Saturday, February 20, 2010

Texas state climatologist disputes state’s anti-science petition: Greenhouse gases ‘clearly present a danger to the public welfare’

An MIT alum takes the Texas Attorney General to task for conspiracy-theory craziness. What an embarrassment for the state of Texas. From Climate Progress:

Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Professor and Texas State Climatologist

February 19, 2010

Texas’s own state climatologist can find no scientific basis in his state’s effort to roll back the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger the public, as Brad Johnson reports in this Wonkroom repost:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R-TX) filed paperwork to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding yesterday, with the approval of Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX). Dismissing threats like sea level rise, droughts, and floods that global warming poses to Texas, the petition calls for the finding to be reconsidered, based on the argument that the EPA relies primarily on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an institution guilty of “serious misconduct“:

Thus, in light of the serious misconduct the State has demonstrated—data manipulation, loss or destruction information, reliance on questionable source materials, abuse of the peer review process, suppression dissent, conflicts of interest, and failure to comply with freedom of information laws—the EPA should grant this petition and reconsider the Endangerment Finding.

Abbott’s petition takes the “Climategate” conspiracy theories of climate deniers as fact, spinning a tale of “a cadre of activist scientists colluding and scheming to advance what they want the science to be.”

If there is such a conspiracy, it’s extended its tendrils deep into the heart of Texas. In an email interview, Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon utterly dismissed the attacks on climate science in Attorney General Abbott’s petition. After explaining that natural concentrations of greenhouse gases are essential to life on this planet, Dr. Nielsen-Gammon continues:

However, it is also apparent that if atmospheric concentrations of the six greenhouse gases continue to rise due to human influence, the Earth would eventually reach a point where there would be massive disruptions of ecosystems, changes in sea level, decreases in air quality, and so forth that would, in particular, substantially harm the public welfare of those generations forced to experience them. So anthropogenic increases of greenhouse gas concentrations clearly present a danger to the public welfare, and I agree with the EPA’s findings in that sense.

Texas state climatologist disputes state’s anti-science petition: Greenhouse gases “clearly present a danger to the public welfare.”

No comments: