Steamed over global warming

By Jane Chastain

I’m steamed over global warming. It’s not because the earth is heating up. Quite the contrary.

Just last week, U.S. scientists based at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station announced that, finally, they have been able to measure the temperature of the atmosphere 18 to 68 miles over the pole. They found it to be 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit colder than those computer models used to predict global warming showed.

For the first time in six years, the annual federal report on air pollution trends has no section on global warming and radical environmentalists – who have worked tirelessly to convince us that we are facing a great climate crisis – are crying foul.

Jeremy Symons of the National Wildlife Federation has accused the White House of censorship. Symons and his friends should be reminded that this annual report is to track pollutants that directly threaten people or ecosystems: substances like lead, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a colorless, odorless, trace gas present in the atmosphere. It is produced naturally by animals and humans when their bodies convert food into energy and tissue, and then exchanged for oxygen in the lungs and exhaled as a waste product. It also is produced by the decay of plants and by the burning of any substance that contains carbon, such as coal, gasoline and wood.

The carbon dioxide in our atmosphere helps regulate the Earth’s temperature. When sunlight reaches the Earth, the carbon dioxide and other gases in our atmosphere help trap the heat. This is known as the greenhouse effect. Without this effect, the earth’s average temperate would be about 60 degrees Fahrenheit lower than it is.

In the process known as photosynthesis, plants take the carbon dioxide from the air and combine it with energy from the sun, along with water and minerals from the soil, to make their food. Many plants would die if the level of carbon dioxide dropped below 190 to 200 parts per million. Myron Ebell, a climate expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, reports that, before the industrial revolution, the atmosphere contained 270 PPM. Today, the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is about 380 PPM.

There is a debate among scientists over how much carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would be too much. However, if the level of carbon dioxide rose to the high end in the current climate models, around 800 PPM, there is consensus on this one thing: There will be more plant growth and an overall greening of the planet.

Ask yourself, “Why was a chapter on the global-warming theory first inserted into the annual federal report on air pollution in the first place?” Six years ago, Al Gore was vice-president of the United States. Could it be that Al Gore had a vested interest in promoting this theory? In his 1992 book, “Earth in the Balance,” Mr. Gore boldly went out on a limb and proclaimed that global warming “is the most serious threat we have ever faced.”

During his eight years as vice-president, Mr. Gore never missed an opportunity to blame a natural disaster on global warming.

Ebell is also the chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition – a group dedicated to separating fact from fiction in the global-warming debate. He said that, during the Clinton-Gore administration, more than a dozen government scientists privately contacted him and expressed support for his work. However, when he asked them to join, they told him that they had been told bluntly that it would be unhealthy for their careers to be associated with any person or group that was skeptical of this theory. Now that is what I call censorship!

Since, 1988, when global warming first was introduced as a potential problem, we the taxpayers have spent some $18 billion for researchers to study this theory. The preponderance of the evidence show that there has been no appreciable warming since 1940 – before the widespread use of the internal combustion engine – which indicates that we humans have had very little, if any, effect on the climate at all.

Global warming is just the latest weapon to be used by the global police who want to ban the burning of fossil fuel. Prior to 1988, it was global cooling and resource depletion. Now that this theory has been examined, they simply are unwilling to admit defeat.

I am steamed over the fact that we still have some 2 billion taxpayer dollars a year going to people who are working to prop up this failed theory. We’re fighting a war against terrorism and facing a budget that is full of red ink. Isn’t it time we move on?