NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 6, 2008

John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton all promise massive new regulations that will cost trillions of dollars to combat global warming.  McCain says that it will be his first task if he wins the presidency.  After consulting with Al Gore, Obama feels the problem is so imminent that it is not even really possible to wait until he becomes president.  Ironically, this political unanimity is occurring as scientific evidence points in the other direction, says John R. Lott, Jr., a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland.

For example:

  • Global temperatures have now largely eliminated most of the one degree Celsius warming that had previously occurred over the last 100 years, according to a consensus of scientists.
  • Temperatures rose from the late 1970s to 1998, but there has been no net global warming since 1998; indeed, the more recent numbers show that there is now evidence of significant cooling.
  • Even if temperatures were not decreasing, mankind is responsible for just a fraction of one percent of the effect from greenhouse gases, and greenhouse gases are not responsible for most of what causes warming (e.g., the Sun).

Yet, we just keep on piling on more and more regulations without asking hard questions about whether they are justified, says Lott.  New mileage per gallon regulations were signed into law last year that will mandate cars get 35 MPG.  The rules will make us poorer, forcing people to buy products that aren't otherwise the best suited for them.  More people will die because lighter cars are less safe, but we are told this is all worth it largely because of global warming.

Source: John R. Lott, Jr. "Global Warming: Is It Really a Crisis?", March 3, 2008.

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