Washington DC, February 28, 2000 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute today accused Physicians for Social Responsibility of releasing a misleading and politically motivated report about the possible effects of climate change in Maine. The report, "Death by Degrees: The Emerging Health Crisis of Climate Change in Maine", is designed to frighten Maine residents rather than inform them with real science. The report was released this morning at a press conference in Augusta.
"I would accuse them of distorting science, except there is no science behind their claims," said Paul Georgia, environmental research associate at CEI and managing editor of the Cooler Heads, a newsletter covering global warming issues. "They’re just making up scary stories."
A few of the myths from today’s global warming report and the facts behind them:
Myth: Maine will experience more floods and droughts due to global warming.
Fact: A recent study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters found that droughts have decreased in the U.S. over the last 100 years and the rate of floods has remained the same.
Myth: Maine can expect more severe cases of asthma and other respiratory problems associated with elevated ozone levels.
Fact: Ground level ozone is created by sunlight, not heat. Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight causes the necessary photochemical reaction that creates smog. Moreover, ground level ozone levels have steadily fallen over the last 20 to 30 years, even while cases of asthma have increased.
Myth: Man-made global warming will heighten chances for more turbulent thunderstorms.
Fact: Warming in this century shows a narrowing of the temperature gap between the northern and southern hemispheres – a trend which weakens the jet stream and leads to milder, not more turbulent weather.
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, please contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010, ext. 209.