In a generally fact-free diatribe, which by now has been widely denounced, Juergen Tritten, German Environment Minister, appears to blame the Bush administration for hurricanes. Focusing on the few places where he makes a factual assertion, the facts fail to support his arguments. Tritten: “No single storm can be traced back to climate change, but three things can be scientifically proven beyond doubt. First, natural catastrophes are drastically increasing in frequency and magnitude.”
Compare the data from the 1850’s to the 1990’s, or see if you can find a trend line in these historical records of hurricanes in the US. Or is Tritten proposing that earthquakes in the Pacific and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico arise from a common cause?
Tritten: “The United States has a four percent of the world’s population and is responsible for 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Although their standards of living are roughly the same, the average American generates more than twice as much CO2 than the average European.” The United States, with its four percent of the world’s population, also generates 27% of the world’s goods and services, consuming about the same amount. Our production of carbon dioxide actually seems to be about 22.5%, not 25%. Comparing carbon dioxide production per capita, rather than per unit of output, makes places like Niger look like examples for us to follow. And anyway, the US share of world population is closer to five percent than to four.
If this was a typical leftist editorial-writer, this would be no more than another irritant. Tritten, though, is a cabinet-level official of the German government, and presumably speaks for his country. I think the US ambassador should deliver a letter of protest and a carton of high school math and science books.
Hat tip: Watching America
Update: Instead of global whining, a better approach is probably just getting money to those who will spend it to relieve the human suffering. I took the liberty of signing up the Chicago Boyz as a sponsoring blog at The Truth Laid Bear. Here is Instapundit’s list of organizations you could help. I suggest, among others, AmeriCares. According to their 2004 financial statements, out of $818 million in expenditures, $808 million was program expenses, which is the cost of goods and services delivered. This indicates a very lean organization where your donation will be put to work, rather than recycled into fundraising efforts. Dig deep, and thanks for the tip, Arjan!