House Global Warming Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) was outraged that a renegade freelance lobbyist had sent a dozen phony letters to members of Congress, urging them to vote against cap-and-trade legislation.
Congress will not tolerate “forgery and identity theft” in attempting to influence the passage of legislation, members solemnly intoned. The letters misled Congress and imperiled its integrity and deliberative process.
Few Americans would disagree. But after their usual pontificating, the Democrats once again proved that, if they didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards.
Mr. Markey and his big-D colleagues excoriated the guilty parties they had summoned to their Star Chamber. They then refused to allow testimony by the Republicans’ proposed witness. Competitive Enterprise Institute lawyer Chris Horner had intended to discuss a recent hoax by environmentalists, who had impersonated U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials, forged Chamber documents and staged a phony news conference to announce that the Chamber had reversed its position on global warming legislation.
That and Horner’s other examples of green fraud would only “confuse people” and diffuse the anti-industry venom of Democrats, who didn’t even mention the bogus Chamber event.
Worst, all this fakery pales next to what the full Energy and Commerce Committee had blessed as proof of imminent Climate Armageddon in April 2009. The Democrats’ superstar witness was renowned climatologist Al Gore, who had earned a C and a D in the only science courses he took in college.
Once again, Democrats refused to permit the Republicans’ intended witness to testify. They knew Lord Christopher Monckton, former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, would rubbish Gore’s Doomsday scenarios. So Gore was allowed to mislead Congress and promote his unfounded assertion that humanity faces “an irreparably damaged planet,” if we don’t immediately slash fossil fuel use. He didn’t face a single tough question over any of his false or misleading claims.
Gore: The Arctic is warming at an unprecedented rate. Truth: The Arctic region warms and cools dramatically every few decades, due to shifting currents and winds. Arctic ice also melted significantly during the 1930s; it is now back to seasonally normal levels.
Gore: If the Greenland and Western Antarctic Peninsula ice sheets were to melt and collapse into the ocean, seal levels would rise 40 feet. Truth: Snow and ice are increasing in interior Greenland and Antarctica. The peninsula ice is mostly unstable sea ice, and interior Antarctica temperatures would have to rise 85 degrees (from an average annual minus-50) to cause Gore’s fanciful cataclysm.
Gore: The US West and the Southeast are experiencing prolonged severe droughts. Truth: America also endured the Dust Bowl and a 25-year drought that forced Anasazi Indians to abandon their villages.
Gore: Carbon dioxide “pollution” is acidifying our oceans. Truth: Higher CO2 levels fertilize ocean algae and improve seashell growth. In some areas upwelling can acidify surface waters with carbon-rich water from deep ocean zones.
Gore: Global warming is increasing the number of wildfires in US forests. Truth: Fires continue to threaten habitats, wildlife and homes because insects are killing trees and environmentalist legal actions prevent foresters from managing dense stands of brush and thin, diseased and dead trees.
Gore: Climate change is increasing the intensity of hurricanes. Truth: Hurricane numbers and intensity are on par with historic records and trends. Katrina was a large Category 3 hurricane when it hit a poorly prepared New Orleans.
It’s a good thing the committee didn’t put Gore under oath. He’d be sanctioned for wanton and reckless disregard for the truth – if not perjury – in both his testimony and the movie he produced to terrify young children, so that they pressure their parents into demanding passage of cap-tax-and-trade legislation.
A British High Court judge ruled that “An Inconvenient Truth” promotes “partisan political views,” was riddled with errors and falsehoods, and could not be shown any more in schools, unless accompanied by a teacher’s guide correcting information that Gore had misrepresented. Two of the most egregious distortions are especially likely to scare kids.
* Polar bears are drowning because a warming planet is melting the Arctic. Fact: Four bears drowned during a particularly violent storm, and polar bear populations are actually increasing in Alaska and Canada.
* Warming temperatures have brought malaria to Nairobi, Kenya, killing little children. Fact: Nairobi has always had malaria, and anti-insecticide policies promoted by Gore have helped perpetuate the problem.
Indeed, contrary to Gore’s false assertions, there has been no global warming for a decade – and Earth has actually cooled slightly since 2002 – even as atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise. Climate alarmists habitually magnify the alleged risks of warmer temperatures, ignore the potential economic and health benefits of a warmer world, and obfuscate the clear dangers to agriculture and life from planetary cooling.
But Al Gore passionately wants Congress to enact punitive cap-and-trade legislation, because he detests the hydrocarbon fuels that provide 85% of the energy that powers America – and because he stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars via carbon trading deals and subsidized renewable energy technologies.
Gore refuses to give up his private jets, limousines and carbon-intensive lifestyle. He refuses to correct any of the errors in his movie, lectures or testimony. He just wants us to give up our living standards.
The former VP’s media, Hollywood and congressional friends always protect him and his junk science. He will not debate anyone. When he gives six-figure talks on college campuses, the only questions allowed are those he has preapproved. On the extremely rare occasions when someone does ask an inconvenient question, as during a recent convention of friendly journalists, Gore dodges the question until the uppity interrogator’s microphone can be switched off.
It’s time for America to have its long overdue debate over global warming science and the painful economic impacts of anti-hydrocarbon cap-and-trade policies. A little honesty, transparency and robust debate would do wonders for the integrity of the legislative process and Americans’ trust in Congress.
No more excuses, Mr. Gore. Have the guts to defend your views. Show some cojones.
Paul Driessen is a senior fellow with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, nonprofit public policy institutes that focus on energy, the environment, economic development and international affairs. Paul Driessen is author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power, Black death
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