John Cross

A Rational Discussion of Climate Change - Maybe?

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Tomorrow, the Subcommittee on Energy & Environment of the US House of Representative will be holding a hearing tomorrow titled “A Rational Discussion of Climate Change: the Science, the Evidence, the Response”. The hearing has been divided into three panels (I recall there were titles attached to each panel, but I can’t find it now – if you come across it, please let me know in comments).

In my experience, when looking at these types of panels one of the most interesting things to see is who has been invited to present to the hearing. Each panel has 4 presenters and it appears that the Republicans were allowed to select a presenter for each panel. The presenters are listed below along with links to give you some background of them and their positions.

Panel I
* Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone
* Dr. Heidi M. Cullen
* Dr. Gerald A. Meehl
* Dr. Richard Lindzen

Panel II
* Dr. Benjamin D. Santer
* Dr. Richard B. Alley
* Dr. Richard A. Feely
* Dr. Patrick J. Michaels

Panel III
* Rear Admiral David W. Titley
* Mr. James Lopez
* Mr. William Geer
* Dr. Judith Curry


I think it is very telling who the Republicans selected for their members: Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Michaels and Dr. Curry. Dr. Lindzen and Dr. Michaels are probably the most prominent of the doubters, but they carry with them a large amount of baggage which includes some very poor published work. The presentation I am looking forward most to is Dr. Curry’s. Dr. Curry is an interesting figure. She knows the basic science very well, but seems to have some unique views on the uncertainties associated with climate change. I think it is also telling that Dr. Wegman, their star performer from the hearing 4 years ago is absent in this one.

Now, consider the other presenters. They are not part of the group of scientists associated with Real Climate so they don’t have the baggage that – for example a Dr. Michael Mann – would have. Instead we have representatives from the leading scientific organizations, NGOs and even the military. I think that what we will see is a strong statement of the science from most of the members but the typical statements from Dr. Lindzen and Michaels (my prediction, criticism of the models will form part of Lindzen’s statement). Unknown what Curry will say. Tomorrow should be interesting.

Update: The Hearing Charter is now out which is very good reading. It gives a very brief synopsis of what each speaker will talk about (and yes, I win my bet that Lindzen will talk about models). However the background information is very well writen and presents the background science much better than I expected. This should be a very interesting hearing.

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This page contains a single entry by John Cross published on November 16, 2010 10:01 PM.

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