Scientists, Economists Challenge Global Warming Alarmism

Published June 3, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Global warming skeptics, who for a decade have emphasized hard-science evidence to refute doomsday predictions from alarmists, added new ammunition to their arsenal Tuesday at the third International Conference on Climate Change.

Craig Idso, Ph.D., chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and coauthor of Climate Change Reconsidered, addresses the Third International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, DC on June 2.

More than 250 people crowded into Washington Court hotel meeting rooms to hear a dozen elite scientists refute the claim that global warming is either man-made or would have harmful effects on Earth.

But The Heartland Institute, a 25-year-old think tank that produced the three international climate conferences, also recruited seven elite economists to focus on the devastating personal and broad economic impact of legislation, sponsored by Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and headed for approval in the U.S. House, to put a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses, commercial structures, farms, and other emitters could purchase and trade the permits to emit carbon dioxide and other gases that exceed the cap.

While the scientists reported on a vast array of peer-reviewed literature that cast doubt on the causes and severity of global warming, the economists produced data that showed the cap-and-trade scheme not only wouldn’t halt the release of greenhouse gases, but would add huge costs to business activity that inevitably would be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices.

Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D. and David Douglass, Ph.D. discuss temperature trends over breakfast at the Third International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, DC on June 2.

Dr. Jeff Kueter, an economist and president of the George C. Marshall Institute, referred to Waxman-Markey as “a dismal down-payment on injuries more intrusive into our lives and economy” than ever seen before.

Kueter cited independent economic studies that showed the diversion of capital to emission permits from the investment in new plant and equipment in the U.S. economy would:

  • reduce employment by 1.1 million jobs a year from 2012 to 2030, and more than double that job-loss in 2035.
  • slash gross domestic product by an average of $491 billion a year from 2012 to 2035, and hit $662 billion in 2035 — a total evaporation of productive output of goods and services worth more than $9.4 trillion.
  • reduce average global temperatures by an insignificant 0.36º Fahrenheit by 2100 and by 0.09º F by 2050.

Similar costs with negligible benefits in Waxman-Markey were cited by other economists and public officials, including Dr. David Tuerck, president of the Beacon Hill Institute and chairman of the economics department at Suffolk University in Boston, and U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla).

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), a veteran global warming skeptic, urged attendees to call Waxman-Markey a “cap-and-tax plan” that amounts to “unilateral disarmament in the economic sphere” for American businesses and workers.

Another long-time skeptic, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), provoked sustained applause when he declared that the partisans of Waxman-Markey are “stampeding the public and elected officials in the biggest power grab in the history of human kind.”

Economist Dr. Gabriel Calzada of King Juan Carlos University in Madrid reviewed the dismal performance of cap-and-trade mandates in Spain, where unemployment has reached a daunting 18 percent, carbon emissions are higher today than before cap-and-trade was installed, and fraud and misrepresentation of emission abatement programs are rampant.

Calzada dismissed claims that such policies have created “green jobs” in the Spanish economy and presented data that showed Spanish businesses have spent billions of dollars on carbon credits and abatement programs, resulting in two jobs being lost in the regular economy or never being created for every one job created in the “green economy.”

Energy industry scholar Ben Lieberman of The Heritage Foundation rounded out the economists’ dire projections by showing that by 2035, the added costs stemming from Waxman-Markey would add 58 percent to the price of gasoline at the pump, 90 percent to the typical family of four’s annual cost of electricity, 55 percent to the price of natural gas, and 56 percent to the price of heating oil.

In all, Lieberman said, the tax impact for a family of four would average $4,618 a year through 2035, creating a total additional outlay of more than $110,000 with no added benefit to the family’s quality of life or personal consumption.

Additionally, a parade of climatologists and scientists during the conference challenged the science, causes, and severity of global warming.

Richard Lindzen, Ph.D. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology delivers a keynote addresses at the Third International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, DC on June 2.

Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT professor of meteorology, reiterated premises underlying global-warming alarmism, such as dangerous increases in carbon dioxide emissions since the Industrial Revolution, rising global mean temperatures, and the slackening of the sex drive in butterflies. Such questions, he said, “are meaningless except in the propaganda war” being waged by a compliant mainstream media and a scientific community that finds it easier “to accept authority than disputing questions that are at issue.”

Dr. Patrick Michaels, a Cato Institute scholar and research professor of environmental studies at the University of Virginia, blamed some of the success of doomsday alarmism on the absence of fact-checking in mainstream media when alarmists go on a sortie.

Citing recent television and print coverage, Michaels noted faulty assertions such as Al Gore’s statement that 49 percent of the United States is in drought conditions; U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s statement that California wildfires are a manifestation of global warming; several alarmist predictions of a three-foot rise in sea levels; and a decline in agriculture yields.

Lord Christopher Monckton, former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who has closed each of the two previous international climate conferences, once again brought the crowd to its feet in a cheering standing ovation when he concluded his typically witty speech, “… the highly placed conspirators who seek to ride the climate scare to world domination have reckoned without one thing. You. You are here, and you will not let the truth go.

“Thanks to you, it is becoming evident that the rent-seeking promoters of this great boondoggle, through the very scientific ignorance that they had sought to exploit in others, have merely deluded themselves.

“In the end, it will be here, in the United States, that the truth will first emerge. … Not in Europe, for we are no longer free. … It is here, in this great nation founded upon liberty, that the battle for the world’s freedom will be won.”

For more information about the Third International Conference on Climate Change, visit the event’s Web site at or contact Dan Miller, publisher, or Tammy Nash, media relations manager, at 312/377-4000, email [email protected] or [email protected].