When it comes to global warming in the news, it tends to be a zero-sum game: it’s either Armageddon style scenarios or their lips are sealed. The latest victim is Roy Spencer, a research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA. Although his testimony last week before the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee fell on the media’s deaf ears, let’s hope his message resonates with policymakers:
Despite decades of persistent uncertainty over how sensitive the climate system is to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, we now have new satellite evidence which strongly suggests that the climate system is much less sensitive than is claimed by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). If true, an insensitive climate system would mean that we have little to worry about in the way of manmade global warming and associated climate change. And, as we will see, it would also mean that the warming we have experienced in the last 100 years is mostly natural.”
The rest of Spencer’s testimony moves though his research and climate model as well as policy implications as a result of his model. He suggests that if his model is correct, humans will be spared the catastrophic consequences proposed by Nobel Laureates Al Gore and the IPCC. Furthermore, any preemptive legislation could have grave results for the U.S. economy while having little impact on the environment.
Of course, this is only one study but it’s certainly not the first that questioned the science behind global warming and it won’t be the last. Spencer’s study should be given serious consideration rather than being maligned for going against the grain. ABC’s John Stossel is right in saying that the debate shouldn’t be over just yet.