couldn’t ignore that. That idea has become the basis for legal research by notable attorneys and discussion among global warming debunkers, but it’s a long way from the Court room.
I am very serious about this issue. I think stamping out the global warming scam is vital to saving our wonderful way of life.
The battle against fossil fuels has controlled policy in this country for decades. It was the environmentalist’s prime force in blocking any drilling for oil in this country and the blocking the building of any new refineries, as well. So now the shortage they created has sent gasoline prices soaring. And, it has lead to the folly of ethanol, which is also partly behind the fuel price increases; that and our restricted oil policy.
The ethanol folly is also creating a food crisis throughput the world – it is behind the food price rises for all the grains, for cereals, bread, everything that relies on corn or soy or wheat, including animals that are fed corn, most processed foods that use corn oil or soybean oil or corn syrup. Food shortages or high costs have led to food riots in some third world countries and made the cost of eating out or at home budget busting for many.
So now the global warming myth actually has lead to the chaos we are now enduring with energy and food prices. We pay for it every time we fill our gas tanks. Not only is it running up gasoline prices, it has changed government policy impacting our taxes, our utility bills and the entire focus of government funding. And, now the Congress is considering a cap and trade carbon credits policy. We the citizens will pay for that, too. It all ends up in our taxes and the price of goods and services.
So the Global warming frenzy is, indeed, threatening our civilization. Not because global warming is real; it is not. But because of the all the horrible side effects of the global warming scam.
I love this civilization. I want to do my part to protect it. If Al Gore and his global warming scare dictates the future policy of our governments, the current economic downturn could indeed become a recession, drift into a depression and our modern civilization could fall into an abyss. And it would largely be a direct result of the global warming frenzy.
My mission, in what is left of a long and exciting lifetime, is to stamp out this Global Warming silliness and let all of us get on with enjoying our lives and loving our planet, Earth.
An amusing admission
The article excerpted below appeared under the heading: "Why Are So Many TV Meteorologists and Weathercasters Climate 'Skeptics'?". That they might have a better-than-average understanding of the science involved is not one of the explanations canvassed
All three staff meteorologists at KLTV, the ABC affiliate broadcasting to the Tyler-Longview-Jacksonville area of Northeast Texas, joined forces last November to deliver an on-air rebuttal of the idea that humans are changing the earth's climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, representing the work of hundreds of scientists from 130 countries, had declared eight months earlier that warming of the atmosphere was "unequivocal" and that greenhouse gases from human activities were "very likely" the cause of most of the warming since the mid-20th century.
The three KLTV weathercasters - appearing in a Nov. 8 story by a station news reporter - let it be known, however, that they were unconvinced. Meteorologist Grant Dade: "Is the Earth warming? Yes, I think it is. But is man causing that? No. It's a simple climate cycle our climate goes through over thousands of years."
One of his KLTV colleagues said Earth "will not be warming anymore" in 20 to 30 years. The station's third weathercaster suggested that increased attention to man-made climate change was being driven by scientists who want "grant money."
Such skeptical pronouncements are not confined to broadcast meteorologists working in smaller media markets. Indeed, they appear to many to be fairly common among TV meteorologists and weathercasters, more the rule than the exception. John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel and now a weathercaster for San Diego's independent KUSI, argues forcefully (pdf) that manmade global warming is "the greatest scam in history" - a quote that was included in the KLTV story, with no countering viewpoints offered.
Active in a recent Heartland Institute "skeptic's conference" on climate change in New York City, Coleman is one of the most highly visible weathercasters championing the views of climate skeptics. Neil Frank, the 25-year director of the National Hurricane Center, recently retired after 21 years as chief meteorologist at Houston's CBS affiliate, KHOU, where he sometimes made skeptical remarks about anthropogenic climate change. Frank in 2006 told The Washington Post that it is "a hoax" and that greenhouse emissions actually may help what he called "a carbon dioxide-starved world."
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported in May that despite some broadcast meteorologists' belief that long term climate change is not their area of expertise, Minneapolis forecasters are still speaking out on the issue and "most of them are landing on the side of the skeptics."
At a time when most climate scientists - as reflected in the IPCC's 2007 reports - express growing certainty that Earth is warming, that humans are largely responsible, and that consequences may be severe, why do so many television weathercasters appear to think otherwise?
"It does seem that a larger proportion of broadcast meteorologists are climate change skeptics than is the case with meteorologists as a whole, but we really don't know what either percentage really is, and if it is true, we certainly don't know why," said Ronald McPherson, executive director emeritus of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). If some large percentage of broadcast weathercasters are indeed skeptics, McPherson said in a phone interview that he suspects there are probably multiple reasons....
Last September, in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, two prominent broadcast meteorologists and AMS leaders published a guest editorial (pdf), "Communicating Global Climate Change to the Public and Clients." In it, they criticized some of their fellow weathercasters who have been speaking out skeptically about anthropogenic global warming: "Increasing numbers of broadcast meteorologists, to whom the public looks for information and guidance on climate change and global warming, are not offering scientific information but rather, all too often, nonscientific personal opinions in the media, including personal blogs. Alarmingly, many weathercasters and certified broadcast meteorologists dismiss, in most cases without any solid scientific arguments, the conclusions of the National Research Council (NRC), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and other peer-reviewed research."
The editorial's two co-authors were Bob Ryan, AMS past president and chief meteorologist for Washington, D.C.'s NBC-owned WRC, and John Toohey-Morales, AMS commissioner on professional affairs and chief meteorologist of NBC Telemundo's WSCV in Miami. In a phone interview with the Yale Forum, Ryan said he thinks many "naysayers" about the idea of manmade climate change among broadcast weather forecasters "are coming from a perspective of the policy first - or they're against it because they think it will hurt the economy, so how can I set out to punch holes in the theory - rather than scientifically testing a theory." In certain cases, skeptical weathercasters are "putting their own personal views - sometimes even fundamentalist religious beliefs - first, and then looking at climate change from the standpoint of preconceived things they believe in," he said...
At Penn State University, one of the nation's leading academic institutions educating students for careers as broadcast meteorologists, senior meteorology lecturer Paul Knight said in a phone interview that lectures address subjects including the IPCC and long-range climate projections. The disagreements between television weathercasters and climate scientists involve "a jurisdictional war," and "there's nobody free of sin in this matter," Knight said. "I'm seeing a row here, but it's not a bad row."
On one side, there seems to be "a disdain in the orthodox scientific research community for those who are not smart enough to get a Ph.D. or do research, and instead go into the fluff of television and just forecast the weather," he said.
On the other side, "there's a certain amount of disdain from television meteorologists who are predicting the weather for those who pontificate about what their [climate] models show," he added.
Knight summed up his own view of climate change this way: "There's no question that warming is going on. To say it's a hoax is to deny the data. To say it's all human-caused is foolish, too."Common sense suggests that both factors are in play, he added. "Then the question is, to what degree? How do we differentiate? The more that folks are willing to admit that, we'll get to a good policy decision and there will be less polarization."
One prominent weathercaster still undecided about the biggest question about climate change - substantially human-caused or not? - is Gene Norman of KHOU in Houston, who said he looks forward to the Denver conference as an opportunity to learn more about the subject. Norman, who replaced Frank recently as chief meteorologist at KHOU, was chair of the AMS Board of Broadcast Meteorology last year, overseeing the AMS certification process among other duties. Immediately before joining the Houston station, he was chief meteorologist at Atlanta's WGCL, and before that he had spent eight years with NASA developing weather-monitoring technology for the space shuttle.
"My bottom line [about climate change] is I think something is happening," he said. "Is it human activity? I don't know. I need to get better educated." Norman, like others, said a good part of the skepticism among weathercasters stems from the reactions their questions have elicited in the past. "Quite a few on television around the country are skeptical only because they feel they have asked questions and raised issues and been told to be quiet, this is the truth," he said.
Skepticism is reinforced "because we know things change that don't necessarily have to do with global warming. We know certain sensors have been moved, which has become a politicized issue," Norman said."It's difficult to communicate about climate to the public," he said. "To purely say it's human beings causing all this trouble, a lot of us wonder. We just wonder.
The world's agriculture and water crisis is only going to get worse. As China and India grow, their populations are demanding more and wider varieties of food stuffs, competition for arable land is intensifying and freshwater withdrawals of agriculture are soaring. Food prices are rising, in large part because agriculture suppliers can barely keep up with today's demand. So what is the world doing? Reorienting land away from food production and toward plants cultivated for energy needs.
This could be the single most destructive set of policy mistakes made in a generation. From time immemorial, mankind has struggled to produce enough food. Wars have been fought over arable land. Whole populations have been forced to migrate, and untold millions of human beings have died because circumstances, climate, war or political ineptitude have deprived them of what the German language describes as "Lebensmittel," or a "means for survival." This problem hasn't disappeared; our world today needs to feed some six billion people. According to some projections, that number will rise to nine billion by 2050.
So why introduce a new competitor for this scarce resource? The blame falls squarely on global warming advocates. Politicians, business, academia are all struggling to come to grips with it. But why? The impact of global warming will be felt in decades at worst, and no one at this stage can predict with any degree of reliability what its consequences might be. Does it make sense to reduce the use of fossil energy? Yes, for many reasons. Are we right in dealing carefully and responsibly with what is left of the oil? And will biofuels really solve our problems?
If there's one certainty, it is this: The production of biofuels has stimulated a massive, and destructive, reorientation of the world's agriculture markets. The U.S. Department of Energy calculates that every 10,000 liters of water produces as little as five liters of ethanol, or one to two liters of biodiesel. Biofuels are economical nonsense, ecologically useless and ethically indefensible. This year, the U.S. will use around 130 million tons of corn for biofuels. This corn was not available as human food, nor as fodder to animals. Is this the right strategy, for a product that won't satisfy even a small percentage of our energy needs?
The biofuel madness is contributing to water shortages that are already endemic. Stretches of the Rio Grande, which partly separates the U.S. from Mexico, have dried up in regular intervals since 2001. China's Yellow River ran dry in 1972, in 1996 and in 1997. Worse yet, we are overusing ground water in large parts of the world. Water levels are sinking rapidly both in China as well as in India's Punjab state. Great aquifers, whether in the Sahara or in the southwestern U.S., are being depleted rapidly. This is water that dates from thousands of years ago. Like oil, once gone, it is lost forever.
Increasing agricultural productivity is only part of the solution. The real juggernaut is to encourage the responsible use of water. And the only way to do that is to introduce competitive pricing. Water is being wasted and misused because few people are even aware of its worth. Today, 94% of available water is used by agriculture - and because there are no cost consequences for the farmer, almost all of that water is underused or misused. The same is true for water used in industry and for household purposes. If the cost of infrastructure is not covered, the degradation of municipal water distribution will continue. Water for basic needs should of course remain free. But there is no need whatsoever to subsidize water to wash a car, fill a swimming pool or maintain a golf course.
The biofuel craze, egged on by global warming activists, has helped fuel a huge agricultural crisis. But this crisis can at least be partially mitigated through better and more efficient use of the resources that we already have. Right now, the urgent issue is water, not global warming, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer.
Survey: 74 percent of Congressional Republicans are climate "deniers"
A National Journal survey of members of Congress found that 74 percent of Congressional Republicans do not believe that global warming is caused by humans. The poll asked 39 Democrats and 39 Republicans if they thought that "it's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of man-made pollution". The answers are anonymous, except for party affilliation. Only 26 percent of Republicans answered yes, with the rest answering no. Among Democrats, 95 percent answered yes. The survey's results include some choice anonymous quotes from the deniers:
"Reasonable people have doubts. For every Al Gore, there is an intelligent scientist armed with legitimate facts to debunk him."
"In the '70s, the `consensus of scientists' was that we were beginning global cooling. Now it is global warming. Excuse me if I am skeptical of this newest form of secular religion. Perhaps we should pause and take a breath before we drink the new Kool-Aid!"
"If there's one thing poll after poll indicates, it's that the science is not settled on this issue."
"What has been proven is that a well-targeted pop-culture campaign can trump even the best of science. The bad news is, a very few will get very rich, and the rest of us will foot the bill with mythical creations like cap and trade. The impact of such programs on the environment: Zero. The cost to the American public: Huge. The grin on Al Gore's very wealthy face: Priceless!"
The survey quotes both Democrats who responded no.
"[Evidence is conflicting on whether] warming is man-made, but there shouldn't be any doubt that a man-made solution is needed. The trend won't reverse on its own."
"This global-warming debate is a farce."
Of the ten Republicans who responded yes, the National Journal quotes one of them:
"Put it this way: Is there anyone who reasonably believes that the emissions caused by man have no effect on the environment? It doesn't take a degree in science to accept the concept that the actions of billions of people driving millions of cars do indeed impact the world around us."
America's Native Criminal Class
Locking up energy, driving up prices and destroying jobs to "save the planet"
There is no distinctly native American criminal class, Mark Twain observed - except Congress. A century later, government power and intrusiveness have increased exponentially - and special interests have adapted by employing lobbyists who can navigate Washington, explain technology to tech-challenged members and staffs, persuade legislators that provisions are vital (or disastrous), and give clients "a seat at the table" where subsidies, mandates, taxes, preferences and penalties are meted out.
The system is both the cause and result of far too many congressmen becoming members of what commentator Charles Krauthammer calls an "ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class" that has arrogated unto itself the right to rule American citizens.
Even legislators who don't keep wads of thank-you cash in their freezers have committed misfeasance and malfeasance, by handling vital energy, environmental and economic matters in ways that would likely be prosecuted if done by businessmen. Lawmakers, eco-activists and companies routinely engage in social experimentation and central planning akin to previous Great Leaps Forward - and refuse to acknowledge the damage their actions inflict on workers, families, minorities and other businesses.
Today, in the name of protecting the environment, politicians have locked up enough oil, gas, coal and uranium to power the United States literally for centuries. Representatives of six of the nation's eight biggest petroleum-guzzling states routinely vote to ban drilling off our coasts and in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Interior Department estimates that these lands could hold more than the proven oil reserves of Iran or Iraq: 139 billion barrels that could be obtained with today's technology.
This energy belongs to all Americans. But politicians keep it off limits, and force us to consume oil that the rest of the world desperately needs. Food and fuel prices soar, poor families get pummeled, and we are compelled to send trillions of dollars to corrupt dictators, and give up jobs, tax revenues, royalties and security that developing US resources would generate.
Drilling bans also increase the risk of more spills from tankers carrying oil to replace what politicians have put off limits. In sixty years of offshore oil operations, only the 1969 Santa Barbara blowout resulted in significant oil reaching shore. Offshore oil platforms rarely pollute; they create magnificent artificial reefs. As a scuba diver, I've seen them firsthand, including the beauty where that blowout occurred.
So when Senator Maria Cantwell and colleagues oppose drilling - and then demand that President Bush tell OPEC countries to produce more oil - they are telling the world's poorest people: Drop dead. We don't care if you need oil and soaring prices are killing you. We refuse to do our part. We are consumers and importers, not producers. We will always put our eco-centric attitudes and our ties to green pressure groups ahead of your welfare.
When Congress doles out subsidies for ethanol, it converts tens of millions of acres of crop and habitat land into cornfields, diverts billions of gallons of water and fertilizer from food to energy, and sends fuel and food prices even higher.
When it silently endorses NRDC campaigns to stop petroleum leasing and drilling in western states - it shows it's happy to eliminate more jobs and energy production in the face of soaring demand and prices, and turn those states into playgrounds for wealthy elites, unaffordable for average Americans.
However, for sheer economy-wrecking, nothing compares to climate change proposals like the 491-page Warner-Lieberman bill. The Senate rejected it last week, but more proposals will soon be introduced - even though 32,000 scientists have signed the consensus-busting Oregon Petition, saying they see "no convincing evidence" that human greenhouse gas emissions disrupt Earth's climate.
Average global temperatures have not increased since 1998, even though atmospheric CO2 levels have risen by 3% a year. Moreover, notes meteorologist Anthony Watts, the 1.4 degree F decline in global temperatures since January 2007 offsets the total net warming during the twentieth century. And this temperature stabilization and downturn was completely missed by every computer model that alarmists use to conjure up apocalyptic climate scenarios.
All this means little to the "arrogant knowledge class." Senators Clinton, Obama, Reid, Boxer, McCain and colleagues still insist that US carbon dioxide emissions be slashed by 71% - to levels last seen in 1937, during the Great Depression, when our population was one-third of today's, and electricity use was in its infancy.
They would increasingly tax the 85% of our energy that is generated by fossil fuels. Gasoline could hit $6 or even $8 a gallon, and the cost of electricity and natural gas could more than double by 2030, according to the American Council on Capital Formation and other analysts. Moreover, sequestering all that plant-fertilizing CO2 would cost millions of additional megawatts and trillions of additional dollars in electricity.
The impact on services for poor, elderly, disabled and homebound people - and on airlines and manufacturing - would be disastrous. In impoverished Third World countries, the effects would be catastrophic and lethal, as global warming pacts are translated into ever higher prices for food, and a permanent dearth of affordable electricity for economic growth, lights, refrigeration and sanitation.
Many people and lawmakers finally grasp the magnitude of these costs. But four-alarm politicians have the support of activists, banks, scientists and corporations who say the climate bills are landmark "green" legislation - as in $$$$ for research, complex cap-and-trade tax deals, government handouts, mandates and subsidies for unreliable renewable energy, and opportunities to gain advantages over competitors.
Notes the Wall Street Journal: the $3.3 TRILLION in cap-and-trade auction revenues that Senator Boxer "expects to scoop up" by 2050 under Warner-Lieberman were exceeded only by the trillions in "revenue handouts" she had already promised to its supporters. Make no mistake. Warner-Lieberman and its kin have nothing to do with saving the planet. They are about the power to control - and curtail - the power we rely on: for homes, offices, hospitals, food, consumer products, transportation and modern living standards.
They are about who gets to decide: where our energy will come from . how much we will have . what it will cost . whether there will be enough to lift more families out of poverty . and who will be the winners and losers in a world of government-mandated energy scarcity. They are about creating a massive, regressive tax and regulatory scheme - to redistribute people's incomes to constituencies that politicians judge are more likely to keep them in office.
It's truly ironic. Fifty years ago, Democrats were defending the Jim Crow laws they had enacted to keep blacks from schools, lunch counters, buses and drinking fountains. Today, Democrats are leading the fight to impose what Congress of Racial Equality chairman Roy Innis aptly calls "Jim Crow energy policies" that block access to energy, drive up prices, and keep minorities from achieving economic civil rights.
Even more ironic, four decades ago, Republicans led by Senator Everett Dirksen wrote and enacted landmark civil rights bills. Today, a biracial Democratic presidential candidate and Senate Republicans like John Warner and John McCain are championing Jim Crow energy and climate policies that trample on economic opportunities and civil rights. These policies are far more criminal than anything Mark Twain ever dreamed possible.
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