EPW Republicans Release Report: Critical Thinking on Climate Change
Report released after witnesses at EPW Committee hearing dispute Administration’s claims on climate
July 25, 2013

U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works' Republican staff have released a report entitled, "Critical Thinking on Climate Change: Questions to Consider Before Taking Regulatory Action and Implementing Economic Policies." The report was initially released in conjunction with last week's full EPW Committee Hearing, "Climate Change: It's Happening Now" on July 18, 2013.

The EPW Minority report analyzes significant predictions and claims made by climate change scientists and activists over the last several decades regarding global warming, and then compares those predictions and claims to the most recent science. This report provides an opportunity to think critically and asks important questions about the impacts, policies and motivations related to climate change. The key sections examine the 15-year break in global warming not predicted by the models, the rate of sea level rise, extreme weather events, and the impact that unilateral regulatory action will have on the economy.

Critical questions are asked in the report, including the following:

• If computer models and predictions have been wrong about global warming, why is our federal government relying on these models to take unilateral action?

• What science was used to come to the conclusion that the oceans would rise 20 feet or more?

• When we are unable to predict extreme weather events and empirical evidence does not show that extreme weather events are increasing, why would some scientists/activists claim that extreme weather events are the product of human activity?

• Are there other factors influencing the climate outside the government's control, and if so can we really control the climate?


Key exchanges during the July 18, 2013 climate hearing

"When President Obama said, ‘The temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even ten years ago.' Do any of the witnesses agree with that statement?" - Sen. David Vitter

"I think right now we need to focus on the fact that the warming is happening very quickly, and as with respect to the projections of the future, we expect it to warm even more quickly as we go forward. So with respect to President Obama's specific statement, I can't comment on that, but the bottom line is that greenhouse gases have continued to move quickly in the atmosphere and the warming has continued." - Dr. Heidi Cullen, Chief Climatologist, Climate Central

"So you think the surface temperature increase has continued in the last ten to fifteen years?" - Sen. Vitter

"As I said, the temperature rise has slowed in the atmosphere despite continued warm decades, record-setting decades, the warming over the past fifteen years has slowed, but it's gotten into other components of our climate system." - Dr. Cullen

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"When you talked about the green jobs and creating green jobs, what way does that end up costing Americans? You talked about - I took it as manipulating numbers; and yet, what are the benefits from that?" - Sen. Deb Fischer

"The important thing is that it's used as a justification for increases in employment that would occur from, for example, using more solar power, more wind power. Whereas really the higher cost of these energies reduces employment in the United States. In my testimony I mentioned the CBO study called, ‘How Policies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Could Affect Employment,' and CBO said, ‘While the economy was adjusting to the emissions reduction program, a number of people would lose their jobs and some of these people would face prolonged hardship...In cases where a shrinking industry was the primary employer in a community, the entire community would suffer.' So there are clear negative employment effects from raising a factor of the cost of production, and since the United States is only responsible for 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions and greenhouse gas emissions are shrinking in the United States, but they're rising elsewhere, we would put these measures in place. It would not impact global climate change." - Ms. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

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"There is a big difference between a tiny change and a huge change, and since we have policies that are being discussed, that are going to be based on that red line (average of all IPCC models), I think we need to consider the possibility that we need to go back and figure out what's wrong with the models before we start basing policies on models, which produce at least two times as much warming as we've observed in nature, and possibly three times as much warming." - Dr. Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist IV, University of Alabama

Click here to read the EPW Republicans Staff Report.

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