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Does it really sound like catastrophic global warming is “now a fact"?
Is raising scientific doubts about such claims “un-American"?
Despite continued scientific uncertainty about whether global warming is a serious threat, the Clinton
A GLOBAL WARMING TREATY?
Don't give them the power to shut of yours.
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Fred L. Smith, Jr. is the President and Founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a public interest group active in a wide range of economic and environmental public policy issues. Located in Washington, D.C., CEI works to educate and inform policymakers, journalists. and other opinion leaders on market based alternatives to regulatory initiatives and engages in public interest litigation to protect property rights and economic liberty.
Mr. Smith is a frequent guest on various radio and television programs where he has debated free market approaches to vexing public problems. He has appeared on national news programs such as MacNeil/Lehrer, Crossfire, ABC's 20/20, and CNBC. His writings can be seen in leading newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and numerous public policy journals. He authored a chapter on energy and environment in Market Liberalism, a Paradigm for the 21st Century, and is the co-editor of the book , Environmental Politics: Public Costs, Private Rewards that argues that much environmental regulation is driven by political considerations. He also wrote the epilogue to CEI's critically acclaimed book, The True State of the Planet, a scientific guide to the environment written by some of the nation's premier environmental scholars.
Before founding CEI, Mr. Smith served as the Director of Government Relations for the Council for a Competitive Economy, as a senior economist for Association of American Railroads, and for five years as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency:
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Neither I, Fred L. Smith, Jr., President, nor The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has received any federal government funding which directly supports the subject matter on which I am appearing before the Committee. No money has been received in any amount from any Federal Grant (or subgrant thereof) or contract (or subcontract thereof) by me or CEI during the current and two preceding fiscal years from the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration relating to global change research, nor has any money been received from any other Federal agency.
Inal 2 Smith
Fred L. Smith, Jr.
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Chairman CALVERT. Thank you for you testimony. Next is Dr. Robert Watson, who is the new Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Doctor, you're recognized.
TESTIMONY OF ROBERT T. WATSON, CHAIR, INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE Mr. WATSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you and the other members of this Committee.
In my opinion, the overwhelming majority of scientific experts both recognize that scientific uncertainties exist but, in spite of those scientific uncertainties, believe that human-induced climate change is inevitable. The key question is the exact magnitude, where, and when. The IPCC concludes that human activities are already changing the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gas concentrations have gone up significantly and, even though your figure only shows that human activities are 4 percent of the emissions of CO2, which is absolutely correct, we have actually increased the natural amount by 30 percent. That's why some people call it a pollutant and we've doubled the atmospheric concentration of methane. There's no doubt we've increased the amount of sulfur dioxide and other particulars in the Earth's atmosphere and they partially cool the Earth's atmosphere. The Earth's atmosphere has warmed about half a degree Centigrade and much of it since 1940. Sealevel has increased 10 to 25 centimeters, glaciers have retreated globally and there's serious evidence of an increase in heavy precipitation events, especially in the United States of America. Can we explain these observed changes are natural variability alone? The majority of scientists, clearly not all, including Pat Michaels, do not believe we can attribute it to natural variability. Hence, we believe now there is a discernible human influence on the Earth's climate system. If there's not a global, and I stress global, effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we would expect a 1 to 3.5 degree Centigrade rise in temperature by the Year 2100, an increase in sea level of 15 to 95 centimeters, and significant changes in precipitation patterns, both the spatial and the temporal precipitation patterns.
Why should we as a society care? A significant increase in vectorborne diseases, especially malaria and dengue, obviously, not in the United States, but in tropical and subtropical climates. Global food production may not be affected by global warming by significant change in the distribution, far less productivity in Africa and Latin America as much as 30 percent, even when you take into account the positive effects of CO2. A sea level rise of 1 meter at the topend of the climate predictions by the Year 2100, but clearly in the middle
of projects thereafter, could displace tens of millions of people in Bangladesh, Egypt, China, and whole low-lying islands may be threatened. Complex ecological systems, especially forests, could clearly be threatened. Indeed, we believe that while there may be an immediate greening of the planet, sooner or later there would be a significant disruption to these ecological systems and water resources clearly would be threatened in many parts of the world, remembering that literally 20 nations today are already water