- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 17, 2006

On the same day former Vice President Al Gore’s movie on global warming premiered in Washington, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released two TV ads challenging the “alarmism” of climate change.

“The campaign to limit carbon dioxide emissions is the single most important regulatory issue today,” said Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). “Claims of looming climate disaster due to energy use are unfounded; our ad campaign is a call for balance in public discussions on global warming.”

Mr. Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” is meant to serve as a rallying cry for proponents of increased environmental regulations.

The CEI ads defend carbon dioxide as a beneficial natural resource rather than a dangerous pollutant. Each 60-second ad ends with the line, “They call it pollution; we call it life.”

“Our ‘carbon footprints’ have become the environmentalist version of criminal fingerprints — a basis for fines, restraints and punishment,” CEI general counsel Sam Kazman said.

CEI’s $50,000 ad buy will run in 14 U.S. cities, including Washington, for 10 days beginning today.

The first of the two ads focuses on the “often-forgotten benefits of the processes that produce carbon dioxide and improve our quality of life, giving us heat, light and transportation.”

The second ad focuses on “the disparity between the glacier-melting headlines and the actual science.”

“Energy is under attack,” Mr. Kazman said at a Washington press conference announcing the ads. “Energy needs to be relegitimitized.”

Of Mr. Gore’s documentary, Mr. Kazman said, “These are rallying cries for the regulatory equivalent of war. Al Gore is at the forefront of calling for a war.”

Fred L. Smith Jr., CEI’s president and founder, said he has previewed Mr. Gore’s film. “The movie is very alarmist,” Mr. Smith said. “But it is a very well-produced film. I don’t think he’s running for president but he might be running for arch-Druid.” The reference was to ancient pagan nature-worshippers.

Mr. Gore’s film is produced by Paramount Classics and is expected to have a limited theatrical release.

Several reporters at the press conference suggested that CEI is promoting pollution, to which Mr. Lewis responded, “Everyone wants to curb pollution. Somebody is playing fast and loose with terminology.”

CEI representatives also were critical of an extensive report about global warming in Time magazine.

“The most extreme case of selective sourcing is Time magazine,” Mr. Lewis said.

He said Time’s story failed to quote or mention any “contradictory sources” in the scientific community. Mr. Lewis said he thinks reporters who interview skeptics of global warming are treated as “irresponsible” by many in the press.

Nonetheless, Mr. Lewis added, “Global warming may prove to be a serious threat.”

Mr. Gore’s film screened at the National Geographic Grosvenor Auditorium in Washington last night.


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