Letter to The New York Times



On Selling the US to the Lowest Bidder

The University of Connecticut
Department of Physics
2152 Hillside Road, Room 107
Storrs CT 06269-3046

December 10, 1997 

The New York Times 
229 W 43rd St. 
New York, NY 10036 

Gentle Folks: 

On Selling the US to the Lowest Bidder

The global warming party in Kyoto is over, but piper has yet to be paid. Get out your billfold. You may have the privilege of paying good money for bad science used for perverse political ends. 

To understand what is really behind the Kyoto farce, let us apply the Kyoto logic to a thirteen-year-old boy. We will give him, by Kyoto's rules, 7% less food to eat. But this does not just mean that he will have to cut out a few candy bars, because we intend to be as devious as the negotiators at Kyoto. Our plan for this hapless youngster is to give him 7% less food when he is nineteen than he ate when he was ten. Obviously, this has far greater impact than the "7% reduction" would imply. 

The treaty hammered out in Kyoto is every bit as underhanded as our treatment of the teenager. According to that treaty, the US is supposed to produce 7% less carbon dioxide eleven years into the future in 2008 than we did in 1990. In President Clinton's "global warming" address (10/22/97), he chose the most extreme of the options offered him by his chosen panel of supposed experts, namely that we would agree to reduce carbon dioxide levels to 1990 levels. Vice President Al Gore went to Kyoto and gave instructions to the negotiators to "be flexible," that is, to be more extreme than Clinton. Indeed, they were, for they sold the US to the lowest bidder. 

Part of the treaty involves "trading of emissions, in the words of American negotiator Stuart Eizenstat. The US will be "allowed" to produce carbon dioxide (that is, to burn fuels), but so will Chad, Lybia, Angola, Bosnia, and Ethiopia, to name a few. Of course, they don't stand a chance to do so, because they have pretty primitive technology. So they will sell their rights to burn fuel to whoever needs them (guess who?). In other words, US citizens will be paying, through taxes, dictators in third-world countries for the privilege of heating their homes and putting gasoline into their family cars. 

And what about the science? Isn't the world heating up? Aren't the oceans rising? Thermometers tend to be placed where people can read them. For this reason, they are near population centers. The thermometers near the largest population centers have shown the greatest rise in temperature, but the ones in smaller population centers show less temperature rise. A century's worth of data from ocean-going vessels (where meticulous records have been kept) show no rise in temperature during the last century. Satellites in orbit have monitored the earth's temperature throughout the globe for nineteen years and found no increase, but instead a small decrease in the earth's average temperature. 

The earth may or may not be warming, but if it is, are humans responsible, or are we witnessing natural fluctuations of the kind that have gone on forever? The Doomsayers want us to believe that a warmer earth would be an unparalleled disaster, but the earth seems to have survived many past epochs when the earth was warmer than it now is. Most of the time, the earth has been locked in very inhospitable glacial periods. 

The oceans have been rising for millennia since the time the woolly mammoths roamed the American continent during the last great ice age. Pull out a nickel. Before giving it to Angola, look to see how thick it is. That thickness is the amount by which the oceans rise every year, with or without fossil-burning treaties. This is the sea-rise the island nations, with their eyes on the US Treasury, have been screaming will inundate their homes. Five thousand years ago, the rise amounted to the thickness of five nickels per year. The rapid rise of the oceans then was caused by saber-tooth tigers playing with matches, one supposes. 

"If all the ice in Antarctica melted," scream the Chicken Littles, "the sea-rise would be sixty feet!" And if my mother were a truck, she'd have wheels. When the temperature is 60 below zero, and the temperature rises by a couple of degrees, how much ice melts? 

This science was simply ignored by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group mostly of social scientists with no expertise in meteorology, energy, chemistry, physics, infrared radiation, forestry, oceanography, or anything else to do with so- called global warming. The followers were all too willing to be bamboozled by fantasies from garbage-in, garbage-out computer programs. 

Their agenda is social, not scientific. This is not a battle between Good Green Scientists and scientists who can't quite understand the issues. Nor is it a battle between public- spirited environmentalists and money-grubbing corporations, as it is frequently depicted on the evening news. To some extent a fight for control of US dollars is, this battle is ultimately between civilized society and misanthropes who think man is nothing but protein for mosquitoes and tigers. 

Negotiations are one thing, but ratifying the treaty is another. The US is under no obligation until the fiasco is ratified by the US Senate. Don't let them do it. 

Best Regards, 

Howard C. Hayden 
Professor of Physics 
(860) 486-0436 

Submitted to The New York Times 12/11/1997
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