The Week That Was
November 13, 1999

The irrepressible Marla Cone is at it again. Her report in the LA Times (Nov. 4), espousing a global warming study sponsored by the Union of Confused Scientists, sparked a fearful LA Times editorial two days later. Read about it in our Letter to the Editor (which they are unlikely to print). It's GLOBAL COOLING you should be fearful of, dummies!

The Week That Was November 13, 1999 brought to you by SEPP

"THE HEAT IS ON" IN MINNESOTA (on Nov 16, 1999)

The White House campaign to stir up regional concerns about global warming seems to be bearing fruit -- at least in some places. The Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul have passed resolutions calling for a Summit on Climate Change. The summit, called 'The Heat Is On', will be held 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, November 16, 1999, at the Landmark Center, in Saint Paul. "It will bring stakeholders together to discuss the implications of climate change for Minnesota communities and to consider strategies for working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Phone 651/225-0878 or email"

Shades of Ross Gelbspan and his 1997 "The Heat is On" campaign in the Twin Cities. The Star-Tribune was taken in by his book and lecture, publishing a glowing editorial (May 22, 1997) in support of his allegations, praising his "public service" in exposing "contrarian scientists". They also ventured the opinion that the ideas of "skeptics Patrick Michaels, S. Fred Singer, and Robert Balling" have been "found to be without merit." After a complaint, the Minnesota Press Council ruled against the Star-Tribune and forced a retraction. They even had to publish a "Counterpoint" by Fred Singer (June 8, 1998). It took a lot of time and effort, but it was worth it.


The widely advertised 1999 Earth Technologies Forum, held in Washington DC in September, dissolved in a miasma of confusion. As reported in The Electricity Daily, international speakers chided the United States; others decried the lack of direction. The huge conference had over 700 representatives from the usual cast of characters from more than 30 countries. It was organized by tame industry groups, The International Climate Change Partnership and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, and cosponsored by several US government departments and by UNEP.

But one of the organizers, Kevin Fay, admitted that the Kyoto Protocol "lacks a long-term objective." While the goal is to stabilize atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, "there is no consensus as to what the concentrations or rates of change should be," he complains. "What levels represent 'dangerous interference'?" he asks, adding "we don't know."

Now where have we heard this before?


Rising levels of CO2 not only lead to faster tree growth but also to the more efficient use of water. Xiahong Feng (Dartmouth College) measured the changing ratio of different carbon isotopes in the annual growth rings of a range of American trees and found an underlying trend that matched the rise in global CO2 levels. As reported in the New Scientist (October 2, 1999), "The rate of increase [in water-use efficiency] started low in the 19th century, but increased rapidly for most trees in the 20th century." [Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol 63, p 1891, 1999]. Feng's discovery may lead to projects for growing forests in dry areas of the world.


A special issue of The Energy Journal (1999), published by the International Association of Energy Economists and edited by Stanford professor John P. Weyant addresses "The Costs of Kyoto: A Multi-Model Evaluation". Of the many contributions by 46 leading economists, particularly noteworthy is the article "Requiem for Kyoto: An Economic Analysis" by William Nordhaus and Joseph Boyer. Read it and enjoy!


A coalition of environmental organizations has announced an $11 million campaign this fall "to educate the public about global warming." The National Environmental Trust, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Physicians for Social Responsibly will spend $ 8 million on TV advertisements on over 200 stations from coast to coast. Another $3 million will be spent on grassroots organizing, mainly for a web site www.HotEarth.NET. It will allow "concerned citizens" to communicate directly and automatically with legislators.

[We won't comment whether this should be considered as "lobbying", since we're not lawyers. We can comment, however, that they are spending about 20 times as much on their web activities as we are. Presumably, therefore 95% of their funding must go to salaries and other amenities.]

You should not miss the ad by the National Environmental Trust (now that's an oxymoron!): "Help children breathe easier -- by fixing global warming." According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of children with asthma has more than doubled in the last 13 years in the US. NET tries to link this to more smog, then smog to more heat, and then heat to human-induced climate change. What's wrong with this logic? Plenty.

According to EPA, smog and other forms of air pollution have declined all over the United States. Next, smog is produced when solar radiation, not heat, acts on atmospheric pollutants; and there is nothing we can do about sunshine. {Anyway, is asthma more common in Arizona than in Chicago?) And finally, the causes of asthma are elusive; many authorities blame it on indoor pollution and the lack of outdoor exercise. Most reprehensible though is the effort by environmental extremists to ban inhalers that stop severe asthma attacks, because they release small amounts of CFCs into the atmosphere..


Cathie Adams ( reports from Bonn, Germany, at the Fifth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 5) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

"As a Texan, let me explain to outsiders that it is rude to ask a Texas rancher how many cattle he owns or how many acres are on his ranch. When the United Nations asks, then, how many cattle a rancher owns because they want to figure how much methane gas they produce, it's beyond insult; it's outrageous!

"The UN is worried that cattle produce one of the "global warming" gases: methane. They are considering a "rule" that would force Texas ranchers to declare how many cattle they own and what they feed them in order to estimate how much "global warming gas" they produce! The delegates are also to determine what the "consequences" will be if the U.S. fails to comply with that target. It is conceivable that in the near future the UN will "rule" that global citizens become vegetarians in order to reduce methane gas levels!

"The bottom line is that this "global warming" treaty presents the ultimate government control mechanism. If they can create "rules" about how much methane gas cows can produce, then imagine the extent to which they will try to press their unscientific agenda to create "rules" for every American industry from automobile manufacturers to widget makers.

"It may be a good thing, however, that the UN wants to tangle with Texas farmers and ranchers, because they know how to handle hot air producers. They simply tell them they are "all hat and no cattle!" Too bad the White House can't handle such a simple task."
See y'all next week….

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