[Marc Morano Note: Video and partial transcripts of the Congressional climate debate coming soon: Warmists Scott Denning and Jim Hurrell did not agree with each other on whether current temps are unprecedented in last 1000 years or whether there was an man-made global warming signal in current weather. Hurrell was alarmist with Denning being much less so. At one point, I told Hurrell, who studies models, that he had invested ‘faith’ not science, in the models. At another point, I pressed Denning on whether he agreed with Hurrell and Denning essentially admitted that he did not. Developing… – Morano’s testimony here.]
CLIMATE: In coal country, believers and skeptics spar over warming
Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter
Published: Friday, May 31, 2013
[Complete article available from E&E Greenwire – May 31, 2013 – subscription required]
Congressional Democrats have pressed their Republican colleagues for three years to hold a hearing on climate change, and yesterday one did — in the heart of West Virginia’s coal country.
Despite having introduced a bill last week that would bar U.S. EPA from promulgating rules that would require the use of carbon capture and storage technology until a panel of officials from outside the agency deemed it to be economically and technologically feasible, Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) hosted yesterday’s climate change forum in a technology park in Fairmont, W.Va.
McKinley’s office said “is fascinated by this issue” and read several books on climate change in preparation for the event, including Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) “The Greatest Hoax,” which denies that man-made warming exists.
“The congressman’s take-away is that the science is still unclear,” said his office. “There needs to be open debate about this in Washington, and both sides need to be represented and simply talk.”
The West Virginia venue was chosen because McKinley wanted his constituents to be able to take part in the debate, his staff said. An effort was made to balance the invited guests between those who believe in climate change and those who do not.
“Many environmental groups declined to come as they felt it was not worth the discussion to come to W.Va.,” his office said. “But this was about bringing the debate to the citizens of West Virginia to hear both sides.”
Participants estimated the crowd at 70 people or fewer and said it appeared to be equally divided between skeptics and climate science believers. The discussion lasted more than three hours.
The diverse group of experts McKinley invited to the West Virginia High Technology Consortium included many of the same people Republicans frequently call to Capitol Hill to discuss the issue: contrarian scientists who say human emissions aren’t driving climate change, like atmospheric sciences professor John Christy of the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and skeptic activists like former Inhofe aide Marc Morano and Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
But the panel also included mainstream researchers who are among the 97 percent of scientists who agree that human emissions are driving climate change, according to a recent analysis of scientific papers.
These included Colorado State University atmospheric scientist Scott Denning and Jim Hurrell, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Earth System Laboratory.
Representatives of think tanks who were part of the event said they found McKinley’s approach to the issue encouraging.
“He made a few comments that did lift my spirits, and I thought, maybe he is really serious about trying to think about ways to deal with climate change,” said Joe Casola, senior scientist for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
He said McKinley, who is an engineer by training, asked several times what it might take for the United States to bring its emissions under control, something Casola called “a constructive beginning.”
But Casola said that if McKinley’s purpose in holding the hearing was to get a genuine read on the effect fossil fuel use is having on climate, he should have stocked his panel with mainstream scientists rather than skeptics whom he said frequently steered the discussion toward other topics, like preindustrial climate fluctuations.
Annie Petsonk of the Environmental Defense Fund, who also took part in the discussion, said she, too, was impressed with what she saw as McKinley’s genuine interest in climate change science and in how it might affect the Mountain State’s economy.
“He is clearly concerned about the issue of diversifying West Virginia’s economic base, which he should be,” Petsonk said. A major focus of the congressman’s remarks was how to keep technology research in West Virginia after Morgantown’s National Energy Technology Laboratory saw its budget hit by sequestration.
While McKinley’s office said West Virginia’s iconic coal mining industry would continue to grow, it pointed out that lower-emissions natural gas is also an important economic sector.
The state’s 1st District, which McKinley represents, has both wet and dry gas and the “possibility of several ‘crackers’ coming to the district bringing tens of thousands of jobs,” McKinley’s office said.
Climate skeptics, too, praised the event, saying it allowed them to make their case that human emissions are not having a significant effect on warming and that efforts to rein them in are unnecessary.
Morano called the event “refreshing.”
“When actual debate occurs like we saw at the hearing, we see just how much of man-made climate fears are based on ‘projections,’ ‘predictions’ and ‘maybes,'” Morano said.
He pointed out that scientists on the panel did not agree on several key points.
“Team global warming had a scientific civil war going on during the debate about whether there was a current global warming signal in our global average [temperatures] or even weather,” he said.
Associated Press features Climate Depot: ‘Climate change scientists, deniers clash in W.Va.’ at Congressional hearing — Morano in debate: Congress needs the courage to do nothing to regulate carbon dioxide emissions — ‘FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — A Republican congressman is trying to find common ground on climate change because fossil fuel-producing West Virginia will be affected by federal policies trying to address it. But the conflict between science and ideology that Rep. David McKinley says freezes debate in Washington also came to Fairmont. Marc Morano of the Climate Depot says Congress needs the courage to do nothing to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Like-minded panelists agree, saying that could increase energy prices and lower standards of living’ – ’But University of Colorado professor Scott Denning says people embrace new technology even if it’s more expensive, just as they moved from candles and horses to coal and electricity. Annie Petsonk of the Environmental Defense Fund says action is long overdue. She says forests, watersheds and lives are at risk.’
Submitted Written Testimony of Climate Depot’s Marc Morano at Congressional Hearing on Climate Change: ‘The Origins and Response to Climate Change’ — Morano to the U.S. Congress: ‘The scientific reality is that on virtually every claim — from A-Z — the claims of the promoters of man-made climate fears are failing, and in many instances the claims are moving in the opposite direction. The global warming movement is suffering the scientific death of a thousand cuts.’
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble! Sparks Set to Fly at Congressionally Sponsored Rare 3 Hour Climate Debate — Pits Skeptical Scientists vs. Man-Made Global Warming Promoters — Climate Depot’s Morano one of Featured Speakers – Washington, D.C.—Today, Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) announced a panel of distinguished experts in the field of climate science will conduct a panel discussion in Fairmont.
What: Discussion on the Origins and Response to Climate Change – Who: The Office of Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) and the West Virginia High Tech Consortium Foundation – Where: W.Va. High Tech Consortium Foundation, 5000 NASA Boulevard, I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont, WV – When: Thursday, May 30th from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – This event is open to the media and the public. Please call 202-225-4172 for more information or to R.S.V.P.
More Media Coverage of Congressional Climate Hearing: Experts: Diverse views on climate change — ‘Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who joined the summit via video conferencing, told the audience that high-temperature records are not becoming more numerous in the United States. He said current climate models can be very wrong statistically.’
Associated Press on Climate Hearing: Warmists Clash With Skeptics in 3-Hour Congressional Global Warming Debate: AGW Called ‘Sub-prime science’ — Carbon-based energy like coal is ‘one of the greatest liberators in the history of mankind’ — ‘Morano, a former aide to climate skeptic and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, calls global warming debates a “silly display of politics” built on “sub-prime science.” The suggestion that carbon dioxide in particular is fueling climate change “is absolutely not holding up,” he argued. ”We must have the courage to do nothing when it comes to regulating CO2 emissions,” Morano declared, calling carbon-based energy like coal “one of the greatest liberators in the history of mankind.”
Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute: ”The policies being promoted are insane,” Ebell said. “If you believe energy poverty is a good thing, you should support controls on carbon emissions. But most of the world disagrees with that.”
Like-minded professor John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, called affordable energy “the basis of our standard of living today.” While reducing CO2 emissions may or may not affect climate change, Christy said he’s certain it would raise energy costs. ”I’ve lived in Africa, and I can assure you that without energy, life is brutal and short,” Christy said. “…We are not bad people because we produce carbon dioxide.”
Following Climate Hearing, Rep. David B McKinley declares ‘the science is not settled’: Don’t Hurt U.S. Economy Based on Ideological Agenda — Rep. McKinley: ‘The discussion yesterday reinforced that the science is not settled on the role of humans in climate change. There is no reason to put our economy at risk for the sake of an ideological agenda. Congress cannot let President Obama do this by acting unilaterally on climate change.’
The main takeaway points: — Popular scare stories that weather extremes – hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods — are getting worse are not based on fact. In the U.S., high temperature records are not becoming more numerous. Climate models significantly overestimated warming during the past 15 years. Even if climate models were correct, a 50% reduction in U.S. CO2 emissions by 2050 would avert only 0.07°C of warming by 2100. If a policy is not economically sustainable, it’s not politically sustainable. The climate change impact of enhancing CO2 concentrations has so far been small compared to the public health and biospheric benefits provided by affordable, carbon-based energy.
Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry praises climate debate: ‘A growing number of scientists and advocates that support the consensus are now engaging with skeptics in the scientific and public debate; this is a good thing’ — Curry: ‘For a long time, those that supported the AGW consensus would not debate skeptics or otherwise engage with them, because they felt that such engagement would legitimize the skeptics. It seems that a growing number of scientists and advocates that support the consensus are now engaging with skeptics in the scientific and public debate; this is a good thing. Rep. Lamar Smith and Rep. David McKinley are making efforts to engage in the public debate on climate change in a productive way, which should be encouraged by Democrats and other supporters of climate/energy policy’
Climate Depot’s Marc Morano Routs Warming Movement at Congressional Hearing…’Suffering The Scientific Death Of A Thousand Cuts’ — Analysis: ‘Expert communicator Marc Morano routs the warmists’: ‘In his testimony, Morano sticks to the science, citing almost 2 dozen renowned international scientists, e.g.: Bengtsson, de Freitas, Plimer, Svensmark, Happer, Schmitt, Levitin, Curry, Christy, Pielke Jr., to name some. In the testimony, we do not see Morano using the diversionary tactic of questioning the billions in funding behind warmists scientists and activist groups. Keep the focus on the science and data!’ ‘The effective communication of skeptical science got a major boost when Marc Morano stepped onto the stage. Although Morano had already been active in debunking the AGW scare and the notion of consensus as Communications Director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under Senator James Inhofe in the 2000s, it wasn’t until he published his award-winning Climate Depot climate science/news clearinghouse site in 2009 that the message began to be heard in earnest. With Morano, the science debunking the AGW claim had now found a powerful and talented PR expert who effectively communicated the inconvenient climate science findings to the media and public. Often we find Morano on television, radio and in the print media, nationally and internationally. Since Morano helped fire up the climate science communication machinery, the debate for the skeptics has turned into a virtual rout of the warmists.’
Congressional global warming hearing features warmist scientist vs. warmist scientist on key point of whether current Earth’s temps and weather are unprecedented — Excerpt: Climate Depot’s Morano called the event ‘refreshing.’ ‘When actual debate occurs like we saw at the hearing, we see just how much of man-made climate fears are based on ‘projections,’ ‘predictions’ and ‘maybes,” Morano said. He pointed out that scientists on the panel did not agree on several key points. ‘Team global warming had a scientific civil war going on during the debate about whether there was a current global warming signal in our global average [temperatures] or even weather,’ he said.’