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Climategate: From Skepticism to Investigation

Posted By Nicolas Loris On December 2, 2009 @ 5:18 pm In Energy | Comments Disabled

But as Climategate proves, a bit of skepticism will rarely steer you wrong. In fact, it’s one of the key elements of rational thinking.”

Those words come from David Harsanyi’s excellent column in the Denver Post. He writes [1],

As President Barack Obama heads to Copenhagen to work on an international deal that surrenders even more of our unsightly carbon-driven prosperity to the now-somewhat-less- than-irrefutable science of climate change, shouldn’t he offer more than a flippant statement through a spokesperson on the scandal? The talks, after all, will be based on the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, which was partially put together by the very same scandal-ridden scientists.

Now, I do not, on any level, possess the expertise to argue about the science of anthropogenic global warming. Nor do you, most likely. This certainly doesn’t mean an average citizen has the duty to do the lockstep.”

As Phil Jones, the head scientist at University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) steps down [2], increased skepticism as a result of Climategate is rightly evolving into a full-fledged investigation. U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) weighed in at today’s hearing on the climate emails held by the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, saying [3], “Sound science policy depends on sound science. When the science itself is politicized, it becomes impossible to make objective political decisions. Scientific policy depends on absolute transparency.”

But Obama’s science czar, John Holdren (also a sender of one of the hacked emails) held is ground at the hearing, affirming [4]that it is “beyond any reasonable doubt” that man is the chief contributor to warming planet. He went on to say [4], “However this controversy comes out, the result will not call into question the bulk of our understanding of how the climate works or how humans affect it.”

Also today, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight Ranking Member Paul Broun (R-GA) sent a 34-page letter [5]to Holdren reminding him that President Obama sent a memo to him to “guarantee scientific integrity throughout the executive branch.” Holdren did acknowledge the emails are a problem that needs to be resolved but his beliefs on manmade warming appear to bet set in stone.

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) is pushing for investigation to come from the Senate side as well. Yesterday he sent a letter [6]to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) calling for hearings regarding the leaked emails, emphasizing that climate research affects [6]“everything from ( to name a few ) cap-and-trade legislation, state and regional climate change programs, the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202( a ) of the Clean Air Act,” the US Global Change Research Program, global climate models used by federal agencies, the Department of Interior’s coordinated strategy to address climate change impacts, and international climate change negotiations.”

Maybe the scandal won’t be everything the skeptics hope for but Heritage Senior Policy Analyst David Kreutzer reminds us that “Few policy questions, and none with as big a price tag, are based so fundamentally on there being a scientific consensus.” The least we can do is a little prying and poking.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/12/02/climategate-from-skepticism-to-investigation/

URLs in this post:

[1] writes: http://www.denverpost.com/harsanyi/ci_13903342

[2] steps down: http://www.foundry.org/2009/12/01/climate-emails-have-rippling-effects/

[3] saying: http://republicans.globalwarming.house.gov/Press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=2740

[4] affirming : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125977808310373065.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLEThirdNews

[5] sent a 34-page letter : http://gop.science.house.gov/PressRoom/Item.aspx?ID=207

[6] he sent a letter : http://media-newswire.com/release_1107119.html

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