Friday, February 2, 2007

INHOFE CALLS UN IPCC SUMMARY FOR POLICYMAKERS "CORRUPTION OF SCIENCE"

Senator Inhofe today commented on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Summary for Policymakers.

"This is a political document, not a scientific report, and it is a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain. The media has failed to report that the IPCC Summary for Policymakers was not approved by scientists but by UN political delegates and bureaucrats," Senator Inhofe said. The IPCC is only releasing the Summary for Policymakers today, not the actual scientific report which is not due out until May 2007.

Sen. James Inhofe, (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today commented on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Summary for Policymakers. Senator Inhofe said. The IPCC is only releasing the Summary for Policymakers today, not the actual scientific report which is not due out until May 2007.

"This is nothing new. On November 15th, 2005, I addressed my colleagues in the United States Senate to express the importance of returning integrity to the processes that govern the work of the IPCC. I outlined several concrete proposals to reform the IPCC process during this Senate Floor address and in a subsequent follow-up letter to the IPCC chairman," Senator Inhofe said. "On December 7, 2005, I followed up my speech with a letter to the IPCC Chairman noting that the ‘science had been manipulated in order to reach a predetermined conclusion.’ Sadly, the IPCC has refused to make any of the reforms necessary to ensure scientific integrity," Senator Inhofe added."The UN guidelines themselves mandate that the science be altered to conform to the Summary for Policymakers which is not approved by the scientists, but by political delegates of the UN," Senator Inhofe said.

The IPCC concedes it alters the underlying scientific conclusions on page 4 of "Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC Work": "Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter." "You don’t need to look any farther than yesterday’s AP article about the UN IPCC meeting in Paris where political delegates are arguing about the final wording of the Summary for Policymakers. Riibeta Abeta of the island nation Kiribati, openly admitted to the AP that the Summary for Policymakers is designed to convince world leaders to take action. ‘The purpose is to get [policymakers] moving,’ Abeta said, according to the AP," Senator Inhofe explained.

INHOFE PRAISES FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE FOR AMERICAN BURYING BEETLE STATUS REVIEW

Senator Inhofe on Monday, January 29, 2007, praised the decision by US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to conduct a status review of the American Burrying Beatle.

"Today’s announcement is long, long overdue but clearly the correct decision. Thanks to the considerable conservation efforts of Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry and development community, as well as Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, the Midwest populations of the beetle are flourishing to the point where I believe they no longer need the protection of the ESA," Senator Inhofe said.

The Endangered Species Act requires that the FWS conduct a status review at least once every 5 years to ensure listed species have the appropriate level of protection under the Act. The review will assess the American Burying Beetle to determine whether its status has changed since the time of its listing and whether it should be delisted or classified differently. The American Burying Beetle (ABB) was listed as an Endangered Species in 1989 based on museum and collector's data (not actual scientific study data). Since its listing, the ABB has been found in many areas and is much more widespread than originally thought.

"Throughout my tenure as a Senator and during my Chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I have urged FWS to take a good look at the American Burying Beetle and consider a change in its protected status under the ESA. I look forward to working with the affected communities in Oklahoma and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that a complete, thorough and scientific evaluation of the beetle is done, " Senator Inhofe added.

As the Chairman of EPW, Senator Inhofe has held several hearings that have dealt with the ABB issue, including one in 2003 and 2004 . Additionally, the ABB was a featured topic of Senator Inhofe in all of the hearings on the Endangered Species Act held in the 108th and 109th Congresses.

INHOFE WELCOMES NEW GAO HIGH-RISK SERIES UPDATE

On Thursday, February 1, 2007, Senator Inhofe welcomed the new Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report, High Risk Series: An Update, GAO-07-310, January31, 2007 released yesterday. The GAO High-Risk Series is the GAO’s view of what are the broad economic and/or effectiveness challenges that need to be addressed. Since 1990, GAO has issued periodic reports on government operations that are at "high risk" due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement, or as in the case of the transportation component, policy areas they believe need attention because of their wide-ranging effect.

"The 2007 GAO High Risk Update correctly highlights the need for policy makers to conduct a critical review of existing transportation funding mechanisms," Senator Inhofe said. "As one of the primary authors of SAFETEA-LU, I concur with their analysis that how we pay for future transportation infrastructure requires a careful and thorough review. As mentioned in the GAO report, SAFETEA-LU established the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission to provide policy makers with a conceptual plan and alternative approaches to ensure that our transportation infrastructure network continues to serve both our personal and economic transportation needs.

"Reauthorization of the federal aid highway program will need to be done in 2009 and it would be my hope that in the intervening two years, House and Senate Committees of jurisdiction will use the time to explore how Congress can best address the long-term transportation needs and then how we pay for them. We must look at all options, including transiting into in new ways of collecting the necessary revenue to fund our transportation and mobility needs."

INHOFE HAILS CONGRESSIONAL COMMITMENT TO CONTINUE FULL-FUNDING FOR HIGHWAY PROGRAMS

On Tuesday, January 30th, 2007, Senator Inhofe hailed the decision by Congress to fully fund the highway and transit funding program levels outlined in the historic 2005 transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU). On January 25, 2007 Senator Inhofe joined Senator Thune in obtaining the support of 72 Senators in a letter to Senate leadership calling for full funding of SAFETEA-LU.

"Congressional leadership made the right decision in keeping its commitment to fully-fund the highway and transit programs," Senator Inhofe said. "As the primary author of the landmark 2005 transportation bill where Congress promised states $295 billion dollars in much needed transportation improvements in the years 2005 to 2009, I am especially pleased to see leadership keep its promise to the American people. Without this funding, the highway and transit funding would have been cut by almost $4 billion dollars, significantly delaying much needed safety and congestion improvements and costing the nation almost 200,000 good-paying American jobs.   

"This victory is especially important to my home state of Oklahoma, and I am proud to have played a key role in ensuring that Congress kept its commitment. If Congress failed to do so, Oklahoma would have lost around $47 million dollars of funding – about 10 percent of Oklahoma’s funding for 2007 – and over 2,000 jobs leading to major disruption to Oklahoma’s transportation improvements. Thankfully, however, Congress kept its word."

OPENING STATEMENT: CLIMATE CHANGE HEARING (1/30/07)

Madam Chairman, before I begin my remarks on climate change I do want to point out that I disagree with the format of today’s hearing. Just to hold a hearing for members to provide testimony is duplicative of the Senate floor. We should be doing this in morning business on the floor. When you insisted on holding this in the Committee, we suggested a forum or a roundtable instead of a hearing. This event today breaks every hearing protocol of this Committee, from no agreed to witness list to testimony not being submitted under our rules. If it were not your first hearing Madam Chairman, I would have objected to this hearing. I do want to state for the record that by agreeing to today’s format, we are not setting a new precedent for this Committee and I will object in the future to any similar hearings.

On the issue of climate change in the last four years, I have spoken on the Senate floor more than a dozen times, held four hearings, two stakeholder meetings and many briefings within the Committee. I have looked at the science, the economics, and expected benefits of differing initiatives and proposals. And I have examined how well the world’s only large-scale carbon rationing program that has been implemented so far – the Kyoto Protocol – has fared in achieving its objectives. I have required my staff to research the underlying science and read hundreds of studies, as well as major assessments of the science. I think it is fair to say that no other federal legislator has devoted more time and energy to this issue.

There is no environmental issue that has become more politicized. Scientists have had their grant funding stripped, others have had their certifications threatened, and exaggerations have become commonplace. In fact, when a recent example of this was put on my web blog, there was so much concern that the 70,000 hits per hour crashed the Senate server.

Unfortunately, this politicizing of the science has become so commonplace so that even the UN body created to provide the scientific justification of climate action has fallen prey to it. Just over a year ago, I addressed the Senate on how the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had embraced highly questionable practices in its periodic assessments.

In fact, the problems identified were so substantial, it led Lord Nigel Lawson – former Chancellor of the Exchequer and a Member of the House of Lords Committee that reviewed the IPCC – to state:

"I believe the IPCC process is so flawed, and the institution, it has to be said, so closed to reason, that it would be far better to thank it for the work it has done, close it down, and transfer all future international collaboration on the issue of climate change…"

This is an astonishing statement, but when you look at the way the IPCC has conducted business in its past assessments, it is also perfectly reasonable. In an attempt to help the IPCC avoid some of the mistakes of the past, I have outlined dozens of constructive recommendations of the minimum changes needed for the IPCC to restore its credibility, and I hope everyone will take the time to read them.

Perhaps this politicizing of the science is why Claude Allegre – the former French Socialist Party Leader and member both the French and U.S. academies of science who once warned of catastrophic global warming – has now reversed himself and urges caution, stating, "The cause of this climate change is unknown. Is it man? Is it nature?"

Of course, it is not only the science that has become politicized. A recent report by Sir Nicholas Stern that gained worldwide attention, known as the Stern Report, touted how it was much less costly to take draconian action now in order to avoid global warming impacts later. It was hailed as final proof that we must put the world on an energy diet, leading British Prime Minister Tony Blair to declare that this report represents "the final word" on why the world must act now.

The only problem: within days, a growing chorus of economists – regardless of their views on climate change – began pointing out its serious fundamental flaws. In fact, Richard Tol of Hamburg University last week said that:

"If a student of mine were to hand in this report as a Masters thesis… likely I would I would give him an "F" for fail. There is a whole range of very basic economics mistakes that somebody who claims to be a Professor of Economics simply should not make."

The fact is that the Kyoto Protocol and proposals on the drawing board will be extremely expensive. The Kyoto Protocol would cost the average household $2,700 per year. And it would accomplish virtually nothing. Even if the alarmists were right, the Kyoto Protocol would only reduce temperatures by 0.07 Celsius by the year 2050. Bills introduced in the Senate are no different. The Bingaman proposal would only reduce temperatures by 0.008 Celsius.

Of course, while the U.S. was on an energy diet, the rest of the world would be free to continually increase their emissions. Here are some simple facts:

· China does not plan to accept carbon caps, and will become the world’s largest CO2 emitter by 2009 – two years from now. It is building more than one new coal plant every three days. India and Brazil are not far behind. If they are not part of any effort, then efforts to curb emissions are doomed to failure.

  • The Kyoto Protocol – which is the only program that has so far tested the cap and trade scheme – is broken. Japan will not meet its targets. Canada will not meet its targets. Of the EU-15, only Britain and Sweden will meet their targets. And even Britain is no success story – virtually all its emission reductions off of the 1990 baseline occurred before it signed the accord in 1997. Since 1998, its emissions have been rising.
  • The United States, even though it does not have a federal carbon cap, has been more successful than most of the nations on the globe in reducing its emissions relative to GDP. But that isn’t enough for some, because our economy is growing. This has led one recent study to advocate that the best way for Americans to combat global warming is to reduce their living wage. In short, poorer is better.
  • Not one piece of legislation introduced this year meets the test laid out in the Byrd Hagel and Bingaman resolutions that U.S. efforts to reduce greenhouse gases should: 1) not harm of the economy; and 2) include developing countries. Even the Bingaman bill introduced this year fails the test.

In regards to the 10 companies which announced their Climate Action Partnership last week, I would like to introduce into the record a commentary from the Wall Street Journal. This outlines the fact that each of the companies from Duke to GE, will individually profit from their plan. It is not an example of companies thinking of the quote "common good" as some of my colleagues have suggested, but more a case of climate profiteers.

While I look forward to a vigorous debate this Congress I also look forward to vigorously pointing out the lack of scientific consensus, the real economic impact, and the effects of unilateral disarmament of our economy if we enact mandatory carbon reductions in the U.S., while the rest of the world is failing to meet their goals.

FROM THE BLOG: MEDIA COVERING UP UN GLOBAL WARMING REPORT

The final document of the new United Nations global warming Summary for Policymakers, due out this Friday, was not approved by scientists but by political delegates, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) revealed today during a contentious debate with CNN anchor Miles O’Brien. (See Video of Senator Inhofe on CNN: Senator James Inhofe Discusses Global Warming with Miles O'Brien on CNN's American Morning ) (Read Transcript )

Senator Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, also exposed how the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) own guidelines explicitly state that the scientific reports have to be "change[d]" to "ensure consistency with" the politically motivated Summary for Policymakers.

Senator Inhofe pointed out to CNN’s American Morning anchor O’Brien that the international media buzz surrounding the new UN Summary for Policymakers fails to note that this week’s final draft of the UN release was not approved by scientists but by politically motivated UN bureaucrats. [Note: The UN’s political agenda prompted one of the most respected experts on hurricanes, Dr. Christopher Landsea, to resign as one of the lead authors of the IPCC process. Landsea accused the UN of pursuing a political rather than a scientific agenda. In addition, Richard Lindzen, a prominent MIT meteorologist, who was a contributing author to a Chapter in the IPCC’s third assessment, among others has said that the Summary for Policymakers did not reflect the scientific work he conducted.

"What you're going to get on Friday is not the fourth assessment of the IPCC. You're going to get the summary for policymakers. Now, you won't get the report from scientists probably until May or June," Inhofe said on CNN Wednesday morning.

Inhofe then went on to quote an excerpt directly from the IPCC guidelines. The "Principles Governing IPCC Work" clearly states in its Appendix A on page four that the scientific work will be altered to conform to the media-hyped Summary for Policymakers (PDF):

"Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter," the IPCC guidelines on page read.

Inhofe’s criticism has been echoed by the UK’s Lord Nigel Lawson – former Chancellor of the Exchequer and a Member of the House of Lords Committee that reviewed the IPCC process. Lawson has called for the abolishment of the UN’s IPCC.

"I believe the IPCC process is so flawed, and the institution, it has to be said, so closed to reason, that it would be far better to thank it for the work it has done, close it down, and transfer all future international collaboration on the issue of climate change…" Lawson said in 2005.

Other critics of the IPCC process like Steve McIntyre (one of the individuals responsible for debunking the Hockey Stick temperature graph) agree with Senator Inhofe and have already pointed out the serious problems with the UN mandating that the scientific work be altered to fit its political agenda.

"So the purpose of the three-month delay between the publication of the (IPCC) Summary for Policy-Makers and the release of the actual WG1 (Working Group 1) is to enable them to make any ‘necessary’ adjustments to the technical report to match the policy summary. Unbelievable. Can you imagine what securities commissions would say if business promoters issued a big promotion and then the promoters made the ‘necessary’ adjustments to the qualifying reports and financial statements so that they matched the promotion. Words fail me," McIntyre explained.

Harvard University Physicists Lubos Motl also slammed the UN.

"These people are openly declaring that they are going to commit scientific misconduct that will be paid for by the United Nations. If they find an error in the summary, they won't fix it. Instead, they will "adjust" the technical report so that it looks consistent," Motl said.

Motl also cited climate science Fred Singer claims that IPCC lead author Ben Santer was told to revise Chapter 8 of 1996 IPCC-SAR (Second Assessment Report) to "conform" to the politically adopted Summary for Policy Makers.

Senator Inhofe has long been a critic of the UN’s IPCC process, having outlined his concerns in a December 7, 2005 letter to IPCC Chairman Rajendra K. Pachauri. Senator Inhofe wrote that the UN’s "science has been manipulated in order to reach a predetermined conclusion."

In addition, French President Jacques Chirac provided a key political motive as to why the IPCC process, and in particular the Kyoto Protocol, are being promoted by so many. [Note: Despite Kyoto having virtually no measurable temperature impact, even if it were fully complied with by ratifying nations, which is not close to happening – 13 of the EU-15 nations are failing to meet emissions reduction targets.] Chirac said in 2000 that Kyoto represents "the first component of an authentic global governance." See also that Canada’s Prime Minister has concerns about Kyoto.

Senator Inhofe last appeared on CNN’s American Morning on October 3, 2006.

Full Transcript of Senator Inhofe on CNN today:

Interview on CNN’s American Morning Jan 31, 2007 8:07 AM ET