Statement before the US House of Representatives, June 4, 2009
Madam Speaker, before voting on the "cap-and-trade” legislation, my colleagues should consider the views expressed in the following petition that has been signed by 31,478 American scientists:
"We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
Circulated through the mail by a distinguished group of American physical scientists and supported by a definitive review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, this may be the strongest and most widely supported statement on this subject that has been made by the scientific community. A state-by-state listing of the signers, which include 9,029 men and women with PhD degrees, a listing of their academic specialties, and a peer-reviewed summary of the science on this subject are available at www.petitionproject.org.
The peer-reviewed summary, "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” by A. B. Robinson, N. E. Robinson, and W. Soon includes 132 references to the scientific literature and was circulated with the petition.
Signers of this petition include 3,803 with specific training in atmospheric, earth, and environmental sciences. All 31,478 of the signers have the necessary training in physics, chemistry, and mathematics to understand and evaluate the scientific data relevant to the human-caused global warming hypothesis and to the effects of human activities upon environmental quality.
In a letter circulated with this petition, Frederick Seitz — past President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, President Emeritus of Rockefeller University, and recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from 32 universities throughout the world — wrote:
"The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds.
This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.
The proposed agreement we have very negative effects upon the technology of nations throughout the world; especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to the over 4 billion people in technologically underdeveloped countries.
It is especially important for America to hear from its citizens who have the training necessary to evaluate the relevant data and offer sound advice.
We urge you to sign and return the enclosed petition card. If you would like more cards for use by your colleagues, these will be sent.”
Madam Speaker, at a time when our nation is faced with a severe shortage of domestically produced energy and a serious economic contraction; we should be reducing the taxation and regulation that plagues our energy-producing industries.
Yet, we will soon be considering so-called "cap and trade” legislation that would increase the taxation and regulation of our energy industries. "Cap-and-trade” will do at least as much, if not more, damage to the economy as the treaty referred by Professor Seitz! This legislation is being supported by the claims of "global warming” and "climate change” advocates — claims that, as demonstrated by the 31,478 signatures to Professor Seitz’ petition, many American scientists believe is disproved by extensive experimental and observational work.
It is time that we look beyond those few who seek increased taxation and increased regulation and control of the American people. Our energy policies must be based upon scientific truth — not fictional movies or self-interested international agendas. They should be based upon the accomplishments of technological free enterprise that have provided our modern civilization, including our energy industries. That free enterprise must not be hindered by bogus claims about imaginary disasters.
Above all, we must never forget our contract with the American people — the Constitution that provides the sole source of legitimacy of our government. That Constitution requires that we preserve the basic human rights of our people — including the right to freely manufacture, use, and sell energy produced by any means they devise — including nuclear, hydrocarbon, solar, wind, or even bicycle generators.
While it is evident that the human right to produce and use energy does not extend to activities that actually endanger the climate of the Earth upon which we all depend, bogus claims about climate dangers should not be used as a justification to further limit the American people’s freedom.
In conclusion, I once again urge my colleagues to carefully consider the arguments made by the 31,478 American scientists who have signed this petition before voting on any legislation imposing new regulations or taxes on the American people in the name of halting climate change.
June 11, 2009
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.