You might think that the Bush administration —
which has been viciously attacked by Al Gore and the greens for pulling
the U.S. out of the Kyoto Protocol and being generally skeptical of the
science underlying global warming alarmism — would have embraced the
new petition as support for its resistance to mandatory greenhouse gas
But you’d be wrong. When given
the chance to embrace vindication at a White House press briefing this
week, deputy press secretary Dana Perino couldn’t run away fast enough.
A White House reporter asked Perino: "WorldNetDaily reports
that more than 31,000 U.S. scientists, including 9,000 PhDs, now signed
a petition rejecting global warming, the assumption that human
production of greenhouse gases is damaging the Earth’s climate. My
question: What is the White House reaction to these 31,000 scientists?"
Perino could have responded with something akin to either "Yes, we know
about the petition and we’re looking into it" or "No, we didn’t know
about the petition but we will certainly look into it," she instead
dismissed the question with an abrupt, "I would say that everyone is
entitled to their opinion. What’s your next question?"
the reporter tried to follow up with "That’s all?" Perino seemed to
insist on remaining oblivious to the petition and its import by
stating, "That’s all I’m going to say."
at least Perino didn’t pull an "Al Gore" and label Dyson and the other
31,071 scientist-signatories as members of the Flat Earth Society.
Perino’s defense, one might say that it is reasonable to disregard such
petitions since science is about what is known or what can be proved
about the natural world through systematic investigation rather than
the number of scientists who are willing to publicly commit to a
On the other hand, global warming alarmism has been marketed to the public on the basis of the latter rather than the former.
been told that there’s a "consensus" of scientists — most often
exemplified by the group of scientists working under the auspices of
the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — that agrees
manmade greenhouse gas emissions are or will wreak havoc on the climate.
dispute exists over whether there is, in fact, an actual consensus
within the IPCC, head counts of scientists seem to be the name of the
global warming game.
Since that is the case,
the 31,000 scientist signatories assembled by the Oregon Institute of
Science and Medicine would seem to trump the 600 or so in the alleged
IPCC consensus. Sadly, the White House has taken such a beating over
the years on climate that facts no longer matter.
further evidence of its shell-shocked state of fact avoidance, just
last week the Bush administration announced that it was listing the
polar bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act — even
though there are many more polar bears today than 40 years ago and
predictions of the bear’s demise are entirely based on politically
The fact of the 31,000
scientists should matter to the White House, given what likely
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said this week.
a campaign stop in Oregon, Obama called for the U.S. to "lead by
example" on global warming. "We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as
we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just
expect that other countries are going to say 'OK.' … That’s not
leadership. That’s not going to happen," he said.
President Obama apparently would decide how to regulate the pantries,
thermostats and modes of personal transportation of his fellow
Americans based on the emotional temperature of every non-American who
happens to harbor an opinion on how we should live.
although Republican presidential hopeful John McCain hasn’t been as
blunt as Obama in respect to rolling back the American lifestyle, as
reported in this column last week, he’s been drinking from the same batch of green Kool-Aid.
the initial response from the Bush administration to relevant new facts
that could prevent the imminent Obama-McCain attack on our standard of
living seems to be, "See no consensus, hear no consensus, speak no