February 1, 2007 The Pump Handle 0Comment

Friday, February 2, 2007 (3:30 AM EST): Tune in to listen to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) webcast announcing the Working Group I’s approval of their Fourth Asssessment Report.  There’s no doubt the global warming naysayers will critique the IPCC’s report with gusto.  But, as Naomi Oreskes writes in “Undeniable Global Warming” in today’s Washington Post “the chatter of skeptics is distracting us from the real issue: how best to respond to the threats that global warming presents.” 

On the eve of the IPCC’s report release, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held their own hearing on global warming.  The Committee’s new Chair, Barbara Boxer (D-CA), challenged her colleagues to “face the challenge of global warming. It is one of the great challenges of this generation.”  Mrs. Boxer’s demeanor and deference to the science contrasted sharply to the hearing conducted just 7 weeks earlier by then-Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK).  At his December 6, 2006 hearing the Senator blamed the media for “hyping scientifically unfounded climate alarmism.”

Professor Oreskes, who testified at Senator Inhofe’s December 2006 hearing (at the invitation of the minority), tried to impart her expertise as a Science Studies scholar with a 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 Chairman stuck to his script, saying he “looks forward to vigorously pointing out the lack of scientific consensus” on global climate change.  Look for Senator Inhofe to lead the bandwagon of non-scientists disparaging the IPCC Working Group’s product—a document prepared over several years of scientific debate and deliberation by a team of more than 100 oceanographers, mathematicians, physicists, geochemists, paleoclimatologists and other highly-skilled expert scientists.

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