Former Obama Energy official slams ‘consensus’ – Says ‘intense debates within climate science’ concealed
Mr. Koonin, a theoretical physicist, is director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University. He served as undersecretary of energy for science during President Obama’s first term.
Steven Koonin, The Wall Street Journal
Put the ‘consensus’ to a test, and improve public understanding, through an open, adversarial process.
Image result for red teaming
Tomorrow’s March for Science will draw many thousands in support of evidence-based policy making and against the politicization of science. A concrete step toward those worthy goals would be to convene a “Red Team/Blue Team” process for climate science, one of the most important and contentious issues of our age.
The national-security community pioneered the “Red Team” methodology to test assumptions and analyses, identify risks, and reduce—or at least understand—uncertainties. The process is now considered a best practice in high-consequence situations such as intelligence assessments, spacecraft design and major industrial operations. It is very different and more rigorous than traditional peer review, which is usually confidential and always adjudicated, rather than public and moderated.
The public is largely unaware of the intense debates within climate science. At a recent national laboratory meeting, I observed more than 100 active government and university researchers challenge one another as they strove to separate human impacts from the climate’s natural variability. At issue were not nuances but fundamental aspects of our understanding, such as the apparent—and unexpected—slowing of global sea-level rise over the past two decades.
Summaries of scientific assessments meant to inform decision makers, such as the United Nations’ Summary for Policymakers, largely fail to capture this vibrant and developing science. Consensus statements necessarily conceal judgment calls and debates and so feed the “settled,” “hoax” and “don’t know” memes that plague the political dialogue around climate change. We scientists must better portray not only our certainties but also our uncertainties, and even things we may never know. Not doing so is an advisory malpractice that usurps society’s right to make choices fully informed by risk, economics and values. Moving from oracular consensus statements to an open adversarial process would shine much-needed light on the scientific debates.
Given the importance of climate projections to policy, it is remarkable that they have not been subject to a Red Team exercise. Here’s how it might work: The focus would be a published scientific report meant to inform policy such as …
Climategate Update: Judicial Watch Sues for Records between Key Obama Admin Scientists Involved In Climate Controversies
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch today announced it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia asking the court to compel the U.S. Department of Commerce to turn over all records of communications between a pair of federal scientists who heavily influenced the Obama administration’s climate change policy and its backing of the Paris Agreement (Judicial Watch v. Department of Commerce (No. 1:17-cv-00541)).
The suit was filed after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”), a component of the Department of Commerce, failed to respond to a February 6 FOIA request seeking
- All records of communications between NOAA scientist Thomas Karl and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren.
- The FOIA request covers the timeframe of January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017.
Karl, who until last year was director of the NOAA section that produces climate data, the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), was the lead author of a landmark paper that was reported to have heavily influenced the Paris Agreement.
Holdren, a former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, director of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and long-time proponent of strong measures to curb emissions.
According to The Daily Mail, a whistleblower accused Thomas Karl of bypassing normal procedures to produce a scientific paper promoting climate alarmism:
A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.
The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. …
But the whistleblower, Dr. John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.
It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr. Bates devised.
His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a
Paris climate pact should be abandoned – ‘Simply rolling back Obama environmental rules is not enoug’
Testifying before Congress, Ph.D. statistician Kevin Dayaratna trashes the Obama era Interagency Working Group (IWG) estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) — a metric to quantify economic damages associated with carbon dioxide emissions used to justify increased government regulations.
DR. DAYARATNA: “There are a variety of issues with these SCCs– the IAMs (Integrated Assessment Models) associated with these SCCs. The most fundamental issue is that they are extremely sensitive to very, very reasonable changes in assumptions. As I was referring to using the time horizon to 300 years, if you shift that to 150 years, which is still unrealistic, you get a drastically different estimate of the SCC. The discount rate– if you use a 7 percent discount rate, as mandated by the OMB(Office of Management and Budget), under the FUND model you will get a negative Social Cost of Carbon. And, the policy implication there would be that we shouldn’t be taxing carbon dioxide emissions but subsidizing it.”
Hearing: At what cost? Examining the Social Cost of Carbon
Subcommittee on Environment
US House Science Committee
February 28, 2017…
Office of Senator DeLeon
Conversation with former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
February 8, 2017
Excerpt: The head of the EPA under President Barack Obama vehemently denied politicians and environmentalists waged a “war on coal.”There’s just one problem. She was sitting in front of a “coal sucks” poster in the office of California’s top state senator. Former EPA chief Gina McCarthy huddled with Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento Thursday to advise them on how the state could move forward with policies aimed at fighting global warming while the Trump administration dismantled Obama’s environmental agenda.…
Repent Ye Sinners to Stop Bad Weather! Wash Post features theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite urging us to ‘repent’ for our ‘sin’ of causing Typhoon Haiyan due to the ‘moral evil of climate change denial’ – ‘Suffering and the sin of climate change denial’
The book of revelation type claims made in the movie Ghostbusters has even been compared to the modern global warming movement. See: ‘The dead rising from the grave!’ Global warming claims imitate scene from 1984 comedy ‘Ghostbusters’ – ‘A disaster of biblical proportions…real wrath of God type stuff’
Global warming religion advances: ‘Sin, guilt, tithes, penance, punishment, sacrifice, and now we have the sacred peer-reviewed scriptures’ – Climate Depot’s Exclusive Round up of Religion climate claims
Claims that 2016 was “the hottest year on record” are drawing sharp criticism from scientists who say it reflects how global warming has become more social crusade than evidence-based science.
“The Obama administration relentlessly politicized science and it aggressively pushed a campaign about that politicized science,” said Steven E. Koonin, who served as under secretary for science in Obama’s Department of Energy from 2009 to 2011.
Koonin, a theoretical physicist at New York University who once worked for energy giant BP, also blamed a “happily complicit” media for trumpeting the now-departed Obama administration’s dubious claim.
The controversy began in mid-January when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a report declaring that “the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2016 was the highest among all years since record-keeping began in 1880.”
NOAA fixed the 2016 increase at 0.04 degrees Celsius. The British Met Office reported an even lower rise, of 0.01C. Both increases are well within the margin of error for such calculations, approximately 0.1 degrees, and therefore are dismissed by many scientists as meaningless.
The reports, however, set the global warming bell towers ringing. Gavin Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was quoted at Climate Central referring to the past temperature record and saying “2016 has really blown that out of the water.”
Following the lead of the Schmidt and government press releases, USA Today wrote that “the planet sizzled to its third straight record warm year in 2016.” The New York Times’ front-page headline said, “Earth Sets Temperature Record for Third Straight Year.” The article declared that the latest readings were “trouncing” earlier numbers and the planet had thus “blown past” the previous records.
Such characterizations are absurd, according to Richard Lindzen, a meteorology professor at MIT and one of the world’s foremost skeptics that global warming represents an existential threat.
“It’s typical misleading nonsense,” Lindzen said in an e-mail. “We’re talking about less than a tenth of degree with an uncertainty of about a quarter of a degree. Moreover, such small fluctuations – even if real – don’t change the fact that the trend for the past 20 years has been much less than models have predicted.”
Koonin suggested the White House and the media could consider an alternative presentation of what’s happening.
“I think simply by having the government press releases on
President #Donald Trump has issued a new executive order that could literally kill the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and roll back onerous #Climate Change regulations. It directs federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new one that gets passed. It also sets a regulatory budget for next year to zero dollars. Trump said this new order would be the “largest ever cut by far in terms in regulation.” Trump has given agencies the authority to decide what rules they want to roll back before the White House reviews them. There calling it the “one in, two out” rule.
The latest order would ostensibly cut many of the onerous regulations laid down by former EPA chief Gina McCarthy. Many were rolled out just weeks before Inauguration Day while others have been percolating through the legal system as individual states and industry sue the federal government for overreach. Trump said clean air and water were his first priority, but the environmental rule-making has gotten out of control.