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Last week, the New York Times published an extraordinary editorial complaining that ”Right now, everyone is using the atmosphere like a municipal dump, depositing carbon dioxide free.” The Times editors suggested that the government ”start charging for the privilege” by imposing a ”carbon tax.”
We all knew it would eventually come to this: the New York Times thinks the government should tax us for breathing.
Of course, the editorial was supposed to be aimed at big corporations who build coal-fired power plants–but why should the logic stop there? Right now, eight million people are walking around on the streets of New York City heedlessly inhaling precious oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, treating the skies over their fair city ”like a municipal dump, depositing carbon dioxide free.” Shouldn’t they be forced to pay for the ”privilege,” too?
And the connection is a logical one, because the generation of power by industrial-scale power plants is as much a vital activity as breathing.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released the summary of its latest, forthcoming report on global warming. It’s most trumpeted finding is that the existence of global warming is now “unequivocal.”
Although such anecdotal evidence as January’s snowfall in Tucson, Arizona and freezing weather in Southern California and February’s more than 100-inch snowfall in upstate New York might suggest otherwise, global warming may indeed be a fact. It may also be a fact that it is a by-product of industrial civilization (despite, according to The New York Times of November 7, 2006, two ice ages having apparently occurred in the face of carbon levels in the atmosphere 16 times greater than that of today, millions of years before mankind’s appearance on earth).
If global warming and mankind’s responsibility for it really are facts, does anything automatically follow from them? Does it follow that there is a need to limit and/or reduce carbon emissions and the use of the fossil fuels—oil, coal, and natural gas—that gives rise to the emissions? The need for such limitation and/or rollback is the usual assumption.
Nevertheless, the truth is that nothing whatever follows from these facts. Before any implication for action can be present, additional information is required.
Christopher Horner, författaren till ”The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism”, blir intervjuad:
First off, have global temperatures really risen higher than ever before? And is an increase in carbon dioxide emissions to be blamed for it all?
This is the key question, touching on the thesis for the entire modern discourse, so it deserves a detailed response. In short: of course not. Even Al Gore inadvertently admits this in his movie, when he presents a chart of past temperature showing at least four warmings more significant than today, and despite efforts to rewrite history we know that the Medieval Climate Optimum (or Warming) allowed the Vikings to farm Greenland around 1000 A.D. Until it got cold again, that is, doubtless due to their SUVs. Further, not only did temperatures increase at numerous times over history more and faster than we have seen since the “global cooling” panic ended in the late 1970s, but they did so in that very same century; over the 1930s, for example, in the Arctic.
The idea that CO2 — be it man-made or natural, is to blame is simply unsupported by the scientific literature. The June 2006 issue of Science Magazine — from which Al Gore gets his movie’s charts but which charts of temperature and CO2 concentrations he wisely chooses not to superimpose for the audience — actually makes this point.
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