Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is an outspoken denier of climate science, with a voting record to match. A favorite of the Koch brothers, Ryan has accused scientists of engaging in conspiracy to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” He has implied that snow invalidates global warming. He has voted to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting greenhouse pollution, to eliminate White House climate advisers, to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from preparing for climate disasters like the drought devastating his home state, and to eliminate the Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E):
Paul Ryan Promoted Unfounded Conspiracy Theories About Climate Scientists. In a December 2009 op-ed during international climate talks, Ryan made reference to the hacked University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit emails. He accused climatologists of a “perversion of the scientific method, where data were manipulated to support a predetermined conclusion,” in order to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” Because of spurious claims of conspiracy like these, several governmental and academic inquiries were launched, all of which found the accusations to be without merit. [Paul Ryan, 2/11/09]
Paul Ryan Argued Snow Invalidates Global Warming Policy. In the same December 2009 op-ed, Ryan argued, “Unilateral economic restraint in the name of fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow.” [Paul Ryan, 2/11/09]
Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate EPA Limits On Greenhouse Pollution. Ryan voted in favor of H.R. 910, introduced in 2011 by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas pollution. [Roll Call 249, 4/7/11]
Paul Ryan Voted To Block The USDA From Preparing For Climate Change. In 2011, Ryan voted in favor of the Scalise (R-LA) Amendment to the FY12 Agriculture Appropriations bill, to bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture from implementing its Climate Protection Plan. [Roll Call 448, 6/16/11]
Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate White House Climate Advisers. Ryan voted in favor of Scalise (R-LA) Amendment 204 to the 2011 Continuing Resolution, to eliminate the assistant to the president for energy and climate change, the special envoy for climate change (Todd Stern), and the special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation. [Roll Call 87, 2/17/11]
Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate ARPA-E. Ryan voted in favor of Biggert (R-IL) Amendment 192 to the 2011 Continuing Resolution, to eliminate the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E). [Roll Call 55, 2/17/11]
Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate Light Bulb Efficiency Standards. In 2011, Ryan voted to roll back light-bulb efficiency standards that had reinvigorated the domestic lighting industry and that significantly reduce energy waste and carbon pollution. [Roll Call 563, 7/12/11]
Paul Ryan Voted For Keystone XL. In 2011, Ryan voted to expedite the consideration and approval of the construction and operation of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. [Roll Call 650, 7/26/11]
Paul Ryan Budget Kept Big Oil Subsidies And Slashed Clean Energy Investment. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed FY 2013 budget resolution retained a decade’s worth of oil tax breaks worth $40 billion, while slashing funding for investments in clean energy research, development, deployment, and commercialization, along with other energy programs. The plan called for a $3 billion cut in energy programs in FY 2013 alone. [CAP, 3/20/12]
Paul Ryan’s record of support for the fossil fuel industry is one of denial of the scientific consensus that climate change is a fundamental risk to human civilization.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke today at the National Clean Energy Summit 5.0: The Power of Choice, in Las Vegas, Nev.
Good morning, and welcome to the National Clean Energy Summit: The Power of Choice. I am pleased to once again host this important event with the support of the Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy Project, the MGM Resorts International and the UNLV.
Over the last four years, this summit has brought together investors, innovators, academics and policy makers dedicated to moving the clean energy industry forward.
There should be no one in this room who doubts the importance of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels – not only because it’s good for the environment, but because it’s good for the economy and good for national security.
We’ve already seen how incentives, funding and public-private partnerships have spurred job creation and innovation in this critical sector. This has been a ray of sunshine during the Great Recession.
It is easy to see the logic, the urgency and the opportunity of a clean energy revolution. That is why President Obama has fought hard to advance the policies that will reduce our reliance on oil and other fossil fuels, increase our production of clean energy and create good-paying jobs that can never be outsourced.
But his administration has waged an up-hill battle against moneyed special interests and their allies in Congress, who are invested in maintaining their sweetheart relationship with coal and oil companies.
As hard as it is to comprehend, there are still members of Congress resisting clean energy’s American success story. And sadly they’re doing their best to send clean energy industries and jobs overseas, and hindering the revolution in the process.
Twenty-five years ago, President George H.W. Bush promised to use the “White House effect” to combat the “greenhouse effect.” Yet a quarter century later, too many elected officials in Washington are still calling climate change a liberal hoax. They falsely claim scientists are still debating whether carbon pollution is warming the planet.
Of course, if those skeptics had taken a stroll along the Potomac River on a 70-degree day this February, they would have seen cherry trees blossoming earlier than at any time since they were planted 100 years ago. Washington experienced its warmest spring since record keeping began in 1895.
And back in the skeptics’ home states, the harbingers of a changing climate are just as clear as those delicate February blossoms – and infinitely more perilous.
This year alone, the United States has seen unparalleled extreme weather events – events scientists say are exactly what is expected as the earth’s climate changes.
The Midwest is experiencing its most crushing drought in more than half a century – or maybe ever. Presently, disasters have been declared in the majority of U.S. counties. More than half the country is experiencing drought, and seventy-five percent of the nation is abnormally dry this year.
Corn crops are withering and livestock are dying – or going to slaughter early – as heat waves parch America’s breadbasket, breaking records set during the Woody Guthrie Dust Bowl years.
Now ravaging wildfires have replaced the dust storms of the 1930’s. Devastating fires have swept New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada and other parts of the Mountain West, destroying hundreds of homes and burning millions of trees. These fires are fed in part by vast areas of dead forest ravaged by beetles and other pests that now survive through warmer winters.
On the East Coast, extreme thunderstorms and high winds called “derechos” – literally meaning straight-line storms – have eliminated power for 4.3 million customers in 10 states in the mid-Atlantic region. One 38-year veteran of the utility industry told the New York Times this: “We’ve got the ‘storm of the century’ every year now.” At the height of this storm – while the power was out and the air conditioning wasn’t working – the East Coast experienced record high temperatures.
Down south, the Mississippi River is nearly dry in various places, with shipping barges operating in only 5 feet of water. Just Friday, barges were grounded because the water level was so low. And New Orleans’ water supply is now being threatened by salt water moving up the Mississippi due to extremely low water.
But while record drought has struck many parts of the United States, torrential rains have poured down in others. In June, the fourth tropical storm of the hurricane season – a season which typically begins in the fall – dropped 20 inches of rain on Florida.
And our nation’s infrastructure is literally falling apart because it wasn’t designed to withstand these conditions. Runways are melting, trapping planes. Train tracks are bending, derailing subways. Highways are cracking, buckling and breaking open. The water used to cool power plants – including nuclear power plants – has either run dry or reached dangerously high temperatures.
And that’s just in the United States – just through the month of July.
Arctic sea ice is also at its lowest point in recorded history.
This month, the massive ice sheet atop Greenland experienced sudden and almost uniform melting – a phenomenon not seen in the modern age.
This spring, rain fell unexpectedly in Mecca despite 109-degree temperatures. It was the hottest downpour in the planet’s recorded history.
The Amazon River Basin has experienced super-flooding – reaching record high levels due to long summer rains and greater than normal glacial melting.
Massive forest fires have swept Siberia.
Monsoons in Bangladesh left hundreds dead and nearly 7 million people homeless.
And last week more than 600 million people in India were without power. Late monsoons and record temperatures increased demand for electricity to irrigate crops and air condition homes, overloading the fragile power grid and causing the blackout.
Scientists say this is genesis – the beginning. The more extreme climate change gets, the more extreme the weather will get. In the words of one respected climate scientist: “This is what global warming looks like.”
Dozens of new reports from scientists around the globe link extreme weather to climate change. Not every flood or drought can be attributed to human-induced transformation of our planet’s weather patterns. But scientists report that these extreme events are dozens of times more likely because of those changes.
The seriousness of this problem is not lost on your average American. A large majority of people finally believe climate change is real, and that it is the cause of extreme weather. Yet despite having overwhelming evidence and public opinion on our side, deniers still exist, fueled and funded by dirty energy profits.
These people aren’t just on the other side of this debate. They’re on the other side of reality.
It’s time for us all – whether we’re leaders in Washington, members of the media, scientists, academics, environmentalists or utility industry executives – to stop acting like those who ignore the crisis or deny it exists entirely have a valid point of view. They don’t.
Virtually every respected, independent scientist in the world agrees the problem is real, and the time to act is now. Not tomorrow. Not a week from now. Not next month or next year. We must act today.
As Americans, we have the power to choose the kind of world in which we live. Every decision we make – large and small – matters. Some choices are as simple as turning off the light when you leave the room. Others are more ambitious – such as committing the Department of Defense, the largest energy consumer in the world, to transition to clean, renewable energy.
But every choice has benefits – or consequences.
About 50 miles north of Las Vegas, the Reid-Gardner coal-fired power plant is nestled in the pastoral Moapa Valley. Since it began operating during the Johnson Administration, Reid Gardner has burned tens of millions of tons of coal.
Each year for the last 47 years, more than 2.8 million tons of climate-changing carbon dioxide – not to mention thousands of pounds of toxins such as arsenic, mercury and lead - go up the plant’s four giant smokestacks.
About two football fields away from those smoke stacks lives a band of 300 Moapa Paiute Indians. Every day Reid-Gardner rains down on the dwindling Native American tribe fine particulates and coal ash filled with chemicals that cause cancer, emphysema and heart problems.
The soot – and the dangerous chemicals inside it – is literally killing the Pauites.
It’s no secret coal plants kill. Each year, more than 24,000 deaths are attributed to emissions from coal-fired power plants in the United States alone.
That’s why it is time to close the dirty relic, Reid-Gardner.
Just imagine living two football fields from thousands of tons of poisons, ever present, always spewing their toxins on your home.
Every year we spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying coal from other states to burn in Nevada. It’s time to make a different choice – a choice that brings new clean energy industries and jobs to Nevada. A choice to invest in our own natural resources.
The more dirty coal we use, the higher the price of coal gets. The more solar power we use, the cheaper it gets. Shutting down this one coal-fired power plant won’t save the planet all at once – but it would save an Indian homeland.
A famous maxim says “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” For consumers, that step might be deciding to buy energy-efficient light bulbs, drive a next-generation vehicle or turn off the lights when you leave the room. For NV Energy, the first step should be deciding to turn out the lights on Reid-Gardner – and turn them out forever.
Our guests and speakers today will outline some of the other decisions that lie ahead.
Today my friend, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, will tell you what the federal government has already done to accelerate development of renewable energy offshore and on public lands.
The job-creation power of clean technology is on display in Nevada, where more than a dozen renewable energy facilities have been constructed on public lands.
This week Pattern Energy will dedicate the 150 megawatt Spring Valley Wind project. It is the first commercial wind project in Nevada, also located on federal land in White Pine County.
And dozens of geothermal wells on public lands power the cities of Reno and Sparks, in Northern Nevada.
Today you’ll also hear from utility and renewable energy industry executives, scientists, educators and lawmakers about the combination of policies and incentives the government and the private sector can use to create jobs and expand clean technologies.
You’ll hear from inventors of next-generation electric vehicles.
You’ll hear from innovators with solutions to reduce our energy needs and meet our electricity demand without climate-changing fuels. They are helping to bring new technologies and products to market that give consumers more and better choices, and help them save money on their energy bills.
And you’ll hear from President Bill Clinton – on the challenge – and the choice – facing every American – and facing our nation: how to grow our economy – and save the planet – at the same time.
Today’s speakers and panels will lay out a path forward that may seem daunting, but is entirely achievable if we invest our collective effort. It’s entirely achievable if we stop allowing deniers to frame the debate, and demonize clean energy for their own short-term, political gain.
After all, the technology to change course is not futuristic. It’s available and affordable today. All we have to do is decide to use it.
The power of choice is in our hands. I urge you to choose the clean, safe and reliable path with me. Our future depends on it.
And now it’s my honor to introduce a man who has always been a leader on clean energy issues. As a farmer and an environmental lawyer, Ken Salazar understands as well as anyone the challenges of climate change, and what it will take to address them. As a Senator, Ken had a vision to build an economy that relied on clean, renewable energy. And as Secretary of the Interior, Ken has led the effort to increase development of renewable resources on federal land. It is my pleasure to introduce my friend, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
As climate change accelerates, it appears the Obama administration is in retreat. In an address on Thursday, the top climate negotiator for the United States rejected the administration’s formal commitment to keeping global warming less than two degrees Celsius (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels. This about-face from agreements endorsed by President Barack Obama in 2009 and 2010 indicates a rejection of the United Nations climate negotiations process, as well as an implicit assertion that catastrophic global warming is now politically impossible to prevent.
Speaking before an audience at his alma mater Dartmouth College, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern argued that treaty negotiations based around “old orthodoxies” of a temperature threshold ”will only lead to deadlock”:
For many countries, the core assumption about how to address climate change is that you negotiate a treaty with binding emission targets stringent enough to meet a stipulated global goal – namely, holding the increase in global average temperature to less than 2° centigrade above pre-industrial levels – and that treaty in turn drives national action. This is a kind of unified field theory of solving climate change – get the treaty right; the treaty dictates national action; and the problem gets solved. This is entirely logical. It makes perfect sense on paper. The trouble is it ignores the classic lesson that politics – including international politics – is the art of the possible… . These basic facts of life suggest that the likelihood of all relevant countries reaching consensus on a highly prescriptive climate agreement are low, and this reality in turn argues in favor of a more flexible approach that starts with nationally derived policies… . The keys to making headway in this early conceptual phase of the new agreement is to be open to new ideas that can work in the real world and to keep our eyes on the prize of reducing emissions rather than insisting on old orthodoxies… This kind of flexible, evolving legal agreement cannot guarantee that we meet a 2 degree goal, but insisting on a structure that would guarantee such a goal will only lead to deadlock. It is more important to start now with a regime that can get us going in the right direction and that is built in a way maximally conducive to raising ambition, spurring innovation, and building political will.
Stern is absolutely right that the political challenge of achieving a 2°C goal is extremely high, but what is the “flexible, evolving” regime he proposes?
Stern argued in favor of a treaty structure without any overall emissions or temperature goal, but one that allows individual countries to pick their own targets without a requirement that they be internationally binding. (This structure resembles what the Bush administration favored, although the non-binding Obama administration goal for the United States of achieving 1990-level emissions by 2020 is much better than the non-binding Bush goal of having US emissions peak in 2025.) He recognized that “the risk of a system like this is that the policies and targets countries submit prove to be too modest,” and admitted that “[h]ow to encourage ambition in an agreement that is broadly inclusive will be one of the fundamental challenges in designing a new system.” In other words, he has no idea how a climate emissions treaty with no target or enforcement mechanism would do anything to prevent catastrophic global warming.
Scientific organizations first began recommending a 2°C target in the late 1980s, based on risk assessments of the adaptive capability of forests, long-term sea level rise, and the climate history of the human race. (Our species has never experienced an Earth more than 2.5°C warmer than pre-industrial times.) The Kyoto Protocol established pollution reduction targets consistent with the warming limit, but political opposition in the United States, the world’s greatest carbon polluter, eviscerated the effectiveness of the treaty.
On July 9, 2009, after a decade was lost under the climate denial of the Bush administration, the member nations of the G8 officially recognized the 2°C goal: “We recognize the scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed 2C.” The Cancun agreements in 2010 codified the 2°C goal: “[W]ith a view to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C above pre- industrial levels … Parties should take urgent action to meet this long-term goal.”
Last year in the Durban round of international climate talks, Stern hinted at this new stance when he described the 2°C target as just a ”guidepost.” His comments last week make clear that the Obama administration has fully abandoned the president’s commitments made just two years ago.
Meanwhile, the impacts of global warming are coming faster than scientists predicted when the 2°C threshold was set. With only 0.8°C of warming, Arctic sea ice and polar ice caps are melting decades ahead of predictions, oceanic warming and acidification are degrading ecosystems in unforeseen ways, and extreme weather has increased in stunning fashion. Civilization itself is at risk from the exponentially accelerating decline of the planetary support system.
Politics may be the art of the possible, but climate change is an inflexible reality. With its new stance on international climate policy, the administration has abandoned slim hope for none.
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) remarks on climate science and the “very radical views” of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), on the U.S. Senate floor, July 30, 2012.
Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, the Senator from Oklahoma, Jim Inhofe, is a friend of mine. While we have strong philosophical and political differences, we have had a very positive personal relationship since I entered the Senate 5\1/2\ years ago. I like Senator Inhofe, and on occasion, despite our political differences, we have been able to work together as members of the Environment and Public Works Committee, on which we both sit. I especially applaud the Senator for his strong efforts on the recently passed Transportation bill in which he led the effort in getting his fellow Republicans to move forward on the vitally important issue of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure–in this case, roads and bridges.
Unfortunately, Senator Inhofe has some very radical views regarding global warming. I believe he is dead wrong and dangerously wrong on this issue. Not only is he wrong, but because he is the leading Republican on the Environment Committee, his views hold great influence over other Republicans in the Senate, in the House, and across the country. Because many Republicans follow Senator Inhofe’s lead, it means we are making very little progress in Congress in combating what most of the scientific community sees is a global environmental crisis.
I am on the floor today to ask Senator Inhofe to rethink his views on this enormously important issue and to ask my Republican colleagues to do the same. I am asking them to join the overwhelming majority of scientists who have studied and written about this issue in understanding that, one, global warming is real; two, global warming is significantly caused by human activity; three, global warming is already causing massive and costly destruction to the United States and around the world, and it will only get worse in years to come.
I am also asking Senator Inhofe and my Republican colleagues to understand that the United States, with all of our knowledge, all of our expertise, and all of our technology, can and must lead the rest of the world, which must follow our effort in cutting back on carbon emissions and reverse global warming, and to understand that when we do this–when we transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and enter into energy efficiency and sustainable energy–when we do that over a period of years, we can create millions of good-paying jobs.
What I want to do this afternoon is nothing more than to simply quote some of the statements and assertions Senator Inhofe has made and to express to you why he is dead wrong and dangerously wrong on this vitally important issue.
Mr. President, on July 11–just 2\1/2\ weeks ago–Senator Inhofe spoke on this floor reiterating his longstanding views on global warming. What he said during that speech is pretty much what he has been saying for years. I read that speech, and I want to use this opportunity to comment on it. Specifically, I want to discuss a number of observations in which Senator Inhofe is completely wrong.
First and foremost, Senator Inhofe tells us in his speech that global warming science is wrong. First and foremost, Senator Inhofe tells us in his speech that global warming science is wrong. Mr. Inhofe states, on page S4860 of the Congressional Record from July 11–and I will do my best to quote him as accurately as I possibly can–the following about global warming:
In 2003 … I started hearing from a lot of the real scientists that it was a hoax.
And Senator Inhofe continued, again from July 11, 2012:
It is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.
Let me repeat again what Senator Inhofe said just a few weeks ago on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
[Global warming] … is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.
In fact, the title of Senator Inhofe’s new book–which he was kind enough to give me a copy of–is “The Greatest Hoax.” That is the title of his book.
Well, let’s examine that assertion on the part of Senator Inhofe. The United States Global Change Research Program, which was supported and expanded by President George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, and which includes scientists at NASA, EPA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the State Department, the Department of Health, the Departments of Transportation, Commerce, and Interior, have said:
Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.
Senator Inhofe has said global warming is a hoax, but the Global Change Research Program, which brings together many departments of the U.S. Government, says:
Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.
Our National Academy of Sciences joined with academies in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. They all came together and said:
The need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.
It is now indisputable. Senator Inhofe says global warming is a hoax; academies of science all over the world state the need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.
Eighteen scientific professional societies, including the American Geophysical Union, the American Chemical Society, and others say:
Climate change is occurring and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.
That is a quote from 18 scientific professional societies. Senator Inhofe says global warming is a hoax, but 18 scientific professional societies say climate change is occurring and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.
Even noted climate skeptic Richard Muller, who, interestingly enough, Senator Inhofe has cited in his own speeches over the years, wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year that his latest research proved “global warming is real.” More to the point, in an op-ed published 2 days ago, Richard Muller, who in the past was cited by Senator Inhofe as a global warming skeptic, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “The Conversion of a Climate Change Skeptic.”
Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, this is how Richard A. Muller–again, the scientist who was often quoted by Senator Inhofe–began his op-ed 2 days ago in the New York Times. This is the quote from Richard A. Muller.
Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago, I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.
And Dr. Muller continues:
My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by 2\1/2\ degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of 1\1/2\ degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.
That was Dr. Richard Muller from an op-ed in the New York Times on July 28, 2012.
I am not going to tell you that every single serious scientist in the world agrees with Dr. Muller or agrees with me or agrees with the vast majority of scientists that global warming is real and primarily caused by human activity. But I will say that, according to the National Academy of Sciences, approximately 98 percent of active climate scientists who published peer-reviewed papers agree with the assertion that global warming is occurring and human activity is a significant driver of it–not 100 percent but 98 percent.
When we talk about scientists publishing with peer review, what we are saying is their papers and research were reviewed and examined by other expert scientists in their field. That is the great thing about science and peer review. The process invites criticism and invites other scientists to prove your idea is wrong. When we say 98 percent of active climate scientists agree about global warming, we are talking about scientists whose work has been examined critically and found to be well-documented and correct by their peers in the field.
This is an important point to be made. There may well be scientists out there who may have different views. But by and large they have not written peer-reviewed literature which has been examined by other experts in that field. So the bottom line here–and the important bottom line–is when Senator Jim Inhofe says global warming is a hoax, he is dead wrong according to the overwhelming majority of scientists who have studied this issue.
I hope very much–and I mean this sincerely, because this is an enormously important issue–that Senator Inhofe will rethink his position, and those Republicans who have followed Senator Inhofe’s lead will also rethink their position.
In July of 2010, in an interview with ABC News, Senator Inhofe said:
We’re in a cycle now that all the scientists agree is going into a cooling period.
Let me repeat that, because I don’t want anyone to think I made a mistake about what I said. July 2010, ABC News, quoting Senator Inhofe.
We’re in a cycle now that all the scientists agree is going into a cooling period.
On July 11, on the floor of the Senate, Senator Inhofe stated in his remarks–and this is found on page S4860 of the Congressional Record. I want everyone to make sure I am not misquoting Senator Inhofe. I would not do that. From page S4860 of July 11, the Congressional Record:
… we went into a warming period that went up to the turn of the century. Now it is actually going down into a cooling period again …
That was Senator Inhofe, July 11, 2012. In other words, as I understand it, Senator Inhofe is saying that since the year 2001 we are in a cooling period. Unfortunately, Senator Inhofe’s assertion that we have entered a cooling period could not be more incorrect.
Let’s look at what the scientific data shows us. The last decade was not one where our temperature got cooler. It was, in fact, the very opposite. According to NASA, the last decade was in fact the warmest on record, using temperature records that date to the late 1800s. NASA’s data shows that 9 of the 10 warmest years on record occurred since 2000, when Senator Inhofe says we went into a “cooling period.” So NASA says the last decade was the warmest on record, but Senator Inhofe says we have gone into a cooling period.
But it is not just NASA making this finding. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration–NOAA–issued a report from 300 scientists in 48 countries that confirms the last decade was the warmest on record–the warmest on record at a time when Senator Inhofe tells us we are going into a cooling period.
The World Meteorological Organization also confirms that the last decade was the warmest on record, and they found the 13 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1997.
So the American people and my Republican friends are going to have to make a decision: Is Jim Inhofe right that we are entering into a cooling period or is NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration correct in saying that the last decade was, in fact, the warmest on record?
As my fellow Vermonter, Bill McKibben, recently pointed out, globally we have seen 327 consecutive months where the temperature exceeded the global average for the 20th century. Senator Inhofe tells us the world is getting cooler, but science shows us we have just experienced the warmestdecade on record. Somebody is right and somebody is wrong, and I do not believe Senator Inhofe is right.
Senator Inhofe stated on July 11, 2012, page S. 4862 of the Congressional Record:
One thing we did find out when we got a report from several universities, including MIT, was that the cost of this, if we were to pass any of the bills, would have been between $300 billion and $400 billion a year.
This is not the first time Senator Inhofe has asserted that the cost of cutting greenhouse gas emissions is $300 billion to $400 billion a year. In an interview with Fox News on February 11, 2000, Senator Inhofe was asked by the Fox anchor about the cost of global warming legislation, and he responded:
It would cost between $300 billion and $400 billion a year.
Senator Inhofe gets his estimates by looking at worst-case scenarios from an out-of-date report that looked at legislation from 2007. The truth is, however, more recent research proves we can take strong action to cut emissions while at the same time growing our economy and saving Americans substantial sums of money on their energy bills.
For example, a 2009 study from McKinsey consulting firm found that the United States can meet our 2020 targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions just through cost-effective energy efficiency efforts, with a net savings for American consumers of $700 billion. A 2010 report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy found that by doing things nationally, many States–including the State of Vermont, my own State–are doing on energy efficiency already, we could achieve substantial benefits. The study found by investing aggressively in energy efficiency in our buildings, in our schools, in our factories, and in our transportation systems we would create over 370,000 net new jobs by 2020, boost our rate of economic growth and GDP, and save households significant sums of money on their energy bills–all while vastly exceeding our 2020 target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels.
In this scenario, we could cut emissions over 30 percent by 2020 as we create jobs and as millions of people save money on their energy bills. To my mind, creating jobs, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and saving money on people’s fuel bills is a win-win-win situation.
In addition to the clear benefits from taking action, I want to point out to Senator Inhofe the costs and risks if we do not take action, if we do nothing. The alternative is we step back, we don’t do anything, and what happens?
Already, the extreme weather we have seen is impacting our Nation’s infrastructure. An interesting article appeared just a few days ago, July 25, 2012, in the New York Times. It said the Nation’s infrastructure is being taxed to worrisome degrees by heat, drought, and vicious storms. The article noted that on a single day in July, an airplane got stuck in asphalt that softened due to 100-degree temperatures, and a subway train derailed after heat caused a track to bend. It also cited highways that are heating up and expanding beyond their design limits, causing cracks and jarring bumps in the road. The article mentioned how powerplants are having difficulty using their regular cooling sources during operation because the water is now excessively warm.
A power company executive with 38 years of experience was quoted as saying:
We’ve got the storm of the century every year now, after power was knocked out for 4.3 million people in 10 States after the June derecho storm that raced from the Midwest to the East Coast at near hurricane-force winds.
Interestingly, not generally noted as being terribly progressive, the insurance industry has noted their costs for property damage from increasingly extreme weather have already increased in the United States from $3 billion a year in the 1980s to $20 billion a year today. According to Mark Way, an official with Swiss Re, a large reinsurance company:
A warming climate will only add to this trend of increasing losses, which is why action is needed now.
A landmark study prepared for the British Government by Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank, found that doing nothing to reverse global warming could eventually shrink the global economy by 20 percent. The Chairman of the National Intelligence Council under President George W. Bush testified to Congress that intelligence assessments indicated that global warming could worsen existing problems, such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions. Climate change could threaten domestic stability in some States, potentially contributing to conflict, particularly over access to increasingly scarce water resources.
Unlike Senator Inhofe, most Americans are seeing the evidence of global warming with their own eyes. I want to take some time to talk about what we are seeing.
The Associated Press reported on July 3, 2012:
But since at least 1988, climate scientists have warned that climate change would bring, in general, increased heat waves, more droughts, more sudden downpours, more widespread wildfires and worsening storms. In the United States, those extremes are happening here and now.
So far this year, more than 2.1 million acres have burned in wildfires, more than 113 million people in the U.S. were in areas under extreme heat advisories last Friday, two- thirds of the country is experiencing drought, and earlier in June, deluges flooded Minnesota and Florida.
We saw extreme weather last year as well. In 2011, we had a record-
breaking 14 weather disasters in the United States that each caused over $1 billion in damage. One of those was Hurricane Irene, which caused devastating flooding and loss of life in the State of Vermont and other States in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. According to FEMA:
Considered together, the federally declared disasters of 2011 presented crises all but unprecedented in their frequency and scope. The 99 major disasters, 29 declared emergencies, and 114 requests for fire management assistance touched 48 out of 50 states.
In other words, 48 States had a federally declared disaster last year.
Global average surface temperature has already increased 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900, according to NOAA. The last 12 months is the warmest 12-month period on record in the United States. Since January 1, 2012, cities and regions in the United States have set 40,000 records for warm temperatures, compared to just 6,000 for cold temperatures, according to NOAA. In the 20th century we set warm and cold temperature records at roughly a 1-to-1 ratio. In the 21st century, that has changed 2 to 1 in favor of heat records, and this year it has jumped to 7 to 1.
As the planet warms, we are seeing more extreme heat wave events. Heat waves killed tens of thousands in Europe in 2003 and Russia in 2010, and a heat wave in Texas and Oklahoma caused severe drought and wildfires in 2011. Global warming made these heat waves significantly more likely, according to the latest science.
Leading climatologist James Hansen and several of his colleagues published a report that said:
Extreme heat waves such as that in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011, and Moscow in 2010, were caused by global warming, because their likelihood was negligible prior to the recent rapid global warming.
Another study from German researchers published in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences found an 80-percent likelihood that the Russian heat wave in 2010 was attributable to global warming. And a study from NOAA found the heat wave and drought in Texas in 2011 was 20 times more likely to occur today than 50 years ago due to the warming of the planet.
As I mentioned, this country is currently experiencing a devastating drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated disaster areas due to drought in 1,369 counties in 31 States this year. The price of corn has increased 50 percent in the last 3 months, and soybean prices are up 25 percent since June. This is because 78 percent of the corn crop and 77 percent of soybean production is in drought-
This is not the first time we have seen devastating droughts spike food prices in recent years. Severe drought in Russia in 2010 led that country to ban exports of grain, which contributed to a near doubling in wheat prices over a 2-month period in that year. The worst drought in China in 60 years occurred last year in 2011, affecting 12 million acres of wheat and contributing–along with floods in Australiaand the drought in Russia–to record food prices.
Some commentators cited the record food prices caused by these extreme weather events as contributing to unrest. When food prices go up, there is often instability in countries around the world–including the Middle East and Africa.
Sea levels have already risen 7 inches globally, according to EPA. We have seen during the last three summers record low levels of Arctic Sea ice, and we know from NASA satellites that Antarctica is losing 24 cubic miles of ice every year. In Glacier National Park in this country we had 150 glaciers when it was formed in 1910, but today only 25 remain. Some studies predict a sea level rise of 5 feet or more by the end of this century. But even if sea levels rose 3 feet, cities such as Miami, New Orleans, Charleston, SC, Oakland, CA, and others could find themselves partially underwater.
The average annual acreage consumed by wildfires in the United States more than doubled during the last decade compared with the previous four decades. Last year in Texas wildfires destroyed 2,700 homes. This year in Colorado–the most destructive wildfire in that State’s history–destroyed 350 homes. Wildfires in Colorado this year caused tens of thousands to evacuate their homes. In New Mexico, we saw the largest wildfire in that State’s history this year burn more than 170,000 acres that broke the previous record which was set just last year when a fire burned more than 150,000 acres.
Mr. President, last year floods along the Mississippi River caused $2 billion worth of damage. Floods in North Dakota displaced 11,000 people from their homes. Record floods in Australia in 2011 caused its State of Queensland to conduct the largest evacuation in its history. Floods in Pakistan in 2010 killed 2,000 people and left one-fifth of that nuclear-armed nation under water for weeks. That is the kind of potentially destabilizing extreme weather events the folks at the Department of Defense and the CIA worry about. Unfortunately, I could go on and on. The bad news is if we do nothing, the science is clear that temperatures will continue to increase, sea levels will continue to rise, and extreme weather will become more frequent and more devastating. The good news is–and it is very good news–that we now have the technology, the knowledge, and the know-how to cut emissions today through energy efficiency and through moving toward such sustainable and renewable technologies as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass.
It is time for Congress to get serious about global warming and to work to transform our energy system to sustainable energy, and that starts by beginning to understand that global warming is real and that if we do not address it now, it will only get worse and bring more danger to this country and to our planet.
Mr. INHOFE. Will the Senator yield for a unanimous consent request?
Mr. SANDERS. Yes.
Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at the conclusion of the remarks of my friend from Vermont, I be recognized as in morning business for such time as I will consume.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there objection?
Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, I am glad to see my friend from Oklahoma here on the floor. I want to conclude by reading a review of Senator Inhofe’s book, which is called “The Greatest Hoax,” by a gentleman named J.C. Moore. This review by J.C. Moore was published in the Tulsa World which is, I suspect, the largest newspaper in the State of Oklahoma. J.C. Moore is a native Oklahoman–the same State Senator Inhofe represents–and a Ph.D. who taught chemistry and physics and is a member of the American Geophysical Union.
This is what Mr. Moore wrote: “Inhofe claims he is winning in his fight to debunk global warming.” After discussing the scientific consensus among climate scientists and major scientific institutions all over the world, Moore writes:
Inhofe’s greatest adversary is nature itself, as research shows the climate is changing in response to human activities. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing, the temperature of the Earth is rising, the oceans are becoming more acidic, glaciers and polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, the probability of severe weather events is increasing, and weather-related natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more costly. It is time we examine more closely who is actually winning by ignoring science.
As I understand it, that is from a review of Senator Inhofe’s book, “The Greatest Hoax,” by a gentleman named J.C. Moore in the Tulsa World.
There is much more to be said on this issue because here on the floor of the Senate we are saying virtually nothing. I might say that we look pretty dumb to the rest of the world by ignoring what many scientists believe is the major environmental crisis of our time which, if we don’t get a handle on, will have profound impacts on the well-being of this country and countries throughout this world.
So I say to my friend Senator Inhofe–and he is my friend–I hope very much the Senator will rethink his position. I hope those Republicans who are following the Senator’s lead will rethink their position because nothing less than the future of our planet is at stake.
With that, I am happy to yield the floor for my friend, Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma.
Below is the text of Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) July 30, 2012 speech on the U.S. Senate floor denying the evident threat of manmade climate change, even as his state suffers from record drought and wildfires.
Mr. President, first of all, something my friend from Vermont said a minute ago would surprise a lot of people, and that is we are friends. It is kind of strange. People don’t understand being violently opposed to each other in this body and yet also being very close friends. My friend from Vermont has a different philosophy than I do. That is the nice thing about both the House and the Senate. We have people with different philosophies who believe in different things. Somewhere in the midst of this, the truth ultimately does come out most of the time. I think we would probably agree with that.
One thing I like about my friend from Vermont is he really believes and is willing to stand up and fight for something he believes. I am not going to suggest there are hypocrites in this body. I wouldn’t say that at all. When we look around the political scene, we see people who somehow might ingratiate a block of people who are wanting support. Maybe it is for the next election, maybe it is for a cause. That is not the case with my friend from Vermont. He believes in his heart everything he says.
Sometimes I talk to young people who come in as interns. I tell them there are varied philosophies in the Senate and in the House. We have extreme liberals who believe our country should have a greater involvement in the decisions we make. We have conservatives, like I am, who believe we have too much government in our lives as it is. It is a basic difference. But I say to them, even though I am on the conservative side, I would rather someone be a far outspoken liberal extremist than be in the mushy middle and not stand for anything. My friend from Vermont is not in the mushy middle. He stands for something.
It was not too long ago that another friend in his office, his press secretary–we are very close friends–said something, and I don’t want to misquote him. He said, My boss would like to have a copy of your book. I said, Not only will I give him a copy, but I will autograph it for him, but with one commitment, and that is he has to read it. He kept that commitment; I can tell by the things he said.
Let me go over a few things that were said, and I think it is interesting. This Dr. Richard Muller–I can’t recall too much about him, but I do know he was listed among scientists who were skeptics. For the benefit of people who may not know the terminology, I refer to an alarmist as someone who thinks there is great alarm because something is happening and the end of the world is coming because of global warming. Skeptics are those like myself who don’t believe that. He apparently has changed from being a skeptic to an alarmist. I would only say this, and that is my Web site, epw.senate.gov, shows from probably over 12 years ago a list of scientists who are calling me, making statements, and saying that the IPCC–that is the United Nations, and that is what we are talking about. The United Nations came out with a preconceived notion that they wanted to believe a preconceived conclusion. When they did this, the scientists who were included in the process were scientists who agreed with them.
So when I questioned it by standing on the floor–I don’t remember the date of this. My friend from Vermont may remember that. I made statements about two or three scientists who had called me. After that, the phone was ringing off the hook. Keep in mind there are a lot of scientists out there. We listed on the Web site up to over 1,000 scientists who declared they were skeptics about this whole thing. So I can take some gratitude about the fact that the only scientist who was on the skeptic list who has changed to an alarmist is 1 out of 1,000.
My friend was talking about the National Academy of Sciences. I think it is kind of interesting because let’s remember it was the National Academy of Sciences that came out with a report in 1975 warning of a coming ice age. Keep in mind we are all going to die whether it is global warming or another ice age. That is the National Academy of Sciences, the same group. According to a lot of people, they have turned themselves into an advocacy group.
I will quote MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen, who was a former U.N. IPCC reviewer. He was talking about Ralph Cicerone, who is the president of the NAS. He said:
Cicerone of NAS is saying that regardless of evidence the answer is predetermined, if gov’t wants carbon control, that is the answer–
That is what the NAS will provide. If you control carbon, you control life.
So we have had a lot of differing and varying interpretations of availing science over the years. I can recall one of my first introductions to this. Of course, this came way back during the Kyoto Convention. Some people have forgotten that Kyoto was a convention that was going to get everyone to get together under the leadership of the United Nations and we were all going to reduce our carbon, and so they had this big meeting down there. I will always remember it. This is the famous Al Gore meeting that was called the Earth Summit of 1992. So they came out with this and said this is going to happen. The United Nations said it is, and so they thought everything was fine. Everyone believed it.
It was shortly after that I remember hearing someone talk about it. We can go back and look at this. This is not something I am just saying. There were statements that were made in the 30-year period– let’s take the 30-year period from 1895 to 1925. That is 30 years. During that time everyone feared that another ice age was coming. They talked about another ice age, and that the world was coming to an end. They provided all of this documentation during that 30-year period that that is what was happening.
Well, from 1925 to 1945, that 20-year period was a global warming. In fact, the first time we heard of global warming was in that 20-year period from 1925 to 1945. So the world was going to come to an end again, and it was going to be during that period of time due to global warming.
Then came the 30-year period from 1945 to 1975. During that time they said it is a cold spell, and that is when all of these companies came in–the Senator from Vermont is right. I have given probably 30 talks well in excess of an hour each talking about these things. During that time, I remember holding up the cover of Time magazine where they talked about how another ice age was coming. Then I held up a cover of the Time magazine 20 years later, and they said, no, it is global warming. They had the last polar bear stepping on the last cube of ice, and saying we are going to die.
We went through a period of 1945 to 1975 where they declared it a period of another ice age. Then 1975 to the turn of the century–so that was another 30-year period of time–when it was global warming. So we have gone back and forth.
Here is the interesting thing about that. The assertion is always made that we are having catastrophic global warming because of manmade gases, CO2, anthropogenic gases, and methane. Yet the greatest surge of CO2 came right after World War II starting in 1945, and that precipitated not a warming period but a cooling period. So when you look at these things, sometimes–by the way, the only disagreement I would have with my friend from Vermont is that he has quoted me as saying some things.
Actually, unlike Al Gore and some of these other people, I recognize I am not an expert. I am not a scientist, but I read what the scientists say. I get my phone calls, I look at it, and I try to apply logic to it and come to my conclusions. So that is what has been happening over the last–oh, it has been now 12 years, I guess, since all this started.
I wish to mention a couple of other things that were said. For example, on the idea of the science–here it is, right here. As far as scientists are concerned, I can remember quoting from the Harvard-Smithsonian study. The study examined results of more than 240 peer-reviewed–“peer-reviewed” is the term used by my friend from Vermont–the Harvard-Smithsonian study examined the results of more than 240 peer-reviewed papers published by thousands of researchers over the past four decades. The study covers a multitude of geophysical and biological climate indicators. They came to the conclusion that “climate change is not real. The science is not accurate.”
Then we have another quote from a former President of the National Academy of Sciences. He is Dr. Fred Seitz. He said:
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.
Again, he is a former President of the National Academy of Sciences.
Then we had a study from not long ago done by George Mason University. This is one my friend from Vermont may not have seen. It was called to my attention, and I missed it somehow in the media. It was a survey of 430 weather forecasters by the university, and it found that only 19 percent of the weather forecasters believed that the climate is changing and if so, that it is due to manmade gases–only 19 percent. That means 81 percent of them think it is not.
Dr. Robert Laughlin is a Nobel Prize winner and a Stanford University physicist. He said–this is kind of good. I enjoyed this one. He said:
Please remain calm: The earth will heal itself. Climate is beyond our power to control. The earth doesn’t care about governments or their legislation. Climate change is a matter of geologic time, something that the earth routinely does on its own without asking anyone’s permission or explaining itself.
It is happening. I think it is kind of arrogant for people to think we can change this. I am recalling one of the statements made by my good friend that we have all of these–we must provide the leadership.
We have watched these great big annual parties the United Nations has in these exotic places around the world. I can remember going to a few of them. I remember one of them in Milan, Italy. It would have been 2003. I went there. They had “wanted” posters on all the telephone polls with my picture and quoted me when I first came out with the hoax statement. These big parties are kind of interesting. I have only gone to three of them, but they have people invited from all over the world. The only price to pay to come to this is to believe that catastrophic warming is taking place and that it is the fault of bad old man and anthropogenic gases.
Anyway, the last one was an interesting one–not the last one, the most enjoyable one in Copenhagen. At that time–I am going from memory, but I believe President Obama had been there, Secretary Clinton had been there, Nancy Pelosi had been there, and several others. There were five different people–I can’t remember the other two–and they were there to assure the other countries–keep in mind, 192 countries–they assured them that we were going to pass some type of cap-and-trade legislation. So I went. Right before I went over, I announced myself as a self-described–I don’t mean it in an arrogant way–as a self-proclaimed, one-man truth squad. I went over to tell them the truth, that it wasn’t going to happen.
But right before it happened–talk about poetic justice, I say to my friend from Vermont–right before that happened was a hearing we had with the director of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, whom I love dearly. She is one of my three favorite liberals whom I often talk about, and she came out and said–I looked at her and I said: I am going to Copenhagen tomorrow. I have a feeling that when I leave to go to Copenhagen, you are going to have a declaration that will declare that it is a hazard and all this and give the bureaucracy justification to do through regulation what they could not do and have not been successful in doing through legislation.
I saw a smile on her face.
I said: In the event you make that finding, it has to be based on science. What science do you think it will be based on?
She said: Well, primarily the IPCC–the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
It is a branch of the United Nations. It was all started by the United Nations.
By the way, I would not mention my book; however, I checked before I came down, and if somebody else mentions my book, which is “The Greatest Hoax,” then it is all right for me to mention it. I see my friend from Vermont nodding in agreement. So I want people to read the longest chapter, which is the chapter on the United Nations. It goes back and tells what the motives were for this. It goes back to 1972. We were in the midst of an ice age at that time, if my colleague remembers. It talks about the meeting that was going to be held at the Earth Summit in 1992, what the motivation was, and then it goes forward from there.
Here is what is interesting. I was going to mention this in a hearing we will both be attending tomorrow. They had the Earth Summit Plus 20 just a month ago in Rio de Janeiro, the same place it was held 20 years before that when George Bush was President of the United States. He went down there even though he didn’t really agree with the stuff that was going on. In this case, President Obama didn’t even go down. In fact, it has been conspicuous.
I was glad to see my friend from Vermont coming to the floor and talking about an issue that hasn’t been talked about now for years. I am glad it is coming up again. I am glad people realize the cost it is going to be to the American people. By the way, the $300 billion to $400 billion originated from a study that was done by scientists–I am sorry–by economists from the Wharton School, and they came up with that figure. Later on, MIT and several universities said: Well, that is the $300 billion to $400 billion, what it will cost. So that has been pretty much agreed to. Yet I am sure there is a dissenting view. But this is the first time I have heard on the floor of this Senate a denial of that assertion that was made. Everyone knows what it will cost.
I remember the McCain-Lieberman bill when Senator Lieberman said: Yes, it will cost billions of dollars. There is no question about it. Cap and trade will cost billions of dollars. The question is, What do we gain from it?
Well, that is a pretty good question.
Getting back to Lisa Jackson, I asked the question–this was in a live hearing. I think the Senator from Vermont may have been there; I don’t know for sure. It was live on TV.
I said: The assertion has been made that global warming is–that if we pass something, we are going to be able to stop this horrible thing that is going on right now. Let me ask you for the record, live on TV, in a committee hearing, if we were to pass the cap-and-trade bill–I think it was the Markey bill at that time; I am not sure. Cap and trade is cap and trade–pretty much the same. If we were to pass that, would that lower worldwide emissions of CO2?
She said: No, it wouldn’t.
Wait a minute. This is the Obama-appointed director of the Environmental Protection Agency who said: No, it wouldn’t, because the problem isn’t here. The problem is in other countries.
I don’t remember what countries she named–probably China, India, Mexico. It could be other countries; I am not sure. But nonetheless, she said: No, it really wouldn’t do that.
So what we are talking about is this tax on the American people of $300 billion to $400 billion. I remember–and I think the Senator from Vermont remembers this also–way back in 1993, during the first of the Clinton-Gore administration, they had the Clinton-Gore tax increase of 1993. That was an increase of marginal rates, the death tax, capital gains, and I believe it was the largest tax increase in three decades at that time. That was a $32 billion tax increase. This would be a tax increase ten times that rate.
I know there are people–their heads swim when they hear these numbers. It doesn’t mean anything to them. I will tell my colleagues what I do. In Oklahoma, I get the number of families who file a tax return, and then I do the math every time somebody comes up. In the case of that increase, of the $300 billion to $400 billion, we are talking about a $3,000 tax increase for each family in my State of Oklahoma that files a tax return. So, fine, if they want to do that, they can try to do it, but let’s not say something good will come from it when the director of the EPA herself said no, it is not going to reduce emissions.
The other thing too that my friend from Vermont mentioned was the heat. Yes, it is hot. In fact, it was kind of funny–during the remarks of my friend from Vermont, my wife called me from Oklahoma and said: Do you think I should call in and say today it is 109 degrees?
I said: No, it wouldn’t be a good idea. Let me say it.
So it is true. Now and then we have some very hot summers, and in the case of my State of Oklahoma, it is hot almost every summer. We have had a lot of heat. However, the people who try to say there is proof that global warming is taking place are the same ones who–back when we had the most severe winter 2 years ago, when my kids built the famous igloo, that was one of the most severe winters. In fact, all the airports were closed at that time. It was kind of funny. I have 20 kids and grandkids. One family is headed up by Jimmy and Molly Rapert. She is a professor at the University of Arkansas. She has a little girl we helped find in Ethiopia many years ago. Zagita Marie was just a few days old when we found her and not in very good shape. We nursed her back to health. Molly and her husband, who have three boys, decided they wanted a girl, and they adopted her. She is now 12 years old. She reads at college level. Every year I have the Africa dinner in February, and she has been the keynote speaker at that.
Anyway, 2 years ago in February, she had given her keynote speech and they were getting ready to leave and go back home, but they couldn’t get out because all the airports were closed. What do you do with a family of six? You go out and build an igloo. This wasn’t just an igloo the kids built; it slept four people, right next to the Library of Congress, and on top of it they had a little sign saying “Al Gore’s New Home.”
Anyway, they were talking about that single weather event at that time–or some were; not me; I know better than to do that–saying global warming can’t take place because we have had the most severe winters. Anyway, a lot of people have tried to use–and I don’t blame them for doing it–the idea that, oh, it is really hot out there; therefore, this must be global warming.
I would suggest that–oh, yeah, the one weather event. Roger Pielke, Jr., professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, said:
Over the long run, there is no evidence that disasters are getting worse because of climate change.
Judith Curry, chair of the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, said:
I have been completely unconvinced by any of the arguments that attribute a single extreme weather event or a cluster of extreme weather events or statistics of extreme weather events to an anthropogenic forcing.
Myles Allen, the head of the Climate Dynamics Group at the University of Oxford’s Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department, said:
When Al Gore said that scientists now have clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms and droughts, my heart sank.
The other day, I was on the “Rachel Maddow Show.” I watch Rachel Maddow. She is one of my three favorite–let me just declare today that I have four favorite liberals, and the Senator from Vermont is one of them. He just graduated to that today, I say to my friend from Vermont.
Anyway, I have been on her show before–and I always like doing it because they are on the other side of these issues–but her own guy, called Bill Nye the Science Guy, agrees, one, it is wrong to try to attribute climate to a weather event. There is a big difference between weather and climate. So we have an awful lot of people who are talking about that.
My good friend from Vermont talked about the global cooling predictions. Let me correct him in saying that I did not say that. I said that quoting scientists. I try to do that because I do not want anyone to think I know that much about science because I do not.
A prominent Russian scientist, Dr. Abdussamatov, said:
We should fear a deep temperature drop–not catastrophic global warming… .
It follows that [global] warming had a natural origin, the contribution of CO2 to it was insignificant… .
This second thing: “UN Fears (More) Global Cooling Commeth!” This is the IPCC. This is the United Nations, the same people who, in my opinion–I do say this–are trying to profit from this issue. When I say that, let me clarify that because when the United Nations comes up with something that is not in the best interests of this country–I have often said we ought to correct this. I have written letters, signed by Members of this Senate, and before that by Members of the House when I was in the House, saying: You guys are going to have to come to the meeting and talk about this because it is going to be a serious problem.
When you talk about all these things that are going on, it is something that is not actually taking place.
So they said–and I am quoting now. This would be palaeoclimate scientist Dr. Bob Carter from James Cook University in Australia, who has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on EPW. I was there at that testimony. He noted on June 18, 2007: The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this is 8-year long temperature stability that occurred, despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million of atmospheric CO2.
So, again, these are scientists. I know there are scientists with varying views, but there sure are a lot of them here.
Just months before the Copenhagen matter took place–by the way, I kind of enjoyed that trip to Copenhagen because when I got over there– this, again, was the meeting where they invite all the people who believe in global warming and make all these countries–192 countries– believe if they will go along with this, they will get great rewards for doing something about global warming. So, anyway, I enjoyed that very much because I was able to go over and show the people what the truth was in this country.
But Andrew Revkin, just before Copenhagen, on September 23, 2009, in the New York Times, acknowledged:
The world leaders who met at the United Nations to discuss climate change … are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been relatively stable for a decade and may even drop for the next few years.
I look at some of the things–incidentally, I kind of wish I had known my good friend from Vermont was going to be talking about this because I would have been delighted to join in and get a little bit better prepared. But I would say this as to the cost: When you talk about where this cost comes from, the $300 to $400 billion, the Kyoto Protocol and cap-and-trade cost–this is from the Wharton Econometrics Forecasting Associates I mentioned just a minute ago–Kyoto would cost 2.4 million U.S. jobs and reduce GDP by 3.2 percent or about $300 billion annually, an amount greater than the total expenditure on primary and secondary education.
Oh, yes, let’s talk about polar bears. I am not sure my friend mentioned the polar bears, so I will skip that part. Anyway, let me just say this: It has become something that has been somewhat of a religion to talk about what is happening and the world is coming to an end. I would just suggest they are not winning that battle.
In March 2010, in a Gallup poll, Americans ranked global warming dead last–8 out of 8–on environmental issues. That was not true 10 years ago. Ten years ago, it was No. 1, and everyone thought that. The more people sit back and look at it and study it, they decide: Well, maybe it is not true after all.
In March 2010, a Rasmussen poll: 72 percent of American voters do not believe global warming is a very serious problem. In a Rasmussen poll at the same time as to the Democrat base: Only 35 percent now think climate change is manmade.
The global warmist Robert Socolow laments:
We are losing the argument with the general public, big time … I think the climate change activists, myself included, have lost the American middle.
In a way, I am kind of pleased it is coming back up and surfacing now. I thank my good friend, and he is my good friend. People do not understand–they really do not understand–what the Senate is all about. The House was not that way when I was in the House. But in the Senate, you can love someone and disagree with them philosophically and come out and talk about it.
I have no doubt in my mind that my friend from Vermont is sincere in what he believes. I believe he would say he knows I am sincere with what I believe. That is what makes this a great body.
But I will just say this: It is popular to say the world is coming to an end. When we look historically, I could go back and talk about what has happened over the years–over the centuries really–and going through these periods of time, and it is always that the world is coming to an end.
Well, I am here to announce–and I feel very good being able to do it with 20 kids and grandkids; I am happy to tell them all right now–the world is not coming to an end, and global warming–we are going through a cycle. We have gone through these cycles before, and every time we go through–in part of my book I talk about the hysterical things people are saying.
Back during that period of time, I mentioned between 1895 and 1930 about how the world was coming to an end, and the same thing from 1930 to the end of the war. Then, of course, getting into the little ice age, all these things that were taking place, the little ice age from 1945–not the ice age but this cooling period–the cooling period that started in 1945 and lasted for 30 years was the time in our history where we had the greatest increase in carbon in the air, the greatest use of that. So it is inconsistent with what reality was.
So I would say to my good friend, I have no doubt in my mind that the Senator from Vermont is sincere in what he says. While he and I are ranked at the extreme sides of the philosophical pendulum, I would say I know he is sincere. But I will also say this is a tough world we are in right now. When we look at the problems we have in this country and the problems we are having in the world and the cost that it has, I am very thankful those who are trying to pass the cap and trade, all the way from the Kyoto Treaty–which was never brought to the Senate, never brought because they knew they were not going to be able to pass it–up until the time when that ended in about 2009, I would say a lot of activists were out there, but I think people have now realized: Just look at the patterns. It gets colder, it gets warmer, it gets colder, it gets warmer. God is still up there. And I think that will continue in the future.