March 2004

The Connecticut state legislature is currently considering SB.595, which aims to reduce the states greenhouse gas emissions using Kyoto-like measures.  The bill has passed out of a joint committee and has the backing of the Governor.  Section 3 of the bill seeks to mandate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010; 10% below 1990 levels by 2020; and 75% to 85% below 2001 levels by 2050 (unless another year is set). 

 A study by Charles River Associates for the American Legislative Exchange Council brings home the effects of the bill on the quality of life of Connecticut residents.  The study finds, A conservative estimate is that costs per Connecticut household of meeting these caps would be between $700 and $1300 per year over the next three decades, accompanied by the loss of about 20,000 jobs.  Connecticuts state product would be reduced by about 1.3% from baseline levels by 2020, and these losses would either remain stable or grow, depending on whether costs of sequestration level decline or remain constant.  The states budget problems would be worsened, with lower wages and incomes leading to a loss in tax collections of about $250 million per year by 2010.  Moreover, the bill would directly impose costs on the state to set up the trading system, and would raise energy costs for state and local governments.

Lewis Andrews of the Yankee Institute in Connecticut goes further, saying in an op-ed that the bill could cost Connecticut as much as $8.1 billion.  He concludes, Connecticut facing record budget deficits due to lower-than-expected revenues in 2002 and 2003 should not adopt an overly ambitious greenhouse gas reduction program that costs taxpayer dollars, destroys jobs, and does nothing to protect the environment.

 Copies of the Charles River Associates study are available by request from the American Legislative Exchange Council (

Coming to a multiplex near you on May 28 is the global warming disaster movie, “The Day After Tomorrow.” Ive only seen the trailer, but my money is on the movie, not global warming, being the disaster.

Featuring sensational but implausible weather phenomena ― such as tornadoes ripping through Los Angeles, a blizzard in New Delhi, grapefruit-sized hail pounding Tokyo and a single day sweltering-to-freezing temperature change in New York City ― the movie’s unmistakable purpose is to scare us into submitting to the Greens’ agenda: domination of society through control of energy resources.

This column has addressed Green extremism and global warming many times in the past ― “Eco-Imperialism’s Deadly Consequences” ; “Global Warming not a WMD”; and “Global Warmers Admit No Solutions,” for example. So suffice it to say that there’s no credible evidence humans are altering global climate in any measurable way and, to the extent that global climate is changing ― as it always has and always will ― there’s nothing that humans can do about that change except to adapt.  

The oldest movie marketing strategy in the world is to tie in to some swirl of controversy ― it sells tickets. These filmmakers go one step further by pointing an accusing finger at each one of us with their plea to go “carbon-neutral.”

The film’s producers say they discovered that they were actually contributing to global warming by making the movie. To compensate for putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, they decided to go carbon-neutral ― a mix of energy conservation and tree planting, they claim, helped make up for their eco-error.

“It’s a small part of a very big problem, but it’s a start,” the producers reasoned. For what the rest of us can do, we’re directed to a Web site called, where you’ll learn that you (unfortunately) produce carbon dioxide, “well, just by living.” says you need to “make a commitment to reduce your emissions and have that published” and “buy products, which will compensate for every ton of carbon dioxide you produce, or buy gifts which neutralize a friend’s emissions.” also features a celebrity section where you can learn about what celebrities are doing to go carbon-neutral. The rock band Foo Fighters , for example, is also planting trees as their personal contribution to fighting global warming.

“We measured the amount of carbon dioxide” created by the production, manufacture and distribution of [the band’s latest album] and [we are] planting enough trees in the Tensas River forest and wildlife reserve in Louisiana, to re-absorb that carbon dioxide over their lifetime,” said the band.

But if global warming were a real problem and planting trees were the answer, forest products giant Weyerhaeuser would seem to have already solved a good part of the problem with the 130 million trees it plants every year.

The filmmakers’ nauseating elitism, ignorance and politics are displayed on the Web site, which features personal responses of the filmmakers to dopey questions such as “One last day, where on Earth would you spend it?”

Director Roland Emmerich said he’s spend his in “my house in Puerto Vallarta.” Editor David Brenner said, “On Kauai … as soon as they get a Starbucks.” VFX supervisor Karen Goulekas said, “Having a party on the beach in front of my house in Marina Del Ray.” Actor Jake Gyllenhall said “On Martha’s Vineyard, with all my friends.”

“Your message to the world, given a billboard for one final day, what would you put or say on it?,” is another deep question asked of the filmmakers. Writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff said, “Out of 20 million species, why is there always one who has to go out and ruin it for the others?” Emmerich said “No more Bush.”

Many of the cast and crew have yet to respond on the Web site to these and other penetrating inquiries ― I can hardly wait to learn more about why we should take global warming seriously. So far, global warming appears to be just an excuse for Hollywood hedonism, human-bashing and electing John Kerry.

The movie’s undeniable political overtones verge on the irresponsible, especially in an election year. Aside from the director’s acknowledged anti-Bush sentiment, the actor who plays the evil U.S. vice president has more than a coincidental physical resemblance to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The film is not rated yet, but perhaps the Motion Picture Association of America will consider a new rating for The Day After Tomorrow ― a zero.

Steven Milloy is the publisher of, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-Defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).

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Nature Ignores Science on Greenland Ice Shelf

A feature article, Rising Tide, in the March 11 issue of Nature claims that global warming is melting Greenlands ice so rapidly that the whole ice sheet may melt and cause sea levels to rise significantly. However, as the Greening Earth Societys World Climate Alert ( points out, the Nature article is at variance with published scientific research, which finds that Greenland warmed rapidly in the 1920s without causing disastrous melting of the ice sheet, but has been in a cooling trend since 1940. 

The most recent of a number of research articles that contradict Nature is Global Warming and the Greenland Ice Sheet, by P. Chylek, J. E. Box, and G. Lesins, which appears in the March issue of Climate Change.  The articles abstract says, Since 1940, however, the Greenland coastal stations data have undergone predominantly a cooling trend.   At the summit of the Greenland ice sheet, the summer average temperature has decreased at the rate of 2.2C per decade since the beginning of the measurements in 1987.  This suggests that the Greenland ice sheet and coastal regions are not following the current global warming trend.

The authors found the most pronounced warming in the 1920s when the average annual surface air temperature rose between 2C and 4C in less than 10 yearsat a time when the change in anthropogenic production of greenhouse gases was well below the current level.

World Climate Alert points out, A 1C warming of the coastal stations would cause an increase in the melt area of 73,000 square kilometers, as Chylek et al. note.  Given the 1C to nearly 2C cooling found in the coastal stations, Chyleks team makes this conservative statement, The results are inconclusive for the ice sheet as a whole, owing to the large uncertainties when balancing very large, difficult to measure, offsetting quantities.  They add, Even the direction in which the mass of the Greenland ice sheet is currently changing is in dispute.  In other words, anyone who claims Greenland is melting wont find a lot of support in the scientific literature.

NASA Finds Global Climate Models Overestimate Warming

A NASA press release dated March 16 contains interesting news for those who have disputed the strength of positive water vapor feedback effects in global climate models.

The release states, A NASA-funded study found some climate models might be overestimating the amount of water vapor entering the atmosphere as the Earth warms.  Since water vapor is the most important heat-trapping greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, some climate forecasts may be overestimating future temperature increases.

Ken Minschwaner, a physicist at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, N.M., and Andrew Dessler, a researcher with the University of Maryland, College Park, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., did the study.  It is in the March 15 issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.  The researchers used data on water vapor in the upper troposphere (10-14 km or 6-9 miles altitude) from NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS).

Their work verified water vapor is increasing in the atmosphere as the surface warms.  They found the increases in water vapor were not as high as many climate-forecasting computer models have assumed.  Our study confirms the existence of a positive water vapor feedback in the atmosphere, but it may be weaker than we expected, Minschwaner said.

In most computer models relative humidity tends to remain fixed at current levels.  Models that include water vapor feedback with constant relative humidity predict the Earth’s surface will warm nearly twice as much over the next 100 years as models that contain no water vapor feedback.

Using the UARS data to actually quantify both specific humidity and relative humidity, the researchers found, while water vapor does increase with temperature in the upper troposphere, the feedback effect is not as strong as models have predicted. The increases in water vapor with warmer temperatures are not large enough to maintain a constant relative humidity, Minschwaner said. These new findings will be useful for testing and improving global climate models.

UN Admits Russian Emissions Forecasts are Wrong

The growing realization that Russia is serious about not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol has reached the pages of Science magazine.  In an article entitled, A Eurasian Tiger Threatens to Maul Kyoto (Mar. 5), reference is made to a draft report from the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that says that, The data underlying the U.N.s emissions forecasts for Russia are full of holes and out-of-date.

The last official communication from Russia to the UNFCCC, submitted in November 2002, predicted that Russias emissions would not surpass 1990 levels before 2015.  However, the new review suggests that the communication does not include emissions data from important energy sources, including plans to double coal production.

The article also quotes Alexander Golub of Environmental Defense, who once predicted that, Solid economic growth without significant energy efficiency reforms might propel Russia beyond its Kyoto emissions limits far sooner than the U.N. had predicted.  He now thinks, however, that Russia will remain well within Kyoto limits, so it would not hurt to ratify the protocol.

Golubs arguments seem to carry little weight in the Kremlin.  The article quotes economist Peter Kaznacheev, who said, Its unlikely Russia will make profits from carbon dioxide quota sales.  And meeting Kyoto targets is out of the question: The targets are hardly affordable, says Kaznacheev.  Russias rising fortunes, therefore, could be the Kyoto treatys ultimate misfortune.

Costs of Kyoto Begin to Dawn on Britain

The economic ramifications of the British Governments decision to adopt stricter-than-Kyoto targets for greenhouse gas emissions are finally being looked into by British officials and industry leaders.

According to the BBC (Mar. 10), an adviser to the government has warned that Britains power supplies could be interrupted owing to lack of capacity by 2006.  Meanwhile, a report by the bipartisan House of Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee has warned, There is a danger that there is currently insufficient investment in the network to replace in a planned and orderly way equipment which is reaching the end of its life.  Simply to maintain present performance levels, capital expenditure by the network owners would have to double.  The report suggested that consumers would have to pay an extra ₤1 billion in higher electricity prices to redress the balance.

The same day, Londons Times reported on a new paper by the Royal Academy of Engineering on the cost of renewable energy.  It summarized, Even the cheapest forms of renewable energy will cost at least twice as much as gas or nuclear power for the foreseeable future, according to a new report that questions the viability of the Government’s energy strategy.

The paper quoted the report as saying, The energy consultant PB Power, which prepared the report, found in a comparison of energy costs that electricity generated from gas turbines or modern nuclear plants is by far the cheapest, at 2.3p per kilowatt hour (kWh).  Onshore wind power, the cheapest renewable energy, costs 3.7p per kWh and offshore wind power costs 5.5p per kWh.  And the cost of both is increased further by the need for back-up conventional power sources to ensure that supplies remain constant when the wind is not blowing.
Then, on March 12, yet more of the cost of the governments green policies came to light.  The Guardian reported, Water and sewerage customers in England and Wales could be forced to pay more than the 30% extra in real terms over the five years from April 2005, originally foreseen by regulator Ofwat.  It follows tough new environmental guidelines from ministers.  Business bodies warned that industry could see their power bills rise by up to 30%with a knock-on effect on domestic consumersif the government sticks to its plans to enforce a 16.3% cut in greenhouse gases under an EU carbon emissions trading scheme that takes effect on January 1, 2005.

The Guardian concluded, Ministers came under fire from both the CBI [Confederation of British Industry] and EEF [an association of manufacturers]over their ambitious plans for CO2 trading which, the government says, should increase power bills by no more than 6%.  Industrial and retail customers, who already face a combined 1.5bn bill over 10 years to rebuild the grid system and hefty increases to meet the switch to renewables, will pay considerably more10 to 30%than government forecasts, the two bodies said.

The EEF said UK power prices would surge faster than in Europe unless ministers persuaded other EU states to adopt its more stringent standards and urged a delay to the new scheme.  While the rest of Europe drags its heels, Britain’s manufacturers are going to have to run much faster to meet the UK’s ambitious target, said Martin Temple, EEF director-general.

Energy Secretary Defends Administrations Commitment to Sound Science

Responding to a Washington Post op-ed by former American Prospect Online editor Chris Mooney that repeated allegations that the administration had ignored the scientific consensus supporting global warming alarmism, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham issued a strong defense of administration policy in a letter to the newspaper.

He wrote, In “Beware ‘Sound Science.’ It’s Doublespeak for Trouble” [Outlook, Feb. 29], Chris Mooney engages in more than a little doublespeak himself and does what he accuses the Bush administration of doingtwisting reality to fit his preferred hypothesis.

Mr. Mooney claims that the 2001 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report on climate change embarrassed the administration that commissioned it. This is nonsense. The administration is well aware of the scientific consensus that temperatures have warmed partly due to human activity.

But acknowledging consensus is a far cry from implying, as Mr. Mooney does, that our understanding of climate change is complete. Indeed, the same report also noted that “a causal linkage between the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the observed climate changes during the 20th century cannot be unequivocally established,” and it identified a number of scientific areas that need further study to advance our understanding of climate change and support policy decisions.

The administration’s Climate Change Science Program strategic plan, released in July 2003, addresses many recommendations from the NAS report and is designed to accelerate research on the most important uncertainties in climate science. An extensive review of the plan just published by the NAS, and ignored by Mr. Mooney, commends the program for seeking input from a broad array of scientists and stakeholders and concludes that advancing science on all fronts identified by the program will be of vital importance to the nation.

British Government Reprimands Alarmist Scientist

Despite supposedly having the backing of Prime Minister Tony Blair, UK Chief Scientific Adviser Sir David King earned a dressing-down from senior civil servants after claiming that global warming was worse than terrorism (see previous issues).

According to the Independent (Mar. 7), Ivan Rogers, Mr. Blair’s principal private secretary, told Sir David King, the Prime Minister’s chief scientist, to limit his contact with the media after he made outspoken comments about President George Bush’s policy on climate change.  Since Sir David’s article in Science was published, No. 10 has tried to limit the damage to Anglo-American relations by reining in the Prime Minister’s chief scientist.

In a leaked memo, Mr. Rogers ordered Sir Davida Cambridge University chemist who offers independent advice to ministersto decline any interview requests from British and American newspapers and BBC Radio 4’s Today.  To accept such bids runs the risk of turning the debate into a sterile argument about whether or not climate change is a greater risk, Mr. Rogers said in the memo, which was sent to Sir David’s office in February.

Sir David, who is highly regarded by Mr Blair, has been primed with a list of 136 mock questions that the media could ask if they were able to get access to him, and the suggested answers he should be prepared to give. One question asks: How do the number of deaths caused by climate change and terrorism compare? The stated answer that Sir David is expected to give says: The value of any comparison would be highly questionablewe are talking about threats that are intrinsically different.

If Sir David were to find himself pushed to decide whether terrorism or climate change was the greater threat, he was supposed to answer: Both are serious and immediate problems for the world today.  But this was not what Sir David said on the Today programme on 9 January when the Science article was published.

Asked to explain how he had come to the conclusion that global warming was more serious than terrorism, Sir David replied that his equation was based on the number of fatalities that have already occurredimplying that global warming has already killed more people than terrorism.

Sir David does not appear to have repeated his contention since the Madrid outrages on March 11.

McCain Wants New Studies to Support His Legislation 

Senator John McCain has somehow overcome his long-time opposition to wasteful government spending in order to promote two costly new studies on global warming.  Since he believes that the science is settled on the issue, his purpose appears to be to provide support for his energy rationing bill, the Climate Stewardship Act, S. 139.  First, he has asked the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to study the likely effects of global warming on federally managed lands.  

Bluewater Network, an environmental pressure group, boasted in a press release, Prompted by a request from Bluewater Network, a San Francisco-based environmental nonprofit organization, Senators McCain and Hollings asked the GAO to identify the losses and stresses on all of Americas public lands (including coastal and ocean resources) that will result from global warming. The GAO report would inventory the impacts of global warming and predict the timing of their environmental and socio-economic consequences. In addition, the Senators are asking the GAO to identify the resources that can be saved by adaptive measures such as construction of sea walls to protect coastal lands, and improved networks of reserves to protect species.  Bluewater Network point out that global warming is a direct consequence of industrialization.

Second, McCains Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee passed out a bill that would spend $60 million to establish a research program for studying abrupt climate change within the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The bill was passed out by voice vote and with little discussion on March 8.  The sponsors are Maine Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, Washington Democratic Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Vermont Independent Senator Jim Jeffords.

Lomborg Case Quietly Dropped

It escaped the attention of most of the worlds press that had earlier gleefully reported the news of his conviction for scientific dishonesty, but the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty on March 12 dropped their case against Bjorn Lomborg, author of the international environmental best-seller, The Skeptical Environmentalist, following the quashing of its initial verdict by the governments science ministry.

The Environmental Assessment Institute, headed by Dr. Lomborg, issued a press release that quoted him as saying, The committee decision is as one would expect.  More than two years have passed since the case against my book was started. In that time every possible stone has been turned over, yet DCSD has been unable to find a single point of criticism that withstands further investigation.

Lomborg continued, DCSD have reached the only logical conclusion. The committee has acknowledged that the former verdict of my book was invalid.  I am happy that this will spell an end to what has been a very distasteful course of events.  The release concluded, The DCSD translated their first judgment into English.  Today’s announcement is only available in Danish.

Warming Link to New Ice Age Shaky

While alarmist scientists and the journalists who write for them, Pentagon futurists, and Hollywood disaster movie-makers are all happy to present the possibility of global warming triggering another ice age, the science behind the assertion is less than solid.

The possibility is based on the idea that global warming will cause a freshening of the waters in the North Atlantic, so causing the Gulf Stream to weaken or even shut down.  This would mean warmer waters would not be present in the North Atlantic, causing a drastic lowering of temperatures in the areas that rely on the Gulf Stream to maintain a temperate climate (temperate Great Britain is on the same latitudes as inhospitable Labrador in Canada).

Yet the models on which climate alarmists rely for their catastrophic scenarios do not agree on the effects of global temperature rise on the Gulf Stream.  Researchers R. Bleck and S. Sun, writing in the journal Global and Planetary Change, tell how they revisited their model of the meridional overturning circulation (MOC).   In view of evidence presented in IPCC (2001), the researchers had expected the Atlantic MOC to weaken in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2.  They found that the Atlantic overturning stream function appears to be stable, concluding that, It is insensitive to global warming resulting from gradual CO2 doubling.

News for the alarmists is worse from their favorite model, that from the UKs Hadley Centre, which proved no more capable of predicting past climate than a table of random numbers when used for the flawed National Assessment on Climate Change.   Wu et al. report in Geophysical Research Letters that their examination of thermohaline circulation (THC) was expected to show a weakening of the stream.  However, as they write, they do not find a decreasing trend of the North Atlantic THC.  Instead, Accompanying the freshening trend, the THC unexpectedly shows an upward trend, rather than a downward trend.  In other words, according to the Hadley Centre model, global warming may well strengthen the Gulf Stream.

Lindzen Summarizes Current State of Climate Science

Writing in Ottawas Hill Times (Feb. 23), Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, summarizes the current state of global warming science and cautions against incorrect interpretations of what reviews such as that from the National Academy of Sciences (2001) were trying to do.

He writes, [I]t is quite wrong to say that our NAS study endorsed the credibility of the IPCC assessment report.  We were asked to evaluate the IPCC “Summary for Policymakers” (SPM), the only part of the IPCC reports that is ever read or quoted by the media and politicians.  The SPM, which is seen as endorsing Kyoto, is commonly presented as the consensus of thousands of the world’s foremost climate scientists.  In fact, it is no such thing.  Largely for that reason, the NAS panel concluded that the SPM does not provide suitable guidance for the U.S. government.
The full IPCC report, most of which is written by scientists about specific scientific topics in their areas of expertise, is an admirable description of research activities in climate science.  It is not, however, directed at policy.  The SPM is, of course, but it is also a very different document.  It represents a consensus of government representatives, rather than of scientists.  As a consequence, the SPM has a strong tendency to disguise uncertainty, and conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence.
Similarly, in the case of our NAS report, far too much attention was paid to the hastily prepared summary rather than to the body of the report.  The summary claimed that greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Yet, the full text noted that 20 years was too short a period for estimating long term trends, a crucial point that the summary neglected to mention.  Our primary conclusion was that despite some knowledge and agreement, the science is by no means settled.

UK Scheme Criticized as Emissions Soar

The United Kingdoms initial assessment of carbon emission allocations under the governments scheme has been criticized for containing basic errors.  According to the Independent (Feb. 29), The oil industry’s trade body, the UK Offshore Operators’ Association (UKOOA), said officials had made basic errors in estimating oil companies’ carbon emissions. Some onshore installations, such as National Grid Transco’s transmission systems, had been incorrectly included in the offshore oil industry’s allocation, a spokeswoman for the association said. Some refineries had been double counted, while others appear to have been forgotten altogether, she added.

The Government indicated it could back down if companies could prove it got the figures wrong. A spokesman at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) admitted: This is a very complex programme. But the targets are flexible.

The Association of Electricity Producers (AEP) met officials from Defra about the targets last week. It is concerned that the Government has underestimated how many tons of carbon are emitted each year by power stations, which are responsible for most of the CO2 output in the UK. This means they would have to cut their emissions even more to meet their allocations.

The revelation came shortly after Friends of the Earth revealed that new figures showed that UK carbon emissions soared during 2003.  The environmental organization issued a press release February 26 claiming, Approximately 4.5 million tonnes of carbon (MtC) more were emitted from burning fossil fuels last year than in 2002. To put this in context, the renewables obligation, which will deliver 10 per cent of UK electricity from renewable sources by 2010, is predicted to save only 2.5 MtC per annum. The UK Government’s entire climate change programme, published in 2000, is intended to deliver a reduction of 18 MtC. This would equal a 19% cut in 1990 carbon dioxide emission levels by 2010.

The reasons for the increase are a two per cent rise in total demand for energy compared to the previous year and a switching from gas to coal, which produces between two and three times more carbon dioxide.  This last statement is incorrect: coal produces less than twice as much CO2 per Btu than natural gas.

Illarionov Compares Kyoto to Gosplan

Russias representative at the G8 and chief economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin, Andrei Illarionov, attacked Kyotism in a speech in Moscow on February 19.  According to the Moscow Times, Illarionov said, I have called my speech ‘The Return of Gosplan, [in a reference to the Soviet agency that set production quotas].  He went on, But the proposed mechanism would decrease quotas year by year…. So it may be more correct to call it the return of the gulag.

The Times added, Illarionov on Thursday accused the EU of putting unprecedented pressure on Russia to ratify the treaty and embrace the ideology of what he called Kyotism. Attempts to pressure Russia into taking a decision can only be seen as an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation, he said.

During the 20th century, Russia seriously suffered from another ideology that came from Europe….  Not only Russia, but the whole world suffered, he said, referring to Marxism.

Alarmists Allege Pentagon Worried by Global Cooling

Although the story broke in Fortune magazine on Jan. 26, it was not until Londons Observer publicized it (Feb. 22) that alarmists discovered that the Pentagon had commissioned a study about the possible effects of abrupt climate change.

The study, commissioned by the Office of Net Assessment, looked particularly at the possible effects of rapid cooling following the shutting down of the Gulf Stream as a result of global warming.  The study admitted it was imagining the unthinkable and that its scenario was extreme both in its global reach and its magnitude.  The Pentagon reacted that the $100,000 study did not meet its needs and took no action.

This did not stop alarmist sources from reacting as if the Joint Chiefs had become global warming catastrophists.  The Observers story was titled (and sub-titled), Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us.  Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war, Britain will be ‘Siberian’ in less than 20 years, Threat to the world is greater than terrorism.

In fact the report had been made public by the Pentagon, made clear that it was a scenario, not a forecast, and made no mention of the threat being greater than terrorism (that being a reference to the statement by Sir David King see recent issues).

The over-reaction was typified by Robert Watson, former head of the IPCC, who waxed lyrical to the Observer about what this could mean for the administration:  Its hugely embarrassing…. If climate change is a threat to national security and the economy, then [the President] has to act. There are two groups the Bush Administration tend to listen to, the oil lobby and the Pentagon.

The study was written by Peter Schwartz, former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

EU Seeks to Paper Over Kyoto Cracks

EU Commission President Romano Prodi had to intervene personally (Feb. 25) to reiterate the EUs commitment to the Kyoto Protocol in the event of Russian non-ratification.  The Commission then released a document (Memo/04/43, Mar. 4) restating its public position.

Neither of these interventions seems to have stopped the flood of speculation on whether adherence to the protocol is wise.  The influential UNICE business group said in a letter to the presidency that member state environment ministers should ask the European Commission to launch a review of climate change policies for 2008-2012.

Reuters added, While urging the EU to redouble efforts to get the Protocol ratified so it can come into force, the letter added:  The review of the current EU climate-change policies should also be relevant as an alternative to the Kyoto Protocol in case it does not come into force.

Reservations among member governments continued at the meeting of environment ministers on March 2.   Environment Daily reported, At a ministerial meeting in Brussels [Italian] environment minister Altero Matteoli made a prolonged attempt to force a declaration from his colleagues that future emission-cutting action should depend on the treaty being ratified by Russia and thus entering into force. The move follows increasing unrest in Italian industry circles at the imminent prospect of the greenhouse gas curbs under the EU climate emissions trading system. The Italian government first reflected this last December when it tried to characterize Kyoto explicitly as a threat to business at a summit of EU leaders.
Mr Matteoli claimed after the meeting he had been supported by Spain and to a lesser extent Finland, where doubts over EU climate policy have recently surfaced. Nevertheless, the final text was adopted unanimously.

Irish environment minister and council president Martin Cullen insisted at a post-council press conference that ministers remained united in their absolutely determined commitment to the Kyoto protocol and that there had been no debate about alternatives to the global pact.  But he implicitly acknowledged the reservations being expressed: some aspects of Kyoto seem insurmountable in the short-term time frame, he said, but the long-term economics benefits in prompting energy-efficiency were clear.

Stacked Hearing Signals Start of McCain Campaign

Abandoning all pretence of objectivity, Sen. John McCain (RAz.) used his tenuous connection to the climate change issue to hold a stacked hearing on the subject before the Senate Commerce Committee on March 3.

The committee heard only from the alarmist side of the debate, with witnesses such as Robert Correll of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, Lee Hannah of Conservation International, Jerry Mahlman and Marvin Gellar (two of the authors responsible for the junk science National Assessment on Climate Change), and Lara Hansen of the World Wildlife Fund.  Dr Mahlman stressed he was testifying as a private citizen, not as a representative of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The witnesses were, however, mere support for the re-launch of the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act, which attempts to impose Kyoto-like policies on America. The bill was defeated 53-44 in the Senate last year, having reached the floor only as part of a failed compromise aimed at securing passage of the comprehensive energy bill.

Senator McCain said of his measure, This is an issue of worldwide importance.  We will get another vote and see if there is any temperature change in the Senate this spring.  McCain acknowledged that there is little, if any support for his bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.  (Environmental News Service)