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Chamber Urges Lawmakers to Reject Unsound Science

Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 7:00pm

Chamber Urges Lawmakers to Reject Unsound Science — New Study Shows Climate Change Alarms Unfounded

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States Chamber of Commerce urged lawmakers to 'go slow' in proposing legislation that would restrict U.S. energy options, following a new report that casts doubt about earlier studies on global warming.

"Climate change bills that are based on unsound science will drag down economic recovery and job growth," said William Kovacs, Chamber vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. "There is new evidence that our temperatures are unexceptional - neither unusually high or variable."

The new study, "A Temperature Reconstruction Critique," by Canadian researchers Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, contradicts key evidence developed by scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes, whose work has been widely cited as proof that the warming of the late 20th century is the most extreme on record in perhaps the past two millennia.

According to the peer-reviewed study in the November issue of the science journal, Energy & Environment, the earlier scientific analysis is "fatally flawed" and "provides no foundation for the statement ... that the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year of the millennium." The study also concludes that the earlier analysis contains so many data errors and erroneous calculations that it is unusable.

"A rigorous investigation of previous climate change data and claims - by independent investigators, subject to thorough peer-review - is called for," said Kovacs. "Legislation based on political whim, rather than scientific certainty, would be disastrous."

Congress is considering caps on carbon dioxide emissions to combat climate change. Businesses would have to spend billions of dollars to comply with the caps, crushing economic recovery, raising prices for consumers and leading to the loss of thousands of jobs, according to the Chamber.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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