House Hearing Scheduled for Today on Obama’s U.N. Climate Pledge

CCD Editor’s Note: On April 15, 2015 (today), at 10:00 a.m. E.S.T., the U.S. House of Representatives will hold hearings on Obama’s United Nation’s climate “pledge” with testimony given by various people in different fields. The main points are whether it is scientifically justified or simply a new tax on Americans. Here is Judith Curry’s write-up on the event:

* * * * *

I will be testifying before the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology on April 15.

committee on science

The Hearing is titled The President’s UN Climate Pledge: Scientifically Justified or a New Tax on Americans? The Hearing web page is [here].

Committee Chair Lamar Smith has written a Hearing Charter, which provides a good overview of the history of the UNFCCC treaties.

The witnesses testifying are:

Dr. Judith Curry, Professor, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology

The Honorable Karen Harbert, President and CEO, Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Former Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy

Mr. Jake Schmidt, Director, International Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

Dr. Margo Thorning, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, American Council for Capital Formation

I have not previously come across any of these individuals, but their bios all look interesting and I look forward to their testimony.

Three of the witnesses are invited by the Republicans – the three females (!!!)

This Hearing is before the full Committee (I have testified previously before this Committee, but only to the Subcommittee on the Environment).

JC testimony

Well I’m obviously not going to give away what I am going to say before the Hearing (somehow this is the custom, I’m not sure why). But here are some reflections on the process of preparing this particular testimony.

I wasn’t notified of the Hearing until Wed April 1. I was on travel at the time, so I effectively had 8 days to prepare the written testimony (I submitted it on Sunday). Basically, you need to drop everything and work on the testimony.

In preparing to write the testimony, I read my previous 4 testimonies (since 2010; listed on About). I also read about 20 previous blog posts that were on topics relevant to what I planned to write about (the collection of previous blog posts is an extremely convenient reference source for this).

I’m very pleased with what I eventually came up with for my written testimony. I learned a lot about writing for an audience such as this from my WSJ editorial experience [link]. I feel like I’m finally finding my voice on this issue. Will see how it is received, I’m not very good at judging my own stuff.

The Committee asked for a one page summary of main points, which I haven’t previously been asked to provide. Roger Pielke Jr always puts ‘take home points’ on the first page of his testimony; I’ve liked what he does but never did it myself. It was a very interesting exercise to do this, and not simple.

Oral testimony has always been my greatest challenge; I am not a dynamic speaker. This was compounded at the Senate Hearing last year, when my oral testimony went significantly over time and I got ‘hammered.’ The comments on the blog post were very constructive [link] and I appreciate them. Well I can’t promise ‘exciting’ verbal testimony, but I do promise ‘short’.

Well I’m running out of time in terms of preparing for my trip (I’ll be traveling pretty much all day tomorrow to get to DC; no I am not flying from Atlanta), so I need to cut this short.

The Hearing will be Webcast (starts at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time), which will also be archived. I will post my testimony sometime on Wed.

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Comments (38)

  • Avatar

    Gator

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    I’m not impressed with the lineup. I would rather see Gavin Schmidt, Phil Jones, Richard Lindzen, and Tim Ball.

    But of course, Schmidt and Jones would never show up to a venue where real scientists could embarass them.

  • Avatar

    tomwys

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    The President should be invited to testify how he came up with this ludicrous “Pledge.”

    The one with “allegiance” in it makes a lot more sense!

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    I see Judith Curry’s testimony as a careful balance for the audience that can read into it what they like and perhaps that was the objective . I’m sure it is no easy task and I congratulate her for her effort on very short notice .

    I don’t really understand how or if the title of the hearing ….”The President’s Un Climate Pledge: Scientifically Justified or a new Tax on Americans ” was addressed in
    Judith Curry’s presentation .
    It is possible to be too clever and just send out white noise that gives policy makers nothing concrete to take ownership of . Whether it is fair or not, if I was in that room I don’t know if I would have something out of the testimony which solidly addressed the topic or gave me cause to advocate for a cooling of man made climate hysteria .

    Why not say for example … In conclusion, we do not have sufficient understanding of the overriding climate change factors from naturally variable sources let alone the absolute miniscule effect of CO2 from humans to warrant increasing the tax burden on Americans as the Obama “pledge “will do if implemented .
    A singular focus on human generated CO2 is naïve and foolish .

    Thank you for considering my comments and lets not lose sight of the fact a bit of warming is a far more preferable option than a cycle of cooling that was being promoted in the 1970″s.

    • Avatar

      Just Some Kid

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      http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/last_400k_yrs.html

      Just take a look at the graph and tell me its implausible for humans to have been the cause of that. Do you have a better idea?

      Nothing changes that something ought to be done about climate change. Scientists recommend that we address CO2. Do you have a better idea?

      • Avatar

        JayPee

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        I see it as solid proof of your own stupidity.

      • Avatar

        Fat Tony

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        Just some kid (obviously) – did you even read what was on your link? (You know, the bit with words above the pretty pictures).

        It says that CO2 lags temperature by about 800 years so CO2 could not cause warming.

        So, any “scientist” who recommends we “address CO2” is a moron, obviously.

        • Avatar

          Just Some Kid

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          CO2 is higher than it has been in 400,000 years, and it went up so suddenly that it appears as a straight line in that graph.

          You’re not reading into the data enough, like the author of that little thing above the graphs. The lag suggests that CO2 is an indicator of global warming/climate change/what have you. Is it not alarming that, suddenly, this indicator is behaving in a way we’ve not seen before?

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            This is a chart of historic CO2 levels…

            [img]http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif[/img]

            The Earth is much older than 400,000 years. Have you made it past 4th grade yet?

            High CO2 levels have coincided with abundant life, and we are actually near a historic low.

          • Avatar

            Just Some Kid

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            “. Not a lot is known about the global climate during the Cambrian period, but the unusually high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (about 15 times those of the present day) imply that the average temperature may have exceeded 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Eighty-five percent of the earth was covered with water (compared to 70 percent today), most of that area being taken up by the huge Panthalassic and Iapetus oceans; the average temperature of these vast seas may have been in the range of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. “

            Like I said before, somewhere on this site, CO2 has been higher, but not since a long time ago. I don’t suppose you could survive in those conditions, hmm? At that time, most life was invertebrates and they lived in the ocean.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            Yes, all life died, and noone lives south of Canada.

            I thought you wanted to debate? Let’s go!

            1- List [i]all[/i] climate forcings, order them from most to least effective, and then [i]quantify[/i] them.

            2- Please provide [i]even one[/i] peer reviewed paper that refutes natural variability as the cause of recent, or any, global climate changes.

            There is nothing unusual or unprecedented about our climate, or how we got here. For 4,500,000,000 years climates have always changed, naturally. This means there has been a set precedent, and the burden of proof falls on natural climate change deniers like yourself.

            Quit dawdling child.

          • Avatar

            Just Some Kid

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            Umm… Life didn’t die. Lacking a backbone naturally doesn’t mean everything was dead.

            Please don’t consider me the be all end all for this side of the debate. I don’t have the time or energy to even try.

            I don’t have the time to search for a peer reviewed article. I don’t think I’ve seen one from you either.

            The burden of proof does not lie with anyone. Such is not the nature of a debate. I’m not accusing you of anything. Besides. Surely you know scientific proof is impossible.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            So…

            #1- You [i]cannot[/i] list all climate forcings, [i]cannot[/i] order them from most to least effective, and [i]cannot[/i] then quantify them.

            #2- You [i]cannot[/i] provide even one peer reviewed paper that refutes natural variability as the cause of recent, or any, global climate changes.

            And lastly, you [u]cannot[/u] disprove the 4,500,000,000 year precedent.

            Impressive!

            Silly the Kid! 😆

          • Avatar

            JayPee

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            I don’t expect you to understand logic, kid. But the burden of proof is on you and alarmists like you. Your side started the chicken little hysteria.

            Even pothead Carl Sagan said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Your side has never provided even a simple scientific proof. And the simplistic high school lab nonsense you appealed to can be set up to demonstrate anything. And your claim is unverifiable scientifically.

            You say debates start without a burden of proof on anybody. That’s not science, kid. That’s barroom colloquy at best. Find a saloon where you can gush forth your ” logic ” .

          • Avatar

            Just Some Kid

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            At this point, the only thing I care to do is declare you are wrong. Perhaps I’ll also insult your intelligence by saying these ideas you have about climate change are just opinions that were fed to you. I’ll come back when you want to debate rather than cling to an opinion and call it fact.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            Come back when you have more than just the mult-trillion dollar Climate Industry talking points.

          • Avatar

            JayPee

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            Come back any time kid. By your own statements we know you to be a phony obfuscating liar. And once again blaming your opposition of the your own lack of reason and character.

          • Avatar

            Just Some Kid

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            Just in case it went by you/over your head, I was being satirical towards you. As in, that is exactly what you are doing.

            I am absolutely not a liar. At the worst, I am misinformed. And bringing “character” into a discussion exemplifies your lack thereof. Please be constructive towards the discussion so that this doesn’t turn into a shouting match. Thank you.

          • Avatar

            JayPee

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            You have the gall to say ” over your head ” when you understand nothing ?

            Keep talking kid, we’ll be laughing.

          • Avatar

            Dan50thAE

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            Funny that the source for your quote, Carl Sagan, worked very hard to raise awareness of climate change.

            Luckily, the majority of the world’s scientists are well aware that the rest of your post was drivel.

            Otherwise you’d be very rich after upending more than a hundred years of scientific fact.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            What fact? That the models are broken?

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            [quote]… you’d be very rich after upending more than a hundred years of scientific fact.[/quote]

            Sorry but the US government blew its budget on the multi-trillion dollar Climate Change Industry. 120 Billion from 2009-2014 alone.

            Zero dollars for skeptics.

            So who is getting rich? 😆

      • Avatar

        Gator

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        [quote]Do you have a better idea?[/quote]

        Yep! Feed starving kids, and stop listening to the paid shills of the multi-trillion dollar Climate Change Industry.

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Is it fair to say Just Some Kid that you also believe the world has too many people, after all it is human produced CO2 that you think is the demon isn’t it ?

    So if the scary global warming tipping point is upon us how much fuel poverty do you estimate is required to kill off hundreds of millions of the worlds people by 2050 ?

    In the UK it is estimated 3000 people per year die directly from fuel poverty as a result
    of government policies rapidly and purposly
    designed to increase prices .

    Clearly that death toll is not having enough of the desired effect because CO2 continues to rise .So tell us how many people need to be extinguished and how high would you propose to raise energy prices to meet your objective ?

    Genocide by fuel poverty is just a twist on what the Nazi’s did but with the same result .

    Elimination of people .

    Of course Obama’s right hand environment man contemplated other far more creative methods in his 1970’s book with his pontification of population control measures .

    Sterilization through the water supply for example …of course that would mean a lot more runners would be making a contribution and not just older people from the fuel poverty campaign .

    • Avatar

      Just Some Kid

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      Certainly. It’s just as fair to say that you seek to kill all mankind by way of making earth inhospitable to life. I don’t know about you, but that seems all bullcrap to me. Honestly, some people… Yes. It’s my goal in life to kill tons of people. In fact, all environmentalists just want the world to burn.

      An active imagination is healthy, but do try to avoid paranoia.

      • Avatar

        Gator

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        What up kid? Why have you not rtesponded to my challenge? You said you wanted a debate,

        1- List [i]all[/i] climate forcings, order them from most to least effective, and then [i]quantify[/i] them.

        2- Please provide [i]even one[/i] peer reviewed paper that refutes natural variability as the cause of recent, or any, global climate changes.

        There is nothing unusual or unprecedented about our climate, or how we got here. For 4,500,000,000 years climates have always changed, naturally. This means there has been a set precedent, and the burden of proof falls on natural climate change deniers like yourself.

        Not up to it? 😆

        • Avatar

          Just Some Kid

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          I already replied to this. Reposting it won’t change my answer: I don’t have the time, I’m not the be all end all, and the burden of proof is not mine.

          A word of advice. Don’t get all your info from such a heavily biased site.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            Your reply was that you could not answer.

            Fail.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            [quote]A word of advice. Don’t get all your info from such a heavily biased site.[/quote]

            My information comes from the IPCC. I know it is heavily biased, but where do you get yours? 😆

            Advice from a child? 😮

      • Avatar

        JayPee

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        ” Making the earth inhospitable ? “

        How kid ? Are you going to make typically imbecilic claim the co2 is a pollutant ? If you are, it’s time to learn about how various chemicals like hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen and most of the various compounds are not just tolerant of life but conditions precedent for existence.

        • Avatar

          Dan50thAE

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          Are you saying that anything with beneficial attributes under certain conditions are therefore not pollutants?

          Sewage, imbecile.

          Plenty of other examples exist of how that’s a stupid generalization that is intellectually disingenuous without mentioning the rhetorical “you can’t breath CO2.”

          CO2 isn’t plant food, either.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            [i]Carbon fixation is a biochemical process by which atmospheric carbon dioxide is incorporated by plants, algae and (cyanobacteria) into energy-rich organic molecules such as glucose, thus creating their own food by photosynthesis. Photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide and water to produce sugars from which other organic compounds can be constructed, and oxygen is produced as a by-product.[/i]

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#Photosynthesis_and_carbon_fixation

            In other words, plants need CO2 or they die.

            I first conducted this very same experiment in 1977, and with each replication the results never varied. Plants grew larger and faster with higher CO2 concentrations, and were healthier.

            [i]Greenhouses are already one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to grow food. Because they are sealed off, they don’t require pesticides or herbicides, or as much water or land to produce high yields. In fact, a 150 acre greenhouse can produce the equivalent yield of a four thousand acre farm.

            But greenhouses need power for light and heat. Many growers also use added CO2 to make plants grow faster.[/i]

            http://www.ecomagination.com/ge-powers-first-co2-capturing-greenhouse-in-us

          • Avatar

            JayPee

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            You bring up ” stupid generalizations “, when you speak of nothing else ?

            Why not confine your anger to proving scientifically that there is a greenhouse effect.

            If you could do so, we wouldn’t be able to laugh, or at least not so hard.

          • Avatar

            JayPee

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            BTW danny boy

            You said we can’t breath co2.

            OH YES WE CAN IDIOT !!!!!

            Without it,

            WE COULDN”T BREATHE !!!!!

            You obviously no nothing of pulmonary medicine,
            OR ANYTHING ELSE !!!!!

        • Avatar

          Just Some Kid

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          You misunderstand. What I said there was as absurd as what Amber said. CO2 will not cause all life on earth to end, just as environmentalists aren’t out to kill people.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            [quote]… environmentalists aren’t out to kill people.[/quote]

            It may not be their intent, but they are, just the same…

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Polluter pay… with your life if you can’t buck up for extreme greens social engineering experiment .

    David Susuki …Humans are maggots
    Al Gore …Punish deniers …But how Big Al ?
    Obama Energy prices will rise significantly .
    Blow up school kids ads who have the nerve to question the scary global warming con men .

    Intimidate scientists who won’t play ball .

    When politicians aided by university hacks and climate con men call for and impose rate shock in utility rates they cannot hide from the fact they will kill people .

    • Avatar

      Just Some Kid

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      Your previous posts were much more coherent, if just as paranoid. what happened?

      I don’t know if this will reassure you, but people are not out to get you.

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    You are right Just Some Kid they are not out to get me just fixed and low income people unable to pay ballooning energy costs orchestrated by your pals who want to “send the right price signal “.
    When politicians set arbitrary CO2 reductions (for no measurable gain )the only way they get to those numbers is population control . Of course they are far to cowardly to admit that they are only hiding fuel poverty death behind their save the world climate protection scam .

    It should be a very easy task for all those highly educated climate modellers to calculate the number of people who will die as fuel prices rise so as to to meet the government quota .

    The extreme green religion would like people to feel good (saving the planet ) while they go about killing people with their polluter pay policies and the ring leaders cash in big time .

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