By Rep Robert Aderholt (AL-04)
This past week marked the beginning of the U.N.'s annual climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. Many diplomats, scientists and journalists believe that this conference will be the most important international environmental conference in history because of what appears to be a climax of building momentum before and against strict mandates that limit greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
This issue of global warming has been a very hot (no pun intended) and contentious topic over the past two decades. Proponents believe that we must slow and eventually reverse the growth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions before the earth's climate becomes too hot, while opponents believe that the increase in global temperature is not man-made but rather part of a natural cycle that has occurred before and will later be followed by a cooling period.
I fall into the second group of people who believe, as do many very credible scientists, that the earth is currently in a natural warming cycle rather than a man-made climate change.
Many scientists believe that natural cycles of warming and cooling have existed since the beginning of Earth. If we take the current models of climate prediction and apply those same models to what actually happened in the last thirty years, the models are shown to be very flawed. In addition, what knowledge we do have of a warming period in the Middle Ages cannot be explained by current models which are focused on greenhouse gas reductions.
As of today, over 31,000 U.S. scientists and doctors have signed a petition rejecting global warming. According to this 10-year petition, "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate." You can learn more about this at www.petitionproject.org.
Don't get me wrong I, along with the majority of Americans, am concerned about the effects that harmful pollutants have on the environment. I also believe that we must be good stewards of what God has given us on Earth, however I do not believe that we should adopt public policy like those being promoted at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference -- that say we only have twenty years to stop catastrophic global warming by drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The latest "climategate" email controversy in Europe has cast a cloud over the Copenhagen Conference and supports the theories of those who are wary of the emissions-cutting policy being pushed at the conference.
Last month, it was announced that obtained emails from scientific researchers and policy advocates at the University of East Anglia in England show that they discussed hiding and destroying data that did not support global warming.
Despite this great controversy, the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference will most likely ignore scientists who have research supporting the theory that global warming is not as dire as portrayed.
And despite this controversy, President Obama is expected to attend the Conference to push a drastic job-killing global warming policy, calling for a stiff cut to emissions by a range of 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. This is a move that will force American businesses to meet an unrealistic carbon emissions reduction mandate that will slow our economic recovery and inflict unnecessary stress on American families.
These unrealistic emissions cuts are based on the Cap and Trade Bill, or what many call "Cap & Tax," that narrowly passed the House with a final tally of 219-212 and I, along with the entire Alabama Congressional Delegation, voted against the bill on June 26th. But the Senate hasn't voted on it yet! That means any deal negotiated in Copenhagen will be only tentative. If the Senate votes down cap & trade next year, the President's Copenhagen deal would be discounted.
I, along with several Congressmen, wrote President Obama a letter earlier this month asking him and his administration not to make any binding commitments to greenhouse gas emission reductions at the Copenhagen Conference at least until Congress decides the climate change issue in the Cap and Trade Bill.
Unfortunately, the President has threatened to turn EPA loose on the business world with burdensome regulations unless Congress passes the kind of Cap and Trade Bill he is demanding. I and other Members and Senators will vigorously oppose such an abusive use of a federal agency.
Thankfully, a group of Senators and Representatives will also be making the trip to Copenhagen this week to protest the climate change policy supported by the Administration. This group will publicly talk about the leaked e-mails "climategate" controversy, promote science "skeptics" and make the case to other international delegations that the U.S. Congress needs to be on board before any binding global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions is struck.
I call on the President to table his climate change policy for many reasons, but most importantly, because this is bad policy based on bad science and Congress has not approved it. Forcing all Americans to meet the carbon emissions reductions in the name of international environmental policy will slow our economic recovery and inflict greater pain on American families here in the U.S.