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Conservative grassroots group Grassfire.org wants people to waste as much energy as possible on June 12 by "hosting a barbecue, going for a drive, watching television, leaving a few lights on, or even smoking a few cigars."
The point: the group wants to "help Americans break free from the 'carbon footprint guilt' being imposed by Climate Alarmists."
Grassfire.org says it's skeptical over claims that man-made sources of carbon dioxide emissions -- from automobile exhausts to manufacturing plants -- are raising the Earth's temperature at a dangerous rate. Theories about global warming were highlighted by former Vice President Al Gore's 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth.
Grassfire.org president Steve Elliott, in a statement, said such theories are off the mark. "It's time for Americans to purge ourselves of the false guilt that Al Gore and the Climate Alarmists have placed on us," Elliott said.
Grassfire.org said it chose June 12 as the day it wants Americans to rev up their SUVs because it coincides with expected debate in Congress over a $1.2 billion carbon tax rebate program. "Carbon Belch Day will have at least as much impact on the so-called 'planetary emergency' of man-made global warming as the goofy save the earth mandates telling us to turn our lights off for an hour," said Elliott.
Cities around the world went dark for an hour on March 31 to mark "Earth Hour," an event created by the World Wide Fund for Nature to inspire people to find ways to use less energy.
Grassfire.org is the latest group to question whether global warming is a real phenomenon, or whether it's as severe as portrayed in Gore's film. London's Daily Telegraph this week called environmentalism "the new secular faith."
The paper said the United Kingdom's carbon credits program for industry is "just like the medieval trade in indulgences, where remission for sins was granted by the Church once the sinner confessed and received absolution."
Noted physicist Frederick Seitz, a former president of the National Academy of Sciences, has also questioned the accuracy of global warming theories, as have a number of other academics.
Despite such skepticism, many U.S. companies -- including IT vendors like Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft -- are developing new lines of energy-saving products billed as Earth friendly. IBM, for instance, recently launched Project Big Green, a $1 billion investment to increase the energy efficiency of the company's offerings.
For buyers of such systems, whether or not global warming is real is beside the point. Skyrocketing fuel costs are forcing businesses to cut down on energy consumption in as many ways as possible. As a result, it's unlikely many will decide to "belch" away hard-earned dollars on June 12.