Global Warming False Alarm Sounded in Texas: Pressure Group Ignores Science in Padre Island Scare

Global Warming False Alarm Sounded in Texas: Pressure Group Ignores Science in Padre Island Scare

February 11, 1999

Washington DC, February 12, 1999 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute accused Public Citizen of further muddying the waters surrounding the science of global warming by touting a non-scientist as an expert on climate change. Today’s press conference sponsored by Public Citizen features Lionel Hurst, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the U.S. Hurst argues that South Padre Island will disappear under rising oceans by 2050 unless we stop global warming. He is being promoted as a "recognized expert on Global Climate Change and Caribbean security issues."

"Public Citizen’s choice of an ambassador to make scientific pronouncements shows that this stunt is about politics, not science," says CEI’s James Sheehan, editor of Cooler Heads, a bi-weekly newsletter on global warming science.

The claims made by Ambassador Hurst and Public Citizen are plagued by several serious flaws, according to Mr. Sheehan. First, it is an established fact that sea levels have risen naturally by an average of seven inches every hundred years for several centuries. Man could not have caused such sea level changes. Second, the computer-based climate model that Hurst uses to bolster his claims is seriously outdated. The newest climate models predict a much lower temperature rise than projected by earlier models.

"Ambassador Hurst shouldn’t be using antiquated climate models to peddle his scare stories," says Mr. Sheehan.

Extensive Atlantic Ocean temperature data contradicts the claims of global warming theorists. At a Capitol Hill science briefing sponsored by CEI, oceanographer Roger Pocklington of the Bermuda Biological Station for Research dismissed global warming alarmism: "All around the North Atlantic Ocean it warmed to the middle of the [20th] century after which it has cooled. The warmest [years] were in the middle of the century…Supposedly we’re living through the warmest decade in history. And in the best sampled part of the world [the Atlantic] we don’t see it."

Dr. Pocklington’s entire presentation is available at

CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information, contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010.