Rep. Markey: “Those who deny global warming . . . have been refuted”

May 7, 2010

Chairman and scientist witnesses at May 6 hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

Members of commitee and scientist witnesses at May 6 hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. From left: Rep. Jay Inslee, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Dr. James Hurrell, Chairman Ed Markey, Dr. Lisa Graumlich, Dr. James McCarthy, and Dr. Chris Field

Excerpt from the opening statement from Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, at a May 6 hearing:

Those who deny global warming point to past uncertainties that have been refuted. They ignore the overwhelming observational evidence that the increased levels of heat-trapping pollution are already warming the planet. Instead of trying to understand the science, they use stolen emails about analysis of tree rings in Siberia to turn an honest discussion into a Russian Tree Ring Circus. Or they manufacture a cooling trend by cherry picking a few years out of a longer record of warming temperatures.

While the deniers hope to confuse the public, the real world consequences of inaction mount. Over the weekend, killer storms blew through Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. In Nashville, nearly 13 inches of rain fell in just over two days time – almost doubling the previous record that fell in the aftermath of a hurricane in 1979.

These storms follow the wettest March on record in Boston. Two 50-year storms occurred within 2 weeks of each other. The National Guard was mobilized. Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes. The region suffered millions of dollars in damages.

No single rainstorm can be attributed to climate change. Nor can a snowstorm disprove its existence. But the underlying science and the observed trends do point to more extreme weather events, especially heavy precipitation events because a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture.

Extreme rainfall is just one of the consequences of the carbon pollution we are releasing into the air. Our witnesses today will explain how science has revealed this unseen pollution for what it is and discuss the very real consequences of its continuing accumulation in the atmosphere.

As we approach summer, our clean energy debate needs to acknowledge what many would like to deny. Our dependence on oil carries with it national security, economic and environmental risks. As gas prices rise and the oil slick spreads, perhaps we will finally acknowledge that we cannot drill our way to independence. We have less than 3 percent of proven oil reserves. Perhaps we can also acknowledge the basic facts that have been known for decades—increasing carbon pollution in the atmosphere is warming the planet and that the only way to put a halt to such warming is to move to clean energy solutions.

Tell the anti-warmists to refute this:

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Climate denialism as Mrs. Gump might see it

May 7, 2010

Stupid is as stupid does.

Climate denialists trumpeted a hearing scheduled for Thursday before a select committee of the U.S. House of Representatives at which the madcap, veracity-challenged Christopher Monckton will carry the banner for denialism:

Also testifying to the panel will be another Briton, Lord Christopher Monckton, a hereditary peer in the House of Lords and prominent critic of the scientific consensus supporting anthropogenic climate change.

Of course, Monckton is not a hereditary peer of the House of Lords.  He has a peerage, but in Britain, they won’t let him near the levers of government.  No one has a hereditary peerage any more, and Monckton has never sat in Lords or Commons.

If Monckton can lie about stuff like that, what won’t he lie about?  If the denialists can be suckered so easily, what makes anyone think they are skeptics, and not gullibles? Bogus history, voodoo history, and voodoo science from the Republican end of the Select Committee.  Astonishing.

At the hearing a letter from 250 scientists, members of the National Academy of Sciences, called on Congress to act wisely and soon to fight human-caused global warming.

Incredibly, Monckton was the sole witness from the Republican side.  Remember the title of Chris Mooney’s book, The Republican War on Science? It’s still a valid title, it appears.

Witnesses at May 6, 2010 hearing before House Select Committee on Global Warming

Monckton squirms among the scientists: From left, Dr. James Hurrell, Dr. James McCarthy, Lord Christopher Monckton, Dr. Chris Field, Dr. Lisa Graumlich; photo from the Select Committee

The hearing was before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, chaired by Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.

Written statements from the May 6 hearing:

Statements are in .pdf format.

  • OPENING STATEMENT: Chairman Edward J. Markey
  • Dr. Lisa Graumlich, Director, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, and member of the “Oxburgh Inquiry” panel
  • Dr. Chris Field, Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, and co-chair of “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” portion of new IPCC report due in 2014
  • Dr. James McCarthy, Professor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University, past President and Chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, co-chair of “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” portion of IPCC report published in 2001
  • Dr. James Hurrell, Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research, contributor to IPCC reports
  • Lord Christopher Monckton, Chief Policy Adviser, Science and Public Policy Institute

The hearing got precious little press, but it’s interesting to see the blogs that lead the denialism charge try to ignore most of the hearing.


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