Scientists Urge Rejection Of Kyoto Agreement
More than 15,000 scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees, have already signed the petition included in your press packet, which reads as follows:
We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan, in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
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. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.
There is scientific consensus on only one portion of the "Global Warming Hypothesis." The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has recently been increasing. It is quite reasonable to conclude that the increase probably results from the use of carbon fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
One method to begin to enforce the Kyoto Treaty without benefit of ratification by the U.S. Senate is for the Environmental Protection Agency to classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant. What is carbon dioxide? It is plant food, and the basic building material of all living things. Plants take in carbon dioxide and water, and with energy from the sun convert it into carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, into leaves, roots, flowers, and fruit. A byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen. Animals breathe in oxygen, eat food, and exhale carbon dioxide. If carbon dioxide is a pollutant, then every animal on earth is a polluter. Every organic molecule in the bodies of plants and animals contains carbon that was once in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
There are hundreds of scientific studies to show that plant growth is enhanced by increases in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. Plants grow larger, and more quickly, and are better able to withstand adverse conditions. The Green Revolution that is now feeding large numbers of people on earth is partly due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The use of coal and hydrocarbon fuel has another, more obvious effect: fueling the agriculture and industry that lifts billions of people from poverty and misery. Without abundant, economical sources of energy, millions of people would die and millions more would be reduced to dire poverty.
It is not possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, much less to stabilize or reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, without severe restrictions on the use of coal, oil, and natural gas. This means a global regime of severe energy rationing, because it is not possible to replace these essential fuel sources with technology that is currently available and affordable. In a free-enterprise economy, new sources of energy will surely develop with advances in technology; but decades of government subsidies have not turned wind power and other so-called "sustainable" technologies into economically viable alternatives. What could possibly justify a regime that would deprive any of the world's people of the energy that they need to live? The justification that is offered is a purported scientific consensus on climatic catastrophe predicted to result from projected increases in carbon dioxide. However, the hypothesis has already been tested and refuted. The evidence itself is available for your review. More than 15,000 scientists have already reviewed it and signed their names to the petition, despite the political pressures to support the Kyoto Treaty. About $2 billion/year spent for projects designed to produce "evidence" to justify global energy rationing has failed to do so.
It is reasonable to predict that increases in carbon dioxide could lead to mild increases in temperature. However, the hypothetical global warming catastrophe depends on massive amplification of a slight increase by mechanisms that do not depend on the reason for the initial increase in temperature. Over the past 3,000 years, the earth's temperature has fluctuated, due to natural causes, over ranges much larger than that predicted to cause global warming catastrophe. The temperature will continue to rise and fall, and the climate will continue to change. Massive restrictions on human use of carbon fuels will make no difference in the climate, but would have disastrous consequences for human life.
Jane M. Orient, M.D., F.A.C.P.