Challenging global warming consensus

Four professors, while possibly fine scien-tists, are hardly “the scientific community.”

A Minnesota Senate committee recently held a hearing on global warming. But rather than provide diverse viewpoints – what I thought was the purpose of any legislative hearing – committee chairwoman Ellen Anderson, DFL-St. Paul, proclaimed the “scientific community’s consensus” exactly one minute into the two-hour hearing.

The declared “consensus” was global warming is a dire and impending threat.  The “scientific community” was four University professors, who might as well have been the four horsemen of the apocalypse given all the doom and gloom they preached.

This might come as news to professors David Tilman, Peter Wyckoff, Lucinda Johnson and Steve Polasky, but, while they might be fine scientists and bright individuals, they’re hardly “the scientific community.” What they presented wasn’t a consensus here or anywhere else.  Well, almost anywhere else.

In Washington, D.C., Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., have put forth what they call the Climate Stewardship Act, a bill that would trade U.S. jobs for junk science in the name of capping the greenhouse gas emissions they believe will do all of us in.

According to a new study by Charles River Associates, a leading independent consulting firm, passage of the act would cause the loss of 600,000 U.S. jobs, a 2 percent dip in gross domestic product and a 50 cent jump in the price per gallon of gas. 

Most importantly, the actual environmental benefit of the bill would be negligible.

It’s little wonder a growing national coalition of agriculture, business and manufacturing leaders – The Minnesota Farm Bureau, National Black Chamber of Commerce and the Taxpayers League of Minnesota among them – oppose the act.

If Anderson, McCain and Lieberman are really looking for a consensus on global warming, they should consult those groups and the majority of Americans who understand jobs are more important than doomsday junk science.

Bill Gilles is the National Director of Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow and a University alumnus. Please send comments to [email protected]