|The Week That Was
April 21, 2001
The Week That Was April 21, 2001 brought to you by SEPP
***SPECIAL EARTH DAY ISSUE***
THE WHITE HOUSE IS UNDER ATTACK for its decision to turn down the Kyoto Protocol and for refusing to impose mandatory restrictions on the emission of carbon dioxide from energy generation. The pressures come from foreign politicians and also from US enviro-activist groups. For example, the Friends of the Earth is organizing a campaign (see http://www.foeeurope.org/climate/letter.htm ) to bombard the White House with e-mails, asking Bush to reverse his decision. It is claimed that 70,000 emails have been sent so far. The message says, in part, that "Sabotaging the Kyoto Protocol puts the USA into a position of environmental isolationism and makes it responsible for climate catastrophe."
Last week, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage responded to these pressures by announcing that the United States will propose a new plan to curb global warming, in time for the meeting in Bonn next July. This statement is disturbing not only because it assumes that global warming is a genuine threat, but because it allows very little time for developing a sound policy. Given the short lead-time, we are concerned that any such plan will be drafted by holdover ideologues from among the working staff of the EPA, DOE and State Department, who have not yet been replaced.
YOU CAN HELP IN THREE WAYS, which we will discuss here.
1. Express your views to yr Congresspersons, with copies to the White House.
2. Sign the Leipzig Declaration
3. Support a student crusade to the next climate-negotiating
1. Mail letters (not e-mails) to yr Congressperson [at Wash, DC 20515]
and your two senators [at Wash, DC 20510], with copies to President George
W. Bush and VP Richard Cheney [both at Wash, DC 20500]. Express yr views
about any or all of these: The lack of good science behind the UN-IPCC
conclusions; the economic damage and loss of jobs from the Kyoto Protocol,
its unfairness and ineffectiveness; surrendering US sovereignty to unaccountable
UN bureaucrats; etc.
2. If you have professional credentials in areas related to climate science, consider joining the more than a hundred experts who have already signed the Leipzig Declaration. The LD originated from a conference in the German city of Leipzig in November 1995, organized by the European Academy for Environmental Affairs and SEPP. The LD is well known, esp. in Europe, because it has been viciously attacked there. For example, a few of the original signers did not have the "proper" academic credentials - even though they understand the scientific climate issues quite well. To avoid this kind of smear, we want to restrict the LD to signers with impeccable qualifications. [Current signers are listed on our web site.]
A copy of the LD is appended. Print it out, sign it, and mail to SEPP
before May 15, if possible.
As independent scientists concerned with atmospheric and climate problems, we -- along with many of our fellow citizens -- are apprehensive about emission targets and timetables adopted at the Climate Conference held in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997. This gathering of politicians from some 160 signatory nations aims to impose on citizens of the industrialized nations, -- but not on others -- a system of global environmental regulations that include quotas and punitive taxes on energy fuels to force substantial cuts in energy use within 10 years, with further cuts to follow. Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide -- the announced goal of the Climate Treaty -- would require that fuel use be cut by as much as 60 to 80 percent -- worldwide!
Energy is essential for economic growth. In a world in which poverty is the greatest social pollutant, any restriction on energy use that inhibits economic growth should be viewed with caution. We understand the motivation to eliminate what are perceived to be the driving forces behind a potential climate change; but we believe the Kyoto Protocol -- to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from only part of the world community -- is dangerously simplistic, quite ineffective, and economically destructive to jobs and standards-of-living.
More to the point, we consider the scientific basis of the 1992 Global Climate Treaty to be flawed and its goal to be unrealistic. The policies to implement the Treaty are, as of now, based solely on unproven scientific theories, imperfect computer models -- and the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from an increase in greenhouse gases, requiring immediate action. We do not agree. We believe that the dire predictions of a future warming have not been validated by the historic climate record, which appears to be dominated by natural fluctuations, showing both warming and cooling. These predictions are based on nothing more than theoretical models and cannot be relied on to construct far-reaching policies.
As the debate unfolds, it has become increasingly clear that -- contrary to the conventional wisdom -- there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide. In fact, most climate specialists now agree that actual observations from both weather satellites and balloon-borne radiosondes show no current warming whatsoever--in direct contradiction to computer model results.
Historically, climate has always been a factor in human affairs -- with warmer periods, such as the medieval "climate optimum," playing an important role in economic expansion and in the welfare of nations that depend primarily on agriculture. Colder periods have caused crop failures, and led to famines, disease, and other documented human misery. We must, therefore, remain sensitive to any and all human activities that could affect future climate.
However, based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot subscribe to the politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes and calls for hasty actions. For this reason, we consider the drastic emission control policies deriving from the Kyoto conference -- lacking credible support from the underlying science -- to be ill-advised and premature.
If you are in a climate-science-related field and would like to add your name to the list of signatories, print out and mail or fax the following form:
I agree with the Leipzig Declaration and wish to add my name to the list of signers.
Professional qualifications related to climate (e.g., AMS or AGU membership, relevant publication or position)
3. We plan to take 50+ college students to the next climate conference (which will decide the fate of Kyoto). It will be in Bonn, Germany, starting July 16. We will brief these student-ambassadors thoroughly here before we depart for a week in Europe. There they will buttonhole conference delegates and the media, and do missionary work.
Generous donors have provided seed money for such a project. We are now asking you for scholarship money to help these students defray at least partially the cost of the travel. Our goal is $50,000 in tax-deductible gifts. You may consider sponsoring a student directly; have him apply to us to join the program. Many of you have already sent checks. Please consider increasing your gift.
In response to inquiries about funding for SEPP, we issue again the following statement:
"SEPP does not solicit financial support from either industry or governmental sources. Proposals for funding are directed solely to charitable foundations and private individuals. Some income is derived from SEPP conference fees and the sale of its books and reports to the public.
As a non-profit educational and research 501(c) 3 organization, accepting tax-deductible contributions, SEPP is required to file an annual report with the IRS.
SEPP operates on a modest budget. Its officers and associated scientists do not receive salaries but contribute their services on a pro bono basis."
THE LEIPZIG DECLARATION: SCIENTISTS SAY "NO" TO KYOTO
Robert Watson is the head of the IPCC, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is anything but an "objective scientist." He led the campaign to convert the "voluntary" ban on so-called ozone depleting substances to the legally binding "Montreal Protocol."
Watson chaired the production of the Global Biodiversity Assessment, the massive 1140-page instruction book the United Nations Environment Program published for implementing the 18-page Convention on Biological Diversity.
Now he heads the U.N. panel designed to produce what the world is supposed to believe is the scientific evidence about global warming. Since its inception, the agency has misrepresented the work of climate scientists through distorted summary reports and press releases to present an image of global warming that is not shared by many of the world's climate scientists.
Moreover, the IPCC continues to insist that the "majority" of scientist agree with their conclusions.
A recent Reuters report said:
"Watson dismissed suggestions that there was a 50-50 split in the scientific community over climate change or humanity's role in producing it. 'It's not even 80-20 or 90-10 (in percentage terms). I personally believe it's something like 98-2 or 99-1,' said Watson, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."
Mr. Watson knows full well that his statement is incorrect. For several years, now, he has tried desperately to ignore statements by leading scientists who disagree with the IPCC assessments. The Leipzig Declaration is a statement that disagrees with the Kyoto Protocol, signed by what Watson describes as one or two percent of the world's scientists. *******************************************
Prime Minister John Howard sent an open letter to President Bush last
week in which he said that he understood the US decision and that Kyoto
without the US could not possibly work. The Greens (who are having an
international conference in Canberra) went ballistic when they saw the
letter since it contained no criticism of the US position and amounted
to a sort of shoulder shrug (no US, no Kyoto, oh well...). The Greens
had been counting on recruiting Australia into an anti-US, pro-Kyoto alliance
with the EU (who says they will proceed anyway without the US). Environment
minister Robert Hill has said that such an approach is futile, so both
he and the PM want nothing to do with any move to ratify Kyoto without
The contracts resulted from the Emission Reduction Unit Procurement Tender
Comment: Let us commiserate with the hapless Dutch taxpayers as they take the first step down the slippery slope.
While in Washington this week, Dutch environment minister Jan Pronk's proposed a compromise to save Kyoto: "We cannot start over. Kyoto is the only game in town." He would keep targets and timetables, but allow more sinks. [The enviros won't like that!] U.S. withdrawal would also "be a blow to U.S. businesses," he said, and could result in restricting U.S. access to European markets. [Oh? Is this some kind of blackmail?]
Our prediction: It won't fly; even rational environmentalists admit that Kyoto is dead.
Our proposal to Mr. Pronk: Change the Kyoto base date from 1900 to 2000 -- and watch Germany and UK withdraw their support. Then---remove the European "bubble" ---and watch the rest of Europe drop out.
DESCRIPTION: Tall, green beta-male, with high cellulose content. Tennessee native, recently moved from Naval Observatory quarters to Arlington, VA. Speaks very clearly and slowly, with gestures, to make sure you understand. May have been abducted from Columbia University, near the School of Journalism, though no one can verify what he may have been doing there. Friends and loved ones became suspicious when he failed to appear despite a Presidential announcement of the death of the Kyoto Protocol. If found, please call Greening Earth (Day) Society in Washington, D.C. No reward offered.