The clash over “global warming” has been ratcheted up another degree this week, with one member of Congress demanding U.S. taxpayer funding for the research be halted and scientists who have been accused of slipshod and deceptive work planning a campaign of retaliation against their critics.
The controversy moved to the front burner late last year when a series of e-mails was hacked from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain that indicate scientists were hiding and manipulating data and trying to marginalize critics.
University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit
The revelations were significant, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed two findings Dec. 7 that concluded greenhouse gases in the atmosphere “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” The EPA’s rulings could mean thousands of dollars in additional taxes for individual consumers.
Now, Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Joe Barton, R-Texas, is citing the doubts about the integrity of “climate change” science in a letter asking for an accounting of U.S. taxpayer support for the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC.
The U.S. since 1994 has given some $50 million to the panel, and contributions under Obama now have doubled.
Barton, writing to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asked the State Department to stop any contributions until an up-to-date audit is released.
“In recent months, the IPCC has come under significant criticism for the quality of its principal work product: the periodic assessments of the causes of climate change and related impacts from a changing climate,” Barton wrote.
“Various reports have identified problems concerning quality-control procedures, peer review, and political influence on the assessment writeups, raising serious questions about the scientific integrity of the enterprise,” he said.
The congressman asked Clinton to provide details of U.S. funding and state what controls – if any – have been placed on the funds.
Meanwhile, the Washington Times reports “global warming” scientists are preparing to strike back at their critics.
The report by Stephen Dinan said the newspaper had obtained private e-mails in which climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences said they were tired of “being treated like political pawns.”
The e-mails revealed a strategy to form a nonprofit group that would challenge “global warming” critics in public newspaper ads. One suggested “an outlandlishly aggressively partisan approach” that would gut credibility of critics.
“Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules,” Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails obtained by the newspaper.
Many of the scientists in the “climate change” advocacy camp have been “under siege,” the newspaper reported, since the East Anglia e-mails revealed discussions about skewing data to push chosen results.
Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., has suggested the Justice Department investigate scientists for potentially falsifying data.
Judith Curry, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said scientists should be shoring up their own research and eliminating mistakes.
“Hinging all of these policies on global climate change with its substantial element of uncertainty is unnecessary and is bad politics, not to mention having created a toxic environment for climate research,” she told the newspaper.
In the Telegraph in the U.K., writer James Delingpole who has followed the “Climategate” scandal as the purloined e-mails have been dubbed, said the arguments are beginning to border on paranoia.
The issue, he said, no longer has anything to do with climate, global warming or even science.
“It’s about economics. Politics. Money. The taxpayer versus Big Government,” he wrote.
That report said Americans would be looking at $7-a-gallon gasoline if they are required to meet President Obama’s targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The report cited work from Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, which concluded a “carbon dioxide tax” would have to start at $30 a ton in 2010 and grow to $60 a ton in 2030, for the dollars to line up.
Among the scandals listed are:
- ClimateGate: The scandal over the CRU e-mails from East Anglia.
- FOIGate: In which British officials are investigating whether East Anglia scientists refused to follow that nation’s freedom of information law about their work.
- ChinaGate: In which dozens of weather monitoring stations in rural China apparently have simply disappeared. This would lead to higher temperature averages since city levels frequently are warmer.
- HimalayaGate: In which an Indian climate official admitted in January that he falsely claimed Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035 to prod governments into action.
- And PachauriGates I and II, SternGates I and II, AmazonGate (in which a claim that global warming would wipe out rain forests was exposed as a fraud), PeerReviewGate, RussianGate I and II and nearly a dozen others.
WND reported recently when the St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, the largest private coal company in the world, petitioned the EPA to re-examine its decisions in light of the controversy over the scientists’ e-mails.
The company noted the “seriousness of the flaws” in the work.
Given the EPA’s “extensive reliance on those reports, “the “agency has no legal option but to re-examine the Endangerment Finding in light of this new information,” the petition said.
“Peabody believes that EPA ignored its obligation to render sound judgment and conduct a rigorous review of science, instead relying almost exclusively on the work of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a major basis for its recent endangerment finding,” the company said.
That panel “is not subject to U.S. data quality standards,” and further, the EPA “outsourced its scientific obligations to an agency whose work has since been shown to be deeply tainted by flaws, in light of multiple instances of errors, manipulated data and gaps in information that make conclusions unreliable.”
At the ClimateGate.com website, commentator John O’Sullivan noted the petition covers the entire body of “leaked e-mails.”
“Peabody is, in effect, challenging the right of the current U.S. federal government to introduce cap and trade regulations by the ‘back door,’” O’Sullivan noted.
“[The] civil action lists most of the principle scientists such as Professor Phil Jones, of the U.K.’s Climatic Research Unit, who recently admitted there has been no ‘statistically significant’ global warming for 15 years and agreed the Medieval Warm Period may have been just as warm, if not warmer than current global temperatures,” O’Sullivan said.
He pointed out that the Peabody legal challenge uses e-mails from climatologists to make its points. One, from Keith Briffa, said, “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple.”
The e-mail continued, “I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1,000 years ago.”
Texas officials also have filed a lawsuit accusing the federal government of using “tainted” information to arrive at the EPA conclusion and it asks that the EPA’s decisions be set aside. Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, also filed a petition demanding the EPA reconsider its greenhouse gas finding.
The disunity is documented by the Petition Project, launched some 10 years ago when the first few thousand signatures were gathered. The effort by Art Robinson, a research professor of chemistry and cofounder of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in 1973, now lists tens of thousands of qualified scientists who endorse the following statement:
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.
Among the original e-mails hacked from East Anglia and posted online was, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society) 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”