May 2004

‘The Kyoto Protocol and its future’

Iain Murray
Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Iain Murray is a Senior Fellow at CEI, specializing in global climate change and environmental science. Mr. Murray edits Cooler Heads, the biweekly newsletter of the Cooler Heads Coalition, and writes regularly on scientific and statistical issues in public policy.
Full Biography

Moderator: Welcome to the live chat. Remember to  REFRESH THE PAGE to see the questions and answers as the hour progresses.

Question: Zeke in Arkansas asks:
Many people say the Kyoto protocol is flawed, particularly in that it exempts developing countries.  If it is important to reduce the emissions of these gasses that cause global warming/climate change then what kind of treaty would you propose instead of the Kyoto Protocol?

Murray answers: This is an interesting question because it presupposes that it is important to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

I don’t accept that emitting greenhouse gases will be catastrophically bad for the Earth.  Indeed, one team of economists has determined that moderate warming caused by greenhouse gases will be beneficial to the Earth.

That’s backed up by better information that suggests that the Earth isn’t warming as much as the alarmists say it is.

James Hansen of NASA now suggests that we’ll only be facing a 1 degree F rise by 2050 even if nothing is done to restrict greenhouse gases.

So I’m not sure we need anything to replace the Kyoto protocol.  Perhaps we might need to do something in 50 years time, but it’s likely that the world will be a very different place then and it’s possible technology will have solved the problem for us without needing to put restrictions
on energy use.

Question: Mary from Orlando asks –
I’m confused — I thought that Russia had said that under no circumstances would they ratify the Kyoto Protocol.  But recently they seem to have said that they will, in a supposed deal with the EU to support their entry into the World Trade Organization.
What’s the story?

Murray answers: Russian officials have been saying since November that they would need to decide whether Kyoto was beneficial or not for Russia before ratifying.

Some officials, such as Andrei Illarionov, President Putin’s chief economic adviser, have said that they think it’s a bad idea, but they’ve never said explicitly that Russia will not ratify.

Essentially, president Putin repeated his officials’ line last Friday. Russia is moving towards ratification, but there are still some concerns about downsides for Russia and anyway, it’s the Duma’s (Parliament’s) decision.

Russian accession to the WTO needed Europe’s support, but it also needs the support of other countries, like the US.

I expect there’s a lot of horse trading to go on before any firm action is taken on either treaty.

Question: Jim in Virginia asks –
What is going on with the Kyoto Protocol in Australia?  Will Howard ultimately sign on?

Murray answers: John Howard stated again this week that he will not ratify Kyoto.

However, it is looking more and more likely that his Liberal Party may not win the upcoming election.  If the opposition Labour Party win, Australia will probably ratify.

It is also possible that Howard – already weakened by Iraq – might lose the support of his MPs and someone else will become Liberal leader. Whoever does might have a different stance on Kyoto.

Question: Liz in Washington, DC asks –
Will Russia’s promise to ratify the Kyoto Protocol affect U.S. business interests, and/or the presidential election?

Murray answers: If Russia ratifies, then the Kyoto protocol will come into effect globally.  Any American business interest in a country affected by Kyoto, like Western Europe or Russia, will be subject to the Kyoto restrictions.

This means that businesses in those countries will have to restrict greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or buy permits to allow them to emit.

Those permits will be openly traded and will become a big part of some companies’ business.  Enron was a big fan of such permits.

As long as the US stays outside of Kyoto, domestic operations should not be affected.  However, it is possible that the protocol could be extended to the US by legal action, as “customary international law.” That is more likely while America’s signature remains on the treaty. Despite President Bush withdrawing from the process, he has not “unsigned” the Kyoto Treaty

Murray continues: As for the Presidential election, Sen. Kerry is on record as doubting whether Kyoto is good for America.  It is likely to lead to fewer jobs and higher energy prices, two things he’s been campaigning on.

I don’t think Sen. Kerry will be too keen to bring up the issue.  It could cost him and Democrats votes in areas like West Virginia.  I don’t expect the issue will be raised unless Ralph Nader looks like taking too many “green” votes away in key states.

Question: Kristina in Maryland asks —
Will the recent expansion of the European Union effect the EU’s position on Kyoto?  Does Eastern Europe think differently than Western Europe on global warming?

Murray answers: Eastern Europe stands to benefit from Kyoto as the protocol was designed to give Eastern European countries credit for the smokestack industries closed down after the collapse of communism there.  They will be able to sell those credits to western european countries like Germany who need them.

As their economies recover, however, they will have fewer credits to sell.  It is possible that Kyoto might become burdensome on them, at which point there may be some friction within Europe over the issue.

Question: Patrick in Louisiana asks —
Are Sens. McCain and Lieberman or anyone else in Congress planning to introduce more pro-Kyoto or similar legislation this year?

Murray answers: Yes, Sens. McCain and Lieberman are reintroducing S.139, their Kyoto-lite measure that failed on the Senate floor this time.

It is unlikely to come to the floor unless Sen. McCain engages in political horse-trading with Majority leader Frist, as it does not have the votes to get out of Committee.

There is a parallel bill in the House, but that is very unlikely to come to the floor.

Question: DeWitt in Tennessee wants to know —
You were rather dismissive  in a column not too long ago of the theory that variations in cosmic ray flux affect the climate in the short term and are more important to climate change than greenhouse gasses.  Are you not aware that the solar wind, which varies with the decadal sunspot cycle and not just galactic rotation over millions of years, affects the cosmic ray flux to the earth?

Murray responds: I was dismissive because I thought that the research, with its million-year timescale, was unable to tell us about changes in the last 30 years or so with precision.  I have no doubt that the solar wind and other cosmic phenomena affect climate, but I don’t think this particular research is precise enough to say that the temperature rises since 1970 were due mostly to cosmic ray flux.

Murray revisits an earlier question: I want to add something to my answer to Kristina about Europe above. Many of the central European countries have areas dependent on coal. Thus Germany is seeking exemptions from Kyoto obligations to protect its brown coal industry.  Poland’s province of Silesia, I believe, is still coal-centric.  This could be an issue.

Question: Joel from California asks —
Isn’t it true that the fact that the US refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol is used by Europeans to show the country is isolationist?  Do you think that President Bush will give in on this to try to win some goodwill?

Murray answers: There are two things that are always advanced to demonstrate that the US is “out of step” with the rest of the world.  Kyoto is one and the International Criminal Court is the other.

I know that the President is being lobbied heavily on the issue by his chief ally, British PM Tony Blair.  However, given the almost certain effect Kyoto would have on American jobs, energy prices and the economy as a whole, I don’t think President Bush will cave on the issue.  It is noticeable that Sen. Kerry and even Gov. Howard Dean have questioned whether Kyoto is good for America.

However, if Kyoto dies as a result of Russian non-ratification, I can see America participating in something less stringent designed to replace it, to win international goodwill.

Question: Blaine in Maryland asks —
Didn’t the US sign the Kyoto Protocol?  Doesn’t that mean we have some obligations already?

Murray answers: As I mentioned, the US did sign in 1998.  However, we withdrew from the decision-making process, which exempts us from having to take action. It is, however, possible that the signature could be used in the courts to force America to abide by “customary international law.”  The signature therefore represents a hostage to fortune.  President Bush “unsigned” the treaty about the International Criminal Court.  It is mystifying that he hasn’t doen the same with Kyoto.

Question: John in California asks —
What do you think the ultimate effect of this “Day After Tomorrow” movie will be in the political debate on climate change?

Murray answers: From the reviews I’ve seen so far, like that in the New York Times today, it looks like people will remember it as much for its clumsy dialogue and ham-fisted politics as for its spectacular special effects, so I think those who see it won’t be affected either way.  I’ve got tickets to see it tomorrow morning so I’ll have a better idea then.

But the movie is certainly giving the issue a higher profile among the public at large.  I think there will be a small surge of interest in the environment as a political issue, but gas prices and terrorism will keep in the public’s mind longer than the movie.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the DVD release timed to coincide with the Presidential election, though.

Question: Kimberly in Texas writes –
When you say that technology will probably solve the problems of emissions by 2050,  doesn’t that mean that if we support such things as solar, biomass, etc. we would be better off?

Murray answers: Not necessarily.  Perhaps those things will become cheaper and therefore as cost-effective as hydrocarbons.  The International Energy Agency doesn’t think so, though.  I think it’s more likely that technology will increase fuel-efficiency and lead to fewer emissions from traditional energy sources.

Murray continues: I should add that there are other considerations that could cause problems.  For instance, in Europe the authorities want car manufacturers to reduce emissions, which they can do by reducing the car’s weight so that it only needs a small engine.  However, they also want cars to be safer to passengers, for instance, which normally increases the weight and requires a more powerful engine.  There are trade-offs involved in all these decisions.

Moderator: This will be the final question —
Ron in the US asks:
Is there any change in the ratio of scientists [in Russia] for or against the Kyoto agreement?

Murray answers: There are no definitive figures either way on what “scientists” think about Kyoto, which is at heart an economic issue.  Most scientists agree that it will do little to reduce forecast temperature rises (temperatures will be 0.15 degrees C lower than they would be without Kyoto in 2100).

However, the Russian Academy of Sciences issued a report last week which noted noted the “absence of scientific substantiation of the Kyoto Protocol and its low effectiveness for reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as is envisaged by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change,” and stated that, “the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol are of a discriminatory character, and its mechanisms involve economic risks for Russia.”

Moderator: Thanks to Mr. Murray and all of our questioners.  Be sure to tune in next Thursday at the same time for a live chat with top climatologist Dr. James J. O’Brien on the “science” portrayed in the upcoming film The Day After Tomorrow, and other issues.

The fatuous new special-effects extravaganza The Day After Tomorrow (which, judging from the plot summaries so far released might just as well have been called Love in a Cold Climate) seems to have spurred Al Gore to think he’s Roger Ebert. Ignoring both the movie’s offenses against the laws of physics and the fact that it will simply make Rupert Murdoch (owner of the distributor Twentieth Century Fox) richer, the former vice president has called on Americans to see the film.

Al’s reasoning is not that he’s been bought by Murdoch (he’s actually working with, financed by another billionaire, George Soros) but that he’s terribly worried about the potential damaging effects of climate change. He claimed that there would be “more vulnerability to tropical diseases like dengue fever and malaria in higher latitudes, rising sea levels and areas threatened by storm surges that have not been in the past.” All of these are terrible consequences if true. But, the trouble is, the scientific evidence for these effects just isn’t there.

In fact, the Cooler Heads Coalition recently held a policy briefing on Capitol Hill at which world-renowned scientists addressed the misinformation in each of these areas. Paul Reiter of the Institut Pasteur in Paris and formerly of the CDC, for instance, is probably the world’s leading expert on mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever. He told the audience that it is a misnomer to call dengue and malaria tropical diseases. In fact, they have historically been present at high latitudes. In a malaria epidemic in the Soviet Union in the twenties, for instance, there were 30,000 cases recorded in the frozen port of Arkhangelsk, which at about 64 N. is further north than the tip of Greenland.

Indeed, malaria was present along much of the east coast of America in 1882, and was still fairly widespread in the South as recently as 1935 (which is why the CDC is headquartered in Atlanta). Reiter pointed out that there are many factors involved in the reappearance of these diseases in areas where they had been wiped out, and that climate is rarely relevant. We should, therefore, be tackling the diseases instead of trying to change the weather, as Al Gore would have us do.

As for sea-level rise, Nils-Axel Morner of Stockholm University, past president of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, pointed out that much of what has been assumed about sea-level rise is not backed up by the evidence. Satellite measures, for instance, show no change in sea level over the past decade, which has led him to write in a peer-reviewed journal, “This implies that there is no fear of any massive future flooding as claimed in most global warming scenarios.” Much of the supposed rise, it seems, has actually been a shifting of the amount of water from one area of the globe to another.

Nor is Professor Morner worried about island nations drowning. He and his team visited the Maldives, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says are at risk from sea-level rise. He found considerable evidence that the sea level around the islands has fallen over the past 30 years, and that the islands and their people had survived much higher sea levels in the past.

As for the extreme weather events that can cause storm surges and which form a big part of the movie, there is no comfort for Al Gore even there. Madhav Khandekar, recently retired after 25 years with Environment Canada, is an expert on extreme weather events and edited a special issue of the International Journal of Natural Hazards on the subject last year. He told the audience that extreme weather events as defined by the IPCC are not increasing anywhere in North America at this point in time. Nor, based on available studies, does there appear to be any increasing trend in extreme weather events elsewhere. Finally, in his judgment, the likelihood of increased incidences of extreme weather events in the next ten to 25 years remains very small at this time.

The presenters on the panel were generally scathing about the quality of the science produced by the IPCC, which is where people like Al Gore get their line that there is a scientific consensus that the world has to act over global warming. For instance, Prof. Reiter revealed that, before the publication of their first paper linking vector-borne (i.e., mosquito-transmitted) diseases to global warming, the lead authors of the IPCC chapter on the subject had published a grand total of six papers on the diseases. The three leading critics of the chapter, including Prof. Reiter, had published over 550. Prof. Morner has written that the IPCC chapter on sea-level rise represented “a low and unacceptable standard. It should be totally rewritten by a totally new group of authors chosen among the group of true sea-level specialists.”

These people know what they’re talking about, unlike Al Gore. He doesn’t even fare well as a movie critic. Nature reported this week that, at a preview screening of The Day After Tomorrow, the “hammier sections of the film’s dialogue” were met with “derisive laughter.” On the day after The Day After Tomorrow‘s release, the cinemas may well be empty.

Iain Murray is a senior fellow specializing in environmental issues at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

New research from Australias Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting suggests that the Earths self regulating properties in the face of global warming are greater than previously believed. The research implies that rainfall patterns, evaporation rates, and plant growth have been profoundly modified to reduce greenhouse gases within the Earths atmosphere.

According to the Centres scientists, “As the world warms, on average, it is getting wetter rainfall, on average, is increasing.” They also added, “Contrary to widespread expectations, potential evaporation from the soil and land-based water bodies like lakes is decreasing in most places. This is because the world is cloudier than it used to be.”

The scientists explained that the increased cloudiness not only contributes to a reduction of evaporation, but also more effective plant photosynthesis. In turn, the Earth will grow more plant life, thereby reducing the amount of carbon dioxide within the atmosphere. These carbon sinks, particularly “long-lived, woody plants like trees”, change habitats, ecosystems, biodiversity, and the flows of greenhouse gases, the scientists claimed.

They concluded, “Forests, farms, and grasslandshave the potential to absorb more (greenhouse gases), ameliorating climate change. Properly managed, they could buy time for the worlds people to make major reductions in greenhouse emissions.” They admitted that despite the findings, “There is much we still must discover” (The Australian, May 11)

Hybrid cars are not living up to their advertised gas mileage, claimed a recent article from (May 11).

John DiPietro, a road test editor of the automotive website, explained in the article that drivers hardly ever experience the actual miles per gallon advertised by the EPA. Most automobiles would have miles per gallon of approximately 75 to 87 percent of the EPAs rating. However, data from Consumer Reports suggests that the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius averaged well under 60 percent of the EPAs reported miles per gallon when operating on city streets.

Many critics of the EPAs evaluation system point to flaws in the EPAs measurement process. “The [EPA] test needs to include more fundamental engineering,” said John H. Johnson, the co-author of a 2002 National Academy of Sciences report on fuel efficiency standards. He added, “They havent been updated to encompass hybrids.”

The article concluded, “The inflated EPA numbers have been a public relations conundrum for Honda and Toyota, which are caught between hyped expectations and detracting from one of the cars main selling points better mileage.”

According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) report, world demand for energy is expected to rise by two-thirds between now and 2030. Consequently, energy firms in Europe must dramatically increase supply. However, they have been slow do to so because of the new emissions trading directive and uncertainty over future regulation. Manfred Wiegand, PWCs global utilities leader, said: “Companies are facing a huge need for investment. The bill from now until 2030 is some $10 trillion and they need a consistent and stable regulatory environment to make the sector more attractive to investors.”

Investment in newer and cleaners plants has ground to a halt in places such as the United Kingdom where the government has embraced the Kyoto treaty and pledged to cut greenhouse gases by 5.5m tonnes by 2010. It is the opinion of energy experts that blackouts such as the one in London last August that trapped 250,000 commuters are therefore likely to become more frequent. Paul Golby of Powergen stated “We want to invest but we have all had our fingers burnt in the past” and “over the next few months the government must make some key decisions about how emissions trading will be implemented.” (The Times, May 9)

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney unveiled his new climate protection plan on May 6. The plan calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions within the state of Massachusetts to 1990 levels by 2010 and by an additional 10 percent by 2020. Containing 72 specific suggestions, the plan is supposed to reduce pollution, cut energy demands, and nurture employment growth for the state.

Romney commented, “Economic success and environmental protection go hand in hand. The steps we are taking today will ensure a cleaner environment and a brighter future for generations to come.” He also maintained that the plan is one of the nation’s strongest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and said it exhibited a strong dedication to implementing the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers global warming plan from August 2001 (which, by the way, is clearly unconstitutional: see Article 1, Section 10).

The proposals range from encouraging the construction of “green” schools and buildings to developing a trading market for emissions within Massachusetts. Additionally, the state will implement a greenhouse gas inventory in order to track greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite launching the plan, Romney, a Republican, said that he remained personally agnostic about global warming, which led to attacks from environmental groups for deviating from the party line (Boston Globe, May 7).

In neighboring Connecticut, the General Assembly has passed a climate bill discussed in the March 31 issue. The bill would require greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by using Kyoto-like measures. Just as in Romneys new plan, the Connecticut bill would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 and 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The bill is currently awaiting the Governors signature for approval (Associated Press, May 5).

On May 3, the Cooler Heads Coalition hosted a Capitol Hill briefing entitled “The Impacts of Global Warming: Why the Alarmist View is Wrong.” The event allowed four leading experts to discuss the specific scientific research that has been done in their four particular fields: severe weather events, rising sea levels, tropical diseases, and mass species extinctions.

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar, who recently retired from Environment Canada after a 25-year career as a research scientist, and who recently edited a special issue of the international journal Natural Hazards on extreme weather events, presented his views concerning the lack of connection between severe weather events and global warming. Khandekar specifically examined heat trends from Canada, thunderstorms and tornadoes in North America, and monsoons in Asia. He concluded that there has not been an increase in severe weather events and that the likelihood of increased incidences of extreme weather events in the next ten to twenty-five years remains very small at this time.

Professor Nils-Axel Morner, head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics Department at Stockholm University and past president of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, delivered an amusing and enthusiastic presentation examining sea level change. He pointed out that what has been predicted by computer models is not backed up by empirical evidence. Satellite measures, for instance, show no change in sea level over the past decade, which has led him to write in a peer-reviewed journal, “This implies that there is no fear of any massive future flooding as claimed in most global warming scenarios.” Much of the supposed rise, it seems, has actually been a shifting of the amount of water from one area of the globe to another.

Nor is Professor Morner worried about island nations drowning. He and his team did an exhaustive investigation of the claim made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean are at risk from sea level rise accelerated by global warming. He found considerable evidence that the sea level in the islands has fallen over the past 30 years, and that the islands and their people survived much higher sea levels in the past.

Next, Paul Reiter, a professor at the Institut Pasteur in Paris who specializes in the spread of vector-borne diseases, demolished the common claim that warmer temperatures play an important role in the spread of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. Reiter gave a brief historical excursus of the prevalence of malaria (or ague, as it was called in earlier centuries) in England during the Elizabethan Age, in Washington, D. C., and other northern climates during the Little Ice Age. Reiter remarked that the largest outbreak of malaria in the twentieth century occurred not in the tropics but in the Soviet Union in 1923-25, when there were more than 16 million cases and 600,000 fatalities. This figure includes 30,000 deaths in Archangel, which is above the Arctic Circle.

Reiter explained that malaria and other “tropical” diseases have more to do with living conditions than temperature. He cited his study that analyzed the Texas-Mexico border, where dengue fever was prevalent in Mexico and rare in Texas despite the similar environmental conditions. The only difference was living conditions. He also emphasized that many of the “experts” (such as physician Paul Epstein, who is not a medical researcher) expressing concern over global warming and tropical diseases are newcomers to the field and have not bothered to master the literature. Prof. Reiter concluded that climate is rarely relevant to the re-emergence of vector-borne diseases.

Patrick Michaels, professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, examined the claim that global warming threatens mass extinction of species. Michaels analyzed recent scientific articles that have been claimed as evidence that rising temperatures are reducing habitats for butterflies, penguins, polar bears, and toads. In each case, he showed that either temperatures were not rising in the specific habitats or habitat for the specific species had actually expanded. Michaels concluded that research has demonstrated that species range is affected by rising temperatures, but not in a way that helps the alarmist case.

The presenters on the panel were generally scathing about the quality of the IPCCs assessment reports in their fields of expertise. For instance, Prof. Reiter revealed that, the nine lead authors of the chapter discussing vector-borne diseases in the Second Assessment Report had published a total of six papers on the subject. The three leading critics of the chapter, including Prof. Reiter, had published over 550 scholarly papers. Prof. Morner has written in a peer-reviewed journal article that the IPCC chapter on sea-level rise represents “a low and unacceptable standard. It should be totally rewritten by a totally new group of authors chosen among the group of true sea-level specialists.”

The alarmism of Sir David King, the British governments chief scientific adviser, has become even more hysterical in recent days. Not content with repeatedly calling global warming a bigger threat than terrorism even after the Madrid attacks of March 11 and publicly criticizing the U. S. administration, he has now gone, as the British say, “completely off the deep end.”

On May 2, the Independent on Sunday reported King as saying that, “Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked. He said that the Earth was entering the first hot period since 60 million years ago, when there was no ice on the planet and the rest of the globe could not sustain human life.”

The report went on, “Sir David says that there is plenty of evidence to back up his warning. Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the main green-house gas causing climate change were already 50 per cent higher than at any time in the last 420,000 years. The last time they were at this level 379 parts per million and rising was 60 million years ago during a rapid period of global warming in the Palaeocene epoch, he said. Levels soared to 1,000 parts per million, causing a massive reduction of life on earth.

“No ice was left on earth. Antarctica was the best place for mammals to live, and the rest of the world would not sustain human life,” he said. Sir David warned that if the world did not curb its burning of fossil fuels we will reach that level by the end of the century.”

In a separate story in the Independent (May 13), King said that he thought the upcoming sci-fi movie, The Day after Tomorrow, would make a valuable contribution to the public debate on global warming. He even praised certain aspects of the film as realistic: “The opening scenes setting up the key scientific factors and introducing the viewer to the scientists and the scientific-political interface are in my view remarkably realistic. I think palaeoclimatologists can closely identify with the discussion. The sceptical reactions that the scientists received are also rather well depicted.”

As the BBC put it (May 13), “The blockbuster climate disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow contains badly flawed science and ignores the laws of physics, leading UK scientists believe.” It seems somewhat odd for the chief scientific adviser to praise the something that “ignores the laws of physics” for its political qualities. King, a professor of chemistry at Cambridge, has no expertise in climate science.

At a May 6 hearing, Senator John McCain (R-Az.) vowed to seek a second vote before the end of this Congress on his bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions. McCain is the chief co-sponsor along with Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) of the Climate Stewardship Act, S. 139, which would create the infrastructure necessary to ration hydrocarbon energy.

McCain made the remarks at a May 6 hearing of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which he chairs. The purpose of the hearing was to promote global warming alarmism. Notable was the testimony of Paul Epstein, M.D., the well-known expert on anything that might further his political agenda. Epstein tried to associate the increasing incidence of childhood asthma with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, although he never made the connection clear.

S. 139 does not have the votes to be passed out of the Environment and Public Works Committee, yet McCain secured a vote for it on the Senate floor last October 30, when weaker version of the bill was defeated 43 to 55. McCain forced Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to schedule this vote on S. 139 in exchange for McCains agreement to allow the Domenici energy bill to be replaced by the Daschle energy bill from the previous Congress. That switch required unanimous consent under Senate rules.

Rumors are circulating on Capitol Hill that McCain plans to force another vote on S. 139 by using the same tactics if his party leadership requires his vote on some key procedural matter this summer. It is also rumored that Senator John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) is urging his ten Democratic colleagues who voted no on S. 139 last October to switch their votes and thereby pass the bill. It is surmised by some Senate staff that the Kerry presidential campaign believe this outcome would help Kerry and hurt President Bush in the election.

Scientists explain why killer weather in film ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ is fiction

Contact for Interviews:    
Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273

Washington, D.C., May 12, 2004The upcoming movie, The Day After Tomorrow, depicts the cataclysmic events that supposedly would be triggered by global warming induced climate change.  Under the tagline Where will you be?, The Day After Tomorrow shows harrowing images of New York City covered in snow and ice, the Sydney opera house being consumed by a mammoth tidal wave and Los Angeles being destroyed by tornadoes.  Unfortunately, the blockbuster fails to employ sound science to back up the special effects. 

Scientists around the world have begun to question and counter the scientific facts depicted within the movie.  Attached is a list of scientists that are available to reveal the truth behind the science fiction of The Day After Tomorrow.  The movie is scheduled for release on Memorial Day weekend, May 28th:

Dr. David Legates, Director, Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware
(302) 831-4920

Dr. Ian Clark, Professor, Isotope Hydrogeology and Paleoclimatology, Department of Earth Sciences (Arctic specialist), University of Ottawa
(613) 562-5800

Dr. Madhav Khandekar, Environmental Consultant, 25 years with Environment Canada in Meteorology
(905) 940-0105

Dr. Robert Balling, Director, Office of Climatology at Arizona State University
(480) 965-7533

Dr. Robert E. Davis, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Virginia, Editor of Climate Research, Chair of the Committee of Biometeorology and Aerobiology of the American Meteorological Society
(434) 924-0579

George Taylor, Faculty Member at Oregon State Universitys College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, State Climatologist of Oregon
(541) 737-5705

Dr. Sallie Baliunas, Enviro-Sci Host
(202) 546-4242

Dr. Christopher Essex, Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario
(519) 661-3649
Dr. Ross McKitrick, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, B.C., Coauthor of the Canadian bestseller Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming
(519) 824-4120 x52532
Dr. James J. O’Brien, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, Meteorology & Oceanography, Director, Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida State University
(850) 644-4581
Dr. Pat Michaels, professor of Environmental Science, University of Virginia, State Climatologist of Virginia
(434) 924-0549