Global Warming Hype

Global Warming Hype - Global Warming False Alarms Russell...

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1 Global Warming False Alarms Russell Lewis 6 th March 2007 25 th IEA CURRENT CONTROVERSIES PAPER Institute of Economic Affairs 2 Lord North Street London SW1P 3LB www.iea.org.uk IEA web publications are designed to promote discussion on economic issues and the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. Copyright remains with the author. If you would like to contact the author, in the first instance please contact rwellings@iea.org.uk . As with all IEA publications, the views expressed in IEA web publications are those of the author.
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2 GLOBAL WARMING FALSE ALARMS Russell Lewis The government claim that global warming is more threatening than terrorism is alarmist and unwarranted. It is also suspect as an excuse for mounting taxes and controls. It is strikingly similar to the dire predictions of 40 years ago of an imminent ice age and to other past doom forecasts due to alleged overpopulation, depletion of food and fuel supplies, and chemical pollution. There are serious doubts about the measurements, assumptions and predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with regard to global CO2 growth, temperature and the role of clouds. Indeed there is a strong case that the IPCC has overstated the effect of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on the climate and downplayed the influence of natural factors such as variations in solar output, El Niños and volcanic activity. The empirical evidence used to support the global warming hypothesis has often been misleading, with ‘scare stories’ promoted in the media that are distortions of scientific reality. The high salience of the climate change issue reflects the fact that many special interests have much to gain from policies designed to reduce emissions through increased government intervention and world energy planning.
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3 Contents Introduction: The Mother of All Scares 4 1 Prophecies of Doom: a Mini-History 5 2 How the Global Warming Scare Began 8 3 Global Warming’s Achilles Heels 10 3a Box: Sceptical Response to the IPCC 4 th Report on 18 the Science of Climate Change 4 A l t e r n a t i v e T h e o r i e s 2 0 5 Climate Change Politics 24 6 F a l s e A l a r m s 2 5 7 The Fat Cats of Global Warming 33 8 Kyoto: World Energy Planning 39 9 W h a t N e x t ? 4 5 10 A Better Approach 47
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4 Introduction: The Mother of All Scares “The whole art of politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” H.L. Mencken Tony Blair has claimed that global warming is more dangerous than terrorism. His Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King, has asserted that global warming will make Antarctica the only habitable place on Earth by the end of this century. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has chimed in with the suggestion that global warming will bring “millions, billions” of deaths. These are alarming pronouncements. Surely we should pay heed to these eminent folk who apparently speak with such authority. Well not
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This note was uploaded on 06/07/2011 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Mrsmith during the Three '11 term at University of Sydney.

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Global Warming Hype - Global Warming False Alarms Russell...

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