The U.S. House is a cat’s whisker away from passing a cap-and-trade climate change bill tomorrow that will effectively impose a $1,600 carbon tax on an average household in the name of fighting global warming. (For context, consider this: A typical family of four earning $50,000 a year pays $3,000 in income taxes).
But the irony is that the bill comes precisely when the rest of the world is experiencing fresh doubts about the science of manmade global warming. Wall Street Journal editorial writer Kimberly Strassel reports that New Zealand’s new government last year immediately suspended the country’s weeks-old cap-and-trade program. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country’s new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted.
“The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. — 13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world’s first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak ‘frankly’ of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming ‘the worst scientific scandal in history.’ Norway’s Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the ‘new religion.’ A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists’ open letter.),” writes Strassel.
Why this turn around? Because for the last 10 years, the earth’s temperatures have remained essentially flat. And over the next 10, some credible studies have actually predicted a cooling.
One does not have to believe that global warming is a total hoax to concede that its claims need further investigation before action. Denying dissenters a voice never serves the cause of science. Ask Galilelio.