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Speech by Canadian Senator on Global Warming

March 20, 2012

It’s seldom I comment on global warming, but a speech in the Canadian Parliament by the Hon. Nancy Greene Raine this week, is particularly noteworthy.

Here are excerpts:

“Honourable senators, I rise to address Bill S-205, an Act to amend the Income Tax Act. If passed, this amendment would give tax credits to Canadians who invest in so-called carbon offsets. While I have no objection to citizens spending their own money in any way they choose, I do not support the government’s giving tax credits for carbon offsets.

“I say this for several reasons.

“First and foremost, I consider it an unnecessary and undesirable expense at a time when we should be looking for ways to reduce the tax burden on Canadians. While it is true that the amendment would benefit those who invest in carbon offsets, it would be an expense that would have to be covered by all other taxpayers.

“I say it is unnecessary because, contrary to the assertions of the honourable senator sponsoring the bill, it addresses an issue that is more and more being questioned by new scientific evidence.

“We simply do not know that our actions have a significant impact on the global climate, let alone that ‘the consequences of not acting can be catastrophic,” to quote Senator Mitchell.“

“Before I outline what I think would be a logical, ‘no regrets’ approach to climate change, I need to clear up some misconceptions about so-called carbon emissions, a term erroneously used by the honourable senator sponsoring this bill in his speech in this chamber on November 23.

“In Canada and in the United States and, indeed, in many industrialized countries, about 85 per cent of the greenhouse gas we release, other than water vapour, is carbon dioxide.

“This is not carbon, but a compound of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms, yielding a molecule that has the chemical formula CO2. This is not merely an academic point. Ignoring the oxygen atoms and calling CO2 emissions carbon emissions is as appropriate as ignoring oxygen in water vapour or H2O and calling it hydrogen. Most Canadians would regard it ridiculous to have their water bill labeled a hydrogen bill.“

“Throughout most of earth’s history, CO2 levels have been significantly higher than they are now, and life flourished.

“Unlike a decade ago, when few scientists dared express doubt that humanity’s CO2 emissions are causing dangerous global warming, it seems now that not a week goes by without some leading expert condemning the hypothesis.

“On January 27, The Wall Street Journal published an open letter from 16 leading scientists in which they told politicians that they must, and I quote: ‘. . . understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.’

“Signatories to the letter included such eminent scientists as Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of Earth at the University of Paris, and Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, in Geneva.”

“Honourable senators, if carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are not causing climate change, what is causing it? In December, the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources heard from leading climate experts whose research indicates that the primary driver of climate change is the sun.

“They maintain that the greenhouse gas reduction recommendations of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, are simply in error and that humanity does not control our planet’s climate.”

“For example, researchers at the Instituto Bruno Leoni in Italy found that for every so-called ‘green job’ created by subsidies, nearly five times as many ordinary jobs could have been created in the general economy at the same cost. The Italian researchers add: ‘What’s often ignored is that the creation of green jobs through subsidies or regulation inherently leads to the destruction of job opportunities in other industries. That’s because any resource forcibly taken out of one sector and politically allocated in favour of renewable energy cannot be invested elsewhere.’

“A November 2009 German economic paper from the Ruhr University Bochum and RWI, a publicly funded research institute, concluded: ‘It is most likely that whatever jobs are created by renewable energy promotion would vanish as soon as government support is terminated.’

“University of Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick, sums it up best by saying: If spending money on greenhouse gas reduction is profitable and makes people better off, then there is no need for government to force it to happen.’”

“We should also continue to support scientific research in the field so that some day we may be able to forecast climate to help us get ready for whatever nature throws at us next.”

 —end of Senator’s Speech—

 

Global warming is an energy issue, because authorities in the United States, including the EPA, and some state governments, are attempting to restrict the use of our most efficient energy resources.

 

The entire speech can be seen at www.tasugust.org

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