Climate Change Chatter … in the House

by Bill Chameides | May 3rd, 2013
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

Permalink | 2 comments
Subcommittee on Environment Hearing
Some quotes from the April 25th Subcommittee on Environment hearing entitled “Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context.”

I testified in front of the House Subcommittee on Environment last week. Here’s some of what was said…

quotation marksquotation marksToday’s hearing is intended to provide members a high-level overview of the key factors that should inform our decision-making on what is unfortunately one of the most controversial public policy issues of our day.


—Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), Subcommittee chair

Climate Models Critiqued by House Member

quotation marksquotation marksConsensus climate models have such poor track records. These models regularly overstate the temperature changes.


—Subcommittee chair Stewart

Fact check: see this graphic.

Who Cares About U.S. Emissions Anyway?

quotation marksquotation marksCutting U.S. emissions will have little or no effect on global greenhouse gas emissions.


—Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of Committee on Science, Space and Technology

Fact check: In 2008, the United States emitted 19 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

On Emissions: The Costs of Cutting vis-à-vis Recent U.S. Trends

quotation marksquotation marksThere are advocates that the U.S. needs to cut its CO2 emissions. … All that does is put us at an economic disadvantage … our quality of life will go down.


—Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)

quotation marksquotation marksI’m worried that [Obama’s] anticipated restrictions on industrial CO2 emissions will have no discernible impact on the climate but will amount to a significant energy tax on the American people.


—Committee chair Stewart

quotation marksquotation marksThe U.S. reduced its CO2 emissions by 12% over the last seven years.


—Subcommittee chair Smith

With respect to high costs of lowering carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, it is relevant to note that that 12 percent cut in emissions that Congressman Smith pointed to (and the kind of cuts his colleagues claimed would be so economically painful) came about while the U.S. gross domestic product increased by increased by more than 5 percent (in real dollars) over the same period.

A Topic of Some Interest: The Price of My Home and the Planet

quotation marksquotation marksThere is, of course, much room for debate about what policies should be implemented to respond to climate change and its impacts, but uncertainty is not a reason for inaction. We, as individuals and as a society, often act in the face of uncertainty… I, for example, cannot predict if, let alone when, there will be a fire in my house, but I pay for fire insurance.


—Bill Chameides, witness

quotation marksquotation marks[Yes, but what if] … your house is worth $100 thousand but it costs $200 thousand for that insurance?


—Committee chair Stewart

quotation marksquotation marksIt’s easier to replace a house than a planet.


—Ranking Member Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)

Question That Stumped All the Witnesses Is Answered by the Questioner

quotation marksquotation marksAre y’all aware of the amount of energy required to run an electricity grid the size of … Texas … how much is AC and how much is DC?
[Witnesses respond that they do not]
Well, I own an air conditioning company and I can tell you it’s a huge amount.

—Rep. Weber

 A Final Insight on Climate Change

quotation marksquotation marks

Maybe the sun has something to do with it.


—Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)

Related Links
• Climate Change Chatter, Issue 1

• Climate Change Chatter, Issue 2

• Climate Change Chatter, Issue 3

• Climate Change Chatter, Issue 4

• Climate Change Chatter, Issue 5

• Climate Change Chatter, Issue 6

• Climate Change Chatter, Issue 7

• Climate Change Chatter, Issue 8

filed under: climate change, faculty, global warming, policy, politics


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  1. Michael Berndtson
    May 4, 2013

    This is horrible. Horrible. And this is a subcommittee on the environment? I think its time to admit US has an unfixable problem and we will need to take another route. We spent the past 30 or 40 years trying to develop a highly educated class for the betterment of society at large. This would include tax dollars for math an science academies, magnet schools, gifted programs, AP course work, etc. For what? Our country is controlled by complete idiots. And somewhere between 50 to 70 percent of the country seems to like it like that. What good is it to have well educated and intelligent workers in the areas of policy and practice, when they’re sitting on the proverbial bench? Or cutting and pasting legislation geared toward our environmental demise.

    • Bill Chameides
      Bill Chameides
      Aug 16, 2013

      “Take another route”: Could that be the administration using the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2?

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