11.15.2006

FUD from Inhofe - Tore and the Town on Thin Ice

"New UN Children’s Book Promotes Global Warming Fears to Kids" reads a headline at the wingnut publication NewsBusters in a direct ripoff from Senator Inhofe's press release:
http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=265811

In fact this bit of vitrol hit a number of conservative blogs simultaneously. Not exactly bastions of original thinking.

No, it is not true that scientists have "defected" from the global warming camp. There is no camp because it consists of virtually every normal scientist on earth at this point. There may be several hundred deniers, but there are many thousands of scientists, including the ones who count, the climatologists who are firmly convinced. There is no real reason to discuss it because there is virtually no evidence contradicting global warming at this time that has not been deliberately altered or fabricated. Yes, the things Senator Inhofe quotes are distortions or lies if you feel like calling them that. The camp belongs to people who are directly funded by Exxon. You can check Exxon's corporate citizenship report for last year and then go to the exxonsecrets site to see which of the foundations Exxon gave money to employ the so-called climate experts who deny there is such a thing as global warming.

Here is a link to the actual text from the United Nations Environment Programme website.
http://www.unep.org/PDF/TORE.pdf

Do you find it scary? Take a look at the last two pages. It offers sensible suggestions for energy conservation everybody can use. I don't like the sea level predictions and don't think they belong in a children's book.
Some facts and figures on climate change

1Earth’s temperature has varied naturally over thousands of years. We know this from studying coral
reefs, fossils, growth rings of trees—and the air trapped in ancient ice deep down in Greenland and
Antarctica. But the current warming appears to be caused mostly by humans and is unusually rapid.

2The atmosphere now contains about 33 per cent more carbon dioxide, the major heat-trapping gas,
than it did 150 years ago. It was then that people started using large amounts of energy to fuel the
Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America.

3Europe, Japan and North America burn the most fossil fuels and so have pumped the most carbon into
the air. The U.S. alone produces about 25 per cent of the carbon dioxide added by humans.

4The planet’s average surface temperature has risen nearly one degree Fahrenheit over the past 30 years,
more in regions such as the Arctic. In Alaska, Canada and Russia, permafrost is melting. As frozen
ground thaws and softens, roads, pipelines, and hundreds of buildings are being badly damaged.

5Computer models show that over the next 100 years, temperatures will probably rise quite a bit
more—as if the planet had a fever. Some places, such as Siberia in northern Russia, may get warmer and
easier to farm. But North America’s ‘breadbasket’ will probably grow drier, disrupting farming there.

6Climate change will hit the poorer countries hardest, even though they emit less carbon dioxide. For
instance, people in Africa may face more droughts and related famines.

7Sea levels are already rising and are expected to climb another 15 to 95 cm this century. If the
enormous ice shelves of Greenland or Antarctica slide into the ocean, sea levels would jump nearly 610
cm (20 ft). Places that could disappear beneath the waves include island nations in the Pacific, much of
Bangladesh, Shanghai in China, Lagos in Nigeria, New York in the U.S. and many other coastal cities.

8People are now working to reduce the ‘fever’—mostly by using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.
Experts think that by 2030, renewable sources could produce all the electricity we need.

9Today, about 2 million households harness solar energy for electricity to light their houses. Nearly 40
million households use the sun to heat water. Millions more get power from the wind, mostly in
Europe, the U.S. and India. Scotland is capturing the power of ocean waves. Iceland is developing
hydrogen from water as a major energy source.

10In Brazil, ethanol made from sugar cane has replaced 44 per cent of the country’s petrol. Ethanol is in
use in China, India, and the U.S. as well. Drivers in many countries can choose to cruise in a car
powered largely by battery.

11From Vietnam to Australia, Kenya to Mexico, people are banding together to plant trees. Trees provide
shade, wood, nuts, fruit and other products—and can slow climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide.

What can you do?

1Plant and care for trees. Join or create an environmental club. You could do an energy ‘audit’ to explore
how your school could save energy and how it might be able to use renewable energy.

2Turn off appliances, heating and air conditioning when you’re not using them. Computers and other
electronics draw energy even when turned off—so be sure to unplug them, too.

3Recycle papers, bottles and plastic whenever you can. Recycling saves energy compared to using new
materials.

4Use your consumer-power. Buying climate-friendly goods—such as energy-efficient light bulbs or
electronics—can encourage manufacturers to go green. Less packaging also helps save energy.

5Walk, bicycle or take a train or bus. Only drive in a car if you must. Cars add far more carbon per
person to the air than public transport.

6Write to your political leaders. Petition for cleaner cars, better public transport or renewable energy.

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