Scientists Defend Research on Global Warming; Say U.S. Must Take Action to Reduce Manmade Gases

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 20, 2010 | Go to article overview

Scientists Defend Research on Global Warming; Say U.S. Must Take Action to Reduce Manmade Gases


Byline: Stephen Dinan, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Six months after climategate called into question the science underpinning claims of global warming, the National Academy of Sciences said Wednesday the science is sound, human-caused warming is already occurring, and the U.S. must take urgent action.

Trying to end the scientific debate and set the stage for action, the National Research Council, an arm of the Academy, took the unusual step of recommending specific political moves. The council called for lawmakers to set a price on carbon dioxide emissions through either a tax or a cap-and-trade system, and to adopt an emissions-reductions target similar to the one proposed by President Obama.

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for - and in many cases is already affecting - a broad range of human and natural systems, the scientists concluded in one of several congressionally mandated reports released Wednesday.

The report comes three years after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that global warming is real and very likely manmade. But that report, and the temperature record underlying many of its conclusions, have come into question with the revelation of e-mails from a leading British climate research project that seemed to suggest scientists manipulated data. Critics labeled the e-mails climategate.

The science debate will get an airing in Congress. Rep. Edward J. Markey, chairman of the House Select Committee on Global Warming, will hold a hearing Thursday on the academy's reports.

But the science also could face a challenge on the Senate floor soon.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, is planning to offer legislation that would overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Already, Freedom Action, a project of employees of the free-market think-tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, is running radio ads in six states arguing that the e-mails in question taint the entire process.

The National Academy of Sciences reports are swimming against the tide here, which is they're trying to save the establishment position supporting alarmism, when not only the science is moving against them, but public opinion is going against them, partly because of climategate, said Myron Ebell, director of Freedom Action. …

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