Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cows and Global Warming

Wow! Who would have thought, except probably those folks spending time around farms who probably figured this out a long time ago; and it surely helps the case for proceeding slowly on instituting the kind of massive economic dislocations the alarmists have been advocating for years to respond to global warming, on an apparently false concept that humans were solely responsible for the problem.

The cows missed 'the movie'
Debra J. Saunders
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

TWO BRITISH news reports could not have come at a better time for Fred Singer, a scientist and global-warming denier, who has incurred the wrath of global-warming guru and former Vice President Al Gore.

The Independent reported Sunday that a new U.N. report found that livestock are responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gases. In other words, in the universe of global-warming alarmism, cow farts do more damage to Mother Earth than SUVs. (American cars are responsible for some 6 percent of greenhouse gases.)

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is downgrading its predictions as to how much sea levels will rise due to global warming. The IPCC lowered its upper estimate for sea levels to rise by 2100 from 34 inches to 17 inches.

In "An Inconvenient Truth," Gore warned that global warming would cause sea levels to rise by some 20 feet.

"I claim that Al Gore is a contrarian because he disagrees with the IPCC," Singer said, as he smiled. Singer was in town to speak at this week's meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Gore also will talk to the group about global warming on Thursday.

If there's one thing that irritates Singer, it is Gore's belief that there is a scientific "consensus" about human-induced global warming, even as Gore incessantly complains about scientists who deny global warming.

"Well, which is it?" Singer asked. If there is a consensus, there should be no deniers.

Singer has co-written a book, "Unstoppable Global Warming -- Every 1,500 Years," that argues that the Earth warms every 1,500 years due to a solar-linked cycle. The book begins in the year 1100 when Vikings grew vegetables on Greenland, where the population reached 3,000 before creeping glaciers and cold killed the remaining residents. Now, Greenland is warm again.

Don't blame manmade-global warming for rising sea levels, the book argues. "Sea levels have been rising steadily since the peak of the last Ice Age about 18,000 years ago. The total rise has been 400 feet." For the last 5,000 years, sea levels have risen about 7 inches per century. No surprise, Singer sees the new IPCC take on sea levels as "more realistic" than past predictions.

As vice president, Gore blasted Singer for receiving money from corporate interests. Singer responded by noting that many environmentalists -- and let me add, Gore, who perfected White House fundraising -- have taken money from Big Energy as well.