You've probably seen the commercials; TV actor Noah Wyle (ER, The Librarian) somberly informs us of an impending grave catastrophe: "A tragedy is unfolding in the world today. Climate change is threatening one of the most magnificent wild animals on the planet. Polar bears. They're struggling to survive."
Don't pay any attention to your frozen thermometer. Never mind that your city is shivering under a record-setting cold wave, paralyzed by another record-setting snowfall. Do not think twice about your mounting heating bill, electricity blackouts, or reports that heating oil deliveries for your area are not available. Even if your teeth are chattering, concentrate only on one thing: global warming, Global Warming, GLOBAL WARMING. Just wrap yourself in a blanket and re-watch Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. And remember, be very, very afraid ... of global warming.
James Hansen, who runs NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), has struck again. The political activist/scientist, global-warming guru, and boon companion to Al Gore has written a letter to Barack and Michelle Obama, imploring the president-elect and his wife to "decarbonize" the economy by imposing a steadily increasing "carbon tax" on coal, oil, and gas.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are found in all air-conditioning and refrigeration units in America. But production of this inexpensive, efficient, and non-toxic substance — most commonly known as freon — is now scheduled to be banned in the United States by the end of 1995. According to Ben Lieberman's June 1994 Competitive Enterprise Institute study, The High Cost of Cool, the cost of this ban for users of air conditioners and refrigerators -- which means virtually every American — will be between $44.5 and $99.4 billion over the next decade. Assuming a figure of 100 million American households, the ban will cost between $445 and $994 for each household.
Beginning January 1, 2009, millions of asthma sufferers will no longer legally be able to obtain the low-cost albuterol inhalers that enable them to breathe. The inhalers have been outlawed by FDA regulations under the UN Montreal Protocol on Ozone Deplation.