[Illustrations, footnotes and references available in PDF version]
Senator John Kerry’s statement in early August 2009 about “global warming” before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he chairs, was false in every particular, leading him to draw the incorrect conclusion that “global warming” was a threat to national security. The Senator got every fact wrong –
Wilkins Ice Shelf: Senator Kerry said the recent cracking of the thin “ice-bridge” linking the Wilkins Ice Shelf to the Antarctic Ice Shelf was caused by “global warming”. It was not: there has been no statistically-significant “global warming” for almost 15 years.
Arctic ice-cap: Senator Kerry said the Arctic ice-cap would vanish in summer by 2013 because of “global warming”. It will not, and, even if it does, “global warming” will not be the cause: there has been rapid global cooling for very nearly eight years.
Polar bears: Senator Kerry said polar bears were under threat from “global warming”. They are not: their population has increased fivefold since the 1940s, and they survived the last interglacial period 125,000 years ago, when there was no summer ice in the Arctic.
Famine and drought: Senator Kerry said “global warming” would bring more famine and drought. It will not: “global warming”, if and when it resumes, would cause the space occupied by the atmosphere to hold more water vapor, reducing drought globally.
Pandemics: Senator Kerry said “global warming” would cause worse pandemics. It will not: so-called “tropical” diseases can flourish even in Arctic temperatures. It is inadequate public-health measures, not rising global temperatures, that spread supposedly “tropical” diseases.
Natural disasters: Senator Kerry said “global warming” would cause more natural disasters. It will not: hurricane activity is now at its lowest in half a century, despite warmer weather worldwide; and patterns of flood and drought are much as they always were.
Climate refugees: Senator Kerry said “global warming would cause human displacement on “a staggering scale”. It will not: the only significant cause of human displacement would be rapidly-rising sea level, but this is not happening and is not likely to happen.
Middle East water supply: Senator Kerry said “global warming” would shrink the water supply in the Middle East. It will not: water has been scarce there for 1000 years, and warmer weather is already moistening the atmosphere and greening hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of the Sahara.
Asian water supply: Senator Kerry said “global warming” would melt the Himalayan glaciers, drying up the water supply of a quarter of the planet’s population. It will not: it is Eurasian winter snow cover, not the glaciers, that supplies Asia with its water, and that shows no trend in 50 years.
Sea level rising 3 feet: Senator Kerry said “global warming” would raise sea level 3 feet. It will not: sea level rose 8 inches in the 20th century, is currently not rising at all, and will rise by little more than 1 foot in the 21st century.