- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 5, 2001

So, whats all the fuss? Well, now weve gone and done it. Thanks to President George W. Bush, the United States has driven a stake in the effort to save the planet. Recently, EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman made clear that the United States will neither seek to implement, or even further pursue, the flawed Kyoto Protocol, or global warming treaty.
A hail of criticism has already ensued, so lets assess the allegations of irresponsibility. The rich countries had agreed to this global warming treaty, and three years later it came time to determine what, exactly, was agreed. Nothing, as it turns out, thank goodness. At the recent series of annual meetings between countries to address this question, on those rare occasions that the Clinton-Gore State Department attempted to insert some modicum of reasonableness into the interpretation of Kyotos loose language the Europeans condemned the United States and expressed shock that there was bargaining going on at these negotiations.
Who needs this? Not one country facing any actual obligations under this energy suppression decree had ratified it, due in equal parts for fear of what it ultimately would say, and because there really is no good way to say it. Suffice it to point out that this past November an indignant French President Jacques Chirac demanded the United States get off its duff and ratify the treaty. Not that France has. Still, he thundered, it represents the first component of an "authentic global governance." This was not intended as an insult.
Sounds like a good treaty to kill. And maybe we owe those guys muttering about black helicopters an apology. Lets face it, U.S. ratification was hopeless with Mr. Chiracs analysis stuck to it like a Lyme-ridden tick. Bonner Cohen, a dean among critical writers on environmental policy, phrased it best: "By letting this particular cat out of the bag, the French president may have done the Kyoto Protocol more harm than the next cold blast of Arctic air. If there is one sure way to doom ratification of the global warming treaty in the U.S. Senate, it is to tie it to anything even remotely resembling "authentic global governance."
Of course, the press reliably parrots the energy-suppression lefts claims that all weather is now climate, which is now your fault for driving to 7-Eleven for a gallon of milk and refusing to sit on your neighbors lap on the way to work. This is the sum and substance of that latest among Man-as-agent-of-doom theories to roll down the Autobahn catastrophic man-made global warming.
Calamitous weather claims are the newest. Every summer is the hottest, every year the wettest and, alternately, driest; every snowstorm … you get the point. No sir, weve never quite seen weather like this, not in (pick a number of) years. Must be man-made. But, what caused that previous worst weather however many years ago? Did my Land Rover chase the dinosaurs into oblivion, too, and the alligators out of the lush tropics that were Canada? And how did we get that glacier to back off Nebraska? Asking such inconvenient questions is to place a "Kick Me" sign on ones person in the climate community, where they brook no contrary opinion. No opinions, at all, actually. Just group-think and group-speak. The science, you see, is settled. So there is no need for a debate. Delving into that one too deeply with any of the enlightened here renders one an object of abuse.
That the science is settled, as the saying also goes in Washington, raises the question of how come each years appropriation request for the science is a lot more than the last? A true scientific debate might reasonably be considered condition precedent to enacting an energy suppression treaty, given that affordable energy is the key to lifting the worlds poor into prosperity. What skeptical scientists have tried for years to get through the smog of politically correct hand-wringing is actually, for the most part, not any particular theory, but a defense of science. Particularly, that science found in underlying studies, from which an hysterical United Nations "Summary for Policymakers" is purportedly drawn.
The problem with this stream of United Nations science, skeptics point out, is that the science, with identified authors and reviewers, does not say what the anonymously drafted Summary claims it says. Additionally, such skeptics often illustrate how this science starts with its answer, and struggles to get there. Unfortunately, this revised scientific method fails scrutiny, in large part because it is flagrantly rigged. That is, the acceptable scientific work was ruined, after the fact, by United Nations politicians inserting a presumption that all climate fluctuations occurring before the industrial revolution are natural, which they call variability, but all occurring afterward are officially man-made climate change.
"Whatever that is, it is not science," says Dr. Richard Courtney of the European Science and Environment Forum, and an expert peer-reviewer of the underlying work. Dr. Fred Singer of the University of Virginia and the Science and Environmental Policy Project, credibly demonstrates his make that the United Nations evidence that while the planet warmed from 1860 (the end of the "Little Ice Age") until 1940, it has failed to do so since. Other experts have debunked claims of increased storm activity, and other shibboleths of the movement. Clearly, this casts some doubt that increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (a necessary product of oxidizing carbon, or burning fossil fuels) will be the death of us all as the left ceaselessly lectures.
So why impose devastating caps on energy production, and therefore wealth creation and economic growth, on this basis? There is no good reason, it turns out. The only reason to pursue a carbon dioxide cap is the Kyoto Protocol. With both of those rash proposals now shelved with the advent of a new administration, cooler heads have indeed prevailed.

Christopher C. Horner is counsel for the Cooler Heads Coalition in Washington.

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