Global warming: A lot of hot air | Adele Ferguson

Sustainment of the constitutional right of individuals to keep and bear arms got all the publicity last week, but there was another court decision on an equally controversially subject that affects every one of us.

It wasn’t from the Supremes but the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia that turned down a petition from 17 states, including Washington, asking for a decision from the Bush Administration within 60 days on whether greenhouse gases and global warming are a threat to public health and welfare.

That’s a question being argued all over the world. True believers (Al Gore, numerous scientists) claim carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from motor vehicles and industrial plants are destroying the ozone, leading to melting of the Arctic ice pack and elimination of the habitat of the polar bear.

Skeptics (me, the late Gov. Dixy Lee Ray, numerous scientists) say the melting is normal and people contribute only a fraction of the gases, which emanate from the sun, water vapor, volcanic eruptions, etc.

Last year the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clear Air Act, but EPA has not acted, hence the petition to force it to do so.

The federal judge in the case agreed with EPA that the issue was too controversial to force a decision in only one year.

EPA will not take a position on whether such gases should be regulated (Associated Press). It will instead propose a range of options on what it might do to control greenhouse gases under current law and seek public comment.

Unfortunately, information provided by the media on the subject leans heavily toward blaming global warming on man.

True believers want to rein in use of fossil fuels.

I have found, however, good information in the monthly publication of the Washington Contract Loggers Association.

You remember them. They were almost made extinct by the effort of the true believers to save the spotted owl, which eventually was found to be not the victim of over-logging but of aggressiveness from the barred owl.

WCLA cited scientists who said there is no problem with the polar bears. The polar bear population is rising and they are fat and sassy.

In fact, Canada has asked the U.S. to knock off its ban on import of polar bear hides from up there because it’s worth $40,000 to $50,000 per bear for hunts and they need the money.

As for global warming, WCLA quotes by name many scientists who pooh-pooh it.

Atmospheric scientist Art Douglas is quoted by Terence Day of Capital Express as saying if greenhouse gases were responsible for global warming, both the Arctic and Antarctic would be experiencing warming, but they aren’t.

Whatever the weather, Douglas said, it is not being caused by global warming. If anything, the climate may be starting into a cooling period, including in Greenland.

A NASA study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters Oct. 4, 2007, found that “unusual winds” in the Arctic blew “older, thicker” ice to warmer southern waters.

“While the total (Arctic) area of ice cover in recent winters has remained about the same,” the report noted, “during the past two years an increased amount of older, thicker perennial sea place in the winters between 2005 and 2006 was a thin veneer of first year sea ice, which simply has less mass to survive the summer melt.”

So stop worrying that Greenland will melt and the sea will rise up and swallow our coasts. True believers just want to get you out of your car and into buses or on bicycles.

Not them. You. Us.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at PO Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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