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June 8, 2001
S6003 of days in space, to not Morida or about his experiences in that regard. I shown by Senator BYRD and Senator America but home becomes the planet, think he has opened up a new window STSVINB with their introduction of the this boautiful blue and white ball sus of onderstanding-certainly, to me. I climate Change Strategy and Techpended in the middle of nothing--and thank him.
nology Innovation Act of 2001. Senator space is nothing. Spese poes on and on. I look forward to hearing from Son- BYRD has shown great courago by takIt is an airless vacuum that goes on ator NILSON on future occasions and to ing action to address global warming to and on for billions of light-years. There working with him as we attempt to at such a forthright and courageous manin its midst, muspended, is this wonder- tack this growing problem. It is one ber. As Livy once wrote of the great tal creation called planet Earth, our which is going to be costly. It is going general Hannibal, Senator BIRD 18 prehome. As I would look at the rim of the to take money. We aro severely limited ferred in any action which called for Barth, I could see what sustains all of at this time. But I welcome bie ne vigor and courage, and under his lead our 1176. I could
see the atmosphero. As marks and always in association with ership the manor to this case his I would look farther, I would start to my own.
colleagues in the Sanate-"invariably see how we are measing it up.
Mr. President, I send to the desk the showed the best advantage of both dash For en ople, in ground track com- bill and ask for its referral.
and contidence.” Senator BYRD'S vigor ing aaross South America, I could look The PRESIDING OFFICER. The buil out the window of the spacecraft to the will be appropriately referred.
and wisdom in introducing this bil are west and, because of the color contrast, Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I yield the on historio parallel with the acts of
Hannibal. 9VBR from that uutudo I could see the floor. destruction of the rain forest in the
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, the I have been informed that the bih apper Amazon ragion.
Climate Change Strategy and Toch- will lkely be referred to the Govern Then, in the same window of the nology Innovation Act of 2001 asks for ment Affairs Committee, and as anaitspacecraft, I could look to the east at a commitment of the 207th Congress to
man of that committee, I look forward the mouth of the Amazon River and Develop bold, innovative technologies to reviewing it in detail. As I under could see the result of the destruction to better understand global climate stand it, this legislation will create an of the trees for the waters of the Atlan- change. I thank my friend Senator aggresaive comprehensive effort within tic which were discolored from the att BYRD for introducing this Bil and I am
the executive branch that will provide or hundreds of miles from the month proud to be an original co-sponsor.
the scrutiny and creative thought that of the Amazon. That was a result of the
On May 29, I chaired an Appropriadestruction of the trees hundreds of tions Committoe field dearing in Fair global warming requires. I hope that it
will be the tree otf of which other allmilos upriver.
banks, AK on the impact of global cliI came away from that experience de mate change on the arctic environ- mate abange measures will branch. As
Senator BYRD has said, it is meant to coming more of an environmentaltet. I ment. Witnesses included Dan Goldin, came away from that at parience with a the Head of the National Aeronautic complement, not replace, other mitiga
Space profonnd sense of obligation to become and
tion measures-measures that most 10
Soott & bettar ateward for our planet Karth. Gudes, the acting head of the National clade binding targets for emissions rc
anctions. The lagtalation that the Senator has Oceanic and Atmospheric Administraoffered is another step in attemptrag to tion; Dr. Rita Colwell, the Director of The timing for the introduction of get this Nation and this planet to rac
the National Satenon Foundation, this will could not be better. On ognize that something is changing: Charles Grost, the Director of the U.S. Wednesday, the National Acadency of that we best use the best minds, the Geological Survey; and experts from Sciences released their latest report an best science, and the best technology the International Arctic Research Cen- climate change at the request of the to address how we can stop what seems ter and the University of Alaska's Goo White House. The White House asked to be the inevitable march of warming physical Institute. Many of the Wit- the questions, and the answer was the temperature of this planot to the nesses noted
that recent olimate clear: global warming is "real," is point at which it could cause great de change activity Ukoly stoms from a caused by human activity, and has po struction.
number of factors, including natural tentially disastrous consequences. I thank the President for his recogni- varianoes and human aotivity.
Now, as President Bush prepares to go tion. I thank the Senator from West The degree to which any particular to Europe next week, he must beed Virginie for his statement today, and
phenomenon or activity is contributing these disturbing indings and propose for offering this legislation. I want to climate chango 16 not well ander- meaningful, binding measures to adEim for Lis very kind indulgence to lis- stood. Iowever, regardless of cause, dress climate change. ten to my remarks, which are com
there has been a dramato warming plimentary to him for what be was of trend in the arotic areas of Alaska.
The mandate is clear, we must take fered bare today.
Pack ice that usually insulates our action and take action now to stop the Thank you, Mr. President, I yield the coastal villages from winter storms has overheating of our planet. We must be floor.
shrnak by 3 percent & year since the aggressive and we must be creative. We The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Sen- 1970's. Dacreased storm activity has must harness one of our great Amer ator from West Virginia 18 recognized. caused significant besan erosion that can traditions, which is an inparal
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I seek rec- may displace er tire communities. Sea leled capacity for innovation, and lead ognition for only a brief statement. ice is also thinner than it was 30 years the world in doing so. We mast use
I thank the distinguished Senator ago. The northwest passage has been flexible market structures in order to from Florida for his observations loe free for the last three years. For- allow that innovation to dourish, we today. He comes to the Senate is one ests appear to moving farther aorth must set the strict caps on emissions who to different from the rest of us and west as the permatrost melts. We that are necessary to drive that innodifferent in that b18 experiences in need better research capabilities to - vation. clado that of being a formor astronaut. derstand global olimate ahenge, better
As I understand whetr bill, Senators My name is BYRD, B-Y-R-D. I don't planning capabilities react to cli- STEVENS and BYRD bave laid out a prohave the wings of a bird. But I have the mate change impact, and better energy gram that will provide the framework imagination that can 11 aninhibited technology infrastructure to keep pace for the United States to address the through the unlimited bounds of space.. with America's growing energy needs. As the Senator from Harida spoke, I Senator BYRD's bull will create &
dire problem of climate change. We
must accept this challenge and begin found mysell traveling with him and process for the United States to geri
to take serious measures to reverse looking out of the windows of his ously and responsibly address the clispacecraft in wonder at what has hap- mate chango issue. I look forward to tions will suffer the consequences and
this troubling trend, or future generapened to planet Earth, the planet that working closely with him to pass this
remember us with disappointment. We call home.
important legislation I thank him for taking the floor Mr. LOOBERMAN. Mr. President, I The PRESIDING OFFICER The Sess
But -- and I cannot stress this enough - we are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate change to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future. That is to say, contrary to media impressions, agreement with the three basic statements tells us almost nothing relevant to policy discussions.
One reason for this uncertainty is that, as the report states, the climate is always changing; change is the norm. Two centuries ago, much of the Northern Hemisphere was emerging from a little ice age. A millennium ago, during the Middle Ages, the same region was in a warm period. Thirty years ago, we were concerned with global cooling.
Distinguishing the small recent changes in global mean temperature from the natural variability, which is unknown, is not a trivial task. All attempts so far make the assumption that existing computer climate models simulate natural variability, but I doubt that anyone really believes this assumption.
We simply do not know what relation, if any, exists between global climate changes and water vapor, clouds, storms, hurricanes, and other factors, including regional climate changes, which are generally much larger than global changes and not correlated with them. Nor do we know how to predict changes in greenhouse gases. This is because we cannot forecast economic and technological change over the next century, and also because there are many man-made substances whose properties and levels are not well known, but which could be comparable in importance to carbon dioxide.
What we do is know that a doubling of carbon dioxide by itself would produce only a modest temperature increase of one degree Celsius. Larger projected increases depend on "amplification" of the carbon dioxide by more important, but poorly modeled, greenhouse gases, clouds and water vapor.
6/11/01 WSJ A22
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 11, 2001
Scientists' Report Doesn't Support The Kyoto
Last week the National Academy of Sciences released a report on climate change, prepared in response to a request from the White House, that was depicted in the press as an implicit endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol. CNN's Michelle Mitchell was typical of the coverage when she declared that the report represented "a unanimous decision that global warming is real, is getting worse, and is due to man. There is no wiggle room."
As one of 11 scientists who prepared the report, I can state that this is simply untrue. For starters, the NAS never asks that all participants agree to all elements of a report, but rather that the report represent the span of views. This the full report did, making clear that there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them.
As usual, far too much public attention was paid to the hastily prepared summary rather than 10 the body of the report. The summary began with a zinger that greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise, etc., before following with the necessary qualifications. For example, the full text noted that 20 years was too short a period for estimating long-term trends, but the summary forgot to mention this.
Our primary conciusion was that despite some knowledge and agreement, the science is by no means settled. We are quite confident (1) that global mean temperature is about 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than it was a century ago; (2) that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have risen over the past two centuries; and (3) that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the carth (one of many, the most important being water vapor and clouds).
The press has frequently tied the existence of climate change to a need for Kyoto. The NAS panel did not address this question. My own view, consistent with the panel's work, is that the Kyoto Protocol would not result in a substantial reduction in global warming. Given the difficulties in significantly limiting levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a more effective policy might well focus on other greenhouse 6/11/01 WSJ A22 6/11/01 Wall St. J. A22 2001 WL-WSJ 2866069
substances whose potential for reducing global warming in a short time may be greater.
The panel was finally asked to evaluate the work of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, focusing on the Summary for Policymakers, the only part ever read or quoted. The Summary for Policymakers, which is seen as endorsing Kyoto, is commonly presented as the consensus of thousands of the world's foremost climate scientists. Within the confines of professional courtesy, the NAS panel essentially concluded that the IPCC's Summary for Policymakers does not provide suitable guidance for the U.S. government.
The full IPCC report an admirable description of research activities in climate science, but it is not specifically directed at policy. The Summary for Policymakers is, but it is also a very different document. It represents a consensus of government representatives (many of whom are also their nations' Kyoto representatives), rather than of scientists. The resulting document has a strong tendency to disguise uncertainty, and conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence.
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END OF DOCUMENT
Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens. This is what has been done with both the reports of the IPCC and the NAS. It is a reprehensible practice that corrodes our ability to make rational decisions. A fairer view of the science will show that there is still a vast amount of uncertainty far more than advocates of Kyoto would like to acknowledge -- and that the NAS report has hardly ended the debate. Nor was it meant to.
Statement of Richard Lindzen, May 2, 2001
Page 1 of 5
Testimony of Richard S. Lindzen before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
on 2 May 2001.
I wish to thank Senator Voinovich, Senator Smith and the Environment and Public Works Committee for the opportunity to clarify the nature of consensus and skepticism in the Climate Debate. I have been involved in climate and climate related research for over thirty years during which time I have held professorships at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and MIT. I am a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the author or coauthor of over 200 papers and books. I have also been a participant in the proceedings of the IPCC (the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The questions I wish to address are the following: What can we agree on and what are the implications of this agreement? What are the critical areas of disagreement? What is the origin of popular perceptions? I hope it will become clear that the designation, 'skeptic,' simply confuses an issue where popular perceptions are based in significant measure op misuse of language as well as misunderstanding of science. Indeed, the identification of some scientists as 'skeptics' permits others to appear 'mainstream' while denying views held by the so-called 'skeptics' even when these views represent the predominant views of the field.
Climate change is a complex issue where simplification tends to lead to confusion, and where understanding requires thought and effort. Judging from treatments of this issue in the press, the public has difficulty dealing with numerical magnitudes and focuses instead on signs (increasing v. decreasing); science places crucial emphasis on both signs and magnitudes. To quote the great 19th Century English scientist, Lord Kelvin, "When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind."
As it turns out, much of what informed scientists agree upon is barely quantitative at all:
that global mean temperature has probably increased over the past century, that CO2 in the atmosphere has increased over the same period, that the added CO2 is more likely to have caused global mean temperature to increase rather than decrease, and
like the butterfly, has some impact on climate.
Such statements have little relevance to policy, unless quantification shows significance.
The media and advocacy groups have, however, taken this agreement to mean that the same scientists must also agree that global warming "will lead to rising sea waters, droughts and agriculture disasters in the future if unchecked" (CNN). According to Deb Callahan, president of the League of Conservation Voters, "Science clearly shows that we are experiencing devastating impacts because of carbon dioxide pollution." (Carhon dioxide, as a 'pollutant' is rather singular in that it is a natural product of respiration, non-toxic, and essential for life.) The accompanying cartoon suggests implications for severe weather, the ecosystem, and presumably plague, floods and droughts (as well as the profound politicization of the issue). Scientists who do not agree with the catastrophe scenarios are assumed to disagree with the basic statements. This is not only untrue, but absurdly stupid.
Indeed, the whole issue of consensus and skeptics is a bit of a red herring. If, as the news media regularly report, global warming is the increase in temperature caused by man's emissions of CO2 that will give rise to rising sea levels, floods, droughts, weather extremes of all sorts, plagues, species elimination, and so on, then it is safe to say that global warming consists in so many aspects, that widespread agreement on all of them would be suspect ab initio. If it truly existed, it would be evidence of a thoroughly debased field. In truth, neither the full text of the IPCC documents nor even the summaries claim any such agreement. Those who insist that the science is settled should be
Statement of Richard Lindzen, May 2, 2001
Page 2 of 5
something trivial and without policy implications except to those who bizarrely subscribe to the socalled precautionary principle a matter I will return to later. (Ian Bowles, former senior science advisor on environmental issues at the NSC, published such a remark on 22 April in the Boston Globe: "the basic link between carbon emissions, accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the phenomenon of climate change is not seriously disputed in the scientific community." I think it is fair to say that statements concerning matters of such complexity that are not disputed are also likely to be lacking in policy relevant content. However, some policymakers apparently think otherwise in a cultural split that may be worthy of the late C.P. Snow's attention.)
The thought that there might be a central question, whose resolution would settle matters, is, of course, inviting, and there might, in fact, be some basis for optimism. While determining whether temperature has increased or not is not such a question, the determination of climate sensitivity might be. Rather little serious attention has been given to this matter (though I will mention some in the course of this testimony). However, even ignoring this central question, there actually is much that can be learned simply by sticking to matters where there is widespread agreement. For example, there is widespread agreement
that CO2 levels have increased from about 280ppm to 360ppm over the past century, and, that combined with increases in other greenhouse gases, this brings us about half way to the radiative forcing associated with a doubling of CO2 without any evidence of enhanced human misery.
that the increase in global mean temperature over the past century is about 1F which is smaller than the normal interannual variability for smaller regions like North America and Europe, and comparable to the interannual variability for the globe. Which is to say that temperature is always changing, which is why it has proven so difficult to demonstrate human agency.
that doubling CO2 alone will only lead to about a 2F increase in global mean temperature. Predictions of greater warming due to doubling CO2 are based on positive feedbacks from poorly handled water vapor and clouds (the atmosphere's main greenhouse substances) in current computer models. Such positive feedbacks have neither empirical nor theoretical foundations. Their existence, however, suggests a poorly designed earth which responds to perturbations by making things worse.
that the most important energy source for extratropical storms is the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles which is predicted by computer models to decrease with global warming. This also implies reduced temperature variation associated with weather since such variations result from air moving from one latitude to another. Consistent with this, even the IPCC Policymakers Summary notes that no significant trends have been identified in tropical or extratropical storm intensity and frequence. Nor have trends been found in tomados, hail events or thunder days.
that warming is likely to be concentrated in winters and at night. This is an empirical result based on data from the past century. It represents what is on the whole a beneficial pattern.
that temperature increases observed thus far are less than what models have suggested should have occurred even if they were totally due to increasing greenhouse emissions. The invocation of very uncertain (and immeasured) aerosol effects is frequently used to disguise this. Such an invocation makes it impossible to check models. Rather, one is reduced to the claim that it is possible that models are correct.
that claims that man has contributed any of the observed warming (ie attribution) are based on the assumption that models correctly predict natural variability. Such claims, therefore, do not constitute independent verifications of models. Note that natural variability does not require any external forcing natural or anthropogenic.
that large computer climate models are unable to even simulate major features of past climate such