Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A dose of reality

The United States Senate, Republican Policy Committee today issued its own critique of the global warming hype, which could almost have been directed at yesterday’s alarmist statement uttered by Tony Blair.

Far from accepting that global warming will be the "climate catastrophe" that Blair predicts, the committee notes that:

The science of the earth’s changing climate and the human actions that may affect it are important policy issues; yet policymakers need to put very-long-term forecasts of future greenhouse gas emissions and temperature changes in proper perspective. Such exercises are fraught with uncertainties and errors, even when best professional practices are employed. And when such practices are not employed… the results easily may be manipulated to serve political ends. Thus, there may indeed be cause for alarm – not necessarily with the scientific data itself, but with its misuse.
The committee itself was commenting on a recent review of the work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), concluding that "Policymakers should approach the IPCC’s claims with a healthy dose of skepticism before considering whether restrictions on energy use based on the IPCC’s conclusions are warranted. Alarm may well be in order – alarm that the IPCC’s science cannot be relied upon".

The "catastrophe" that Blair warns about, therefore, may not be exactly what he has in mind. The more immediate and serious effect may be that we squander our wealth and energies, chasing the delusions of misguided scientists and ambitious eco-freaks. Either way, to judge from this response, Blair is going to get nowhere in his attempts to sign the US up to Kyoto. He and his pals in the EU are going to be seriously disappointed.

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