The pendulum of public perception about global warming may be swinging in a new direction thanks to scientific evidence from Alabama’s state climatologist.
Dr. John Christy said although historic data contradict claims that man-made carbon dioxide is responsible for global warming, the hysteria about climate change is costing everyone money.
“Your electric bill right now is higher because of regulations developed for the use of fossil fuels,” said Christy, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). “Even if we follow what [environmentalists] want done, it won’t change the temperature. But it will absolutely increase energy costs.”
In addition to higher fuel costs, global warming policies are driving up the cost of everything from insurance to food, Christy said. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations are based on inaccurate computer projections rather than actual temperatures, he said.
“The data sets we have do not match the theory of global warming,” Christy said. “I would want public policy based on the actual observations — not on the theory.”
Alabama’s abundant supply of soft coal is an inexpensive natural resource used to generate electricity and for years helped keep power costs low, said Public Service Commission (PSC) President Twinkle Cavanaugh. As environmental groups push to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, coal has become a frequent target for more regulations.
“We need to do everything with in our means to keep energy rates as low as possible in Alabama so we can recruit and grow industry, including farming in our state,” said Cavanaugh, who cited cases of businesses selecting Alabama over other states because of lower electricity rates here. Higher energy costs, including fuel used by farmers and manufacturers to grow and process food, increases the cost of almost everything, she said.
Projections of global warming also have increased the cost of homeowner insurance.
Alfa and other insurance companies buy protection from natural catastrophes through reinsurance providers. Reinsurance rates are based on computer models that can be influenced by various global warming theories predicting frequent and more severe storms.
“While Alabama has seen more than its fair share of storms over the past decade, reinsurance rates should be based on actual science,” said Alfa Insurance President Jimmy Parnell. “Dr. Christy’s work is important because how climate change is viewed impacts our policyholders.”
Christy often testifies on climate change in Congress and is interviewed by national news outlets. Despite his credibility, federal funding for his climate research group has dried up due to the Obama administration’s global warming views, which influence funding agencies, he said.
State funding for the Alabama Climatologist Office helps Christy and his associates perform climate studies, but it is not enough for the needed research, Christy said. UAH climatological data stand-up to the test of cross-examination, he added, and without it, expensive federal regulations could go unchallenged.
“When the EPA tries to issue another mandate, it really is hurting consumers, businesses and farmers,” Cavanaugh said. “We need to oppose these mandates. Thank goodness we have Dr. Christy as an expert witness because his data are based on facts.”
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