Global Warming – What should we be doing about it?

First Published: 2003-02-08

What should we be doing about it?

In February the IEF responded to an article on Global Warming that categorically stated the Globe is Warming, the seas are rising, and diseases associated with hot wet weather like Malaria will become uncontrollable epidemics. The IEF’s response to the end of the world hysteria was to inform Bahamians that there are scientists whose research does not support that of those quoted by Mr. Weech, the Director of the National Climate Change Commission (NCCC).

The Institute claims no special knowledge of the causes of Global Warming or Global Cooling. It takes no position on either cause or cure. However, there are highly respected scientists whose research is significantly different from those Mr. Weech referred to. An example from the Heartland Institute (www.heartland.org) follows:

“Over 17,000 scientists have signed a petition saying, in part,” “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

While debates about the existence, extent and possible consequences of human induced Global Warming continue among scientists, many politicians, bureaucrats, environmentalists and members of the media believe urgent action is required to address what has been billed as “the greatest environmental threat facing mankind.”

“An international bureaucracy has been mobilised to deal with this threat.” The Bahamas, along with 160 other countries met in Kyoto, Japan and agreed to targets for reducing greenhouse gases. Late last year they met again at The Hague to work out the details of complying with Kyoto. “

According to Laura Jones of the Fraser Institute, “These meetings proceed as if debate among scientists were over.” This is not so:

“James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies says that CO2 Carbon Dioxide is not the main culprit…suggesting that other greenhouse gases such as methane are to blame.”

Research by the European Space Agency (ESA) raises an even more crucial question. Is human activity the main cause as their research shows that any increase is due to solar radiation?

“Instead of wrestling with scientific uncertainties, policy-makers pretend that we know that global warming is caused by human activity and…the consequences of not addressing it will be dire. These fairy tales could prove very expensive. The Canadian government has spent $850 million on initiatives related to climate change since 1995 and plan to spend a further $1.1 billion in the next five years. If Canada is to meet the Kyoto target, these costs will be only the beginning as major reductions in our use of fossil fuel will be required.”

Doom and Gloom

While the 1970’s predicted the scarcity of energy Brian Mannix, in a recent Environment & Climate News article notes the following interesting realities:

1. Proven oil reserves worldwide in 1947 were 68 billion barrels. Over the next 41 years, 783 billion barrels were used and by 1998 there would be more than a trillion barrels in proven reserves.

2. In 1966, natural gas reserves in the world stood at one quadrillion cubic feet. Having used almost two quadrillion, we have more than five quadrillion left.

3. Finally, world coal reserves were 256 billion short tons in 1949. We have used 168 billion tons of this and had more than a trillion short tons left in 1998.

Human ingenuity has brought us this far, and “…humanity will be best prepared to meet the challenges of the future if people are free to explore, create, learn from each other, and trade with each other. The only constraints to be seriously concerned about are those we impose on ourselves.”

It will be no different regarding Global Warming. As long as the hands of the innovators are not tied by scare tactics.

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