The Week That Was
Dec. 25, 2004


The book mirrors the claims of real-life environmental activists, says Ronald Bailey, Reason magazine's science correspondent, who reviews "State of Fear" for the Wall Street Journal (Dec. 10, 2004). Crichton's novel features global warming as a key issue, but real evidence suggests that by the end of this century, the planet may warm to 0.8 degrees Celsius, which is hardly a cause for alarm. Yet the environmental lobby spends about $1.95 billion per year to influence Washington, says Bailey.
"Mythology distracts us everywhere. For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie: deliberate, contrived and dishonest. But the myth: persistent, persuasive, unrealistic."
-- John F. Kennedy





Moderator of ClimateSceptics



2. Kyoto: A Dialogue Of The Deaf In Which Prejudice And Stylised Facts Rule.

A comment to BBC-Talking Point
by Dr Alister McFarquhar
Downing College, Cambridge

Current fluctuations in climate are well within past experience -- and so is the gradual warming since 1850, at the end of a centuries-long Little Ice Age. Carbon-dioxide levels have been much higher long before industrialisation. And CO2 is not a pollutant but a fertilizer for grass and trees.

There is no clear evidence of warming in the past quarter-century from weather satellites and balloons: Many experienced scientists think any warming will be modest --- less than 1 degree by 2100- and manageable without Kyoto. The probability that climate is affected by GH gases rather than sunspot activity is too low to justify paying insurance by limiting emissions on the precautionary principle.

The cost of Kyoto will be crippling at a time when economic growth promises to be more elusive. China and India with half the world's population are major sources of future emissions and are not involved

Prediction of catastrophic warming depends on models driven by contestable assumptions and untested science hypothesis. The Hockey Stick model describing long-term relatively stable temperatures and a sharp rise in the last decades is now discredited.

Faced with scientific dispute, many invoke the "consensus" defence. If science were driven by consensus, we would still exist in a pre -Galilean world

Sequestration of CO2 is a thoroughly bad idea: energy-wasting, costly, and quite ineffective. Besides, it presupposes that CO2 is a pollutant.
Please repeat after me three times: CO2 is not a pollutant; it is good for crops and trees-and for people.

Fred Singer comment to the Becker-Posner blog <>

3. Species Come And Go - And So Do We
By Mark Steyn
(Daily Telegraph: 14/12/2004)

Professor Lloyd Peck of the British Antarctic Survey is worried about - stop me if you've heard this one before - global warming. For this year's Royal Institution Christmas lecture, he'll be warning that the merest smidgeonette of an increase in temperature in the south polar seabed will lead to the loss of a zillion species. As the oceans warm, the ice shelves that extend from the polar depths into the sub-Antarctic light will shrink, and the thick mats of algae on their underside will vanish, and the billions of tiny krill that feed on them will perish, and pretty soon, up at the scenic end of the food chain, all those cute seals and penguins and whales will be gone.

And all this will happen if the temperature goes up two degrees, from butt-numbingly freezing to marginally less butt-numbingly freezing. "It is going to be really unpleasant," Prof Peck tells the Guardian. "We are going to lose things - we just don't know how much."

Each to his own. I like whales. I spend a lot of time on the north shore of the St Lawrence and around the Saguenay fjord in Quebec, and it would certainly be a duller place without the whales gaily plashing hither and yon. But what I find curious about this sort of thing is that Prof Peck is supposed to be a scientist and the newspaper reporting his views is famously rational. A month ago, for example, it was mocking the kind of folks who'd re-elected George W Bush - men of faith, not science, many of them from jurisdictions where the school boards are packed with creationists who look askance at Darwin, evolution and the like.

Evolution posits that species will come and go: some die out, some survive and evolve. I don't regard myself as anything terribly special but in a typical year I'm exposed to temperatures from around 98 degrees to 45 below freezing, in the lower part of which range I evolve into my long underwear.

Maybe if the Antarctic food chain is incapable of evolving to cope with a two-degree increase in temperature across many decades, it isn't meant to survive. Science tells us that extinction is a fact of life, and that nature is never still: long before the Industrial Revolution, long before the first lardbuttus Americanus got into his primitive four-miles-per-gallon SUV to head to the mall for the world's first cheeseburger, there were dramatic fluctuations in climate wiping out a ton of stuff. Yet scientists and their cheerleaders, the hyper-rationalists at the progressive newspapers, have signed on to the idea that evolution should cease and the world should be frozen - literally, in the case of Prof Peck and his beloved algae - in some unchanging Edenic state.

Well, good luck to him. If I see a chap with a "Save the algae" collecting box, I'm happy to chip in a fiver. But, at the same time as the Royal Institute and the Guardian and all other bien pensants are in a mass panic at the thought of the krill having to adjust his way of life, they're positively insouciant about massive changes to our own habitat. You like fox-hunting? You're not entirely cool with gay marriage? You prefer English common law to this new Euro-pudding legal code? Tough, shrugs the Guardian.

Stuff happens, things change, adapt or die. Perhaps he'll give us some hard numbers in his lecture but, insofar as I can tell, Prof Peck's doomsday scenario depends on a lot of "ifs". In the course of several decades, the temperature might indeed increase sufficiently, and that might reduce the algae, and that might diminish by several billion the number of krill, and that might impact the lifestyle of the Antarctic penguin by, oh, 2050, 2060.

But, on the other hand, somebody might have invented a thing the size of the Palm Pilot you staple to the seabed that automatically lowers the temperature by two degrees and we'll have wall-to-wall algae. Who can say?

What we do know for certain is that the krill's chances of survival are a lot greater than, say, those of the Italians, or the Germans, or the Japanese, Russians, Greeks and Spaniards, all of whom will be in steep population decline long before the Antarctic krill. By 2025, one in every three Japanese will be over 65, and that statistic depends on the two out of three who aren't over 65 sticking around to pay the tax bills required to support the biggest geriatric population in history.

Does the impending extinction of the Japanese and Russians not distress anyone? How about the Italians? They gave us the Sistine Chapel, the Mona Lisa, Gina Lollobrigida, linguine, tagliatelle, fusilli. If you're in your scuba suit down on the ice shelf dining with the krill and you say you'd like your algae al dente in a carbonara sauce, they'll give you a blank look. Billions of years on Earth and all they've got is the same set menu they started out with. But try and rouse the progressive mind to a "Save the Italians" campaign and you'll get nowhere. Luigi isn't as important as algae, even though he, too, is a victim of profound environmental changes: globally warmed by Euro-welfare, he no longer feels the need to breed. And, if he doesn't care if he survives, why should the penguins and the krill feel any differently? Given the choice between the krill's hypothetically impending extinction and their own impending extinction already under way, Europeans would apparently rather fret about the denizens of the deep. Even Chesterton, who observed that once man has ceased to believe in God he'll believe in anything, might have marvelled at how swift the decay from post-Christian to post-evolutionary. Like the old song says: What's it all about - algae?


4. News from COP-10 in Buenos Aires

BBC reports: Around 6,000 people, including 190 governmental delegations and representatives of industry and environmental groups, have gathered in Buenos Aires for the UN climate conference.

Environmental campaigners from Greenpeace built a model of Noah's Ark, 30m long and 7m high, in the centre of Buenos Aires in an effort to stress that urgent action needs to be taken to combat the effects of climate change.

"We have a queue of people wearing lifejackets trying to get into the ark," Greenpeace campaigner Stephanie Tunmore told the BBC. "It symbolises the danger of climate change and the risk that we are running by not doing anything about it, the millions of people that will lose their lives if we don't sort this problem out."

With the United States keeping to the sidelines, delegates from more than 190 countries have gathered in Buenos Aires -- both to celebrate the enactment of the Kyoto Protocol, the first treaty requiring cuts in greenhouse gases linked to global warming, and to look beyond 2012, when its terms expire, The New York Times reports.

UN Climate Conference Called 'Meeting About Nothing'
By Marc Morano Senior Staff Writer
Dec. 13, 2004

Buenos Aires, Argentina ( - The United Nations climate change conference here is being panned as a "conference about nothing" by a free market advocate.

"The Kyoto Protocol is a treaty about nothing. It's the Seinfeld (TV sitcom) conference," declared Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the free market environmental group Competitive Enterprise Institute. Horner was referring to the former NBC sitcom that billed itself as a show about nothing. "This is a conference where on the very first day, the participants agreed that they would not issue an agreement at the end of the conference -- which is the only thing they typically produce [at these annual conferences] besides lots of warm CO2"

The conference in Buenos Aires will be the final meeting before the Kyoto Protocol goes into effect in February, following Russia's recent ratification. The treaty, opposed by the United States, is an international agreement that seeks to reduce developed nations' greenhouse gas emissions by 2012.

One of the chief aims of the U.N. meeting here is to put pressure on the U.S. to agree to mandatory greenhouse gas emission limits.

Fred Singer, the president of the U.S.-based Science & Environmental Policy Project, opposes the Kyoto Protocol and believes that the science does not support catastrophic climate-change predictions.

"[The conference] will try to prepare the world for the fact that Kyoto is completely ineffective and is only what they call a 'first step'" Singer told before the conference began.

Singer said Kyoto proponents concede the treaty will have little, if any, effect on climate change, and he predicted that Kyoto advocates will seek much more restrictive treaties to roll back emissions. "We already know what [Kyoto Protocol supporters] want. They want a 60 to 80 percent reduction in emissions from the 1990 base -- compare that with Kyoto, which calls for a 5 percent reduction -- so [they want] something like 12-16 more Kyotos."

Singer said the environmentalists and U.N. delegates ultimately will fail in their efforts to impact the world's climate -- "which means they will continue to meet every year as they have, to spend our money." He predicted that the bureaucracy will grow.

Singer believes that the overwhelming focus on the U.S. and whether or not it agrees to the Kyoto Protocol is misplaced. "By the end of this decade, the [greenhouse gas] emissions from China and India are going to outstrip U.S. emissions," Singer said, noting that both nations -- as developing countries -- are exempt from Kyoto's emission restrictions. "As we go along further into the century, U.S. emissions are going to become irrelevant," he added.

"By 2025, the developed countries will be producing more greenhouse gases than all industrialized countries combined," Horner said.

5. Open Letter to Sir David King,
from Timo Hämeranta MLL
Moderator of ClimateSkeptics

You have made Climate Change your favourite political agenda, but your knowledge of Climatology is totally outdated and obsolete.
I refer to almost 400 new scientific studies that show that

*CO2 is not the main driver in climate variations -
*Current warm phase is in no way 'unprecedented' in climate history -
*There is no Polar amplification -
*There is no dangerous or even remarkable enhanced GH effect -
*The influence of increasing CO2 on global warming is almost indiscernible
*The feedback mechanisms diminish even more the miniscule warming
influence of increasing CO2 -
*To prepare only for global warming is scientifically unjustified -
*Nobody knows how climate changes in near or far future -
*All the modelled projections, scenarios and 'storylines' presented have no
predictive ability -
*More research is needed before any predictions, conclusions or recommendations about climate system and for human actions are in any way scientifically plausible and justified -
*The current prevailing scientific basis of the EU decisions in force and in preparation is obsolete and outdated.

For more information incl. the references, please see my
Submission to EU Commission October 24, 2004 "The SCIENTIFIC BASIS of PREVAILING CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS and CLIMATE POLICIES in EU are OBSOLETE" online <>

I also suggest careful study of these references to all scientists participating in yr symposium on Stabilisation of Greenhouse Gases 1-3 February, 2005 at UK Met Office, Exeter, <>

6. So long, Kyoto. We hardly knew ye
National Post (Toronto)
20 Dec 2004
By Lorne Gunter

Sometime in February, champagne corks will pop over at the IPCC -- the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- the U.N body responsible for monitoring global warming; and at Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, and perhaps even at Environment Canada, which, as much as any government department in the world, has been enraptured by the Kyoto Protocol. February is when the treaty officially takes effect.

Signed in 1997, the agreement to limit CO2 emissions from factories and cars reached its formal activation point only in November of this year when Russia signed on. Countries responsible for at least 55% of the globe's emissions had to pass the accord for it to take effect. Reaching that magic number proved impossible without Russia. When the Americans declined to ratify, and the Australians withdrew, and the Brazilians, Indians, Indonesians and Chinese demurred at accepting emissions caps until at least 2012, only Russia with its 17% had enough to put Kyoto over the top.

Until recently, Russia had refused to ratify, as well. Andrei Illarionov, the chief economic advisor to President Vladimir Putin, described Kyoto as an "economic Auschwitz" for Russia. In late 2003, Mr. Putin even sent him on a world lecture tour to explain why Russia wouldn't be joining.

The Russian government initially thought it could make money by signing on. In 1997, the country's industrial output had dropped from what it was in the old Soviet days, an advantage given that Kyoto's limits are calculated by reference to 1990-era emission levels. The United Nations told Russia it could sell its spare emissions to wealthier countries that would never be able to reach their Kyoto goals otherwise.

But Russian economic prospects improved. President Putin decided a year or two ago there would be few emission credits to sell. Kyoto no longer made economic sense, so he wouldn't ratify.

It didn't hurt, either, that the Russian Academy of Sciences -- which has probably done more research on Arctic climate change than any other body in the world -- believes there is little significant warming, and that what warming there is isn't man-made.

Since the Russian withdrawal, the Europeans have been working feverishly to make the deal make sense again to Mr. Putin. They have been dangling membership in the World Trade Organization and a trade pact with the European Union in front of him in return for Kyoto acceptance.

In November, Mr. Putin finally bit. Professor Illarionov still maintains that Kyoto, by itself, makes no economic sense for Russia. But with WTO membership and greater access to world markets, the benefits outweigh the harms.

Think none of this deal-making and strategizing has anything to do with saving the environment? Then you understand the Kyoto accord better than you think.

The Europeans have always wanted the deal not because they wanted to save the planet -- they are themselves more than 15% above their Kyoto emission targets -- but because they've calculated that if they can shame the Americans into agreeing, too, they will hobble the Yanks and give themselves an economic advantage in international trade.

Why do you think 1990 was chosen as the base year? That was the year Britain switched from coal to gas and the dirty old Soviet-era factories of East Germany and Central Europe were shuttered. Europe reasoned meeting 1990-level targets would cost them little or nothing.

And developing nations signed on in 1997 only because they were promised the caps wouldn't apply to them until 2012 at the earliest. Their industries are six to 10 times dirtier on a per-GDP basis than the developed world's. But the United Nations gave them a pass because their economies were "emerging." Now that it's time to begin Round II of Kyoto negotiations -- the round to put caps on developing nations -- they aren't keen to join.

For the past two weeks, all the signatories to Kyoto have been meeting in Argentina. There are 160 signatories, although the emission caps apply only to 38 of them. None of them are in compliance with their targets. Not one.

And now that the developing nations are signalling their unwillingness to accept future caps, and Europe is rethinking its trade offers to Russia over the latter's ham-fisted interference in Ukraine's elections (which could mean Russia will withdraw from Kyoto in retaliation), Italian Environment Minister Altero Matteoli suggested to the assemblage that is was time to let Kyoto "die a natural death." All at the very moment the corks are set to pop.

Mr. Matteoli is right. To proceed now would be tantamount to self-flagellation -- a monastic desire to demonstrate one's faithfulness to the environmental cause through the infliction of economic pain for pain's sake. It's not worth it.

Italian Environmental Minister Altero Matteoli took more wind out of the Kyoto Treaty's sails Dec. 15 when he said plans for a second commitment period after the treaty expires in 2012 should be dropped if the world's major countries -- including the United States -- are unwilling to join. Matteoli's statement comes as several Kyoto signatories say they are unlikely to meet the treaty's greenhouse-gas reduction targets.

The Kyoto Treaty has been Europe's pet project for nearly a decade, but it is becoming more apparent that the treaty is dying. If Kyoto-2, the treaty's renewal stage, cannot be signed, then Kyoto will become a two decade-long exercise in futility. Add to that the fact that EU-Russian relations are souring and it may not be long before Europe's dream of a worldwide climate-change agreement is confined to a handful of European states.

Some more developed countries will have to make aggressive emission reductions in order to meet the requirement (Britain must reduce emissions by 12.5 percent compared to 1990 levels, though it has vowed to cut at least 20 percent). Other signatories, such as China and India, will have to do nothing at all and will be able to make handsome profits from selling "emissions credits" to other countries.

The treaty has already suffered several setbacks. The United States has refused to sign any kind of multilateral climate-change agreement, and in 2002 Australia rejected the pact on the basis that U.S. non-involvement effectively killed Kyoto. In May 2004, Japan's government admitted that it likely would not meet its emissions reduction of 6 percent compared to 1990 levels (which already was less stringent than what was required of other signatories). In fact, Japan's emissions in 2001 were up 8.2 percent from 1990. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Dec. 8 that the United Kingdom would probably miss its promised goal of cutting emissions by 20 percent.

If EU-Russian relations sour, it would be very easy for Russia to pull out of the Kyoto Treaty. Moscow would need only to make a formal declaration that it is leaving the treaty, and if it left, the treaty would become inactive. The departure of Russia, Japan's noncompliance and the reluctance of other countries to continue Kyoto past 2012 could see Kyoto transition from the "great white hope" of climate change to an agreement backed only by its most ardent European supporters.

Should Kyoto die, it is unlikely that Europe would be able to continue having a multilateral climate-change treaty by itself. The European Commission announced Dec. 12 that several EU members (Czech Republic, Greece, Italy and Poland) will not participate in the Kyoto emissions-credits trading scheme because of inadequate plans to tackle pollution or a general lack of interest.

The Kyoto Treaty already lacks tough implementation and enforcement procedures. If the fractures in the EU are any indication, it will be difficult to persuade 25 sovereign governments to join a European agreement that would require cutbacks in industry for several of Europe's biggest countries.

Source: 2004 Strategic Forecasting, Inc..

Kyoto "Fatally Flawed" -- Key players in the climate-change debate are coming around to Bush's position.
By Nick Schulz Buenos Aires, Dec 15

- "No to Bush, Yes to Kyoto" reads a slogan adorning the credentialing lanyards draped around the necks of several delegates and journalists here at the United Nations' tenth annual climate-change conference (COP 10). But the U.S. president is an odd choice for a villain. A more accurate reflection of what's happening on the ground would be the slogan, "Yes to Bush, No to Kyoto."

The Kyoto Protocol - the global treaty drafted to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in order to prevent global warming - is set to go into effect early next year. It will do so, much to the chagrin of many European bureaucrats and green activists, without the participation of the United States. Early in his first term, President Bush labeled the treaty "fatally flawed" and announced the U.S. would not participate in its schedule of forced emissions reductions.

President Bush rejected Kyoto for a few simple reasons. First, it would impose significant economic damage on the American economy (a Clinton administration report on the costs of Kyoto put the tab at $300 billion per year). Second, the reduction targets and timetables were impractical from a technological perspective. Third, the treaty exempted developing economies such as India and China from any restrictions even though their emissions are rising rapidly.

Instead, the Bush team under Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, charted a different course, which involved investment in basic research, technology transfer to poor countries, and bilateral agreements. Critics cried foul at President Bush's "unilateral" decision and questioned his motives, saying he was ignoring scientific evidence and rewarding fossil-fuel producers and users who supported him politically.

It's too bad the critics focused on the administration's alleged motives and not its arguments. As it turns out, several key players in the climate-change debate are starting to come around to President Bush's view. On the first day of the conference, a group of developing countries, including China, announced that they would not commit to any specific emissions reductions in the future. Gao Feng, a top official in the Chinese foreign ministry, boldly stated: "We are a developing country, we're not yet making international commitments.... We will continue to attend to our energy needs. We will need to increase our energy consumption for the next 30 to 50 years.

"In an important forthcoming book on energy trends, The Bottomless Well, Peter Huber of the Manhattan Institute and Mark Mills, a former consultant to the White House Science Office under President Reagan, explain developing country demand. "How...can anyone responsibly favor the burning of more hydrocarbons?" they ask. "The short answer is that, for most people, the only practical alternative today is to burn carbohydrates [wood, biomass], and that's much worse."

The developing nations have been bolstered by an uncomfortable fact for Kyoto supporters. Several Kyoto participants, including most European nations, will not meet their stated emissions-reduction targets. Data from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that European emissions will grow rapidly, increasing by as much as 25 percent by 2030. Several Kyoto signatories in Europe are already 20 to 30 percent above their emissions targets. If the Europeans can't drastically reduce their emissions, developing-country representatives reasoned, they have little reason to make similar pledges.

Then on Monday of this week, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a key Kyoto cheerleader and a player in climate-change negotiations for years, issued a new report, "Climate Data: Insights and Observations." A co-author of the report, Jonathan Pershing of the World Resources Institute, said, "We are beginning to see more research on adaptation strategies in response to climate change." Adaptation means having the capacity to handle climate changes of any kind, and organizations like Pew are beginning to focus more on adaptation - as opposed to mitigation - in part because the emissions reductions called for in Kyoto are too costly and technologically infeasible.

This is a sensible move by Pew. The focus on adaptation to climate change - whether that change is human influenced or not - will be a boon to poor countries around the world. These countries are most vulnerable to climate changes because they lack the wealth and infrastructure to handle hazardous events such as heat waves, cold spells, hurricanes, and floods. A new appreciation for boosting developing-country adaptive capacity, and a new respect for the tools that make it possible - such as free trade, property rights, and the rule of law - are welcome developments.

Lastly, at a forum on Tuesday, Italian chief environment official Corrado Clini admitted to Kyoto's huge structural flaws and its current inability to deal adequately with the challenges posed by climate changes. Acknowledging the growing global need for secure energy resources, particularly by poor countries hoping to raise their living standards, Clini argued that "a much broader long-term strategy, and much more global effective measures, than those within the Kyoto Protocol, are needed, involving both developed and emerging economies."

In other words, the Kyoto Protocol is "fatally flawed." -

Nick Schulz is editor of


7. The New Global Warming Lawsuit Industry: Eco-activists add more junk litigation
By Paul Driessen

Much to the outrage of ideological environmentalists and certain segments of the "international community," the United States won't sign the Kyoto Protocol - which some apparently believe will guarantee happy ever-aftering on a planet where temperatures remain fixed in a one or two degree spectrum, rain never falls 'til after sundown, and winters exit March the second on the dot.

Even worse, they whine, President "Darth" Bush has set a terrible example. Australia won't sign the treaty either, and neither will China, India, Brazil, developing countries or even Argentina, the folks who just hosted the latest four-star-hotel-and-dinner global-warming gabathon. And now Italy is turning its back on the treaty. They all recognize that stringent emission limits would stymie their future economic development, for little environmental gain.

Climate alarmists engaged in their usual antics, but they didn't come away with the prize they had so eagerly sought: entry into force of a binding treaty that would give them and international bureaucrats control over the economies, energy and lifestyles of everyone on Earth. So they fell back on Plan B, with the expectation that it might generate a "Day After Tomorrow" tidal wave of litigation that would make breast implant, asbestos and tobacco lawsuits look like an off-Broadway dress rehearsal.
EarthJustice, Friends of the Earth, the Center for International Environmental Law and other groups were busy in Buenos Aires, persuading Arctic Inuit people and Indians to sue an assortment of corporations for climate genocide, or something like that. The Inuits' subsistence traditions are threatened, they claimed, by catastrophic warming caused by our wanton use of fossil fuels. Attempting to paint their claims with a thin veneer of science was Dr. Robert Corell, chair of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) study that had gotten the New York Times, Washington Post, London Guardian and other liberal media folks all agog.

"Very rapid and severe climate change in the Arctic," rising sea levels from the projected melting of Greenland's ice shelf, changes in animal habitats, and possible shifts in ocean currents "present serious challenges to human health and food security, and possibly even the survival of some cultures," Dr. Corell solemnly intoned. Even now, "abnormally warm" weather might be causing wildlife to disappear and the Inuits' snowmobiles to fall through the ice. To back up these gloom-and-doom claims, he presented an array of glitzy charts and maps.

But the linchpin of his Armageddon theory lies in a temperature graph that depicts a 33-year warming trend, during which temperatures rose nearly 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F). Project that out in a straight line, Dr. Corell said, and it's easy to foresee a potentially devastating temperature spike of 4.5 C or 8.1 F over the next century. Rising seas would surely inundate New York City, Bangladesh and the Florida keys, as another graphic graphically showed.

Thankfully, it's all just the stuff of Hollywood horror movies. Not only is the ACIA study flawed. It's as plausible as the "science" in "The Day After Tomorrow." Its horrific scenarios depend on Dr. C's deliberate selection of the 1971-2003 time snapshot, and his faulty assumption that this trend will continue, forever. Relatively cold in 1971 … warmer in 2003 … Arctic meltdown by 2100, if we don't slash fossil fuel use immediately.

But what if he and his team had selected a different window, just a few years earlier - such as the period 1938 to 1966? During those three decades, Arctic temperatures FELL 3.5 C (6.3 F), according to studies by American, Canadian, Russian and other researchers. At this rate, equally misleading computer models could easily show, temperatures would plummet a whopping 12.5 degrees C (22.5 F) in just one century - and reach the temperature of dry ice (minus 109 F) in just five centuries. Talk about impacting wildlife and Inuit culture!

This scenario is just as ludicrous - and just as reasonable - as the scenarios that Corell & Co. are peddling. Actually, it's only a slight exaggeration of what their predecessors - the global cooling alarmists who have since morphed into today's global warming alarmists - did back in the 1970s.
That's when they, Newsweek (see its April 28, 1975 issue), and anxious colleagues were worrying about agricultural disaster brought on by global cooling - because of our wanton use of fossil fuels, naturally. Had they been quicker on their feet back then, they would no doubt have found some natives in Hawaii (or Tuvalu) to file lawsuits to stop that cultural genocide.

However, it's a fact of life here on Planet Earth that our climate can be as unpredictable and cyclical as the solar and orbital variations that play prominent roles in determining that climate. Thus we get mild temperature shifts every 40 years or so, and much more significant changes every few hundred years - amid interglacial periods that are marked at either end by massive walls of ice flowing down from this same Arctic, obliterating everything in their path: forests the last time, maybe entire cities the next.

The global environmental movement, however, has long portrayed our planet as a stable, idyllic utopia - until evil people, corporations and technologies ruined everything. It has a nice, neat Garden-of-Eden ring to it. But it ignores the Ice Ages, Medieval Warm Period, Viking colonization of Greenland back in the days (950-1300) when people could actually grow crops there, and Little Ice Age (1350-1850) when northern seas were choked with ice and Europe was plunged into an era of cold, wet, stormy weather that destroyed crops, caused famines, and hammered populations, communities and cultures.

The ample historic record of these events underscores how turbulent and uncertain Earth's climate has always been. (It's doubtful that cavemen, Vikings, Medieval alchemists or a lost race of aliens from another galaxy caused those past climate mood swings.) To suggest that we have suddenly arrived at an immutable ideal state may serve the pressure groups' political ends, but it is not reality.

The best thing we can do is continue to adjust to changing climates, just as our ancestors did. After all, the Inuit people survived the 1930s, when Arctic temperatures were even warmer than today. The worst thing we could do is follow the alarmists' prescriptions, and agree to hobble our institutions, forego future health and prosperity, and impose permanent poverty on our Earth's least fortunate citizens - in the name of preventing a purely conjectural problem.

If a corporation or accounting firm were to issue an annual report or stock offering as misleading as the ACIA "analysis" and other climate claims, its officers and directors would end up in jail - deservedly so. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for the climate charlatans, no such laws govern environmental pressure groups or even semi-governmental groups like the ACIA.

In the long run, we need to reform our legal system, to enforce basic standards of honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability for everyone: for-profit and not-for-profit corporations alike. In the short run, we simply need to apply the same standards of credibility to Dr. Corell, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and their Inuit plaintiffs, as we do now to Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Anderson and other companies that bilked employees and investors out of billions.

The stakes are actually higher this time - because these activists threaten to disrupt our global economy, technology, health and prosperity, to "safeguard" us from a "risk" that is no more real than Tyrannosaurus rex bursting out of a lump of Cretaceous amber.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Congress of Racial Equality, Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power · Black Death (

Eskimos To File Global Warming Lawsuit? Good Luck, Fellas!
Letter submitted to the NY Times (12/24/04)
by S Fred Singer

The Inuit people of the Arctic regions contemplating a lawsuit against the United States (NYT 12/15/04) should consider their plan carefully. Their case faces three substantial hurdles:

**The US contribution to global greenhouse gases is shrinking as a percentage of the total. By the time any lawsuit is finally decided, China may well have caught up -- or even become the leading emitter.

**It will be difficult to prove that CO2 emission from fossil-fuel burning is a significant contributor to a global warming. This is especially true if atmospheric measurements from both satellites and weather balloons continue to show no appreciable warming effect.

**Finally, the Arctic has not been warming in more than a half-century. Thermometer records show the highest values in the late 1930s. The "warming" reported by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment of the intergovernmental Arctic Council is based entirely on a "creative" definition of the Arctic that included regions well south of the accepted boundary.

Prof S Fred Singer
Dept of Environmental Sciences
University of Virginia

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2. Our Tax Status is as a 501(3)(c) organization. Donations are fully tax-deductible.

3. Our officers and board members do not receive salaries or fees. We have no salaried employees but use volunteers and student help.

4. We don't rent or sell readership or donor lists. We don't accept pop-up or other advertising.




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