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Badgering Bush on global warming
Posted By Linda Bowles On 06/19/2001 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
President George Bush was treated with official cordiality and unofficial slight by several European leaders. He was also savaged unmercifully by a sensationalist, gossipy European press, which presented the president of the United States as a Texas cowboy with stupid ideas about foreign affairs and global issues. This is to say, Bush was treated much the same way as he is treated by American liberals and the American “mainstream” media.
The European Union, which consists of 15 countries, differed with Bush on many issues, including his intention to develop a defensive shield against nuclear attacks. The core issue that ruffled foppish European feathers was Bush’s firm belief that the Kyoto Protocol is a seriously flawed approach to solving problems associated with global warming.
Prime Minister Goran Persson of Sweden put it bluntly: “The European Union will stick to the Kyoto Protocol and go for a ratification process.” He suggested that America was pursuing a “wrong policy” that would endanger the global environment.
Could it be true that President Bush is wrong in rejecting the Kyoto Protocol? Most Americans probably think so based on widespread news accounts of a report on global warming recently delivered to the president by the National Academy of Sciences. For example, CNN’s Michele Mitchell said the report represented “a unanimous decision that global warming is real, is getting worse and is due to man. There is no wiggle room.”
Richard S. Lindzen, professor of meteorology at MIT, was one of the 11 scientists who prepared the NAS report. He wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial that the full report (as opposed to the summary report) made it clear “there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them.” In effect, the mainstream media got it wrong.
The panel on which Professor Lindzen served was asked by President Bush to evaluate the work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, paying special attention to the Summary for Policymakers, which is the document most often quoted by those who endorse the Kyoto accord.
Lindzen writes that the Summary for Policymakers is a distortion of the full IPCC report: “It represents a consensus of government representatives … rather than of scientists. The resulting document has a strong tendency to disguise uncertainty, and conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence.”
Lindzen took no chances that he would be misunderstood. Speaking as a scientist, he wrote, “I cannot stress this enough — we are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate change to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future.”
As an analyst of current events, and not as a scientist, I would pose these questions: If those who designed the Kyoto Protocol were genuinely convinced that global warming is a man-made threat to the planet, why would they exempt from its provisions the activities of 80 percent of the world’s population? Why would they exempt over a hundred countries, including China and India, the No. 2 and No. 3 largest producers of greenhouse gases in the world?
A case could be made that the Kyoto Protocol is not about global warming at all. It is about using environmental fears to advance an egalitarian political agenda, defined as: empowering global governance, overriding national sovereignty, redistributing the world’s wealth, and punishing the United States for its economic dominance.
In his book “Global Greens,” James M. Sheehan cites a cogent question asked by Canadian journalist Elaine Dewar: “How do you persuade (citizens in democracies) to give up sovereign national powers? How do you make them hand over power to supranational institutions they cannot affect, control or remove? You make it seem as if this will serve their best interests. You terrify them with the grave dangers national governments cannot protect them from.”
If we ratify a global treaty mandating restriction of greenhouse gases, United Nations bureaucrats, indifferent to our Constitution, will be crawling all over America inspecting our factories, cars, appliances, fireplaces, energy taxes and environmental laws. They will issue compliance demands and impose penalties. It is a globalist’s dream come true.
America’s intellectual elite and the media dupes who parrot them have redefined patriotism and national self-interest. They and the socialists in Europe call President Bush an isolationist and a unilateralist because he will not cooperate in the leveling of America’s greatness and the elevation of a global government, whose mission is to enforce an equal distribution of misery throughout the world.
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