EPA Regulations Aren’t Supported by Questionable IPCC Report Conclusions

May 6, 2010

EPA Regulations Aren’t Supported by Questionable IPCC Report Conclusions

Sensenbrenner: ‘Debate on Accuracy of Climate Science is Good for Science’

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, made the following statement during today’s hearing titled,  “The Foundation of Climate Science:”

“When global warming alarmists tried to advance their agenda a decade ago, they pointed to a damning graph in the 2001 IPCC report that showed a sharp rise in temperatures over the past century.  This graph is commonly known as the ‘hockey stick,’ and it did a good job of scaring a lot of people – especially politicians. But the authors of the hockey stick may not have done a good job with their math. At least that’s what a couple of enterprising researchers thought, and in double checking the hockey stick data, Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick showed it wasn’t as solid as previously thought.
 
“Lately, a lot of people have been taking a second look at the so-called ‘settled science’ of climate change. Data collected by NASA may not be as reliable as once believed. And the Climategate scandal shows, at best, that some researchers did everything they could to prevent review of their work, and at worst, that they outright sought to manipulate data.
 
“The debate of the accuracy of climate science is good for science. Proclamations that the ‘science is settled’ are just politics. 
 
“The shortfalls in the scientific record could have expensive consequences.  Proponents of expensive regulatory reform must understand that they need more than political victories, the EPA’s burdensome regulatory regime must be based on a sound scientific foundation. 
 
“The EPA’s regulations will be predicated in large part on the IPCC’s most recent report.  So far, the list of errors in that report includes:
 
1)  A sloppily-sourced claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035.
2)  Reliance on an unpublished study to claim the world has suffered rising costs due to catastrophic weather events, where the author later said there was insufficient evidence to support the claim.
3)  Stating that 55 percent of the Netherlands is below sea level, when in fact, only 26 percent is.
4)  Failure to support the claim that Africa’s agricultural output would be reduced by 50 percent by 2020.
5)  An unsupported claim that Bangladesh will be 17 percent underwater by 2050.
 
“A citizens audit of the IPCC study found that  5,587 cited references, nearly a third of all sources, were not peer-reviewed publications, but rather ‘gray literature,’ such as press releases, newspaper and magazine articles, discussion papers, masters and PhD theses, working papers and advocacy literature published by environmental groups. These sources lack authoritative scientific rigor and are, more often than not, intended as propaganda.
 
“This week, the InterAcademy Council said it had picked a 12-member committee to conduct an independent review of the IPCC’s procedures. Hopefully, the review will result in new methodologies that give the public more confidence in the panel’s conclusions before it releases its 5th assessment in 2014.
 
“The Climategate scandal brought serious questions about the reliability of data compiled by the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. These e-mails showed clear bias, a systemic suppression of dissenting opinion, intimidation of journal editors and journals that would deign to publish articles questioning the so-called ‘consensus,’ manipulation of data and models, and possible criminal activity to evade legitimate requests for data and underlying computer codes filed under freedom of information acts.
 
“One of those e-mailers called Steven McIntyre a ‘bozo’ for trying to hold him accountable for his work. Dr. McIntyre also reviewed NASA’s temperature data sets.  His work resulted in forcing NASA to change its history of U.S. temperature data to show that 1934, not 1998, was the hottest year on record.
 
“Another study shows that NASA may have cherry-picked weather stations to favor those that would produce higher temperatures and produce a record that is ‘warmer-than-truthful.’ Internal e-mails also show that at least one senior NASA scientist raised questions about the accuracy of that agency’s temperature data set.
 
“The IPCC report relies heavily on the CRU and NASA data sets to support its conclusions. The questions raised about these data sets raise even more questions about the accuracy of the IPCC study.
 
“A report issued today by the Select Committee Republican staff shows that the EPA is violating its own rules by relying so heavily on the IPCC report.  Both EPA and Office of Management and Budget guidelines state that an agency must base any regulatory proposal on science that is clear and transparent. OMB guidelines further state that simply because a study is peer-reviewed doesn’t mean it fulfills the requirement that the results are transparent and replicable.
 
“I want to welcome here today Lord Christopher Monckton, the Chief Policy Adviser, Science and Public Policy Institute. By helping to double-check the scientific literature, Lord Monckton is helping to improve the state of climate science and I look forward to hearing both his perspective and the perspective of today’s other witnesses.” 
 
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Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming - Republicans
H2-344 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-0110 | Fax: (202) 225-0095

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