Exxon flak argues global warming good for us

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At a time of rising public concern about climate change, global warming and environmental degradation, an industry-funded spokesman has stepped forward to tell us the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Writing in Forbes , Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based recipient of some $2 million from Exxon since 1998, tells us debate has been unfairly biased against global warming.

“When talk turns to global warming, there are only three socially acceptable opinions that may be expressed,” Ebell complained. “It’s going to be bad, terrible or catastrophic. As our leading alarmist, former Vice President Al Gore, makes clear in his book and movie, An Inconvenient Truth, ‘the negative impact of climate change vastly outweighs any local benefits.’”

Ebell’s latest denial happened to coincide with release of a new Decima poll showing environmental policy is both the top priority of Canadian voters and the subject of the most dissatisfaction with government performance. The survey also found the environment to be the most pressing concern of Canadians, eclipsing health care, the Afghanistan conflict, taxes and the economy.

Ebell said “more people die from blizzards and cold spells than from heat waves,” and alluded to “the promising scenario” of milder winters in northern regions. “Instead of 20 below zero in January in Saskatoon, it might be only 10 below.”

Ironically, Ebell said global warming is unlikely to result in reduced energy consumption because people will want more air conditioners. “Given our obvious preference for living in warmer climates as long as we have air-conditioning, I doubt that we’re going to go on the energy diet that the global warming doomsters urge us to undertake.”

So the polar bears might not take much comfort from Ebell’s view, but industry most likely will.

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