by Patrick J. Buchanan – October 6, 1997
First, the famous Club of Rome warned us that the world’s oil was about to run out. Then came the “Crash of ’79” crowd to predict a second Great Depression, 50 years after the first. Then, the new Malthusians arrived to warn that soaring population growth meant starvation soon on a global scale.
Apocalypse never came, but its purveyors became famous, were widely interviewed and made scads of money, which is why the Chicken Little Chair of American Politics will never for long be vacant. Newest claimants: the Cassandras of “Global Warming”!
Here, they say, is the threat: The byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas is carbon dioxide, which is trapped in the atmosphere, as in a greenhouse. In conjunction with sunlight, this causes a gradual rise in the Earth’s temperature. If allowed to continue, our warming Earth will cause the polar ice cap to melt, sea levels to rise, cities to sink under water, storms, floods, diseases and the widespread destruction of wildlife.
As the only way to halt global warming is to cut the emissions of carbon dioxide, the industrial democracies must reduce their consumption of fossil fuels or they will kill Planet Earth. And who consumes the lion’s share of the world’s fossil fuels? You guessed it: the U.S.A. at 22 percent. Thus, America, the world’s greatest offender, must make the greatest sacrifice to eliminate the global danger.
At a December climate summit in Kyoto, Japan, Europeans are going to demand that industrial nations agree to cut their carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2010 to 15 percent below what they were in 1990. The Japanese, terrified that the Americans may sign nothing and blow up the conference, are asking the United States to agree to cut emissions by 2010 to 5 percent below 1990.
The Clintonites are in a box. The only way the United States can cut emissions that deeply is through a heavy energy tax that would kill the American dream for millions of families and run a stake through the presidential hopes of Al Gore. Moreover, the draft treaty being taken to Kyoto exempts Third World nations such as China, India and Mexico from any requirement to cut energy consumption, and the U.S. Senate, 95-0, has declared such a treaty to be unacceptable.
On this issue, there should be no compromise with Clinton. If he caves in at Kyoto and comes home with a commitment to cut back U.S. consumption of energy, his commitment should be repudiated by Congress — and the world community told to take a hike.
For global warming is a mixture of globogas, bogus science, hoax and fraud. It is a scam being run by globalist elites who see themselves as the new Illuminati destined to rule the planet because they know better than mankind what is best for mankind.
What is the truth about global warming? Since 1870, the Earth’s temperature has risen one-half of 1 degree Celsius, i.e., almost imperceptibly, and most of this rise occurred before World War II. Since 1979, according to satellites and high-altitude balloons, the planet has begun to cool.
Second, of the 200 billion tons of carbon dioxide released annually into the atmosphere, 95 percent is the work of nature, only 5 percent the work of man. Mankind’s contribution to any global warming is thus inconsequential.
Finally, even if global warming is occurring, there is no reason to fear it. According to scientists, the Earth has warmed up by 5 to 9 degrees since the Ice Age. Were it not for that warming, much of the United States would still be glacier country.
While much good has been done in the name of “preserving the environment,” a wing of that movement has become a radical cult, its adherents intolerant zealots who believe themselves possessed of some great truth denied to the rest of us. Their goal is power; their ambition is to take control of the destiny of nations in the name of preserving and exalting their goddess: Mother Earth.
At Kyoto and beyond, these people must be resisted at all costs, for their victory is inconsistent with the preservation of a free and self-governing republic. And on this issue, the elites do not have the country. An energy tax would have a crushing impact on American families, whose median income, even after seven years of recovery, is still $1,000 below what it was when Ronald Reagan left office!
The great threat at Kyoto and beyond is not global warming. That is a bogey man. The great threat to freedom and liberty is the policies being devised in the name of combating global warming.