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Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much. And I will be amplifying on some of the points that you have made.
I would just like to suggest that, as a 20-year veteran of the Science Committee, this issue has been before me, and I have been through many hearings and many actual examinations of this particular issue.
Last week, President Obama pledged that during his administration he would see, and I quote, that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda, and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology. End of quote.
Viewing this commitment through the lens of global warming gives us some hope that President Obama will break from the ranks of the lockstep conformity that is demanded of the politicized scientists concerning the issue of global warming. Perhaps now we can get on with discovering the truth through science, not chicken little science, but real science, and leave the political pressure out of it.
Unfortunately, up to today politicians like Vice President Al Gore have done their best to silence the rational voices of scientists who have been skeptical of Mr. Gore's agenda.
Let no one forget, Vice President Al Gore's first act as Vice President was to insist that Dr. William Happer be fired as chief scientist for the Department of Energy. Dr. Happer apparently had uttered words indicating that he was open-minded to the issue of global warming. So: Off with his head. Out the door. They wanted someone who was going to provide grants only to scientists whose would verify this man-made global warming theory. Dr. Happer was relieved in 1993, the first year of the Clinton-Gore administration. So for over a decade all we have heard is a one-sided drumbeat.
Dr. William Gray, now emeritus professor of atmospheric science at the Colorado State University, and a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, verified this. Quote: I had NOAA money for 30 years, Gray recounted. And when the Clinton administration came in and Gore started directing some of that environmental stuff, I was cut off. I couldn't get any money from NOAA. They turned me down 13 straight proposals. End of quote.
This man is one of the most prominent hurricane experts in the world who before received grants for study and scientific grants, but after Clinton-Gore he was turned down 13 straight times.
This gross intimidation of other scientists was done to lay the foundation; because if it could happen to this prominent scientist, it was going to happen to them. But it was done to lay down a foundation for a radical agenda that would change our life. The first thing he had to do was to have hand-picked scientists create fear that the planet was in jeopardy. Then these hand-picked scientists had to lie about everybody agreeing to that type of prediction.
Unfortunately, for all those scientists who went along with this scheme, now over a decade later, there is a big problem. The claim that the science is clear and there is a consensus that humans are directly responsible for global warming is now as clearly wrong as it is dishonest. Why is it clearly wrong? Because it has not been getting warmer for the last 8 years. It is harder for everybody to ignore that fact, especially as more and more scientists are stepping up and pointing it out. It is not getting any warmer. In fact, it hasn't been getting warmer for 8 years.
In January, a U.S. Senate minority report stated over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe challenged manmade global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as disagreeing with former Vice President Al Gore. The esteemed scientists being referred to come from a wide range of disciplines. Several are Nobel Prize winners. And many work at the most respected scientific institutions in the world. They totally disagree with the theory. They call it into question, this manmade global theory claim.
Finally, just last year the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine released the names of some 31,478 scientists who signed a petition rejecting the claims of human-caused global warming. Of those 31,000, 9,029 have Ph.D.s. Many currently work in climatology, meteorology, atmospheric, environmental and geophysical studies, as well as astronomical studies, as well as the biological fields that directly relate to the climate change controversy.
So, there is no consensus. Thousands of scientists are disagreeing with what has been foisted upon us. Yet, we are bombarded by radical environmentalists and the media hype with the common refrain, ``case closed, the global warming is real.'' It is repeated over and over again. ``Case closed, global warming is real.'' Well, it is repeated as if it were a mantra by religious zealots. It was pounded into the public consciousness over the airwaves, in print and even in congressional hearings. Case closed. Well, this was obviously a brazen attempt to end open discussion and to silence differing views, dismissing the need to explore legitimate contrary arguments on both sides of the issue.
Again, there are hundreds of prominent scientists and meteorologists and heads of science departments at major universities, Nobel Prize winners and others who are highly skeptical and highly critical of this manmade global warming theory. But case closed. We shouldn't even listen to their arguments. There is Dr. Richard Lindzen, for example, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been adamant in his opposition, as has Dr. William Gray, whom I mentioned a moment ago, a world-renowned hurricane expert and fellow at the American Meteorological Society. He recently pointed out that the 15-year prediction by global warming activists that the Earth would by now be suffering many more and much more severe hurricanes, that that prediction was dead wrong. It doesn't come from me. It comes from Dr. William Gray, one of the most renowned hurricane experts in the world, who could not get a research grant during the Clinton-Gore administration.
So, let us note, the planet is not getting warmer. Hurricanes are at a 30-year low. But these views, and the views of so many more prominent scholars and scientists who also agree with these views, their views don't matter. The debate is over. Al Gore has his Nobel Prize, and the film ``An Inconvenient Truth'' has its Academy Award. So shut up and get your mind in lockstep with the politically correct prevailing wisdom, or at least what the media tells us is the prevailing wisdom.
And no questions, please. The case is closed.
We have heard this dozens and dozens of times. Don't people who are advocating global warming, who are honest people, doesn't that cause them reason to pause and think, why are people trying to shut down the discussion? Okay, the science has been skewed by heavy-handed intervention in the awarding of research grants. It is clear now, evidenced by a propaganda barrage that would make George Orwell blush. This propaganda barrage has been aimed at the American people. So what is this theory that is now so accepted that grants were denied, the debate is deliberately stifled and that a barrage of propaganda is aimed at the American people to get them just to accept it? The manmade global warming theory is presented as scientific truism.
So, let's see, is it really? It is, let's say, specifically, it is a disturbing theory that the Earth began warming, a warming cycle 150 years ago. This was a warming cycle that differed greatly from all the other warming and cooling cycles that had gone on on this planet for millenniums. For as long as the Earth has a geologic history, there have been warmings and coolings. But this warming cycle of 150 years ago, we keep being told, is not like all the other cycles. This one is tied directly to mankind's use of fossil fuels, basically coal and oil. These so-called fossil fuels that have powered our industries and made civilization possible are, we have been told, causing a global-warming catastrophe. The weather is changing. It is getting hotter and hotter. After all, former Vice President Al Gore now said that, and I quote, ``humanity is sitting on a time bomb. The vast majority of the world's scientists are right. We have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet's climate system into a tailspin of epic destruction, involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced, a catastrophe of our own making.'' Al said that, not acknowledging that when his statement was made, the world temperature had already ceased to climb in the previous 5 years. But he should be excused because he was so sure, really sure, that global warming would come back and then validate his warnings.
Why was he so sure? Because fossil fuels, people like Al tell us, put an ever-increasing level of so-called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The most prevalent is carbon dioxide, CO
2. This increase in CO
2, we are told, causes the warming that we are supposedly experiencing. Of course, we know that ended 8 years ago, but supposedly we are still experiencing it. We will just ignore that it hasn't been getting warmer for these last 8 years.
This manmade warming cycle, according to the theory, is rapidly approaching a tipping point, as we have just heard from Al, when the world's temperature will abruptly jump and accelerate with dire and perhaps apocalyptic consequences for the entire planet. If one accepts this as fact, then manmade global warming is overwhelming our planet even as we speak. If we believed that, then we would be expected to accept controls, regulation, taxation, international planning and enforcement, mandated lifestyle changes, lower expectations, limits on consumer choice, as well as personal and family sacrifices. All of this we would be expected to accept as necessary to save our planet from--well, from us.
What are the costs of these controls? According to the Wharton Economic Forecasting report, complying with the Kyoto treaty alone would reduce our country's national output by $300 billion annually and would result in the loss of 2.4 million jobs. The cap-and-trade legislation, now being considered in Washington, would cost American industry $600 billion. This, of course, will simply be passed on to consumers in the price of the goods that we purchase.
By the way, when President Obama said there will be no new taxes for anyone with less than a $250,000 annual income, did he include all of this money that was going to be added to the price of the goods that we are paying by federal regulations that are trying to deal with global warming? I wonder who is going to pay that $600 billion. Is it just the people who make over $250,000 a year? Well, promise or no, this economically oppressive medicine will be shoved down our throats at a time of incredible hardship and economic chaos in our country. We can't afford to lose millions of jobs.
To charge the American taxpayer billions more in the price of the goods they buy, which is little more than a thinly disguised tax, is unconscionable. We can't afford to increase the electric costs as much as 129 percent, which is predicted. And significantly, they would like to raise the price of gasoline once more. They want it to stay at $4 a gallon.
It really takes a lot to frighten people into accepting such economically destructive and personally restrictive mandates that would result from the implementing of a global warming-based agenda. That is why the debate has been stifled. The case is closed. The phony claims of consensus. That is why the proponents of this theory have been so heavy-handed, heavy-handed enough to interfere with the unbiased issuances of research grants. How else, except for dishonest tactics, can they frighten people to accept the huge changes in their lives that they will be required to make by the global warming community? And these are not changes that are being made, changes for the better in their lives, otherwise they would make them gladly and voluntarily. Inexpensive air travel, for example, the global warming alarmists believe that jet aircraft should be considered among the worst CO
2 polluters. Jet travel, therefore, must be restricted. People are expected to give up the freedom to use cheap air fares. So how many people are aware of that? If the global warming fanatics have their way, there will be no more discounted airline tickets, which of course means fewer visits to see our loved ones and fewer visits to explore the world.
Better known, however, is the global warming movement's commitment to severely restrict the use of private automobiles. The rich will still have their limos and of course their private jets. Carbon offsets will see to that. Certainly Al and the others will be let off the hook because of these carbon offsets which, of course, Al will also profit from by organizing them in the private sector. The rest of us will not be able to travel by plane and will be stuck sitting at home or sitting next to a gang member on public transportation.
If we are just staying at home, what does that leave us? Is that a better life? Outlandish global warming predictions, then, are designed to strike fear into the hearts of those malcontents who just won't be willing to accept giving up those low-priced air fares and will not accept government mandates in their lifestyle. They just won't stay at home. Those changes, we are told, are needed to save the planet. Well, if proponents have their way, people are just going to have to accept things like higher food prices and, importantly, less meat in their diet. That's right. They want to wean us away from meat. A 2006 report entitled ``Livestock's Long Shadow'' to the United Nations mentions livestock emissions and grazing, and it places part of the blame for global warming squarely on the hind parts of cows. Cows are to be added to the list of greenhouse-emitting machines. So, not only are we going to be forced to cut our personal air travel and our ground transportation, as I say, which keeps us at home, but then when we stay home, we can't even have a barbecue. And heck, they won't even let us have a hamburger.
I point out that before the introduction of cattle to the United States, millions upon millions of buffalo dominated the Great Plains of America. They were so thick you could not see where one herd began and the other ended. One can only assume that the anti-meat manmade global warming crowd must believe that buffalo farts have some redeeming value that is better than the flatulence emitted by cattle.
Underscoring this dishonesty of the global warming fanatics, in my attempt to make light of the argument that cattle production is an evil element of our world, I once suggested, in jest, that perhaps dinosaurs' flatulence changed the climate in those days which may have ended the time of the dinosaurs. Well, it was widely reported that I was serious when I said that. Anyone who could suggest that I was serious and not making light of the other person, and I say respectfully making light of the other person's argument, anybody who reports that I was serious, that I really believed that dinosaurs were extinct because of flatulence is intentionally portraying something that they know not to be true, or they are just ignorant. But I believe we are not talking about ignorant people, we are talking about people who are portraying things that they know not to be true as if it were true.
What we have here is steely-eye fanaticism by those on the other side of the global warming debate; people clearly blinded by fanaticism and, thus, are unable to grasp nuance, unable to grasp a bit of humor added to a debate, and certainly unable to honestly examine an opposing argument.
But let's look at the proof these zealots give us to back up their claim of global warming that is threatening our planet. Let's be honest enough to be open minded to what they are presenting us.
First, let's note that the baseline used to prove global warming is 1850. I have been through hearing after hearing in the Science Committee. And 1850, by the way, is the year in which they judge whether the planet is getting warmer or cooler. And 1850 also marks something else: it marks the end, the bottom end, the final end of a 500-year decline in the Earth's temperatures called the Mini Ice Age. Yes, it was a cycle trending down for about 500 years, and it all got down to about 1850 when it started trending up. So 1850 is the baseline for judging warming of our planet? Does that make any sense? They are making comparisons against a temperature that was the bottom end of a 500-year decline in temperature. I pointed that out at numerous hearing and in numerous debates, and the issue continues to be ignored.
So if anyone out there is listening and is honest, please give us an answer: Isn't 1850 a dishonest date to use as a baseline to prove that the Earth is getting warmer? Isn't the statistical base clearly flawed when you start at a low point?
Then there are, of course, the predictions that we have heard. In testimony before Congress 20 years ago, NASA's James Hansen predicted CO
2 would shoot up and global temperatures would shoot up by more than one-third of a degree Celsius during the 1990s, and the trend would then escalate. A rise in temperature was predicted, and it would lead to what: rising sea levels, cities underwater, droughts and famines and an increase in tropical diseases; yes, tropical diseases.
Sometimes it is difficult for me when radical environmentalists use that as an example considering that tropical diseases, especially malaria, have killed millions of children in the Third World because radical environmentalists have been successful in banning DDT; but that is another issue.
It has been awhile since the apocalyptic predictions by global warming fanatics were made. Were these predictions correct? Mr. Hansen said the temperature would rise by a third of a degree just a little over a decade ago, and the answer is that the predictions turned out to be dramatically wrong. Temperatures during that decade rose only one-third of what was predicted by Mr. Hansen, a modest increase to the point that it would alarm nobody and would be of little difference than any of the other many cycle changes that we have seen on our planet over our planet's millions of years of history.
Again, over the past 8 years there hasn't even been a modest rise of temperature, again as differentiated from what Mr. Hansen predicted.
We shouldn't be surprised. Climate modeling, which is the basis of almost all alarmist predictions, is not an exact science. No weather or climate model has ever been accurate to the point the alarmists would have us believe. This was stunningly clear when Dr. Hansen called for an anti-global warming protest here in Washington 2 weeks ago that the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe) just talked about. The day the demonstrators arrived coincided with the worst snowstorm in a year and the coldest March 2 in more than a decade.
So let's look at the other predictions. He was dead wrong to try to call a global warming demonstration on the coldest day of the year because he didn't think it would be cold. Numerous and powerful other hurricanes were forecast by the National Hurricane Center for NOAA and others. Okay, that is what we were going to have. The last decade, the global warming people said we would have more and more hurricanes. Well, for the last 8 years it hasn't been getting warmer, and we haven't seen more hurricanes. Yes, as I stated earlier, the number of hurricanes is at a 30-year low.
During the Clinton administration, scientists produced a study and then another study and another study predicting the horrific impact of the unstoppable onslaught of manmade global warming: droughts, fires, polar ice caps melting, mass extinctions, all of this, report after report, what I call Chicken Little science. We were led to believe this nightmare would be overwhelming us by now. Of course, if there was even a hint that the conclusion wouldn't back up this global warming theory, the scientists who applied wouldn't have seen one red cent of Federal research money.
And just recently Tom Knutsen, research meteorologist for NOAA, the ones who ended up not being able to give Dr. Gray any research grants, this gentleman, Mr. Knutsen, now says that he has reviewed the evidence and totally changed his mind and now admits that he was wrong about global warming and the increase of hurricane activities. So here is a scientist with integrity. Such scientific integrity did not always rise to the occasion.
Contrary to what all of those scientists living on their Federal research grants predicted, the world hasn't been getting warmer. In fact, in the last 8 years there has been no warming at all. Global snowfall is at record levels, and there are fewer, not more hurricanes. And yes, there is some melting in the Arctic. We hear about it over and over again. In fact, NBC did a special on the melting of the Arctic and how bad it is, showing penguins sitting on diminished pieces of ice in the Arctic. The problem is that penguins don't live in the Arctic. There are no penguins in the Arctic. They live in the Antarctic. So NBC had it wrong. Somebody must have told them that the penguins from the Arctic were being victimized by global warming.
In fact, the Antarctic where the penguins live, there is a buildup of ice going on. It is getting colder in the Antarctic. In the Arctic, of course, we recognize there has been some rise in temperatures; that due, which many experts tell us, to ocean currents that have changed in the last few years. But emphatically, it is not due to CO
2 that comes from somebody's SUV. The Arctic is in fact returning to the temperature levels of the 1940s.
And what about the disappearing polar bears? Are the polar bears really disappearing? Dr. Mitchell Taylor from the Department of Environmental Studies under the Canadian territory of Nunavut, and other experts suggest that all but two types of polar bears are flourishing. So yes, two types of polar bears out of 13 different types, two of those types are in decline. The rest of the polar bears, the population is expanding. So there are more polar bears. Let me say that again: more polar bears. But here we are, understanding there are more polar bears in the world, we are treated with a spectacle of polar bears being put onto the endangered species list with a caveat that they really aren't endangered now, but with global warming, they are expected to dwindle. Never mind that the global warming trend stopped 8 years ago.
Unfortunately, the debate on this case is not closed. So emerging obvious differences between reality and theory needs to be addressed by people who have been advocating the global warming theory. Even without going outside and checking the thermometer, it is easy to tell that the predictions of manmade global warming were wrong. How can you tell they were wrong? Because they don't even use the words ``global warming'' anymore. The words ``climate change'' have now replaced the words ``global warming.'' Get that? Every time you hear the words ``climate change,'' it is evidence of error that they were wrong to begin with, or of deceit on the part of radical environmentalists.
So no matter what happens from now on, climate change has replaced global warming, and whether it is hotter or cooler, it can be presented as further indication that humans have caused the change that is taking place. No, there have been changes in our weather forever. You have always had adjustments up and down, trends and cycles.
We just need to ask ourselves, if a salesman gives a strong pitch and makes claims about something that is later to be found out to be wrong, totally wrong, when do you stop trusting the salesman? Then if he starts playing word games and changing the actual words he is using about the same product, and rather than just admitting that he was wrong, he just changes the words he is using but he is talking about the same product, isn't it reasonable to stop trusting this person?
Yes, Al Gore and company, we have noticed that you are now saying climate change rather than global warming. They tried to slip it in, but we have noticed.
So, why the alteration? Why are they doing that? That is because the world has not been getting warmer in the last 8 years as predicted, and everybody is beginning to notice it. So we actually see a beehive of activity because of this. Those federally funded scientists who were sucked into this are now trying to save themselves some modicum of credibility, this even as more and more scientists speak up and publicly disassociate themselves with the scientific claims of global warming that have been foisted upon us.
To understand all of this nonsense, you have to go back and look at the basic scientific assumptions that are being used by the global warming alarmists. They claim that excessive amounts of manmade CO
2 are being deposited in the air which causes a greenhouse effect that warms the atmosphere. They call this increase in CO
2 mankind's carbon footprint. The global warming analysts want us to judge everything by its carbon footprint. What that means is how much CO
2 is being released as a result of that specific activity is a carbon footprint. They adamantly believe that it is CO
2 that causes our planet to warm and that more CO
2, the hotter it will get, and an increasing CO
2 problem. And why is CO
2 increasing, according to these folks, that is due to us. And although mankind is responsible for significantly less than 10 percent of all CO
2 in the Earth's atmosphere, we are told climate change is our fault.
Can one huge volcano spew more CO
2 into the atmosphere than all of the people of the world? Yes, but that is still our fault.
Can one huge fire, like the one we had recently in Australia, throw just as much CO
2 into the air? Yes, but it is still our fault.
Rotting trees in the Amazon and the by-product of rot and termites may cause even more CO
2 than what people put into the air, all of the people on the planet? Well, yes, but again, it is our fault that CO
2 is rising.
This concept, just like the extrapolations from their computers is wrong, dead wrong. Andrei Kapitsa, a Russian geographer and Antarctic ice core researcher, slammed the U.N. IPCC, and this is the report that has been used to justify all of this monstrous and very dangerous global warming agenda, well this Russian ice core researcher suggests it is ``the biggest scientific fraud'' in 2008. ``The Kyoto theorists have put the cart before the horse. It is global warming that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the other way around.''
Furthermore, he went on to point out, ``A large number of critical documents submitted at the 1995 U.N. Conference in Madrid vanished without a trace. As a result, the discussion was one-sided and heavily biased, and the U.N. declared global warming to be a scientific fact. We found out that the level of CO
2 had fluctuated greatly over the period, but at any given time increases in air temperature preceded higher concentrations of CO
2.'' This is exactly opposite from what is the basis of the whole global warming argument.
So this is the challenge; many prominent scientists including the head of the Russian Academy of Science--who I recently met with, I might add, talking about this issue--are now confirming that the rise in CO
2 comes after global temperatures increase, not before. This has been observed in ice cores, yet this has been again ignored by those who were screaming their warnings at us.
Please, give us an answer to this challenge. Why ignore it? How can the American people just accept the validity of the argument that's being presented to us when they just ignore challenges to the validity of their argument? If the increase in CO
2 is not the cause of any warming cycle the world may experience, how can there be any validity at all to any of the demands made upon us?
We have had many warming cycles in the past, but what these scientists are telling us is CO
2 increase did not cause those warming cycles. In fact, Dr. Claude Allegre, the scientist who first postulated the theory that CO
2 increase was spiking the world's temperature, has now changed his mind. Officially, he says he was wrong. He told Al Gore he was wrong. Al Gore won't listen.
So what is the cause of the world's warming and cooling cycles? If it's not CO
2, if the global warming crowd refuses to deal with that issue and look at that specifically and deal with that challenge, okay, well, I assume they're wrong. But what is it that we really believe causes these changes that have gone on for millenniums in the Earth's temperature? It's called sun spots. Yes, solar activity. That explains why one sees similar temperature cycles on Mars and Jupiter to the cycles that are happening on this planet. That's why icecaps on those planets, like on ours, expand and contract. It's the sun, stupid.
So take note that the very argument upon which global warming is built has proven to be false, and that manmade global warming activists will not address this issue. This is the most supreme arrogance that I have witnessed in my 30 years in Washington. After all, the case is closed. We don't need to discuss any more details. Yet, expert after expert keep pointing to the flaws in their central argument.
And Mr. Gore's mumbo-jumbo notwithstanding, the predictions have been wrong. And the CO
2 premise is wrong. The methodology that has been used has been wrong. The observations have been wrong. The attempt to shut up those people who disagree with them has been wrong.
Now, I remember when I chaired the Subcommittee on Research and Science in the House back when the Republicans controlled this body. I insisted that both sides be present and that expert witnesses be expected to address each other's points and contentions. This methodology led Al Gore to refer to me as a ``Stalinist.'' I would suggest that the propaganda campaign of the manmade global warming alarmists has much more in common with Stalinism than does insisting that both sides of an issue be heard at a congressional hearing. One has to really believe that he or she has a corner on the truth to make such a complaint that Stalinism is having both sides presented and addressing each other's points.
Of course, Al Gore's documentary, ``An Inconvenient Truth,'' suggests by its title that what he says should be taken as truth. Well, I won't go into the numerous debatable points and outright errors in that film, but there is something far worse in that film. This pseudoscientific documentary--what I call Chicken Little science--presented numerous film segments of climate and environmental incidents similar to those footages that you would see from National Geographic.
This added to the credibility of the points being made. Specifically, the film portrays a dramatic cracking and breaking away of a huge portion of the polar icecap. The scene is awesome and somewhat overwhelming, and leaves the audience with the feeling that they have witnessed a massive historic occurrence. Unfortunately, it's all a fake. This is not grand, firsthand photographic evidence. It's not National Geographic footage of a huge breaking away of a portion of the icecap. Instead, what the audience is looking at is a deceptive use of special effects. It's not the icecaps, it's Styrofoam. That's right, Styrofoam special effects trying to fool us into thinking we're observing an occurrence by nature. By the way, isn't Styrofoam an oil-based product or something? Isn't there some sort of carbon footprint with Styrofoam?
Well, Mr. Gore has not commented on this depiction. Maybe it is ``inconvenient'' for him to comment because it may hurt his credibility. After all, it's not getting warmer, as he predicted; so maybe his, let's say, theories that are based on Styrofoam are inaccurate as well.
The first time I met Al Gore was in my first term in Congress back in 1989 and `90. Al Gore was then a United States Senator, and he marched into the science room, followed by a platoon of cameras and reporters. He sat in front of our committee demanding that President Bush--that's George W.'s father--declare an ozone emergency. He waved a report in his hand as evidence that there was an ozone hole opening up right over the northeast of the United States. A few days later, the report touted by Senator Gore was found to have been based on faulty data, data collected by one so-called researcher flying a single-engine Piper cub with limited technology and no experience. The emergency declaration the Senator called for would have had severe negative consequences on the people who live in the northeast part of the United States.
Now, does anybody detect a pattern here? Such a scare tactic--as I say, Chicken Little-ism--based on false information? Well, it isn't new. We have had many examples, not just of Al Gore, but of others playing this sort of tactic in order to get their way.
In 1957, the FDA recalled 3 million pounds of cranberries. A few years later, the FDA admitted it was a total mistake. Sorry. Of course, there was a tremendous price to be paid; a large number of our farmers went out of business. They went broke because nobody had their cranberries for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Then, of course, there was the scare over cyclamate, used in everyday items like sodas, jams, ice cream. It was very sweet and extremely low in calories. In the early 1970s, the FDA banned cyclamate as a cancer hazard. Well, come to find out, the rats in their study had been force-fed the equivalent of 350 cans of soda a day, and only eight of the 240 rats that they had crammed all this soda in actually got sick. It was a faulty test. And eventually, years later, the truth finally prevailed, and it was officially recognized that cyclamate does not cause cancer. Canada, by the way, never banned cyclamate. Our northern buddies, I guess, just couldn't get themselves to force-feed those rats.
Well, the FDA did take back its negative finding. It came up with the truth, finally. However, great damage was done. This episode had serious consequences. It was the cyclamate ban that led to the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup, with the obesity and health problems that have come with high-fructose corn syrup. So, yes, another scare tactic, another American industry--cyclamate--decimated, another rotten theory with unintended consequences foisted upon us.
The next example of fearmongering with pseudoscience came in February of 1989. On the evening of February 26, Americans tuned in to ``60 Minutes'' and heard Ed Bradley say, ``The most potent cancer-causing agent in our food supply is a substance sprayed on apples to keep them on the tree.'' He went on to warn that children were being put at risk by eating Alar-dusted apples. The story snowballed out of control, climaxing with actress Meryl Streep's testimony before Congress. Frantic parents tossed apples out the window, schools removed apple sauce from the cafeteria and replaced those apples and that apple sauce with more safe and nutritious substances, like ice cream and pudding. Well, there is only one small problem; Alar, which is what was on the apples, didn't cause cancer. A study later found out that that was wrong. Twenty thousand apple growers in the United States suffered enormous harm.
Then, of course, there was Three Mile Island; another fake, another situation where people were stampeded. And what we ended up with that, no one was hurt at Three Mile Island, but instead, what it did was it created a political momentum that destroyed our ability to utilize nuclear energy in the United States. Instead, we are still dependent on coal and other fuels. We are dependent on oil and other fuels that we now have to buy from people overseas. Jane Fonda's movie, ``China Syndrome,'' helped create the scare. It has had an enormously negative impact. Ironically, today radical environmentalists still make attempts to stop the expansion of nuclear energy for producing electricity, even as we remain dependent on foreign oil and continue to use coal-fired plants.
Then we know about the ozone hole in Latin America, which was supposed to be around for decades, and then mysteriously it just naturally closed up after just a few years. Again, another cycle of nature presented to us as if there was some major problem with human activity.
Of course, what we've got is an example of--and we have already been presented this by my colleague--where people, just a few years ago, were talking about global cooling in the same way that they now talk about global warming.
Then there was, of course, acid rain. Ronald Reagan, thank God, stood firm. Instead of putting controls on our economy to stop so-called ``acid rain,'' he insisted on long-term scientific research. And when that research came out, it verified that acid rain was not caused by people, and it was not the problem that it was being portrayed as. So we have seen these tactics over and over again.
What we should be doing, when we hear people trying to scare us into accepting controls, accepting higher taxes, what we need to do is make sure that their science is challenged, and that we do so with an open mind. Our goal should not be to end global warming because it doesn't exist. We should be focusing on global pollution, not CO
2, but the pollutants that will hurt our people.
One of the great damages that the global warming people are doing to us today is focusing our attention on CO
2 when we should be focusing our attention on the other pollutants that threaten the health of our people. We don't need to save the planet by utilizing certain energy, we need to save the human beings on this planet. And the CO
2 focus of the global warming crowd is causing the great damage to the well-being of our people by focusing us on the wrong enemy.
I would ask that the rest of my statement be made part of the Record.
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Then there's the so-called nuclear disaster at Three Mile Island. This incident put an end to expanding the use of nuclear energy for the production of America's electricity. It is the prime example of how devastating pseudo-science scare tactics can be. In this case, our country ended up heavily dependent on foreign oil, while France has developed a thriving nuclear infrastructure. The French learned how to reprocess uranium. We learned how to buy more energy from abroad. Three Mile Island also left us dependent on coal fired power plants and their pollution. Was this really better than the ``risk'' associated with nuclear power?
An operational mishap at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was portrayed as a deadly accident putting millions of people in jeopardy. Well, no one has yet to show me that one person's life was shortened by the Three Mile Island incident.
Because the media hype was coupled with Jane Fonda's movie called ``The China Syndrome,'' which had just been released, the Three Mile Island incident ``became'' in the public's mind a major disaster. The only kind of disaster that really happened was a major public relations disaster. The American people were terrified into rejecting nuclear energy as a means of producing clean, reliable, domestically fueled electric energy.
Ironically, nuclear power is probably the most effective means of producing power with no carbon footprint, no CO
2. Yet the radical environmentalists to this day still block attempts to expand the use of nuclear energy, even as we expand our dependency on foreign oil, and continue to use coal fired plants. Again, it was a total con job and has had a horrible impact on our lives.
And what about that ozone hole over the Antarctic? We were told it would continue to grow and grow and it would take decades to get it under control. Boyce Rensberger, director of the Knight Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now points to evidence that the ozone concentration is a cyclical event, expanding and contracting the ozone throughout the eons of time. It's just part of a natural cycle according to this scientist from MIT.
So here is a scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology telling us the current ozone depletion is simply part of a recurring cycle, not the result of chlorofluorocarbons, as we were told. In layman terms, he's telling us that the gigantic expense of shifting away from aerosol was a waste for America. We're talking about billions of dollars here. The ozone hole closed on its own. It was just part of a cycle. If it wasn't, it would be much different than it is today.
Then there is acid rain. Who can forget the frightening threats that acid rain posed to us just 20 years ago? Acid rain was supposed to decimate our forests, destroy fresh water bodies, and erode our buildings and sidewalks. Well, what ever happened to acid rain? Well, that theory, too, proved to be an extreme stretch.
President Reagan was pummeled without mercy for his unwillingness to take monstrously costly action aimed at thwarting acid rain. He insisted on waiting for an in-depth study to be completed, and he was vilified for his insistence on legitimate scientific verification.
Well, a 10-year study by the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Project was submitted to Congress in 1990. It minimized the human impact of acidity of water in the northwest and the northeast of the United States. The issue then died quickly and quietly, and no one ever apologized to Ronald Reagan. We haven't heard about acid rain. If they were right, we should have been hearing about it all this time.
Instead, of course we've been hearing about something else which is much easier to scare people with, global warming. And of course, the last one before global warming that I'd like to mention is the most pitiful of all. Yes, an alarmist scheme which made the cover of Time magazine 30 years ago.
Just 3 decades ago, scientists and politicians were frantic about global cooling. We were told the Earth was entering a new ice age. Unfortunately for the scaremongers, the temperature did not plummet and the oceans did not freeze. In fact, it was getting a bit warmer during the 1980s and 1990s. It was part of the Earth's on-going up-and-down cycles, as has always been the case.
Well, some of those people, some of those scientists, and others who were talking about global cooling, changed their words, and, you guessed it, global cooling became global warming. Almost
overnight global cooling was rejected, and then global warming was in vogue. And now, of course, global warming is changing to climate change.
So, scare tactics are nothing new; it's a tried and true method. Those pushing an agenda know people can be frightened and stampeded; and then policies can be foisted on a hysterical public. Unfortunately, this time around, the long-term consequences will be very, very damaging for the next generation.
I often ask students visiting from my southern California district whether they think that 45 years ago, when I went to high school in southern California, whether the air was cleaner or dirtier than it is now. A huge percentage believe that the air quality 45 years ago in southern California was dramatically better than it is today. When I tell them that what they believe is 100 percent wrong, that the air is dramatically cleaner today in southern California, you can see the frustration in their eyes; they have been lied to in a big way.
The big lie their generation has been fed is that the environment is going the wrong way and that they have to give up their freedom, and that they have to give up their expectations of certain things in their life because the future is bleak. They are told the lie that we have to give up our national sovereignty, because it's a global crisis--everything about the environment--the air, the water, the land--is all getting worse. In fact, there's been tremendous progress in cleaning up the pollution that not that long ago was found in our air, water and soil.
And let me tip my hat to the environmentalists. This progress has been as a result of government regulations, often pushed by liberal Democrats. For anyone not to admit that would be disingenuous.
But the fact is that our children are now being told that this man-made global warming will devastate our whole planet.
Dr. John Christy, a professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, has a different perspective, ``I remember as a college student at the first Earth Day being told it was a certainty that by the year 2000 the world would be starving and out of energy.'' Dr. Christy goes on to say, ``Similar pronouncements made today about catastrophes due to human-induced climate change sound all too familiar and are all too exaggerated for me, as someone who actually produces and analyzes climate information.''
So, we are told that polar bears are dying, but they aren't. We are told that the polar ice caps are melting, but now we know that in the Antarctic, ice is actually growing.
Hurricane Katrina, we were told would only be the first of many horrendous hurricanes to hit the United States in the next few years but, of course, there has been no significant rise in the number or strength of hurricanes. Recently it was pointed out that a hurricane just as strong as Katrina hit the United States 100 years earlier, long before the effects of ``global warming.''
Katherine Richardson, one of the organizers of the Copenhagen Conference, an ``emergency summit'' established to forward the next Kyoto Protocol, advertised the event not as ``a regular scientific conference. This is a deliberate attempt to influence policy.'' It was, she admitted, ``Explicitly designed to stoke up the fear of global warming to an unprecedented pitch.''
THERE IS NO CONSENSUS
What we have is calculated alarmism at its worst, and the consequences will be very, very severe if we let such fanatics determine policy that will shape the lives of our children. I would submit a list of 650 members of the scientific community, who I mentioned earlier; who do not agree that human activity is causing an unprecedented global warming trend.
People like me have been labeled with the epithet ``skeptics.'' Let me suggest something--science is skepticism. A scientist doesn't ``believe'' something to be true. Nor does he negotiate a solution with his colleagues. He does not reach consensus. A scientist doubts, tests, verifies, and repeats. A scientist engages in a search for answers by forming a theory and trying to tear it apart. He invites his colleagues to prove him wrong and encourages other points of view. A scientist will do everything he can to prove a theory wrong. Only then, when he and his colleagues are unsuccessful at disproving a concept, will he accept it.
Dr. William M. Briggs, a climate statistician and professor at Cornell, explained that his colleagues described ``absolute horror stories of what happened to them when they tried getting papers published that explored non-`consensus' views.''
Nobel Prize Winner for Physics in 1973, Ivar Giaever, a fellow of the American Physical Society, declared himself a dissenter in 2008. ``I am a skeptic,'' Giaever announced in June 2008. ``Global warming has become a new religion,'' Giaever added.
UN IPCC award-winning environmental physical chemist Dr. Kiminori Itoh of Yokohama National University, a contributor to the 2007 UN IPCC AR4 (fourth assessment report) as an expert reviewer, publicly rejected man-made climate fears in 2008, calling the promotion of such fears ``the worst scientific scandal in the history.''
Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, who has more than 150 published articles said, ``Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense ..... The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.''
Dr. William Happer, award-winning Princeton physicist, said that ``much of the current warming occurred before the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were significantly increased by the burning of fossil fuels.''
Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan, said CO
2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another. ..... Every scientist knows this, but it doesn't pay to say so ..... Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver's seat and developing nations walking barefoot.''
Cleaning our air and water from real pollutants is very important to Americans. It's important to us, to our children and our grandchildren. If we fail to leave a world clean of real pollutants because we were focused on CO
2, then we will have done a major disservice to future generations. Let me emphasize that the issue should be global pollution, not global warming or climate change or any other phrases made up to scare people.
So with this said, we need to ask: what is the negative impact of all of this lack of truthful information? What could possibly happen? What is the big deal if someone is making a claim that global warming exists and it is caused by humankind and in reality it is just the pollution that we are both trying to get at? Well, it just doesn't work that way.
The fact is if we accept this theory of man-made global warming, we will be focusing our activities on trying to eliminate CO
2 rather than on eliminating toxic substances from our air, land and water. I am concerned about my children, my three triplets, Christian, Anika and Tristan; I am concerned about their health, which is something that I think I share with every parent. Their health is not in any way threatened by CO
Carbon dioxide is, in fact, like the penguins and the Styrofoam ice caps. It's being falsely pictured. It is being portrayed as a pollutant; in fact, it makes things grow, and it is not toxic to humans. In the distant past the earth had much more CO
2 in the air, perhaps as a result of volcanoes, but at that time we had abundant animal life, dinosaurs and lots of plants for them to eat. CO
2 is today pumped into greenhouses to make tomatoes grow bigger and better.
Nevertheless, we are now presented with ideas like sequestration or carbon credits that serve only to enrich the alarmists and impoverish our people. This is only possible with a public that has been frightened into accepting totally false information about CO
2. Let me state that I do support efforts that reduce pollution, particulates that do have a negative impact on the environment and human health. I support technologies that reduce these materials. If we are to save the environment for the people of the planet, that is what we should be focusing on.
Mr. Speaker, this old world has had many cycles of warming and cooling, influenced by solar activity, volcanoes, even forest fires and many other natural factors. The ice caps on Mars and Jupiter go back and forth, just as glaciers have gone back and forth. But such a powerful and mysterious force as the weather can be frightening. We need not fear the thunder, and we need not fear climate cycles.
We need not be frightened, hoodwinked into giving away our own freedom. Not to our own government, much less the U.N. or a global power--the power to control our lives in the name of man-made global warming, or climate change, or whatever they want to call it. We cannot allow the alarmists to take this country down the wrong path. Let us pass on to the children of this country and the planet, let us give them the freedom and prosperity we enjoyed. We must not allow our future to be stolen by hucksters who would frighten us into giving up our birthright in the name of saving the planet. It sounds good and noble, as most scams do, but it is just a trick, a hoax. Let's not get taken in by the greatest hoax of all.
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