Al Gore, for Whom Global Warming Explains Everything

The former vice president is doing it again, blaming every extreme weather phenomenon on global warming.

From his House testimony last Friday:

To bring an example of this home, 2009 saw the eighth “ten year flood” of Fargo, North Dakota, since 1989. In Iowa, Cedar Rapids was hit last year by a flood that exceeded the 500-year flood plain. All-time flood records are being broken in areas throughout the world.

Again, Mr. Vice President, the reason it flooded along the Red River this year was an early winter, a freeze up of the ground with high water content, followed by record snows. The Red River between North Dakota and Minnesota flows northward — into ice — through some of the flattest land in the world, created as the bottom of a glacial lake, Lake Agassiz.

You’re attributing record cold and snows to global warming. It makes no sense.

Using the remarks by the former Vice President and current scold as a starting point, the Heritage Foundation today analyzed the impact of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation on such things as floods.

So what would Waxman-Markey accomplish? When the EPA released their report on the bill last week, they did not say. They only provided dubious claims about the costs of the bill. But other studies have estimated what the benefits of a Waxman-Markey like cap and trade regime would be. The result? Nothing. A study by MIT professor John Reilly found that if a Waxman-Markey like scheme worked perfectly, and other developed nations also cut their emissions too (which they have so far failed to do outside of the current global recession), global temperatures would only be reduced by 0.5 degrees Celsius. That is compared to the 0.8 degrees Celsius change we experienced last century.

In other words, Waxman-Markey will not prevent a single flood, wildfire, or hurricane. It will be completely ineffective. And at what cost to the U.S. economy. Newt Gingrich told the House committee Friday: “This bill is an energy tax. An energy tax punishes senior citizens, it punishes rural Americans, if you use electricity it punishes you. This bill will increase your cost of living and may kill your job.” On this point there was strong bipartisan consensus.

As it happens, President Clinton also blamed the 1997 floods on global warming. From the Cato Institute, 1998, “April 1997. Speaking about the Red River flood in North Dakota, President Clinton said that “every American has noticed a substantial increase” of similar events “in the last few years.” That flood was caused by the melting of excessive snow. If Clinton’s people had bothered to check, they would have discovered the shocking fact that the warmer the winter is, the less it snows! Further, all the predictions of global warming concentrate their heating in the winter in the middle of continents — that is, places like North Dakota.”

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