Climate Change Debate Begins; Public Support Waning

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment started hearings this week on

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment started hearings this week on a draft energy-climate change bill introduced by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). The bill’s goal is to reduce global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 83% below 2005 levels by 2050 through a cap-and-trade system. Also, it established a renewable energy mandate that requires 25% of U.S. power be generated from renewable sources by 2025. Chairman Waxman would like for the bill to pass the committee by Memorial Day.

But, just one out of three voters (34%) now believes global warming is caused by human activity, the lowest finding yet in Rasmussen Reports national surveying, according to results released April 17. Meanwhile, 48% of all likely voters attribute climate change to long-term planetary trends, 7% blame some other reason, and 11% aren’t sure.

The researchers say the latest numbers reflect a reversal from a year ago when 47% blamed human activity and 34% said long-term planetary trends were the culprit.

You can see the results at:

Interestingly, last weekend, The Australian reported that – contrary to the widespread public perception that global warming is melting the continental ice cap – ice actually is expanding in much of Antarctica.
The article, available at, reports that “the results of ice-core drilling and sea ice monitoring indicate there is no large-scale melting of ice over most of Antarctica, although experts are concerned at ice losses on the continent's western coast.”

But East Antarctica is four times the size of west Antarctica and parts of it are cooling, the report says.

Antarctica has 90% of the Earth's ice and 80% of its fresh water. Extensive melting of Antarctic ice sheets would be required to raise sea levels substantially, says Australia Antarctic Division glaciology program head Ian Allison, "but sea ice conditions have remained stable in Antarctica generally."

In fact, a paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded.

TAGS: Legislative