So at the invitation of Andrew Freedman of Climate Central I’ve been attending to the congressional hearings about climate this morning. I still think it something of a pointless charade; I doubt a lot of opinions are swayed, and the quality of discourse swings between awful and bizarre. But it provides a rich vein of ore for quote mining.
Waxman: If my doctor told me I had cancer, I wouldn’t scour the country to find someone who said I didn’t need to be treated.
Rush is enthusiastic about a carbon sequestration project in Illinois. “Listen to what the science is telling us,” he says as he ends his statement. Then he shows a giant cartoon that makes the “no-regrets” argument… “Even if its a big hoax, its a hoax that will provide” much good (green jobs, cleaner air etc)
If you’re playing the skeptic drinking game, Griffith is committed to getting you drunk. Vikings, Mars, global cooling… (@climatebrad)
Inslee: CDC says climate change affects health
Inslee “folks in the press report this like a divorce trial. He said she said.” Quote of the day? (Andrew Freedman)
Interesting points by witnesses:
Somerville: “Most of the people who claim to be Galileo are mistaken.” (@climatebrad)
Somerville reminds panel that IPCC scientists serve without pay. (@climatebrad)
“We have a window to act, but it closes soon.” – Dr. Richard Somerville http://bit.ly/hz5RMJ
Zwiers – best explanation for changes in extremes (particularly extreme temperatures) is “human influence on the climate system”
“The more we reduce emissions the less we will suffer” — Somerville
Christy – proposes that if US funds IPCC via taxpayer dollars, there should be a review panel comprised of climate skeptics to check their work.
Chris Field is testifying that 40 million tons of food production [in the US] has been lost as a result of climate change. This based on observations, not models.
Stunning” 4.5 degree increase in Lake Superior. * (C or F?)
Scary stat from Chris Field. A single day of temps @ 104 F instead of 84 F can reduce corn yields by 7% (@suzyji)Field – Warming of 1.8F in US increases loss in wildfires from 1.3m to 4.5m acres a year #eg http://bit.ly/32GHV (@suzyji)
Somerville: “Wrong to frame evidence [of climate change] as hanging from some very slender chain of evidence that can be cut by one paper.”
Somerville: “There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and we haven’t done a very good job of challenging it.”
– It’s interesting to contemplate where the burden of proof should be, given that EPA already has a finding of harm. Some speakers may raise doubts, but usually in emissions policy, the emitter has to prove that what they are doing is safe.
– [Christy’s] claim of observed temperature increase is less than half of what most groups say is observed
– [Pielke Sr] Focuses on “accumulation of joules”; but energy balance is what drives accumulation of joules, and greenhouse gases are crucial to that.
– McKinley wants one of the contrarians to say GHGs not implicated at all; nobody on panel apparently willing to say so
– The Mars business was handled well at RealCLimate a couple of years ago
– “What is the optimum temperature for humans” misses the point – the rates of change are the issue
– Christy suggests that “due process” is needed in “climategate” but there are no substantive accusations!
– Claim that ice in Antarctic is growing is very misleading; there is a slight increase in SEA ice, but not comparable to decline in the Arctic meanwhile there is increasing melt from the West Antarctic contributing to sea level
– Gavin Schmidt: This is not about sides. Bad arguments from any point of view devalue any discussion
– Gavin Schmidt: It’s worth pointing out that all of the climate scientists on the panel agree on many issues: that CO2 is increasing rapidly due to human influences, that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that the net human impact on climate (including the other GHGs, aerosols, land use etc.) have very likely driven warming over the last few decades.
– Roger Pielke, Jr.: Because Congress has granted EPA authority to regulate, and the agency has followed its legislative mandate. If Congress wants to change how EPA operates, fine, but it must do it comprehensively, not by seeking to overturn the endangerment finding via fiat.
– Roger Pielke, Jr.: Christy’ s discussion of extremes in his written testimony is sound. But irrelevant to regulatory decisions.
– Gavin Schmidt: Roger Pielke Sr. is pushing at an open door when discussing the multiple drivers of climate change. This has long been acknowledged by IPCC, the modelling groups, and most recently in assessements such as the UNEP report on black carbon and ozone. I think it is completely legitimate to take into account multiple forcings, and natural variability, yet still think that CO2, as the fastest growing forcing, and the one with the longest timescale, is still the dominant issue. But as the UNEP report showed, there are many actions that can be taken to reduce forcings from BC and ozone with current technology.
Roger Pielke Jr.: @thingsbreak, if either side wanted to discuss regulation, they should have regulation experts, not climate scientists, both sides are complicit in this charade
Gavin Schmidt: The IPCC has never claimed that “more hurricanes are directly related to climate change”. The statements in the TAR and AR4 are far more nuanced.
Roger Pielke Jr.: IPCC issues are far more nuanced than a yes/no question, see http://e360.yale.edu/feature/major_change_is_needed_if_the_ipcc_hopes_to_survive/2244/
Magnus Westerstrand :Climate change definitely could make growing crops for big parts of the world a problem http://www.nature.com/nclimate/2011/110208/full/nclimate1042.html
Roger Pielke, Jr. : Somerville being asked about policy, not fair. After writing extensively now about policy in his testimony, he now claims to want to stick to the science. These guys need better tutoring.
Philip Duffy: Christy asserting that the conclusion that humans causing climate change is “purely model driven.” Wrong!
Philip Duffy: Waxman: amazing that funding should be distributed based upon scientists point of view. I agree!
Magnus Westerstrand: Christy’s testimony answers should be written down… I just cant take the man serious any more… hope the journalists will report on this
Roger Pielke, Jr. : Inslee still not right on CO2 as only effect on Arctic
Chris Colose : The peer-reviewed article is much more nuanced than Inslee
@milesgrant: DANG IT YOU #CLIMATE SCIENTISTS ARE GONNA TALK POLITICS IF IT’S THE LAST THING I DO – every GOPer on this committee
@milesgrant: 0 women, 0 minorities, 0 people younger than Yoda.
Eli Kintisch: In general I would say this hearing is a disappointment: the issue of whether congress can/should have a close control on EPA decisions is at least an interesting one that different people who are reasonable can disagree about. So far little discussion of that issue at all. 🙁 Maybe because these are scientists the real issue is just not coming up. Weird hearing.
thingsbreak: First time point explicitly made that you have to compare costs of action directly to costs of inaction?
John Cook : Cost of inaction vs cost of action: http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=11
Eli Kintisch: A very prominent reporter I won’t name is playing Hearts in the press table…
@climatebrad: @JimInhofe questions whether “more carbon into the air will cause higher greenhouse gas concentrations” http://1.usa.gov/hmYzyt #climate
@climatebrad: This Washington Times editorial might be the dumbest argument against global warming yet — http://bit.ly/eKAvfB
@climatebrad: Pic of Inslee with his stack of science books #scopesclimatetrial http://yfrog.com/hsy3juoj
@suzyji: Here we go. Chair Ed Whifield: I only brought one of many books doubting global warming. Cdn’t fit all of them in car. Sigh
@suzyji: V impressed that huge stack of climate books on Inslee’s desk hasn’t toppled over
Somerville vs. Pielke Sr. on science in politics: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/03/two-view-on-science-and-politics.html (via RPJr.)
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2005/08/22/comment-on-my-resignation-from-the-ccsp-committee-temperature-trends-in-the-lower-atmosphere-steps-for-understanding-and-reconciling-differences/ (via RP jr.)
Burress falsely repeated the “cooling consensus” myth. paper here: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1 (via ThingsBreak)
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030948.shtml on extreme events (via Gavin Schmidt)
@milesgrant: Quick recap of some of top campaign contributors to a few of loudest questioners of #climate science in this hearing: http://bit.ly/i1pNWW