The Sky Is Not Falling

Published June 14, 2005

Dear Editor:

Dan Vergano’s June 12 article [“The debate’s over: Globe is warming”] is an entirely unscientific story about an important scientific issue.

I am a scientist myself and author or editor of more than a dozen books, some of them major reference books. I have researched the global warming issue long and hard and concluded that there is no crisis and no consensus. And I am not alone. Some 17,000 scientists have signed a petition denying that climate change is a serious problem. (See

Why, then, the constant repetition of gloom and doom in newspapers? Because there is big money in it. The federal government pays $4 billion a year for university research showing evidence of climate change … but none to realists and skeptics. For environmental advocacy groups, global warming is a cash cow for fund raising.

Some big businesses embrace the alarmist story because while they can withstand the regulations and taxes that are necessary parts of global warming policies, their smaller competitors cannot. Newspaper writers and publishers embrace it because, sadly for the human condition, scary is what sells best.

The UN and all foreign governments sing in that choir too because they know restrictions on energy use would likely bring us down to their level economically. The UN wants the power and money that comes from being the world’s Energy Czar.

There really is something in it for nearly every one … except John Q. Public, whose cost of living will soar due to an entirely fruitless effort to affect the world’s climate. Even the most deluded alarmists realize that emission reductions would have to be orders of magnitude greater than those contemplated or technologically possible in order to reduce the global temperature by more than a half a degree or so in the next 100 years.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D.
[email protected]

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. ([email protected]) is science director for the Chicago-based Heartland Institute and editor of the McGraw-Hill Standard Handbook of Environmental Science, Health, and Technology.