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News of the Day ... In Perspective


Pressure to restrict energy use intensifies; opposition also builds

Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for “helping to waken the world to global warming”; Bill Clinton has teamed up with Wal-Mart on fighting climate change (CNNMoney.com 11/2/07); Hillary Clinton promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050; Barack Obama agrees with the emissions cuts, calling the “urgent threat” of global warming a “faith issue” (EthicsDaily.com 10/17/07).

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) joined Al Gore in signing the Live Earth 7-Point Pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% “in time” to save the planet (Associated Press 6/29/07).

To achieve this reduction would require shutting off 75% of the current U.S. energy supply. At present, wind and solar supply only 0.33% of U.S. energy despite 30 years of generous subsidies, write Robinson et al. in the fall issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee global warming would cause public health problems. Sen. Barbara Boxer noted that a 14-year-old boy had died of an amoebic infection of the brain after swimming in warm water in Lake Havasu. Susan Cooper of the Tennessee Dept. of Health reported on 15 heat-related deaths in her state. (David Whitney, McClatchy Newspapers 10/24/07).

The French recently performed an experiment of turning off the lights on the Eiffel Tower for 5 minutes, along with the lights in government buildings and many households. Electricity consumption dropped by only 0.9% (Associated Press 10/24/07).

What would be the effect of draconian cuts in energy use? A steady six-fold increase in human combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas between 1950 and 2000 shows no correlation with temperature trends, write Robinson et al. Glacier shortening began 200 years before the extensive use of hydrocarbon fuels. “Correlation does not prove causality, but non-correlation proves non-causality.” Restricting the use of hydrocarbons would cause “vast human suffering and the loss of hundreds of millions of human lives”—and have no effect on temperature.

While Hollywood, many American politicians, the five left-wing Norwegian politicians who choose the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and Richard Epstein of the Harvard School of Public Health applaud Gore, British High Court Judge Michael Burton has ruled that Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth is one-sided and contains errors that had arisen in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration.” He held that the film could not be shown in British schools unless accompanied by guidance notes to balance Gore’s partisan views.

The High Court case was brought by Stewart Dimmock, a father of two who claimed that the schools were “brainwashing” children with a “political shockumentary” (ThisIsLondon 10/11/07).

The anthropogenic global warming theory is overwhelmingly predominant in Europe, and the recent Potsdam Memorandum calls for a “new global contract” to assure “equal access to affordable, sustainable and reliable energy sources” for all the world’s people. However, dissenting voices are being heard even there (Hans Labohm, TCSDaily 11/5/07).

Senator Obama declaims that climate change is the most serious threat facing African-American families, but Roy Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) notes that energy is the “master resource,” on which everything else depends. He states that the Kyoto Protocol would lock up resources, raise energy prices, and reduce job opportunities—for no benefit (Washington Times 10/26/07).


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