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there are not many people in the Maldive Islands and we can do something about that.
But at net, most people will benefit.
Now I want to mention, because Dr. Watson raised it, the question of health effects, because that is my recent research
Mr. ROHRABACHER. If you could, summarize.
First, on tropical diseases. If you get a statistical abstract and look at the back in the international comparison statistics, you will find that the place that has the longest life expectancy in the world is Hong Kong. It is in the tropics. Singapore is virtually on the Equator. It has a life expectancy equal to Western Europe or the United States. Hawaii of course is not known as an unhealthy place. So, the tropics. Warm weather does not mean people die of diseases. That is a poverty phenomenon.
Second, I estimate on the basis of statistical analysis, which is not through yet, but my preliminary numbers suggest that if we get a 2.5 to 3 centigrade warming in the United States, we would reduce deaths in the United States on average by about 40,000 a year. Thank you.
(The prepared statement and attachments of Mr. Moore follow:)
November 3, 1995
Committee on Science
I am Thomas Gale Moore, an economist and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. My research has been on government regulation, focusing mostly on transportation issues. With the great progress that Congress has been made on reducing controls over trucking, airlines, and railroads, I have shifted my attention to the economics of environmental regulation. Recently I have published two papers — “Why Global Warming would be Good for You” in The Public Interest, Winter 1995 and Global Warming: A Boon to Human and Other Animals - - based on historical evidence that earlier warm periods were good for mankind. My current research deals with health effects and amenity benefits of a less cold climate.
If warming occurs, it is more likely to bring net benefits than losses to Americans and most of the world. Warmer periods in the past have brought benign weather. Milder temperatures will induce more evaporation from oceans and very likely more rainfall where it will fall we cannot be sure but the earth as a whole should receive greater precipitation. Meteorologists now believe that any rise in sea levels over the next century will be at most a foot or two, not twenty." History shows that around 6,000 years ago the earth sustained temperatures that were probably more than four degrees Fahrenheit hotter than those of the twentieth century, yet mankind flourished. The Sahara desert bloomed with plants, and water loving animals such as hippopotamuses wallowed in rivers and lakes. Dense forests carpeted Europe from the Alps to Scandinavia.
The evidence supporting the claim that the earth has grown warmer is shaky; the theory is weak; and the models on which the conclusions are based cannot even replicate the current climate. It is asserted, for example, that over the last hundred years the average temperature at the earth's surface has gone up by 0.5° Celsius or about 1° Fahrenheit. Given the paucity of data in the Southern Hemisphere, the evidence that in the United States, with the best reconis, temperatures have failed to rise; the British naval
Commitee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (1991). Policy Implications of Greenhouse
records that find no significant change in temperatures at sea since the mid-1800s; and that the reported increases occurred mainly prior to 1940 — before the rapid rise in CO2
the public is entitled to be wary. Satellite data have also failed to find any significant increase in temperature since the first readings in 1979. Moreover, even the National Academy of Sciences is skeptical of the validity of the computer models and warns that the modeling of clouds — a key factor — is inadequate and poorly understood.2
What is well known is that climate changes. The world has shifted from periods that were considerably warmer during the Mesozoic era when the dinosaurs thrived the earth appears to have been about 18° Fahrenheit warmer than now to spells that were substantially colder, such as the Ice Ages when huge glaciers submerged much of the Northern Hemisphere. During the last interglacial, about 130,000 years ago or about when modern man was first exploring the globe, the average temperature in Europe was at least 2° to 5°F warmer than at present. Hippopotamuses, lions, rhinoceroses and elephants roamed the English countryside. Areas watered today by the monsoons in Africa and east Asia enjoyed even more rainfall then. Indeed during the last 12,000 years, that is since the end of the last glacial period, the globe has alternated between times substantially warmer and epochs that were noticeably cooler.
An examination of the record of the last twelve millennia reveals that mankind prospered during the warm periods and suffered during the cold ones. Transitions from a warm to a cold period or vice-versa were difficult for people who lived in climates that were adversely affected yet benefited others who inhabited regions in which the weather improved. On average, however, humans gained during the centuries in which the earth enjoyed higher temperatures.
Expected Effects of Global Warming Although most of the forecasts of global warming's repercussions have been dire, an examination of the likely effects suggests little basis for that gloomy view. Climate affects principally agriculture, forestry, and fishing. Manufacturing, most service industries, and nearly all extractive industries are immune to climate shifts. Factorics can be built in northern Sweden or Canada or in Texas, Central America, or Mexico. Banking, insurance, medical services, retailing, education and a wide variety of other services can prosper as well in warm climates (with air-conditioning) as in cold (with central heating). A few services, such as transportation and tourism, may be more susceptible to weather. A warmer climate will lower transportation costs: less snow and
2Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming, p. 18.
ice will torment truckers and automobile drivers; fewer winter storms - bad weather in the summer has less disruptive effects and is over quickly — will disrupt air travel; a lower incidence of storms and less fog will make water transport less risky. Hotter temperatures will leave mining and the extractive industries largely unaffected; they might even benefit oil drilling in the northern seas and mining in the mountains. Warmer weather means, if anything, fewer power outages and less frequent interruptions of wired communications. A warmer climate could, however, change the nature and location of tourism. Many ski resorts, for example, might face less reliably cold weather and shorter seasons. Warmer conditions would mean that fewer northerners would feel the need to Vacation in Florida or the Caribbean. On the other hand, new tourist opportunities might develop in Alaska, northern Canada and other locales at higher latitudes or in upper elevations.
A rise in world-wide temperatures will go virtually unnoticed by inhabitants of the advanced industrial countries. In his 1991 address to its members, the President of the American Economic Association asserted: “I conclude that in the United States, and probably Japan, Western Europe and other developed countries, the impact on economic output (of global warming] will be negligible and unlikely to be noticed.” As modern societies have developed a larger industrial base and become more service oriented, they have grown less dependent on farming, thus boosting their immunity to temperature variations.
Only if warmer weather caused more droughts or lowered agricultural output would even Third World countries suffer. Should the world warm, the hotter temperatures would enhance evaporation from the seas, producing more clouds and very likely more precipitation world-wide. Although some areas might become drier, others would become wetter. Judging from history, Western Europe would retain plentiful rainfall, while North Africa and the Sahara might gain moisture. The Midwest of the United States might suffer from less precipitation and become more suitable for cattle grazing than farming. On the other hand, the Southwest would likely become wetter and better for crops.
A warmer climate would produce the greatest gain in temperatures at northern latitudes and much less change near the equator. Not only would this foster a longer growing season and open up new territory for farming but it would mitigate harsh weather. As a result of more evaporation from the oceans, a warmer climate should intensify cloudiness. More cloud cover will moderate daytime temperatures while acting at night as an insulating blanket to retain heat. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found exactly this pattern both for the last 40 years, indeed for the whole of
Sschelling (1992): 6.
the twentieth century. For the Northern Hemisphere in summer months, daytime high temperatures have actually fallen; but in the fall, winter and spring, both the maximum and especially the minimum temperatures (nighttime) have climbed.
Warmer nighttime temperatures, particularly in the spring and fall, create longer growing seasons, which should enhance agricultural productivity. Moreover, the enrichment of the atmosphere with CO2 will fertilize plants and make for more vigorous growth. Agricultural economists studying the relationship of higher temperatures and additional CO2 to crop yields in Canada, Australia, Japan, northern Russia, Finland, and Iceland found not only that a warmer climate would push up yields, but also that the added boost from enriched CO2 would enhance output by 17 percent.? Researchers have attributed a burgeoning of forests in Europe to the increased CO2 and the fertilizing effect of nitrogen oxides.
The United States Department of Agriculture in a cautious report reviewed the likely influence of global warming on crop production and world food prices. The study, which assumed that farmers fail to make any adjustment to mitigate the effects of warmer, wetter, or drier weather such as substituting new varieties or alterative crops, increasing or decreasing irrigation – concludes that:
The overall effect on the world and domestic economics would be small as reduced production in some areas would be balanced by gains in others, according to an economic model of the effects of climate change on world agricultural markets. The model ... estimates a slight increase in world output and a decline in commodity prices under moderate climate change conditions.' (Emphasis added.)
Economists Robert Mendelsohn, William D. Nordhous, and Daigee Shaw researched the relationship of climate to land values in the United States. 10 They concluded that for the lower-48 states, a rise in average temperature of about 5°F and an 8 percent increase in rainfall stemming from global warming would, depending on their model, reduce the value of output between 4 and 6 percent or boost the value of output slighty. This result ignored the boost of farm output from increased CO2.
Forestry is another sector that is potentially subject to change due to an increase in world temperatures. Canadian agricultural economists have examined the effect of a doubling of CO2 on forestry production. They concluded that increased carbon dioxide
Folland et al. (1992]Climate Change 1992, Table C2, p. 152. 7 Parry et al. (1988) as summarized in Kane (1991): 7. 8Kauppi
, et al. (1992): 70-74. Kane et al. (1991) 10Mendelsohn,(1994): 753-771.