Statement Regarding the President’s Discussion of Global Warming with Tony Blair

Published November 19, 2004

(Chicago, IL) Late last week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited with President George W. Bush at the White House. One topic they discussed was global warming.

The following quotes are attributable to Dr. Jay Lehr, science director, The Heartland Institute:

“It is a disappointment that Mr. Blair may have coaxed President Bush toward the sort of global warming dogma strongly promoted by environmental advocacy groups such as Environmental Defense.

“The physics of man-induced global warming is remarkably simple. Carbon dioxide (CO2) makes up 4 percent of all greenhouse gases (90% is water vapor and the rest is methane nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide). Man is responsible for an increase of atmospheric CO2 from 270 parts per million in 1900 to about 350 parts million today. Thus, as a result of burning fossil fuels, the share of greenhouse gases represented by CO2 may increase to as much as 6 percent.

“This 2 percent increase over the next century would increase the Earth’s temperature by about one degree Fahrenheit – a fact for which all living things on the planet will be quite grateful, man for the pleasant warmth and plants for the extra nourishment. After all, CO2 is nothing but gaseous fertilizer for all the plant world. Current increases are already yielding increased crop production around the world, especially in dry climates where it is needed most.

“The European Union and environmental advocacy groups use global warming hysteria to advance their own special agendas. The European Union recognizes any significant reduction in CO2 emissions by the United States will significantly reduce its economic output, thereby bringing it closer to the inferior output of European nations. Environmental advocacy groups work to stifle economic and industrial progress wherever they find it to inhibit the successful advancement of peoples in developing nations, inevitably making mankind a second class citizen of planet Earth.”

The Heartland Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan public policy research organization, is based in Chicago. Founded in 1984, it supports free markets and environmental policy based on sound scientific research.

More information about The Heartland Institute can be found online at A complete biography for Dr. Jay Lehr is available at