- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 25, 2001

When the last round of "global warming" talks collapsed some two months ago, knowledgeable observers knew it was not the end by any means. The fact that negotiators were unable to hammer out an agreement that would have bound the United States to massive reductions of so-called "greenhouse" gasses only meant that more aggressive public relations work was needed. Outside of the hothouse environment of leftist political circles, most people remained properly skeptical of alarmist declarations all of them based not an actual science but hypothetical computer models that the planet is in for massive climate fluctuations as a result of human activity. This has made it difficult for the various interests angling to get the United States to agree to the enforcement mechanisms proposed by the authors of the so-called Kyoto Protocol the formal name of the U.N.-brokered "global warming" treaty.

The Kyoto Protocol has not been submitted to the Senate for ratification where it would almost certainly be rejected. Nonetheless, global warming tub-thumpers are putting the public relations machine into high gear. At "global warming" conference in Shanghai recently released a "report" that claims the Earth's average temperature could rise by as much as 10.4 degrees over the next 100 years causing massive flooding and violent changes in weather patterns. This new estimate is 60 percent higher than the previous estimate of 6.3 degrees by the year 2100 which was itself a revision of an earlier estimate that had the actual rate and amount of warming pegged even lower.

Each new pronunciamento issuing forth from the heavily politicized offices of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is more apocalyptic than the last. The findings of the most recent report should "sound alarm bells in every national capital and in every local community. We should start preparing ourselves," warned a perfervid Klaus Topfler who is head of the U.N. Environmental Program.

But the increasingly strident cries from the IPCC do not change one critical fact: All the dire predictions are based on highly suspect computer models and hypotheses. As global warming contrarian Fred Singer, former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service and professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia points out, the computer models do not conform to the hard data collected by orbiting satellites or taken at ground stations. Mr. Singer, who dismisses the IPCC report as a "political document," states further that the instrument data collected over the past 60 years reveals virtually no warming. This is a critical point because the Kyoto Protocol is premised on the notion of human-caused increases in global temperature via industrial activity. But the warming trend noted by scientists occurred almost entirely prior to the 1950s, or well before worldwide industrialization. If human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, is causing global temperatures to rise, then the warming trend should have rapidly surged upwards after World War II. It has not. Ergo, global warming theory is suspect.

Average world temperatures may, in fact, be rising. But it's a giant leap to connect that fact with human agency, as the IPCC report and the bureaucrats responsible for it are attempting to do. The Earth's climate is not static and changes fairly frequently with no help from humanity. Many climate scientists believe we are emerging from a "Little Ice Age" and that the planet is returning to its more normal, warmer state. But the point is no one really knows for sure what's happening, or why.

Before the United States buys into a costly international agreement that could force massive economic dislocations and cutting back total output of carbon dioxide to 10 percent below 1990 levels would certainly accomplish that it's not unreasonable to demand a solid scientific basis for such a precipitous move. Politicized computer models and hysterical rants from the IPCC based on the faulty data spewed out by those models is simply insufficient.

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