- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -

The Global Warming Debates Aren’t Over. (Part 5 in a 10-part series)

Posted By Nicolas Loris On May 8, 2009 @ 2:20 pm In Energy | Comments Disabled

When it comes global warming, two debates are currently taking place. At the forefront is the political debate. Current legislation introduced by House Democrats Ed Markey and Henry Waxman includes a cap-and-trade plan to attempt to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. But the debate unfortunately (and like most political debates) has largely evolved into each party talking past each other.

In fact, even Democrats have been talking past each other, which forced Chairman Waxman to bypass subcommittee markup and moving to full committee to keep the bill moving forward—though this may have changed today. Regardless, A number of Democrats have concerns about job losses and the detrimental economic effects that will result from the Waxman-Markey bill. Recent Congressional Budget Office testimony that a 15 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, a target that the Waxman-Markey proposal would reach within a decade, was estimated to cost the average household $1,600 per year [1].

Instead of having a meaningful debate and carefully analyzing the legislation and its consequences, Waxman seems more concerned about keeping a strict timeline. House Speaker Pelosi recently said [2], “The committee is going to work its will on its own timetable. But it will fit in the timetable to move it so we can move on to health care.”

Then there’s the debate on the backburner, but it’s the reason we’re even considering legislation that would impose crushing energy taxes, millions of jobs lost and falling household income – all for little environmental benefit. That’s the scientific debate.

Despite the lack of consensus [3]and waning public belief [4]that man-made activity is a significant contributor to global warming and that global warming is a serious threat, we’re told otherwise. In fact, in the EPA’s recent endangerment finding said that global warming and climate change pose a serious threat to public health and safety and thus almost anything that emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The overview of the finding included this [5]:

After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence on the causes and impacts of current and future climate change, as well as other effects of greenhouse gases, the Administrator concludes that the science compellingly supports a positive endangerment finding for both public health and welfare. In her decision, the Administrator relied heavily upon the major findings and conclusions from recent assessments of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

700 scientists, including some current and former UN IPCC scientists, tend to disagree [6]. The quotes (available here [6]) from dissenting atmospheric scientists are very compelling. We’ve often cited studies and conclusions from credible scientists arguing the global warming debate is anything but compelling and overwhelming. See, for instance:

Addressing Drastic Sea Level Rises [7]
Natural Forces Slow Warming [8]
Tropical Cyclone Activity [9]
Warming and Cooling in the North Pacific [10]
Climate Change Modeling and the Sun’s Effect on Global Temperature [11]
Climate Engineering and the Fallacies in the EPA’s ANPR [12]
Anthropogenic Effects on Global Warming [13]
Global Warming is Irreversible [14]
Scientists Make Anti-Global Warming Case [15]

More recently, National Geographic reports that [16],

The sun is the least active it’s been in decades and the dimmest in a hundred years. The lull is causing some scientists to recall the Little Ice Age, an unusual cold spell in Europe and North America, which lasted from about 1300 to 1850.”

Yet, the article warns [16],

Even if the current solar lull is the beginning of a prolonged quiet, the scientists say, the star’s effects on climate will pale in contrast with the influence of human-made greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2).”

What? The sun’s effect on climate will pale in comparison to man’s CO2 emissions? Even if a very small portion of atmospheric emissions come from man? This leads us to wonder how conclusive the science really is.


Without fully understanding how or why the earth is warming or cooling, do we really want to embark on a policy that will extract trillions from our economy to reduce the earth’s temperature too small to ever notice?

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/08/the-global-warming-debates-aren%e2%80%99t-over-part-5-in-a-10-part-series/

URLs in this post:

[1] $1,600 per year: http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/tst050509c.cfm

[2] said: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22207.html

[3] lack of consensus : http://www.foundry.org/2009/04/17/epa-threatens-our-economy-by-officially-announcing-global-warming-is-a-threat/

[4] waning public belief : http://www.foundry.org/2009/04/20/global-warming-support-falling-faster-than-ice-shelves/

[5] this: http://epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/downloads/Determination.pdf

[6] tend to disagree: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2158072E-802A-23AD-45F0-274616DB87E6

[7] Addressing Drastic Sea Level Rises: http://www.foundry.org/2009/04/16/global-warming-science-update-addressing-drastic-sea-level-rises/

[8] Natural Forces Slow Warming: http://www.foundry.org/2009/03/26/global-warming-science-update-natural-forces-slow-warming/

[9] Tropical Cyclone Activity: http://www.foundry.org/2009/03/16/global-warming-science-report-tropical-cyclone-activity/

[10] Warming and Cooling in the North Pacific: http://www.foundry.org/2009/03/10/heartland-update-warming-and-cooling-in-the-north-pacific/

[11] Climate Change Modeling and the Sun’s Effect on Global Temperature: http://www.foundry.org/2009/03/10/heartland-update-climate-change-modeling-and-the-sun%e2%80%99s-effect-on-global-temperature/

[12] Climate Engineering and the Fallacies in the EPA’s ANPR: http://www.foundry.org/2009/03/09/heartland-update-climate-engineering-and-the-fallacies-in-the-epa%e2%80%99s-anpr/

[13] Anthropogenic Effects on Global Warming: http://www.foundry.org/2009/03/09/heartland-update-anthropogenic-effects-on-global-warming/

[14] Global Warming is Irreversible: http://www.foundry.org/2009/01/27/global-warming-is-irreversible/

[15] Scientists Make Anti-Global Warming Case: http://www.foundry.org/2008/12/11/scientists-make-their-anti-global-warming-case/

[16] that: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090504-sun-global-cooling.html

Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.