Presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Monday that “we have to get used to the idea that we can’t keep our houses at 72, drive our SUVs and eat all we want.” Arthur B. Robinson, president and professor of chemistry at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, has a different response.
“I don’t want to give up eating all I want because of a failed hypothesis,” said Robinson at the National Press Club here on May 19. Robinson said global warming is not a threat to America. He said that the global temperature increased by just .5 degrees in the last century.
Robinson spoke about his petition signed by 31,000 U.S. scientists who reject the claims that “human release of greenhouse gases is damaging our climate.”
“World temperatures fluctuate all the time,” said Robinson. “The temperature of the Earth has risen many times, far more times than carbon dioxide could drive it. There is no experimental evidence that humans are changing the environment…”
Robinson said that in recent years the U.N. and a group of 600 scientists, representing less than one percent of the scientific population, reached a “consensus” that global warming is happening. This has never been done before, Robinson insists.
Dennis Avery, Director for the Center of Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute, agrees with Robinson. “Nobody can do science by a committee. You do science by testing,” said Avery. “To me it is appalling that an international organization of the stature of the U.N. would ignore the evidence of past climate changing.”
The signers of Robinson’s petition, including 9,000 Ph.Ds, all have one thing in common. They believe that human rights are being taken away.
When the U.N. and others want to limit hydrocarbons, which account for 85% of the current United States energy supplies, the consequences are disastrous, Robinson said.
“America is buying 30 percent of its energy abroad… Now we’re getting to the point where we can’t afford energy abroad,” said Robinson. “The problem was created by state and federal taxation against…now they want to [make]…further regulations that will stop these hydrocarbons.”
Robinson said that the results of high taxation and regulation of energy is evident in America right now with gas prices hitting over four dollars per gallon. When you take away energy, you lose critical technology, he said.
“Industry is required to give you all the things you want, ranging from pencils to cars,” said Robinson. “When you take away technology, you lose all those things. Anything that was created with any sort of technology was created by energy.”
Robinson said that without necessary energy, the world will see the “greatest technological genocide you can imagine.”
“We wouldn’t have six billion people on Earth without technology,” said Robinson. “If you reduce energy, you [are also] reducing technology. The biggest problem is people in the third world who die in enormous numbers.”
Avery said that a vast number of people are already suffering in the third world, because they are forced to cook inside their homes.
“The indoor cooking fires in the third world are vastly more harmful to the health of women and children than smoking cigarettes,” said Avery. “If you eliminate their opportunity to move up from burning dung and straw and wood to burning kerosene…then you are eliminating their possibility of having healthy lungs.”
In addition, Avery said that energy restrictions cause “an awful lot of premature deaths.” However, if Green Peace decides to eliminate nitrogen fertilizer, even more people will suffer.
“If we eliminate the nitrogen fertilizer, then that will cut the world’s crop fields in half immediately,” said Avery. “Half the world will be hungry.”
Robinson said that the U.N. is doing more harm than good.
“Every individual has a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness….and the right to access technology that will help him prosper whether he is a wealthy man in the U.S. or an African that can barely feed himself,” said Robinson.
Robinson said that war could also result from limited energy and technological resources.
“There could be vast human suffering, death, and terrible wars, because big wars usually start over resources,” said Robinson. “And there’s no way people will understand what’s happening… when you start starving large portions of the population and diminishing the prosperity of others.”
Robinson said that people need to look at the facts, and realize that “correlation does not prove causality.” 31,000 scientists agree. But what about the rest of the American population?
“Winston Churchill once said that Americans always do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else,” said Robinson. “Maybe that’s what we’re going to do this time. But there will be a lot of suffering.”