- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 15, 2001

The last couple of weeks have seen a great deal of hand-wringing over President Bushs decision to opt the United States out of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol is controversial because it would require fairly massive reductions in carbon dioxide gas in order to combat the phenomenon of "global warming." Carbon dioxide, though inert and a major constituent component of the atmosphere, is alleged to be a "greenhouse gas" that traps heat and moisture, leading to rising world temperatures and the prospect of flooding, weather aberrations and other unpleasantness.

The problem with the Kyoto Protocol and all the teeth-gnashing over the "profligate" habits of American motorists is simply this: Even if the phenomenon of global warming was real, mankind´s contribution to the problem is so inconsequential that even if we shut off every internal combustion engine and factory on the planet, the overall reduction in worldwide carbon dioxide output would be less than 2 percent. Assuming total compliance with all the terms of the Kyoto Protocol, the reduction would be a mere fraction of that 2 percent.

The above facts are almost always left out of media coverage of the global warming issue. Natural sources of carbon dioxide output and emissions of other greenhouse gasses such as volcanic eruptions, the evaporation of seawater, etc. dwarf mankind´s puny contribution. When Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted a few years ago, it hurled more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than the entire combined output of all human generated sources worldwide.

The climate is not static, and the idea that the Earth should remain in a certain state of equilibrium forever is scientifically illiterate. The planet, for example, was much warmer than it is today during the time of the dinosaurs, long before the first Model T ever puffed to life. And not so long ago, geologically speaking, there were massive ice sheets covering vast areas of North America and Europe that have since receded. In fact, many scientists believe the warming trend noticed during the late 1800s and during the first half of the 20th century reflect the Earth´s climate emerging from a period of abnormally cool temperatures, a so-called "Little Ice Age."

So don´t feel guilty about driving your SUV. The whole "global warming" scare is another bogeyman ginned up by anti-car, anti-industrial activists who need a new pretext to justify their ongoing quest to get rid of private automobiles and the freedom of possession of such vehicles represents.

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