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Mr. Speaker, tonight and today we have been hearing a lot about the economic crisis throughout the globe. Parallel to the concern about the economic crisis is another concern that we have been told about, and that is the fear of global warming. It preoccupies much of what we do here in this House, and it preoccupies much of what is in the media, not only in the United States but throughout the world.
I would like to read a portion of a Newsweek article, Mr. Speaker. It says:
There are ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically, and that these changes may bring a drastic decline in food production with serious political implications for just about every nation on this earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps in only 10 years.
The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and Russia in the north, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas, parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indo-China and Indonesia, where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoons. The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.
In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by 2 weeks since 1950, with the result overall loss in grain production estimated up to 100,000 tons every year. During this same time, the average temperature around the equator has arisen by a fraction of a degree, a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation.
Last April, the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters, killed more than 300 people and caused one-half billion dollars worth of damage in 13 States in the United States.
To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advanced signs of a fundamental change in the world's weather. The central fact--and you note here, Mr. Speaker, it is a fact. It says: The central fact is that after three-quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate is beginning to cool down. That is right, Mr. Speaker, this article says the world is cooling down.
Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of this cooling trend as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions, but they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will produce agricultural productivity for rest of the century. If the climate change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. A major climate change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale, warns a recent report by the National Academy of Science.
This article goes on and on, Mr. Speaker, to talk about the new Ice Age affecting the world; how we are going to have a new Ice Age that will come to the United States, all parts of the world, how our whole attitude about the world will change because it will be a cold place. Basically, Mr. Speaker, Newsweek in 1975, April 28, said we are all going to freeze in the dark.
Now the people who said this--and I remember all of this taking place back in the seventies, and I believed this nonsense, that we are all going to freeze, that the Earth is getting colder, and that we can't do anything about it and that it will never correct itself. I believed all that, as did a lot of other Americans, because it was based on, as this articles says, scientific fact that the earth is getting colder. And these same people in 1975 that predicted that the earth was going to get colder are the same people today, in the year 2009, saying just the opposite: That the earth is getting hot. We are all going to roast. It is the same global warming crowd.
The difference is a few years have passed. And our attention span is so short as Americans, and other people in the world, we forget these predictions that occurred just 33 years ago. And that is unfortunate.
The people in the weather business, meteorologists, for example, who predicted the global warming and some that predicted the earth getting colder are the same people who can't predict tomorrow's weather. You know, these folks are the only people that I know of in our culture that can be consistently wrong and keep their jobs, but they do. They can't predict tomorrow's weather, but they are telling us, we are all going to roast because of global warming. I am not so sure that that is true.
The article goes ahead and points out that the earth is already one-sixth of the way toward the new Ice Age. And, of course, history proved the experts in 1970 wrong; that we did not all freeze. Now, in fact, they are predicting the opposite.
Mr. Speaker, last week we had the global warming crowd here in Washington, D.C., protesting how we provide energy for this building. Now I have nothing against folks who want to peaceably assemble and talk about issues. That is great. That is part of the American way. But it is interesting, they showed up on a day, March 2, where we had 10 inches of snow and one of the coldest days in recorded history in Washington, D.C., 18 degrees, and they were here protesting the way we find energy for this Capitol. And it is how inconsistent the global warming crowd is. They are against everything that produces energy, especially those bad, nasty oil companies.
They were wearing, and I thought this was interesting, green hard hats. Which is fine. I asked one of the young ladies that was with the group, do you know what that hard hat is made out of? And she said, plastic. And I said, what do you think plastic is made out of? And she said, well, plastic is made out of plastic.
Contrary to what some people believe, plastic is not an element. It is not a mineral. Plastic, like many things that we see every day, is a derivative of crude oil. I told her that, and she didn't understand it or believe it, but whatever. The problem they see is the fact that humans are the problem; that we use energy, and that they wish to, I guess, eliminate humans on this earth because we are the problem, they say, in global warming.
Well, first of all, global warming is not a scientific fact even though somesay that it is. There are other scientists who say we are not having global warming. Unfortunately, we have been basically told here in the House of Representatives that global warming is a scientific fact, and all of our legislation is going to be based upon the absolute fact of global warming. That is unfortunate. We should still continue the debate on, first, whether or not global warming is occurring; and, second, and most importantly, is it man's fault that there is a climate change? Scientists certainly disagree.
I think the bottom line in global warming and those that advocate that we are having global warming is it is real basic: It is all about money.
You see, those who advocate that we have global warming want more Federal dollars to study that issue to convince us that there is global warming, and they get those Federal dollars. Those meteorologists and scientists on the other side who say maybe we are not having global warming. Maybe climate change does occur, but man is not the fault; see, there is no money in saying that. There is only Federal dollars in saying, yes, there is global warming. It seems like those people who advocate global warming are just saying that because they are getting paid by the Federal Government.
Of course, the second issue is man, the culprit. I am not so sure man is the culprit. The jury is still out on that, and I think we should not be so fast to rush to judgment.
The last thing I wanted to point out is that, in the name of global warming, it really means more government control over our personal lives. That is what it is about, it is about money and it is about the fact that there is personal control over our lives by the Federal Government.
For example, soon the Federal Government is going to tell us all the type of light bulbs we can have in our homes. We have to go to those Chinese-only-made light bulbs that have mercury in them, because it soon will be the law that you can't buy any light bulbs except these energy-efficient light bulbs. The Federal Government wants to tell us what the kind of cars to use. The Federal Government wants to tell us what kind of energy to use, all in the name of global warming. But it is really control of our personal liberty in the name of global warming.
So the jury is still out on that issue, and I think we have an obligation to the American people to debate the issue of climate change, global warming, whether the earth is getting warmer or hotter, whether there is a climate change, and whether man is the culprit. I think that we should do that.
At this time, Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield such time as he wishes to consume to my good friend, Mr. Rohrabacher, from California.
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