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U.N. breathes new life into Kyoto

By Cheryl K. Chumley
web posted July 26, 2004

If one door closes, another always opens -- that's the creed that seems to guide the United Nations, anyway, as a recent report lays the groundwork for a new avenue of attack against carbon dioxide emissions.

Evidently unhappy with America's decision against ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, a U.N. measure that would damage our nation's economy by forcing CO2 and greenhouse gas emission regulations upon our energy, industrial and agricultural producers, and ostensibly dissatisfied with the chances for immediate passage of S. 139, the Kyoto-like Climate Stewardship Act advanced by Sens. Joseph Lieberman and John McCain, the United Nations has uncovered a new means for enacting its agenda.

"Carbon dioxide in world's oceans may threaten many marine species," a July 16 U.N. News Center headline reads.

A U.N.-sponsored gathering of scientists in May to discuss climate change found that CO2 levels in the world's oceans are possibly threatening the long-term sustainability of certain marine species, and that more research is needed to determine what policies should be enacted to allay this risk. Interestingly, though, this meeting -- headed in part by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the global body that seeks "human security through a better management of the environment" -- included an admission that "the absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans is considered a beneficial process that reduces the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and mitigates its impact on global temperatures."

This revelation is most worthy of noting, but then so, too, is this scientific community's conclusion that changes in oceanic carbon dioxide levels are "clearly underway and their effects may be large and may seriously destabilize marine ecosystems."

That's a lot of maybes, especially when policy change, in the form of additional regulation over economic development activities, is at stake, and even more especially when the type of change that's being discussed here, according to the key scientist involved with these findings, involves predictions "on the time scale of several thousand years."

The message that's supposed to be transmitted is that serious environmental damage could result if nations do not take heed now to control the amount of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere, because the oceans will soon become so saturated with CO2 as to destroy this natural means for processing the gas.

The more honest message, though, is science cannot accurately forecast thousands of years into the future. And even though many in the research field still refute the classification of CO2 as a climate pollutant, the United States may nonetheless be drawn toward promoting this biased argument, if recent congressional actions can be considered.

The key scientist whose studies of ocean CO2 levels led to this U.N. determination of marine ecosystem danger is Christopher Sabine, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a U.S. Commerce Dept. agency established in 1970 by executive order as five separate groups tasked, loosely and absent clear mission, with gathering data "about the global oceans, atmosphere, space and sun…that touch the lives of all Americans." Sabine, along with fellow NOAA scientist Dr. Richard Feely, both attended this UNESCO gathering and participated, to some extent at least, in advancing the view that more CO2 studies should be conducted so that nations could eventually adopt environmental policies that avert devastation to the world's oceans.

By logical extension, these scientists at NOAA who support the need for CO2 regulations must also favor Kyoto Protocol and its like provisions. So when Congress seeks to strengthen the NOAA, as it did in June with introduction of H.R. 4546 and H.R. 4607, it should be perceived a red flag for those concerned with overly friendly U.N.-U.S. partnerships that threaten our nation's sovereignty and economy.

H.R. 4546, sponsored by Rep. Jordan Ehlers, creates a new leadership position within NOAA "to coordinate the research and science activities of the agency," he reports. It also incorporates a slew of pending NOAA-related legislation, like one establishing "an abrupt climate change and research program," according to the Environment, Technology and Standards subcommittee hearing charter from July 15.

H.R. 4607, also sponsored by Ehlers but as the administration's version, "expands and clarifies some of the agency's legal authorities," the charter indicates.

By themselves, these bills are perhaps unremarkable.

But coupled with the latest U.N. findings, it must be contemplated whether strengthening a governmental agency that subscribes to the same environmental beliefs as touted by the United Nations, as personified in the Kyoto Protocol, and as rejected so far by this nation, could result in a decrease of dissenting views and a high-ranking embrace of selective science that holds as priority the good of the world over the good of the nation, state or individual.

Cheryl K. Chumley is a regular contributing columnist to several Internet news sites, including www.newswithviews.com, www.pipelinenews.org and www.thedailycannon.com. She may be reached at ckchumley@aol.com.

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