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Mr. Speaker, tonight and today we have been hearing a lot about the economic crisis throughout the globe. Parallel to the concern about the economic crisis is another concern that we have been told about, and that is the fear of global warming. It preoccupies much of what we do here in this House, and it preoccupies much of what is in the media, not only in the United States but throughout the world.
I would like to read a portion of a Newsweek article, Mr. Speaker. It says:
There are ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically, and that these changes may bring a drastic decline in food production with serious political implications for just about every nation on this earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps in only 10 years.
The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and Russia in the north, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas, parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indo-China and Indonesia, where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoons. The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.
In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by 2 weeks since 1950, with the result overall loss in grain production estimated up to 100,000 tons every year. During this same time, the average temperature around the equator has arisen by a fraction of a degree, a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation.
Last April, the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters, killed more than 300 people and caused one-half billion dollars worth of damage in 13 States in the United States.
To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advanced signs of a fundamental change in the world's weather. The central fact--and you note here, Mr. Speaker, it is a fact. It says: The central fact is that after three-quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate is beginning to cool down. That is right, Mr. Speaker, this article says the world is cooling down.
Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of this cooling trend as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions, but they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will produce agricultural productivity for rest of the century. If the climate change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. A major climate change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale, warns a recent report by the National Academy of Science.
This article goes on and on, Mr. Speaker, to talk about the new Ice Age affecting the world; how we are going to have a new Ice Age that will come to the United States, all parts of the world, how our whole attitude about the world will change because it will be a cold place. Basically, Mr. Speaker, Newsweek in 1975, April 28, said we are all going to freeze in the dark.
Now the people who said this--and I remember all of this taking place back in the seventies, and I believed this nonsense, that we are all going to freeze, that the Earth is getting colder, and that we can't do anything about it and that it will never correct itself. I bel