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Opening Statement of John Linder (R-GA)

March 12, 2009

MARCH 12, 2009


Chairman McDermott’s announcement for this hearing began with thisstatement:  “A major international assessment released in 2007highlighted the clear consensus in the scientific community that theEarth’s climate has unequivocally warmed and that most of the observedchanges since the 1970’s are due to greenhouse gases emitted as aresult of human activity.” 

Not so fast. For every scientist who supports the notion of humancaused global warming there are more than 10 who consider that notionpure vanity.  And they made their names public.

Our Committee has been told that water vapor is the overwhelmingheat trapping gas.  Even methane traps more heat than CO2.  Why arethese two sources not taxed?  Simple.  How do you tax clouds andtermites? 

Even the IPCC report, which is the basis for this hearing, did notdevelop its conclusions on science.  A UN bureaucrat removed fivecontributing scientist’s statements that there was no basis to blamehuman activity and replaced those statements with the bureaucrat’sconclusion that humans were to blame.  No science.

And that is where we are in this debate.  No science – justbureaucratic conclusions on which to lay a predicate for a brand newtax.

In the scientific world only two conditions obtain: theory andfact.  Theories are studied for centuries and then are proven by factsto be correct or incorrect.  Both Galileo and Einstein were famousdeniers of centuries old theories – and famously attacked for beingcorrect.   

In this rather recent discussion, the whole notion of proving ordisproving the theory is not only ignored, it is considered heretical. (Parenthetically let me note that to question science is consideredscholarship.  To question religion is considered heresy.) 

Since the mid 1970’s when some of the same scientists were warningof a coming ice age and then felt comfortable going after some of theresearch grant money on the global warming side, we have not yet hearda single fact adduced proving humans to be responsible.  Not one.  Wedeal with computer models.

I want to remind you that the other multi-trillion dollar debacle weare witnessing around the world is because risk managers with grey hairwere replaced by computer models.  Unfortunately, those mathematicaltools didn’t know how to adjust for emotions such as fear and greed.

Today, predictions of future weather calamities are being made bycomputer models that do not take into consideration scientificobservations of the earth’s natural temperature modulations. 

Curiously, every climate model predicting calamity requires for itsaccuracy a growing hot spot at low altitudes at the equator.  We havenow had years to measure that hot spot with scientific instruments.  Itdoesn’t exist.  And how do the modelers respond?  “You must havemisread your thermometer because the model shows it should be there.”

So we prepare to attack this erroneous conclusion with the one thingour government does best.  Raise taxes on the rich and give that moneyto the poor.  There!  That fixes that!

Have we forgotten the testimony before the committee that showed usthat, because of entitlements, our nation’s total revenue stream willnot be sufficient to pay the interest on the debt in just 31 years?  Sowe’ll just add another.   Let me show you a slide.

Whether you select the minimum plan or the maximum plan put forth bythe experts, this program will dwarf our current welfare programs.

Turning the vast majority of our citizens into supplicants at thefoot of government may serve your purposes as a political party.  Ipromise you it will not serve theirs.

But assuming you satisfy yourselves that you have taken care of ourpoor and “fixed” the climate, a vanity at which I just cringe, who isgoing to be hurt?

Just two billion of the world’s most vulnerable people. 

We have enjoyed a living standard in the last 100 years which is theenvy of the world.  India and China are now going through what we wentthrough.  The by-product of that success is CO2.  Why do we want todeny that same opportunity to the most vulnerable whom we will consignto a lifetime of hunger and poverty?  As Dr. John Christy told us lastweek having lived in that part of the world to help the poor; “Theirlives are brutal and short!”