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Global Warming and American Freedom

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, I have a policy in my office that every time anyone from my district actually comes to the Capitol, they have a right to see me and talk to me, especially young people. And I have, over the years, seen hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of young people from my home district in southern California. And I let them talk to me and ask any questions that they would like to ask.

And I have a question that I always ask them, and I thought it would be interesting for my colleagues and perhaps any of those who are watching C-SPAN or reading this in the Congressional Record to know the answer that I get when I ask a question of the young high school students from my district.

Mr. Speaker, when our kids come in to my office and are talking to me, I note that I was actually in high school in southern California 47 years ago. And I always ask the kids, is the air better quality today, or is it worse today than when I was going to high school in southern California 47 years ago?

And 90 percent of the students, over the years, whom I've asked that question to have had exactly the wrong answer. Their answer is, oh, you were so lucky to live at a time when the air quality in southern California and around the Nation was so good, and it's so terrible that we have to put up today with air quality that's killing us.

They've been told that the air quality when I was in high school was so much better than it is today, which is 180 degrees wrong. But this is a general attitude among today's young people because our young people are being lied to. They are intentionally being given misinformation.

Now, their teachers may not be intentionally lying to them, but their teachers maybe are given information from scientists and other sources that is an exact lie from people who know that, yes, the air quality back when I went to school, and I go into description about how the air quality was so bad at times we couldn't even go out on the playground. They wouldn't even let us out of the classroom on to the sports field because the air was so bad. Today that happens maybe once a year or twice a year in southern California. Back then it happened once a week at times during the summer and during the school year.

So our kids have this view that their generation is being poisoned, and they're willing to accept stringent measures in order to protect the environment that take away a great deal of the opportunity that they should have in their lives in order to correct this horrible problem that they're told that they've got.

Well, when I tell them it's just the opposite, they're so surprised. Well, the truth is, our Nation's environment is no longer the disaster that it was 50 years ago. And 50 years ago we did have a problem. Fifty years ago I remember that when my dad was a Marine down in Quantico, when I was a child I came up here several times and my dad would say, whatever you do, don't put your finger in the Potomac River or your finger will fall off. Well, it wasn't quite that bad, but it was really bad.

We've made tremendous progress over the years on the Potomac River. I can't help but notice there are people water-skiing and sailing and fishing in the Potomac now.

Well, we don't live in the same time of 50 years ago. The air today has never been cleaner than at any time in my lifetime. The water has never been cleaner in any time in my lifetime than it is today. And I am hopeful that my children will never have to experience the pollution that was rampant when I was their age.

So, let's take a look and give credit where credit's due. That progress is, in large part, because of the efforts of the government, well, and the EPA, yes, which came in under President Nixon, and others who have used science to fight for environmental reforms and to improve the quality of life of our people.

And while I am thankful, I also would like to heed the warning that President Eisenhower left with us in his farewell address. And I quote, ``that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.''

He was warning us about government-funded research becoming so intertwined with public policy and the creation of regulations it would compromise the integrity of both.

Well, in recent years, we've seen political agendas being driven by scientific-sounding claims being used to frighten the general public again and again and again.

An unjustified fear has been used, for example, to ban DDT. I remember when I was a kid, and I used to run through these clouds of DDT--again, when my father was in the military down in North Carolina. Yes, it was killing millions of mosquitos in North Carolina, but when they banned that DDT, I seem to remember it had something to do with the thickness of shells of certain birds. Well, they banned DDT, and because of that we have had millions of deaths due to malaria in Africa. Millions of young African children, because they don't have a good diet, succumb to a disease like malaria and die because of it. These children are dead--make no mistake about it--because we were frightened into an irrational position on DDT, banning that and thus destroying the lives of millions of children in the Third World.

We've seen alarmism with ``The Population Bomb.'' Do you remember that in 1968? It was a book claiming that increasing populations and decreasing agricultural yield would lead to cannibalism and global warfare over scarce resources by the mid-1970s. Here we are a long way from the 1970s, and I'm afraid Malthus, who 150 years ago started this type of scarism, was wrong, wrong, wrong. Right now, there are a lot of scientists, unfortunately, who are molding themselves after the Malthus mistakes that were made 150 years ago.

Today's environmental alarmists use faulty and, in some cases, deceitful computer models to ``prove'' that the world is being destroyed one way or the other, quite often, in the ones they've been using in the last 10 years, of course, was that the world was being destroyed by manmade carbon emissions. This is proven by their computer models, even though the Earth has seen significantly higher atmospheric carbon levels many times before. Those were not necessarily bad times for this planet, but those computer models were suggesting, because of carbon emissions, we were going to face a catastrophe. In fact, I remember very well the predictions of 10 and 15 years ago that, by now, we would have reached a tipping point in the temperature of the world--that we'd have reached a temperature of about now--and then it would go up 5 to 10 degrees, which is a big jump, but we haven't seen that big jump.

The alarmists, of course, are not interested when they make mistakes, and they're not really interested in solving real problems. They are part of a coalition that wants to change our way of life--that's their goal--with their computerizations showing that just horrible times are ahead of us unless we change. The idea isn't to stop those horrible times, because those horrible times are just a product of what they put into their computers. Of course we all know what ``garbage in, garbage out'' means. If you put into a computer that you're going to have some kind of disaster, that's what you're going to get out of your computer, but what they have in mind, of course, and what they want to do is to change the way of life--our life--which requires us to acquiesce, or better yet, they frighten us into submission.

Make no mistake: manmade global warming, as a theory, is being pushed by people who believe in global government. They have been looking for an excuse for an incredible freedom-busting centralization of power, and this global warming is just the latest in a long line of such scares.

This was recently acknowledged by the godfather of the global warming theory, a man who over the years has been given such credit for laying the intellectual foundation and the scientific foundation for the theory of manmade global warming. His name is James Lovelock. James Lovelock, however, has changed his mind. James Lovelock now concedes--and after a longtime dialogue with Burt Rutan, one of the great engineers of our day--has come around to understand that he was not being totally honest about things when he was accepting information that bolstered his position, and was rejecting the consideration of other information. He has changed his mind about the real threat that global warming poses to the Earth--not that there wouldn't be any global warming but that it has been totally exaggerated by the scientific community, and that he, himself, played a major role in that exaggeration.

Dr. James Lovelock is in an article in the Toronto Sun, which is entitled, ``Green 'drivel' exposed: The godfather of global warming lowers the boom on climate change hysteria,'' which is what we have been hearing over these last few years.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce for the Record this article that was just recently in the Toronto Sun, and I would like to put this in the Record at this point.

[From the Toronto Sun, June 23, 2012]
Green `Drivel' Exposed

THE GODFATHER OF GLOBAL WARMING LOWERS THE BOOM ON CLIMATE CHANGE HYSTERIA

(By Lorrie Goldstein)

Two months ago, James Lovelock, the godfather of global warming, gave a startling interview to msnbc.com in which he acknowledged he had been unduly ``alarmist'' about climate change.

The implications were extraordinary.

Lovelock is a world-renowned scientist and environmentalist whose Gaia theory--that the Earth operates as a single, living organism--has had a profound impact on the development of global warming theory.

Unlike many ``environmentalists,'' who have degrees in political science, Lovelock, until his recent retirement at age 92, was a much-honoured working scientist and academic.

His inventions have been used by NASA, among many other scientific organizations.

Lovelock's invention of the electron capture detector in 1957 first enabled scientists to measure CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and other pollutants in the atmosphere, leading, in many ways, to the birth of the modern environmental movement.

Having observed that global temperatures since the turn of the millennium have not gone up in the way computer-based climate models predicted, Lovelock acknowledged, ``the problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago.'' Now, Lovelock has given a follow-up interview to the UK's Guardian newspaper in which he delivers more bombshells sure to anger the global green movement, which for years worshipped his Gaia theory and apocalyptic predictions that billions would die from man-made climate change by the end of this century.

Lovelock still believes anthropogenic global warming is occurring and that mankind must lower its greenhouse gas emissions, but says it's now clear the doomsday predictions, including his own (and Al Gore's) were incorrect.

He responds to attacks on his revised views by noting that, unlike many climate scientists who fear a loss of government funding if they admit error, as a freelance scientist, he's never been afraid to revise his theories in the face of new evidence. Indeed, that's how science advances.

Among his observations to the Guardian:

(1) A long-time supporter of nuclear power as a way to lower greenhouse gas emissions, which has made him unpopular with environmentalists, Lovelock has now come out in favour of natural gas fracking (which environmentalists also oppose), as a low-polluting alternative to coal.

As Lovelock observes, ``Gas is almost a give-away in the U.S. at the moment. They've gone for fracking in a big way. This is what makes me very cross with the greens for trying to knock it ..... Let's be pragmatic and sensible and get Britain to switch everything to methane. We should be going mad on it.'' (Kandeh Yumkella, co-head of a major United Nations program on sustainable energy, made similar arguments last week at a UN environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro, advocating the development of conventional and unconventional natural gas resources as a way to reduce deforestation and save millions of lives in the Third World.)

(2) Lovelock blasted greens for treating global warming like a religion.

``It just so happens that the green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion,'' Lovelock observed. ``I don't think people have noticed that, but it's got all the sort of terms that religions use ..... The greens use guilt. That just shows how religious greens are. You can't win people round by saying they are guilty for putting (carbon dioxide) in the air.''

(3) Lovelock mocks the idea modern economies can be powered by wind turbines.

As he puts it, ``so-called 'sustainable development' ..... is meaningless drivel ..... We rushed into renewable energy without any thought. The schemes are largely hopelessly inefficient and unpleasant. I personally can't stand windmills at any price.''

(4) Finally, about claims ``the science is settled'' on global warming: ``One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don't know it.''

For those who are listening or who are reading this specifically in the Congressional Record, I would like to quote from that article now. That article reads:

Having observed that global temperatures since the turn of the millennium have not gone up in the way computer-based climate models predicted, Lovelock acknowledged, ``The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago.''

The sign of a very intelligent person, really, is to admit the things that he doesn't know. I mean I've always said I'm not the smartest guy on the block, but I know what I don't know. Thus, when I'm talking to people, I can have an honest discussion to try to expand my knowledge. We've had too many people claiming that they know it all and that we have to give up our freedom because they know it, and they don't even have to engage in a debate with us over the details of something like global warming.

Let me know who has heard the words ``case closed.'' I mean, 3 years ago, that's what they were saying here. What does that mean? When you hear people in government and when you hear scientists saying, ``the case is closed,'' well, that must mean there is going to be no further debate on this issue.

I've been here as a Member of Congress for 24 years. Before that, I served in the White House for 7 years under President Reagan. I have never seen a time when there was such an effort made to cut off debate on an important subject than has been done on global warming. Never have I heard over and over again people being told to shut up and that the case is closed. Never have I seen so many research projects canceled because they in some way challenged the theory of global warming. Never have I seen so many scientists fired from their positions because they believe that the global warming theory may not be accurate.

So what we need to do is to make sure that we have an honest discussion of the issue, when even some of the promoters--some of the people who have been the strongest advocates, like the individual, the doctor, I just quoted--have changed their positions, if not totally reversed them. At least they've been open to have said, We really don't know what we've been advocating for these last few years.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce into the Record a letter from an esteemed physicist, Gordon Fulks. This is a letter and some communication between this physicist and aerospace pioneer legend Burt Rutan. I would like to put that into the Record at this point.

June 23, 2012.
Re Bravo on your courage!

DEAR BURT: I think you deserve much of the credit for helping James Lovelock understand the AGW phenomenon. You patiently provided him with the pertinent data and logic. As with most of us, it took some time to digest the enormity of the necessary shift in perspective. He had to give up a faith in the honesty of government agencies and most of the scientists they are supporting.

For Jim Lovelock the transition apparently involved two steps. That lessened the need for a complete about face. He first figured out the Chlorofluorocarbon-Ozone Hole scam by discovering that some scientists were cheating on the data, apparently to further their careers. He probably also knew that the chemists who received the Nobel Prize for their work had overestimated the effect by a large factor. It was not such a huge step to then realize that climate scientists might be doing the same. But Lovelock, to his credit, wanted to be sure and took his time examining the information that you and others sent to him.

My own recognition of what was going on was likewise a two step process. During the ``Nuclear Winter'' scare about 25 years ago, we redid Carl Sagan's original calculations to discover that he had carefully chosen the inputs to his climate code to produce the result he wanted. When we realized that a highly respected physicist would prostitute himself to support his politics, his stature, and his income, we, in principle, understood all the other scams of the post World War Two era.

From 1946 Nobel Laureate Hermann Joseph Muller hiding evidence of a threshold phenomenon in human radiation exposure to Rachael Carson promoting half truths about DDT, to unfounded scares about Acid Rain, Ozone Depletion, Magnetic Fields, Global Warming, Ocean Acidification, Diesel Particulates, and more, we have been victimized by continuous hysteria that has led to disastrous public policies. Far too many scientists and their fellow travelers have supported a grand bilking of American taxpayers for their own selfish and political interests.

Many thanks for your efforts to convince one very important individual to re-examine the logic and evidence. Now we need to figure out how to avoid falling victim to these scams in the first place. As you know, that must involve fundamental reform of the reward process that funnels vast amounts of money to those who play along.

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics),
Corbett, Oregon USA.

Now let me read, in part, what that letter says:

During the ``Nuclear Winter'' scare about 25 years ago, we redid Carl Sagan's original calculations to discover that he had carefully chosen the inputs to his climate code to produce the result he wanted. When we realized that a highly respected physicist would prostitute himself to support his politics, his stature and his income, we, in principle, understood all the other scams of the post World War II era.

Whoever looked up to Carl Sagan, and when they realized he was cheating on the information and the analysis, they realized that this was so widespread it was something to be concerned about. And I continue:

From 1946 Nobel Laureate Hermann Joseph Muller hiding evidence of a threshold phenomenon in human radiation exposure to Rachel Carson promoting half-truths about DDT, to unfounded scares about acid rain, ozone depletion, magnetic fields, global warming, ocean acidification, diesel particulates, and more, we have been victimized by continuous hysteria that has led to disastrous public policies. Far too many scientists and their fellow travelers have supported a grand bilking of American taxpayers for their own selfish and political interests.

That is the end of that quotation from that letter to Burt Rutan from this world famous physicist.

It's clear that our current system, fueled by the horrific waste of borrowed money, isn't working. Perhaps it's time that we acted on President Eisenhower's warning and find a better way to separate research and the creation of regulations. Otherwise, we will find ourselves held truly captive with no access to inexpensive energy, reduced access to food and water, and we might find ourselves also with none of our basic freedoms because we've given them away because someone has frightened us into giving away our freedom and giving away the opportunity for a better life for our children.

Mr. Speaker, I am someone who is very optimistic about the future. We have great possibilities. There are other people who look to the future and think that the technological revolutions that we have faced are actually a detriment to humankind. People did not live good lives 100 years ago. As I mentioned, my father was a marine. Before that, he grew up on a dirt-poor farm in North Dakota, as did my mother. In those days, ordinary Americans did not live well. It was a struggle. The longevity of these people was not that long because of the struggle they were in.

We need to make sure that we continue our technological development so that we can have, yes, a clean environment, which I have indicated was a product of the good technology and, yes, the research that came from honest and hardworking scientists and engineers, quite often on a government contract. But we need to make sure that we don't back off, because we know there is a group of people in our society, and perhaps around the world, who for some reason believe that back before the industrial age that people lived better than they live today. Some of them have tried their best to fight modernism. They have declared war, for example, on the internal combustion engine. This global warming thing, that was the motive here. The internal combustion engine is supposedly putting out carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide they believe is changing the climate of the planet.

I told you what I have asked young students who come into my office. I asked: Is the air better or worse than it was 50 years ago? I even ask Members of Congress and I ask people all the time, the ones who buy into global warming, who are saying they're advocates of global warming caused by mankind--basically the internal combustion engine--what percentage of the Earth's atmosphere is carbon dioxide, is CO

2. I hope that everyone who is focusing on these comments now ask themselves how much CO

2 there is, because CO

2 is being blamed for changing the entire climate of the planet. It would be an enormous undertaking to change the climate of the whole planet, so it must be a pretty good part of our atmosphere.

With that question, Members of Congress tell me that they believe it's 25 percent. Some people say 10 percent. Others say 20 percent. I have never had a Member of Congress come anywhere close to what it really is. It's not 10 percent or 20 percent. It's not 5 percent. It's not 1 percent. It's less than one-half of one-tenth of 1 percent. Have you got that? It's not just 1 percent. It's less than one-half of one-tenth of 1 percent. Of that, humankind is only responsible for 10 percent of that CO

2. That makes it so minuscule that it would be like putting a string across a football field and believing that was going to create changes in the entire football field.

The fact that people are unaware, even at this level, of how small the CO

2 impact is causes them to buy onto these scare tactics. This is a challenge for those of us here because that threatens our freedom. It threatens us and our children in being able to have the opportunities that we had and that we hope that all Americans and all people throughout the world will have.

Let us go back on one thing. I am planning a trip this year across the country, even though the gas prices are pretty high. I'm hopefully going to drive across the country with my children. It's a wonderful thing. What a wonderful vacation. We're going to have 2 weeks to do it. I'm really looking forward to that. We're going to go in an automobile, and it will cost us. The price of gas is up and I'm not a wealthy man, but we do have this opportunity, and it's a wonderful thing.

What about 150 years ago? Did people have an opportunity like this? No. What was the biggest challenge that we faced to the health and safety of the people of this country 150 years ago? Or, let's say just at the beginning of the last century, when we turned from the 19th to the 20th century. Do you know what it was? It was horse manure. Horse manure and horse urine was enveloping our cities and the water and created health hazards for people. And the flies and the stench and the internal combustion engine came along, and it has been a great factor in providing health for human beings. All over the world we got rid of the massive animal droppings that were a threat to our health.

Also, there is the fact that we couldn't produce a lot of wealth based on animal strength and we couldn't go on long trips with our families and we didn't have a good quality of life, but the internal combustion engine provided that for people of the United States and humankind. There is no doubt that we have needed to improve the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, and we have.

Here's the thought we'll leave with. In southern California, when I was a kid, there was so much pollution--although our young people don't know about that today. But today, when they think the air is polluted in southern California, we have twice as many cars on the road and we've reduced pollution into the 90s. It's probably 95 percent. This is a tremendous accomplishment. And yes, some of the regulations that we have had from the Federal Government have motivated this change. We need to accept that. But we need to also accept that it is our technological advances, and it has been not cancelling out technology for fear of things like CO

2, which are not a threat to our health. That's how we have kept America on an upward course, even though we've been dragged down scare after scare after scare.

I remember when we had Meryl Streep come to this Congress and testify about Alar in apples. What happened was, for 2 years apple farmers went broke throughout the United States. There were thousands of families who suffered because their product was not being bought because they were afraid of Alar. What happened to that? Alar, it was found 2 years later that it was all a scare. There was nothing to it. The same thing with cranberries. When I was a kid, we couldn't eat cranberries for Thanksgiving.

The gentleman that I quoted here, that I mentioned, who is the godfather of the global warming theory, James Lovelock, he is also the man who discovered fluoro hydrocarbons, which gave people the analysis of the ozone hole. Well, guess what? The ozone hole, as we have found out--and as it was mentioned in passing there--the ozone hole was overrated as a threat. In fact, it went away, and it's a natural cycle.

What we have had on this planet is a natural cycle of weather, of temperatures, and that will continue. But what's happened is, we've had people step forward, trying to create hysteria for their own political ends, trying to frighten people into accepting policies they otherwise would never accept.

So today, I'm hoping that as we celebrate the Fourth of July, we, again, reaffirm that we will never give up our liberty. We will never be frightened out of our liberty by foreigners who threaten us with weapons, and we will not be frightened out of our liberty by people who do not believe in the same type of freedom that we believe in but are using scare tactics to create hysteria among our people that are phony scare tactics to try to frighten us into giving up our freedom.

So on this Fourth of July, I hope we all reconfirm that guarantee of our commitment in this Nation to freedom, to opportunity for ordinary people so that ordinary people can live decent lives with liberty and justice, prosperity for all.

I yield back the balance of my time


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