Some facts to keep in mind when you talk to friends who see Al Gore's new movie

Pete DuPont has a useful piece in today's Opinion Journal:

When it comes to visible environmental improvements, America is also making substantial progress:

• The number of days the city of Los Angeles exceeded the one-hour ozone standard has declined from just under 200 a year in the late 1970s to 27 in 2004.

• The Pacific Research Institute's Index of Leading Environmental Indicators shows that "U.S. forests expanded by 9.5 million acres between 1990 and 2000."

• While wetlands were declining at the rate of 500,000 acres a year at midcentury, they "have shown a net gain of about 26,000 acres per year in the past five years," according to the institute.

• Also according to the institute, "bald eagles, down to fewer than 500 nesting pairs in 1965, are now estimated to number more than 7,500 nesting pairs."

Environmentally speaking, America has had a very good third of a century; the economy has grown and pollutants and their impacts upon society are substantially down.

But now comes the carbon dioxide alarm. CO2 is not a pollutant--indeed it is vital for plant growth--but the annual amount released into the atmosphere has increased 40% since 1970. This increase is blamed by global warming alarmists for a great many evil things. The Web site for Al Gore's new film, "An Inconvenient Truth," claims that because of CO2's impact on our atmosphere, sea levels may rise by 20 feet, the Arctic and Antarctic ice will likely melt, heat waves will be "more frequent and more intense," and "deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years--to 300,000 people a year." . . . .

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Anonymous Brian said...

It's interesting to see history change before your eyes. There was a time when human agency was blamed, without challenge, for Global Warming. That always seemed very much a stretch to me, given the dramatic climate shifts as indicated by the advances and retreats of glaciers during the Pleistocene.

And then, there is the minor problem of Global Warming on Mars: how could humans possibly be responsible for that? (Unless President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Halliburton really do exercise intergalactic powers.)

In the last year or two, I've seen a change in the debate -- or rather, the start of a debate, with a variety of voices pointing to (shudder) actual data (!) that calls into question H. sapiens ability to influence climate change much, if at all. In addition to Mr. DuPont's excellent article, there's another fine one by Richard Lindzen entitled Climate of Fear in the WSJ; a hard-hitting letter signed by 60 prominent scientists to Mr. Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada; and Steve Milloy's article on Global Warming. Each in its own way is devastating.

People are beginning to speak out.


5/24/2006 12:46 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Thanks, Brian. Those are very helpful links.

5/24/2006 12:49 AM  
Anonymous phlea said...

Thank you both for the information based on actual science (opposed to a desperate bid for President in 2008 and a chronic penchant for hyperbole.)

5/24/2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Kitty said...

What goes on behind the scenes of the global warming alarmists makes meat processing look like child's play. The backstabbing and manipulation of people and data to support their cause is breathtaking.

Thank God some people are speaking out and countering the effects of Al Gore and his army of alarmists.

5/24/2006 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Perhaps the best book countering the Environmental chorus is Bjorn Lomborg's book The Skeptical Environmentalist. It's a little dated wrt data, but the way he thinks about environmental problems makes it well worth the read.


5/24/2006 11:48 PM  

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