Speaking with Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department on May 13, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (shown, left) asserted: “We have 500 days to avoid climate chaos.”
Expanding in English on his startling statement, made first in French, Fabius said: “We have 500 days to avoid climate chaos. And I know that President Obama and John Kerry himself are committed on this subject and I’m sure that with them, with a lot of other friends, we shall be able to reach success on this very important matter.”
However, since not even the most alarmist climate-change doomsayer would predict catastrophic climate change is just 500 days away, Fabius was pointing forward to the next major UN climate conference, scheduled to open in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015.
The conference, formally called the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is concurrent with the 11th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. According to a communiqué issued by Fabius and two other French ministers on May 21, 2013: “The main purpose of this meeting, in accordance with the Durban agreements (2011), will be to conclude a new international climate agreement, applicable to all countries after 2020.”
The UNFCCC was first negotiated at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The parties to the convention have met annually since 1995 in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change. Perhaps the most well known of these was the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The United States signed the Kyoto Protocol on November 12, 1998 during the Clinton presidency; however, to become binding in the United States, the agreement had to be ratified by a majority both houses of Congress, and the Senate had already passed (95-0) the 1997 non-binding Byrd-Hagel resolution expressing disapproval of any international agreement that 1) did not require developing countries to make emission reductions and 2) “would seriously harm the economy of the United States,” so the protocol was never submitted to the Senate for ratification.
After George W. Bush was elected president in 2000, he was asked by Hagel what his administration’s position on climate change would be. Bush replied that he took climate change “very seriously,” but that he opposed the Kyoto treaty, because “it exempts 80% of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the U.S. economy.”
The United States, then, is a UNFCCC party, but not a party to the Kyoto Protocol.
During his regular press briefing on May 13, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked by a reporter, “The French Foreign Minister also dramatically said that the world has 500 days to avoid climate chaos. I’m wondering what your countdown clock says.”
I would point you to the National Climate Assessment that was released last week that made clear in the view of the science that climate change is upon us and the effects and impacts of climate change are being felt today.
We’ve laid out a comprehensive strategy aimed at helping communities around the country prepare for the effects of climate change, as well as a strategy to reduce our carbon pollution, enhance our energy independence, and address climate change in the future to try to mitigate future impacts.
There’s no question that this is a global effort that has to be undertaken because of the nature of carbon emissions around the world. But I don’t have a specific reaction to that statement except to say that the National Climate Assessment that was released last week I think paints a pretty stark picture about the fact that these impacts are already here.
The Obama administration’s position on climate change (and so-called global warming) is apparent to anyone visiting the White House website in recent days. The site displays a large photo of the planet Earth from space bearing the message: “New Report: National Climate Assessment. The most comprehensive look yet at how climate change is affecting our country right now.”
A link below takes the visitor to “President Obama's Plan to Fight Climate Change.” A description notes: “President Obama believes we have a moral obligation to lead the fight against carbon pollution. Share the details of his plan to help make sure people in your community know the facts, and click here for the latest info on how climate change is affecting the U.S.”
Lest anyone miss the point as to how serious climate change is, the White House points to plagues of almost biblical proportions including record heat, droughts, wildfires, floods — even Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac!
The page includes a quote from President Obama (who, the last we heard, is not an expert on meteorology): “We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it’s too late.”
There are, however, several problems with the administration’s relentless campaign to advance this gloom-and-doom scenario. The most basic fallacy is that such hysteria is based on the unproven theory that climate change is anthropogenic — or caused by human activity. Another is that global warming (if it exists at all) is detrimental to mankind. And yet another false premise is that the belief that we are suffering from the catastrophic effects of global warming is supported by “the overwhelming judgment of science.”
Of course, not every false assertion can be refuted in a singe article. But several respected scientists have written books and research papers debunking the claim that climate change is anthropogenic, unusual, or harmful.
The University of Houston's Larry Bell, an professor of space architecture who wrote Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind The Global Warming Hoax, was quoted by UH’s Daily Cougar newspaper as saying, “The notion of carbon dioxide being a pollutant is silly because carbon dioxide is what makes plants grow."
“A misrepresentation is that global warming is bad; that it’s a crisis. No. There is no scientific evidence that we’re in a crisis,” Bell said. “These warming periods happen with the irregularity of [an] electrocardiogram for lots of reasons.”
The Daily Cougar reported that The Global Warming Petition Project has been signed by over 31,400 scientists to refute the claim that most scientists support the idea of man-made global warming.
Martin Hoerling, a scientist with the NOAA, said of claims that Superstorm Sandy was caused by global warming: “As to underlying causes, neither the frequency of tropical or extratropical cyclones over [the] N. Atlantic are projected to appreciably change due to climate change.”
One of the most prolific scientists refuting the global warming propagandists has been Dr. S. Fred Singer, who wrote Global Climate Change (1989), The Greenhouse Debate Continued (1992), and Hot Talk, Cold Science (1997). He also co-authored Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years (2007) with Dennis Avery, and Climate Change Reconsidered (2009) with Craig Idso.
Singer said in an interview with the British Telegraph in 2009: “We are certainly putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However there is no evidence that this high CO2 is making a detectable difference. It should in principle, however the atmosphere is very complicated and one cannot simply argue that just because CO2 is a greenhouse gas it causes warming.”
More recent research goes beyond arguments about whether global warming is beneficial or harmful because it indicates that the process may already have reversed itself. Steven Goddard, an independent analyst at Real Science (who served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center before joining the faculty at the University of Alabama in Huntsville) has noted: “NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] made a big deal about 2012 blowing away all temperature records, but the temperature they reported is the result of a huge error. This affects all NOAA and NASA U.S. temperature graphs, and is part of the cause of this famous shift.”
Goddard also cited satellite data indicating that by 2008, U.S. temperatures, far from increasing, had actually cooled down below 1980s and '90s levels.
NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer, also skeptical of government agency claims, stated: “I can’t bring myself to believe any U.S. government pronouncements regarding record warm temperatures.”
The more Americans research “climate change,” the less they believe the government’s assertion that catastrophic human-caused climate change is a fact. Those who want to discover data that has not been “adjusted” by NOAA or other government agencies might do their own research at credible privately created climate websites such as Climate Depot: http://www.climatedepot.com/.
Photo of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (left) with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: AP Images