NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 15, 2005

Despite the lack of a scientific consensus to warrant such measures, climate change alarmists -- in the heat of the summer for the scariest effect -- are promoting mandatory caps on carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. It's a classic case of "ready, fire, aim," says Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.).

Until recently, the foundation of climate change alarmism has been the so-called hockey stick graph. The graph, constructed by Michael Mann, a professor at the University of Virginia, and shaped like a hockey stick, purports to show a link between rising temperatures and human activity.

  • Recent Canadian research discredited the graph because of its errors and improper methodologies.
  • An Environment Canada statistician agreed Mann's method "preferentially produces hockey sticks when there are none in the data."
  • Hans von Storch, a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, called it "rubbish" methodologically.
  • Rob van Dorland, an IPCC lead author, said the IPCC "made a mistake by only including Mann's reconstruction and not those of other researchers."

In spite of this, some still seek to solve a problem even before it has been established one exists, says Inhofe.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen sums up the current state of affairs best: Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens. A fairer view of the science will show that there is still a vast amount of uncertainty -- far more than advocates of Kyoto would like to acknowledge. Based on that uncertainty, our constituents hardly need "global governance," but they do deserve responsible governance at home, says Inhofe.

Source: James M. Inhofe, "Evidence is underwhelming: Don't give into global alarmists, whose intents are questionable," USA Today, June 15, 2005.


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