The fundamentalist doom mongers also ignore scientists who say the effects of global warming may be benign. Harvard astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas said added CO2 in the atmosphere may actually benefit the world because more CO2 helps plants grow. Warmer winters would give farmers a longer harvest season, and might end the droughts in the Sahara Desert.
Why don't we hear about this part of the global warming argument? "It's the money!" said Dr. Baliunas. "Twenty-five billion dollars in government funding has been spent since 1990 to research global warming. If scientists and researchers were coming out releasing reports that global warming has little to do with man, and most to do with just how the planet works, there wouldn't be as much money to study it."
MYTH No. 4: Signing the Kyoto Treaty would stop the warming.
In 1997, the United Nations met in Kyoto, Japan, and asked the developed nations of the world to cut CO2 emission to below 1990 levels.
And even advocates of Kyoto admit that if all the nations signed the Kyoto agreement and obeyed it, global temperatures would still increase. The difference by 2050 would be less than a tenth of a degree. The fuss over Kyoto is absurd. Even if Kyoto would have an impact, do you think all the signers are going to honor what they signed? China is predicted to out-emit us in five to 10 years. India will soon follow. What incentive do they have to stop burning fossil fuels? Get the shovel.
The fundamentalist greens imply if we just conserved energy, and switched from fossil fuels to wind and solar power (they rarely mention nuclear power -- the most practical alternative), we would live in a nonglobal-warming fairyland of happiness. But their proposals are hopelessly impractical. Building solar panels burns energy, as does trucking them and installing them. Not to mention taking them down again to repair them.
To think that solar energy could stop the predicted temperature increase is nonsensical. EPCOT, a theme park with a solar energy ride, consumes about 395,000 kilowatt-hours per day. The Department of Energy says you'd need around a thousand acres of solar panels to generate that much electricity. EPCOT itself only sits on 300 acres, so you'd have to triple the size of the park just to operate it. (Windmills are no panacea either. They are giant bird-killing Cuisinarts, and we'd have to build lots of them to produce significant energy.)
In 2000, a group called Cape Wind proposed to erect 130 windmills in Nantucket Sound, off the coast of Massachusetts. I think the drawings make them look interesting, but -- horrors! -- they would be visible from the Kennedy family vacation compound in Hyannis Port. Robert Kennedy Jr., grand poo-bah of the environmental zealotry movement, is leading a campaign to ban the windmills from Nantucket Sound. The group he leads, the Waterkeeper Alliance, said it supports wind farms -- but Kennedy fights the one near his home. What a hypocrite.
Eighty percent of the world's energy comes from fossil fuels. Kyoto would decimate just about every Third World country's economy, and deliver a catastrophic blow to our own.
So what should we do about the threat of global warming?
First, calm down.
Second, if the world is warming, it is much more reasonable to adjust to it, rather than try to stop it. If sea levels rise, we can build dykes and move back from the coasts. It worked for Holland.
Farmers can plant different crops or move north. Russian farmers farmed northern Siberia for centuries. When the area became cold and desolate, the farmers moved south.
Far better to keep studying global warming, let the science develop and adjust to it if it happens, rather than wreck life as we know it by trying to stop it.