Presidential Call to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions Will Hurt U.S. Economy

Published April 16, 2008

(Chicago, Ill. – April 16, 2008) President George Bush Wednesday outlined a new initiative on global warming and the curtailment of greenhouse gases. Scientists and global warming policy experts contacted by the Heartland Institute warned that efforts to impose mandatory cuts in carbon dioxide emissions will be very costly to American consumers, and have little or no real-world impact on global temperatures.

The following statements are by experts available to comment on the Bush initiative. You may quote from these statements or contact the experts directly for further comment.

“Even if we assume that carbon dioxide emissions are contributing to global warming, cuts in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions will be meaningless unless China and other developing nations agree to do the same. Yet China, India, Indonesia, and other leading emitters have stated unequivocally that they will not curtail their emissions regardless of what the U.S. does. Therefore, any restrictions on U.S. emissions will simply punish the U.S. economy relative to our global competitors while achieving little or no real-world benefits.”

The Heartland Institute
James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow, Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Nothing President Bush can propose will prevent further warming, but it will undermine the ongoing search for an accurate understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change. Bush may feel forced by the various court decisions into action, but the administration can, citing good science, declare that CO2 is not a threat to human health or the environment.

“Global warming is probably not largely the result of human activities and certainly not the dire threat to the world that alarmists claim. Greenhouse gas restrictions ignore significant gaps in knowledge, will raise energy prices on the backs of the poor, stunt economic growth, and yet do nothing to prevent whatever further warming.”

Sterling Burnett
Senior Fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis
[email protected]

“The United Nations and Al Gore are determined that the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, China and India, must be exempt from any mandated reductions, which means what most Americans already know – the our planet really isn’t in trouble. The UN and Al Gore are equally determined that the U.S. will suffer meaningless and mindless emission reductions, which means Americans are in real economic jeopardy. If you shut down the entire U.S. economy – not even a campfire to warm your kids – the increased emissions of the developing world would replace it all in a decade or less. Such mindlessness is how great nations implode.”

Robert Ferguson
President, Science and Public Policy Institute
[email protected]

“Contrary to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there is no firm evidence for manmade global warming. Nature rules the climate. Efforts to control emissions are pointless, hugely expensive, and in any case completely ineffective, as long as China and India keep increasing CO2 emissions.

“However, the earlier White House plan to reduce carbon intensity (CO2 emitted per unit of GNP) still makes sense since it is really a policy of improving energy efficiency through better technology.”

S. Fred Singer
President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
Professor Emeritus of environmental sciences, University of Virginia
[email protected]

For more information, contact Harriette Johnson, media relations manager at The Heartland Institute, 312/377-4000 or [email protected].