President Obama frequently states, as he did on May 29 at a Chicago fundraiser: "We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago." His Climate Action Plan is based on this belief. But, is it correct?
On Thursday, July 18, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing: "Climate Change: It's Happening Now" -- chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Because Democrats control the Senate, they get more witnesses at a hearing than Republicans. Thursday's hearing had two panels. Each had three experts (invited by the Democrats) who supported the "alarmist' position on global warming held by most Democrats and two (invited by the Republicans) who could be called "skeptics."
During the Q & A time with the first panel--which included the Democrat's star: Heidi Cullen of Weather Channel fame, Ranking Member Sen. David Vitter, R-La., asked: "Can any witnesses say they agree with Obama's statement that warming has accelerated during the past 10 years?"
After an awkward silence, Cullen tried to change the subject by saying that we need to be looking at longer time periods then 10 years and then, ultimately, acknowledged that the warming has slowed, not accelerated.
A few minutes later, Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., made sure no one missed the point. He repeated Obama's claim and then asked: "Do any of you support that quote?" Again, silence.
Even the witnesses brought in by the Democrats couldn't support Obama's false data. But, there were other interesting aspects of the nearly four-hour-long hearing.
Chairman Boxer, in her opening statement, proclaimed: "Predictions of climate change are coming true right before our eyes." She added, "We can look out the window and see the evidence of climate change mounting around us."
In preparation for the hearing, the minority produced an important report: "Critical Thinking on Climate Change: Questions to Consider Before Taking Regulatory Action and Implementing Economic Policies."
The 21-page report's introduction states: "Over nearly four decades, numerous predictions have had adequate time to come to fruition, providing an opportunity to analyze and compare them to today's statistics. … This report posits that as the developing world has greatly expanded its use of fossil energy and CO2 emissions have increased, then the predictions and claims regarding human influence on climate patterns should be apparent and easily proven."
The remaining 19 pages are filled with predictions and claims -- including Obama's -- that are false or foolish, such as former Vice President Al Gore's on December 13, 2008: "The entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years."
And a 1989 statement from the Associated Press: "Using computer models, researchers conclude that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide by two degrees by 2010."
Each set of predictions and claims is countered by "The Latest Science." Reading the report, one finds that the claims often contradict the data.
Back to Boxer. She starts with dramatic predictions about heat waves, tropical storms and hurricanes -- which will be more frequent and intense.
The first witness was Cullen, Chief Climatologist at Climate Central -- who continued with the "extreme weather events" theme: "The impacts of human-caused climate change are being observed right here and right now in our own backyards and neighborhoods." She said that warming is happening very, very quickly and that it is expected to accelerate.
While Boxer and Cullen set the stage, witnesses number nine and 10, Roger Pielke, Jr., and Roy Spencer provided the final act in Thursday's theater.
Pielke, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado and the author of Climate Fix, started with seven "take-home points" that totally eviscerated Boxer and Cullen's "extreme weather" claims.
Showing a series of charts and graphs, Pielke convincingly proved: "It is misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally. It is further incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases."
Last, but surely not least, was Roy Spencer who holds a Ph.D. in Meteorology and has spent his entire career in research -- specifically satellite information retrieval techniques and global temperature monitoring. Spencer has served NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center as Senior Scientist for Climate Studies.
Spencer demonstrated the failure of the computer model predictions upon which the IPCC based their projections of global warming.
He offered a chart demonstrating the 73 models used and their predictions versus the actual temperature measurement from two satellite datasets and four weather balloon datasets.
"The level of disagreement between models and observations is quite striking," he said.
Spencer pointed out: "The magnitude of global-average atmospheric warming between 1997 and 2012 is only about 50 percent that predicted by the climate models. …The level of warming in the most recent 15-year period is not significantly different from zero, despite this being the period of greatest greenhouse gas concentration. This is in stark contrast to claims that warming is 'accelerating.'"
He concludes: "It is time for scientists to entertain the possibility that there is something wrong with the assumptions built into their climate models. …and so far their error rate should preclude their use for predicting future climate change."
The hearing's "take-home points:" Obama lied. Boxer and Cullen's predictions are false. The models are inaccurate. So, for this we are going to ruin the economy and disproportionately hurt the poor?
The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE).