Friday, February 2, 2007 (3:30 AM EST):Â Tune inÂ to listen to theÂ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC)Â webcastÂ announcing the WorkingÂ Group I’sÂ approval of theirÂ Fourth Asssessment Report.Â There’s no doubt theÂ global warmingÂ naysayers will critique the IPCC’s report withÂ gusto.Â But, as Naomi Oreskes writes in “Undeniable Global Warming” inÂ todayâs WashingtonÂ PostÂ “the chatter of skeptics is distracting us from the real issue: how best to respond to the threats that global warming presents.”Â
On the eve of the IPCC’s report release, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works heldÂ their ownÂ hearing on global warming.Â The Committee’s new Chair,Â Barbara Boxer (D-CA), challenged her colleagues to “face the challenge of global warming. It is one of the great challenges of this generation.”Â Mrs. Boxer’sÂ demeanor and deference to the science contrasted sharply to the hearing conducted just 7 weeks earlier by then-Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK).Â At his December 6, 2006 hearing the Senator blamed the media forÂ “hyping scientifically unfounded climate alarmism.â
Professor Oreskes, who testifiedÂ at Senator Inhofe’sÂ December 2006 hearing (at the invitation of the minority), triedÂ to impart her expertise as a Science Studies scholar with aÂ succinct history of climate science.
“The scientific evidence is clear: the predictions made decades ago by Arrhenius, Callendar, Plass, Suess, Revelle, Charney, MacDonald, Weinberg, White, the JASON committee, and many others, have come true.”
At yesterday’s hearing, the former ChairmanÂ stuck toÂ his script, saying he “looksÂ forward to vigorously pointing out the lack of scientific consensus” on global climate change.Â Look for Senator InhofeÂ to lead the bandwagon ofÂ non-scientists disparaging the IPCC Working Group’s product—a document prepared over several years of scientific debate and deliberation by aÂ team of more thanÂ 100Â oceanographers, mathematicians, physicists, geochemists,Â paleoclimatologists and other highly-skilled expert scientists.