A Democratic staff member wheels graphs into the Senate chamber before an all-night session on climate change. (New York Times photo)
Noted climate scientist Harry Reid took to the floor of the Senate during that gab-a-thon in which he and a gaggle of other like-minded senators spent Monday night and Tuesday morning telling everyone who has any doubts whatsoever about the doom and gloom urgency of global warming, climate change or extreme weather or whatever they are calling it this week, since the facts keep getting in the way of their theories, to basically sit down and shut up.
In his prepared remarks, from which he strayed repeatedly with pointless asides and feigned astonishment, Reid preached:
“And I am grateful to Senator Schatz, Senator Whitehouse and Senator Boxer – and many other Senators who will join this climate change debate tonight – for standing up to the deniers. It’s time to stop acting like those who ignore this crisis – the oil baron Koch brothers and their allies in Congress – have a valid point of view.
“In the last few years alone, the Midwest has experienced the most punishing drought since the Great Depression, wildfires have ravaged the west and the mighty Mississippi River nearly ran dry. While record drought afflicted some parts of the United States, torrential rains and extreme thunderstorms struck others. Temperatures topped 60 degrees in Alaska in January, but February brought a blanket of snow and ice to Atlanta, Georgia.
“In other parts of the world glaciers and ice sheets that have been frozen for tens of thousands of years are melting. Fires have consumed vast forests and monsoons and super-floods have left millions homeless. And since the New Year, the United Kingdom has had its wettest winter since the 1800’s, Tokyo was blanketed with four years’ worth of snow and Australia experienced its hottest summer on record.
“Scientists say this is just the beginning. Dozens of reports from scientists around the globe link extreme weather to climate change. And the more extreme climate change gets, the more extreme the weather will get.”
On the other hand, a real climate scientist, Madhav Khandekar — a former research scientist from Environment Canada and was an Expert Reviewer for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 2007 climate change documents — has a somewhat different take on whether we are experiencing extreme weather.
Khandekar notes there has been a warming pause for 16 years and asks how recent extreme weather events could be attributed to warming of the Earth’s climate when it hasn’t happened?
Here are a few summary points from his paper “The Global Warming-Extreme Weather Link: A Review Of The State Of Science”:
• Many climate scientists and environmentalists have attributed recent extreme weather events to the warming of the Earth’s climate. However, this attribution is not substantiated at this point in time. A careful assessment of many well-publicized extreme weather events of the last ten years suggests that they are due to natural climate variability.
• Hurricanes and tropical storms do not show increasing trends in frequency or in intensity.
• When closely examined there appears to be no increase in extreme weather events in recent years compared to the period 1945–77, when the Earth’s mean temperature was declining. …
• Cold weather extremes have definitely increased in recent years; for example, the severe winters in Europe (2012/13, 2011/12, 2009/10) and North America (2012/13, 2007/08). There have also been colder winters in parts of Asia (2012/13, 2002/03) and South America (2007, 2010 and 2013).
• The Earth’s climate may witness cold as well as warm weather extremes in future (between now and 2025). …
A final comment: global warming and extreme weather pose no threat to humanity, either at present or in the next ten to twenty-five years.
But Reid says the debate over, done with, fini. “Climate change is real. It’s here,” Reid said, adding that it was time to stop acting as if those who ignore it “have a valid point of view. They don’t.”
Tell that to the The Right Climate Stuff research team, more than 25 retired NASA Apollo Program veterans who have been studying scientific claims of significant Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).
Among their conclusions:
“It is scientifically embarrassing that the EPA has declared CO2 to be a pollutant that must be regulated, since it is a naturally occurring substance required to sustain human, animal and plant life, and for which there is no substitute.
“We have concluded that the IPCC climate models are seriously flawed because they don’t agree very closely with measured empirical data. After a 35 year simulation the models over-predicted actual measured temperatures by factors of 200% to 750%. One could hardly expect them to predict with better accuracy 300 years into the future required for use in regulatory decisions. …
“There is no convincing evidence that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) will produce catastrophic climate changes. AGW can only produce modest amounts of global warming that will likely be beneficial when the substantial benefits to crop production from more CO2 in the atmosphere are considered.”
May I remind the senior senator from Nevada of what John Stuart Mill wrote in “On Liberty” in 1859:
“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
“It is necessary to consider separately these two hypotheses, each of which has a distinct branch of the argument corresponding to it. We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.”
Evil, Harry, evil.
But none of that will stop Harry’s attempts to shutdown the debate and funnel more money to his green energy cronies: