- The Washington Times - Monday, December 20, 1999

Ford Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. announced last week he is pulling out of the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), an industry group opposed to the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to impose drastic cuts in the use of fossil fuels in the United States.
Lot’s of glee among folks who have been pressuring Ford to take this step. Kevin Sweeney, environmental consultant and chairman of the advocacy group Ozone Action, exulted in the Dec. 7 Los Angeles Times: “When 2,500 scientists agreed on a statement that global warming is a real and urgent phenomenon caused by humans, the GCC drummed up a small handful of dissenters.”
We think Franklin D. Roosevelt was right; Dec. 7 will continue to live in infamy. Mr. Sweeney certainly has it all wrong, and he probably knows it. There never were as many as 2,500 scientists involved with the global warming report of the U.N.-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and there was never any agreement among the 100 or so climate scientists who actually contributed. Further, close to 20,000 independent scientists actually signed a 1998 petition against the Kyoto Protocol. How’s that for a “handful”?
Mr. Sweeney continues his fantasies: “The GCC allowed political leaders to hide behind the false notion that there is disagreement about global warming in the scientific community. They’ve provided ready sources for journalists who, under the guise of objectivity, lazily assume that another side’ to the science should be presented in each story on the topic.” Yes, Kevin, let’s muzzle those irksome dissenters.
In Mr. Sweeney’s view, “The decision does not make Ford a green enterprise” so long as they keep selling SUVs. Are you getting the message, Mr. Ford and you spineless members of the Ford board? Why don’t you stop producing cars altogether and put your shareholders’ assets into turning out bicycles and roller skates? But then again, says Mr. Sweeney, Ford is not all bad, having invested in fuel cells “that produce energy from hydrogen, a renewable substance.” This tells you a lot about the scientific sophistication of Ozone Action, evidently unaware that hydrogen must be manufactured from natural gas or other energy sources.
More revealing is the personal information on Mr. Ford in an Associated Press story. At 42, he is a “self-described lifelong environmentalist.” As his spokesman Terry Bresnihan explained somewhat incoherently: “We do believe there is something to climate change. There is enough evidence that something is happening that we ought to start looking at this seriously.”
Yes, Terry. When you find out what that “something” is, will you kindly let us know and also explain it to Junior and to Sister Patricia Daly (of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, that unholy alliance of religious groups and nature-worshiping neo-pagans)?
While she and student groups are agitating to get colleges to disinvest in General Motors, Exxon and other GCC supporters, some of us are wondering whether this move by Ford is just a ploy. Perhaps Ford is just after more favorable treatment from EPA and other government agencies that are pushing the administration line on global warming and the Kyoto Protocol. It is sometimes referred to as “beggar thy neighbor.”


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