23 Mar 2007 When the Debate is Balanced, Skeptics Win, Alarmists Lose
Senator James Inhofe’s opening statement before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee at the March 21, 2007 hearing featuring Al Gore:
Thank you for holding this hearing, Madame Chairman, and to you also, Mr. Vice President, for agreeing to come before our Committee to testify about your perspectives. Your views are already known to many Americans, but today will allow us to engage in a dialogue which should be interesting.
It is my perspective that your global warming alarmist pronouncements are now and have always been filled with inaccuracies and misleading statements. Many of the peer-reviewed studies published in such journals as Nature, Geophysical Research Letters, and Science are radically at odds with your claims. I do not have time to delve into each flaw with your movie, but I do want to touch on just two.
First, you have claimed that there is a ���strong, new emerging consensus��� linking global warming to an increase in hurricane intensity and duration. Yet last year, the World Meteorological Organization very clearly rejected this assertion, and other scientists agree.
Secondly, you said that East Antarctica might melt and this could raise sea levels by 20 feet, so we���re all going to die. However, according to many scientists, Antarctica is gaining ice mass, not losing it. In a 2005 study published in Science a team of researchers led by Dr. Curt Davis found an overall gain in ice mass in Antarctica over a ten-year period.
And the public is catching on. Even the New York Times last week published an article about scientists, many of them your supporters, who say you have overstated your case on global warming – in fact, they warn that you may be hurting the so-called cause with your “alarmism.”
Given that, it is no wonder you have turned down the chance to debate the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus. And now I understand a debate challenge has been issued by Lord Monckton of Benchley.
Now there is a reason for this.
When the debate is balanced, skeptics win, alarmists lose. In New York last week, for instance, a major debate took place to examine whether global warming is a crisis. Prior to the debate, the hand-wringers, the alarmists, in the audience outnumbered those who didn���t think it was a crisis 2 to 1. After the debate, the alarmists were outnumbered ��� a major turnaround in beliefs in a single night.
That shift mirrors a larger one taking place in the scientific community. Claude Allegre, a French geophysicist, Nir Shaviv, an Israeli astrophysicist, and meteorologist Reid Bryson have converted from alarmists to believing that climate variability is largely natural. In short, the ranks of converted scientists are skyrocketing.
Lastly, the cost: Global warming is now big business. Thousands of individuals and even some Fortune 100 companies stand to make tens of billions of dollars.
I was on the floor opposing the ���93 Clinton-Gore tax increase of $32 billion, but the cost of Kyoto and other CO2 reduction schemes are estimated to be over $300 billion, ten times the cost of your ���93 tax increase. And who���s paying for it? Those on fixed incomes and the poor, who as a percent of their monthly budget spend five times more on energy than the average household.
Largest tax increase in history ��� 10 times Clinton-Gore of ���93 and the poor pay for it�Ķ and the science isn���t there. We just can���t do that to America, Mr. Vice President�Ķ and we���re not gonna.
Note: I am reprinting excerpts of statements from Congressional hearings on climate change. This is in part to create a permanent Internet archive, as, regrettably, Congress cannot be relied upon to maintain the archives of its committee’s websites. The previous post in this series:
The Human Cost of Climate Change Policies – an excerpt of testimony by Robert E. Murray of Murray Energy before the Energy and Mineral Resources Committee of the U.S. House Resources Committee, 3/20/07