By Rep. Bob Thorpe
The 19th century story Chicken Little is about a chicken, who after being hit by either a falling leaf or an acorn, sounds the alarm that “the sky is falling.” This is one of many educational folktales that make light of paranoia and mass hysteria, and teach courage: Don’t be a Chicken Little. It would appear that the story of Chicken Little has been replaced in our schools and society by yet another, more modern-day folktale.
Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, environmentalists have claimed that the world is in a Climate Crisis, and now with great confidence and fanfare they proclaim that the Global Warming debate is settled and over. Supporters ridicule and belittle anyone who disagrees with their non-validated theoretical positions. They enlist Hollywood celebrities, like actor Leonardo DiCaprio, to help sell their pseudo-science. DiCaprio, who was recently appointed as the United Nations representative on climate change, probably knows much more about Malibu surf conditions than he does about complex climate science, and should focus on his acting instead. Perhaps we all need to revisit the story of Chicken Little for a dose of common sense and some sorely needed courage.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal story by Matt Ridley1 “Whatever Happened to Global Warming?”:
In 2005, Phil Jones of Britain’s University of East Anglia wrote that if there were no annually measured temperature increases over a 15-year period, it would be so significant that it would invalidate the climate-change models upon which Global Warming policies are built. A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) written in 2008 reaffirmed this fact when it stated: “The [climate] simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15-years or more.”
Contrary to the Global Warming hysteria, numerous articles and scientific journals have been published disputing these dire claims, for example, the above sited Wall Street Journal article and the story by Anthony Watts2 “Global Temperature Update – No global warming for 17 years 11 months.”
Since they were originally launched, Earth-scanning satellites have collected data confirming that there has been no measurable Global Warming during the past 18-years, which according to NOAA, Professor Jones and other climate scientists, invalidates the Global Warming climate-change models. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international consortium of scientists and advisors, also acknowledged in its 2013 annual report that from 1998 to 2012 the apparent increase in the global mean surface temperature (GMST) had stopped.
Dumfounded environmentalists cannot point to specific reasons why the earth’s GMST has not increased since 1996, and in order to save face (and their movement), they are now scrambling to fabricate a new Global Warming hypothesis. In the interim and with solemn faces, climate researchers such as Professor McKitrick3, have actually declared that the Earth is experiencing some sort of unexplainable climate “Pause” or Global Warming “Hiatus.” Even though the worldwide use of hydrocarbons and the release of Co2 have continued unabated, and have in fact increased over the past 20-years (especially in developing nations such as China and India), they are now actually telling us that Global Warming has taken some sort of extended vacation. Seriously?
In 2008, Al Gore made his apocalyptic prediction that the North Polar ice cap would melt by 2013, causing devastating coastal flooding as sea levels dramatically rose. We were also told that Global Warming would increase the number of severe storms and devastating hurricanes. In contradiction to Gore and the other prognosticators of global calamity, the U.S. has just experienced one of the coldest winters and summers in decades, the Arctic ice pack has increased to new record levels, and according to Ryan Maue4, hurricane activity and severity has been well below normal. It would appear that mother nature’s uncooperative disposition has once again contradicted the doomsday forecasters.
The theory of Global Warming is not based upon measured empirical (observed) data. It relies solely upon assumptions and grossly flawed (or manipulated) computer modeling and simulations, the contradictions of which are illustrated here by these two Time Magazine covers from 1977 and 2006. So which is it, the coming Ice Age or Global Warming? The failed predictions of the environmental movement would be laughable, if they did not have such an expensive and seriously life-changing negative impact upon all of us.
In response to the Global Warming hysteria, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed their Clean Power Plan. If enacted, it would require a nationwide Co2 emissions reduction of 30 percent, but Arizona would have to reduce Co2 emissions by 52 percent, the second highest reduction in the nation. These new regulations would force Arizona citizens to pay billions of dollars in higher utility rates in order to to retrofit our power plants with newly required equipment. This new equipment will not reduce pollution, as called for by congress in the Clean Air Act of 1970, its sole purpose will be to reduce hypothesized Greenhouse Gas (Co2) and NOX, which are not authorized in the Act by congress. The anticipated skyrocketing electricity rates will be devastating for our citizens (especially for seniors and those with low incomes), businesses and the state, particularly now during our fragile economic recovery. If for example, the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) were forced to close, Arizona would not only see electricity prices spike, but would also see Colorado river water rates soar. This would harm our citizens, our ranchers and farmers, and huge numbers of Navajo workers at both NGS and at Arizona coal mines would lose their high paying jobs.
The travesty of these draconian Obama-EPA regulations is that billions of dollars will be wasted in response to the theory of Global Warming, which is simply not supported by the actual measured scientific data. Ironically, the most prevalent Greenhouse Gas sited by the Federal Government is water vapor, so will the EPA next place a ban on Arizona waters? Perhaps not a ban, but the EPA has already made it clear that it wants to control our waters through newly announced Waters of the U.S. regulations, which once again dramatically exceed the scope and authority provided by congress in the Clean Water Act of 1970. Until such time as we have clear and convincing proof that Global Warming is more than just a convenient theory to justify greater Federal control over the states, we must not implement these expensive policies that will clearly harm Arizona and our nation. Both the hysterical claims of the environmental movement, and Chicken Little’s paranoia that the sky is falling, are simply not supported by the facts, and must be dismissed as folly.
Arizona State Representative Bob Thorpe serves on the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee