A group of distinguished scientists has issued a report
confirming the theory of man-made global warming. Many of those same scientists are now holding their breath, hoping that a major research project in Antarctica will, for the first time, prove the existence of man-made global warming.
To the ordinary non-scientist, these two statements may seem a bit contradictory, but apparently not to the members of the National Academy of Sciences panel charged with reviewing the evidence for climate change and making recommendations for addressing its effects. These scientists, it would appear, are so committed to the ideology of man-made global warming that they are willing to issue a definite opinion in advance of compelling new research that might debunk their conclusion. But then, timing is everything, and the academy's 869-page report, requested by Democrats in 2008, has been issued just ahead of the left's attempt to ram a cap-and-trade bill through Congress.
Predictably, the NAS report confirms findings contained in the much-criticized 2007 IPCC report. The NAS panel believes that climate change is "largely" the result of human factors and that the consequences are even worse than those suggested by the IPCC. The NAS scientists believe that by 2100, sea levels could rise as much as ten times more than previously thought.
That is quite a leap in just three years, but then the NAS panel was charged not just with surveying the scientific literature surrounding global warming -- it was told to arrive at definite policy recommendations, and it was not shy about doing so. Those recommendations include the goal of reducing U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to 64% of current levels by 2050 despite the fact that in the next forty years, America's population will increase to 400 million, and the world will still rely on fossil fuels for most of its energy needs. As the International Energy Agency asserts
in its prognosis for 2030, "oil will remain the world's main source of energy for years to come." Regardless of these facts, scientists on the NAS panel believe that a 36% reduction is feasible. They have not pointed out how.