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Musings and Meanderings
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
In his May 23 column, Wall Street Journal columnist Pete Du Pont claimed that carbon dioxide is "not a pollutant" and repeatedly cited a misleading, industry-funded study on climate change to prove that the "truth about 'global warming' is much less dire than Al Gore wants you to think." But Du Pont's numerous assertions -- on the danger posed by carbon dioxide, the temperature record in Greenland, the effect of the sun on global warming, and the threat of rising sea levels -- all misrepresent the underlying scientific research.
In a similar vein, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh noted that the "Antarctica ice sheeting is actually increasing" as evidence that global warming theory is "unsupportable by facts." But, in fact, only the interior Antarctic ice sheet is growing, which is considered proof of climate change.
What are these people smoking? Crack?
Du Pont's column relied heavily on the conclusions of a 2006 report, "Climate Science: Climate Change and Its Impacts," by David R. Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware. The report was published by Du Pont's employer, the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank that has received substantial funding from energy interests such as ExxonMobil Corp.
Before repeating several of the report's findings, Du Pont noted its conclusion -- that "the science does not support claims of drastic increases in global temperatures over the 21st century, nor does it support claims of human influence on weather events and other secondary effects of climate change" -- which he described as "the reality about global warming and its impact on the world."