Politics of global warming

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The politics of global warming are dominated by two groups. The first group consists of those who advocate drastic action to prevent global warming, generally on the grounds that the "Modern Warming" period is headed for ecological catastrophe, and consists of liberals, politicized scientists and environmentalists. The second group consists of scientists without a political agenda, and conservatives who believe that global warming is not preventable, and say that science shows these are cyclical occurrences for Earth, well beyond man's ability to control or prevent.

US Politics

Registered voters are evenly divided on the issue, with 75% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans believing the science supports AGW theory.

The 2008 Democratic National Committee Platform states;[1]

"We must end the tyranny of oil in our time. This immediate danger is eclipsed only by the longer - term threat from climate change"


"...climate change is not just an economic issue or an environmental concern - this is a national security crisis."

The 2008 Republican National Committee Platform states;[2]

"The same human economic activity that has brought freedom and opportunity to billions has also increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. While the scope and long-term consequences of this are the subject of ongoing scientific research, common sense dictates that the United States should take measured and reasonable steps today to reduce any impact on the environment."

Since the issue came to the fore in 1989, neither president—Bill Clinton or George W. Bush—has sent the Kyoto Protocol treaty to the Senate for ratification. A bipartisan Senate resolution disapproved the notion of joining the treaty 93-0.

Some sources date the flip-flop from global cooling hype to global warming hysteria to 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell. With the Cold War won by the forces of democracy and freedom, supporters of totalitarian socialism had to find a new issue.[3]

EU Politics

All 27 member states of the European Union have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, as has the EU itself. In 2000 the European Climate Change Programme was launched to provide a strategy to implement Kyoto: the targets assigned for each member state vary, with western states cutting emissions more than eastern ones – to make an average cut of 8% by 2012, 20% to 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2050.[4] Some member states have agreed to further cuts in greenhouse gas emissions; Germany had already cut emissions by 17.2% in 2004, so is pressing for tougher targets in future, and the United Kingdom parliament has proposed a Climate Change Bill to cut GHGs by 60% by 2050 (several parties including the Liberal Democrats have pushed for 80% reduction targets).[5] All vehicles produced in the EU from 2012 will have to emit less than 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (equivalent to at least 47 Miles per gallon for diesel, 55 mpg for petrol): the most stringent law in the world.[6]

International Politics

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a series of reports endorsing the theory of anthropogenic global warming. Supporters of this theory call the IPCC assessments authoritative, and use this as the basis to justify ratification of the global warming treaty (see Kyoto Protocol).

Loss of objectivity among scientists

Hans von Storch and Nico Stehr wrote:

In an article we published in the professional journal Science in October 2004, we were able to demonstrate that the underlying methodology that led to this hockey stick curve is flawed. Our intention was to turn back the spiral of exaggerations somewhat, but without calling the core statement into question, which is that human-induced climate change does exist. Prominent members of the climate research community did not respond to the article by engaging use in a dispute over the facts. Instead, they were concerned that the worthy cause of climate protection had been harmed. [4]

Distortion of the Facts

Supporters of Kyoto have famously asserted that temperatures in 1998-2007 are the highest in 1,000 years. However, peer-reviewed research published in scientific journals challenges this claim.

In 2003, the "hockey stick graph" of Michael Mann was examined by McIntyre and McKitrick in Energy & Environment. They found that:

the estimation of temperatures from 1400 to 1980 contains collation errors, unjustifiable truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculation of principal components and other quality control defects. [5]

Contradictory Claims

On 7/2/08, an article reported that the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute says there will be “blistering” future heat waves because of the “drying-out effect of a warming world”. [6] The previous day, another article said the National Wildlife Federation claims “Midwest floods show impact of global warming ”. [7] “Drying” and “flooding” are mutually exclusive, but that doesn’t stop claims that “global warming” will cause both of them.


  1. [states;http://www.democrats.org/a/party/platform.html]
  2. [1]
  3. "The global warming circus was in full swing. Meetings were going on nonstop. One of the more striking of those meetings was hosted in the summer of 1989 by Robert Redford at his ranch in Sundance, Utah. Redford proclaimed that it was time to stop the research and begin acting. I suppose that that was a reasonable suggestion for an actor to make, but it was also indicative of the overall attitude towards science. Barbara Streisand personally undertook to support the research of Michael Oppenheimer at the Environmental Defense Fund, although he is primarily an advocate and not a climatologist. Meryl Streep made an appeal on public television to stop warming. A bill was even prepared to guarantee Americans a stable climate." [2]
  4. http://ec.europa.eu/energy/energy_policy/doc/01_energy_policy_for_europe_en.pdf An Energy Policy for Europe
  5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6444145.stm 'Binding' carbon targets proposed
  6. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/news/efe/24/article_4119_en.htm European strategy targets car emissions

External links