Pielke Jr’s Follow Up Q&A from the Senate EPW Committee

People send me stuff.

Below is a letter I received today that has a number of follow up questions answered by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. after his blockbuster testimony last month.

Pielke’s responses are all about questions on extreme weather.  Note Senator Whitehouse’s first question which basically reads: “look, I’ve been wrong and making up nonsense for a long period of time, but isn’t it OK because this other guy is wrong as well?”

For the record: “The effects of climate change, driven by carbon pollution, hit Americans harder each year. Extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires and droughts are growing ever more frequent and severe.”   – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Reuters June 19, 2013

It is a good read.

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20 August 2013

Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman Senator David Vitter, Ranking Member
US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Washington, DC 20510-6175

Dear Senators Boxer and Vitter:

The accompanying two pages contain my responses to the questions posed by Senators Whitehouse and Vitter. I have reproduced the questions in italics and my replies are offset immediately following each question.

I am grateful for the opportunity to share some of our research before the committee and to provide some replies to questions from members.

Sincerely,

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Roger Pielke, Jr.
Professor and Director (as of Sept 1 2013)
Center for Science and Technology Policy Research University of Colorado/CIRES
Boulder, CO

===============================================================

Replies of Professor Roger Pielke, Jr. to Questions from Senate EPW 21 August 2013

Questions from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse:

1) In your written testimony, you stated:

“It is misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally. It is further incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.”

In your opinion as a science-policy expert, is it also misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people?

PIELKE REPLY: Yes. Both such claims are misleading and incorrect.

2) Who funds your research currently? Please supply a full list for the record.

PIELKE REPLY: I currently have one active grant. It is a small grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation for a project looking at the role of philanthropy in policy and politics (it has nothing to do with climate or extreme events), drawing on an engagement model I proposed in my book, The Honest Broker (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Also, at the University of Colorado, I am a Fellow of CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences) which is a NOAA Joint Institute.

Questions from Senator David Vitter

1) Dr. Pielke, as I read Mr. Nutter’s testimony, he appeared to be trying to tell us that businesses face a disaster that is happening now. But according to a recent Lloyd’s of London survey of almost 600 corporate executives about the risks faced by their business, they ranked climate change #32 behind “piracy” but ahead of “space weather.” High taxation was ranked #1. Regulation was ranked #5. Why do you think they placed climate change at #32?

PIELKE REPLY: Human-caused climate change likely ranks low in the Lloyd’s 2013 Risk Index1 because the vast majority of impacts associated with such changes that would be of direct concern to global businesses in 2013 are presently small or even undetectable at present in the context of historical climate variability, as discussed in my testimony.

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1 http://www.lloyds.com/news-and-insight/risk-insight/lloyds-risk-index

2) Dr. Pielke, do you agree with comments made during the hearing that the weather here in the U.S. has fundamentally changed as is evidenced by an increase in hurricanes, droughts, floods, and tornadoes? Do you agree there is “strong evidence” that extreme weather events in the U.S. have become more frequent and intense?

PIELKE REPLY: A range of evidence summarized in my prepared testimony indicates that, on climate time scales in the US or globally, there has not been an increase in hurricanes, droughts, floods or tornadoes. The evidence for this claim is strong and is well-supported in the peer-reviewed literature, data collected by the U.S. government’s research agencies and the recent report on extreme events by Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change.

3) Dr. Pielke, to reiterate your points debunking claims that weather events in the United States are “extreme” in that they are increasing and more intense I would like to ask you a series of questions and provide you the opportunity to answer each.

a) Have United States landfalling hurricanes increased in frequency or intensity since 1900? Have they increased globally? Has damage, adjusted for more people and property, increased in the US or elsewhere?

PIELKE REPLY: As presented in my testimony, the US has not seen an increase in hurricane landfall frequency or intensity since at least 1900, nor in measures of damage, normalized for societal change. In fact, the US is presently in the longest stretch without a Category 3+ hurricane landfall since at least 1900.

b) Has United States flooding increased on climate timescales? Globally? Have United States tornadoes increased? Has United States drought overall increased?

PIELKE REPLY: As presented in my testimony, the US has not seen an overall increase in flooding, nor has such an increase been documented globally. The same holds also for tornadoes and drought.

c) Has the cost of disasters increased globally as a fraction of GDP?

PIELKE REPLY: As presented in my testimony, the cost of disasters as a fraction of global GDP has actually decreased since 1990.

4) Has anyone taken you up on your June 27th twitter invitation to defend President Obama’s claim? (“Open invitation: Does anyone wish to defend the Obama claim that worse extreme weather is increasing disaster costs?”)

PIELKE REPLY: No one took up the challenge.

===================================================================

The original letter in PDF form is here: Senate.Response.20Aug2013 (1)

h/t to Bryan Zumwalt

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58 Responses to Pielke Jr’s Follow Up Q&A from the Senate EPW Committee

  1. Jimbo says:

    PIELKE REPLY: No one took up the challenge.

    That says it all.

  2. ConfusedPhoton says:

    I see Senator Sheldon Whitehouse only asks two questions:

    One about whether man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetratedand another on Roger Pielke’s funding

    Nothing like technical questions but then why would the Senator ask such questions since he is not interested in the answers!

  3. MattN says:

    Yep, that’s about right…

  4. Jimbo says:

    I vaguely recall that it’s been 8 years since a major hurricane struck the U.S. Therefore global warming means fewer major hurricanes for the US. :-p

  5. Richard M says:

    Soooooo, now we should never see another claim from a US senator that extreme weather events are increasing. They have been informed that claim is not supported by any science. They wouldn’t lie, would they?

  6. Jimbo says:

    I vaguely recall that so far the U.S. is having its quietest tornado season on record. Therefore global warming means fewer tornadoes. :-p
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/19/2013-is-a-record-low-year-for-u-s-tornadoes/

  7. Auto says:

    Richard M says:
    August 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm
    Soooooo, now we should never see another claim from a US senator that extreme weather events are increasing. They have been informed that claim is not supported by any science. They wouldn’t lie, would they?
    =
    Your senators seem to be a bit like our MPs in the UK – and indeed MEPs; if their mouth is open, they’re probably lying (but possibly brown-tonguing – or both). It seems to have worsened since the arrival of the ‘political’ candidate; graduate researcher, assistant, councillor, MP, minister – without ever doing a day’s work. All three ‘major’ parties here; the UKIP folk, mostly, have had jobs – even real wealth-creating ones.

  8. JimS says:

    But who is going to tell President Obama that accelerated global warming has not occurred in the last 10 years, but instead, global warming has ceased in the last 15 years? Who is going to tell him that he should issue a public statement to that effect?

  9. “In fact, the US is presently in the longest stretch without a Category 3+ hurricane landfall since at least 1900.”
    Is that true? I’m thinking of:
    Hazel (1954), Audrey (1957), Flora (1963), Cleo (1964), Frederic (1979), Joan (1988), Iniki (1992), Luis (1995), Charley (2004), Dennis (2005).Camille (1969), Anita (1977), David (1979), Gilbert (1988), Andrew (1992), Dean and Felix (both in 2007).

  10. Pat Frank says:

    PIELKE REPLY: No one took up the challenge.

    John Holdren should be asked to resign.

  11. Jimbo says:

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse talks of extreme weather events observed to be increasing when they are not. Mr. Whitehouse needs to read THIS
    , extreme climate during lower co2. He also talks of nasty hurricanes. I thought hurricanes were worse during the Little Ice Age.

    Abstract
    Philippe Sorrel et. al. – 2012
    Persistent non-solar forcing of Holocene storm dynamics in coastal sedimentary archives
    …Here we present a reappraisal of high-energy estuarine and coastal sedimentary records from the southern coast of the English Channel, and report evidence for five distinct periods during the Holocene when storminess was enhanced during the past 6,500 years. We find that high storm activity occurred periodically with a frequency of about 1,500 years, closely related to cold and windy periods diagnosed earlier…..
    doi:10.1038/ngeo1619
    ———————-

    Abstract
    Laurent Dezileau et. al. – 2011
    Intense storm activity during the Little Ice Age on the French Mediterranean coast
    …The apparent increase of the superstorm activity during the latter half of the Little Ice Age was probably due to the thermal gradient increase leading to enhanced lower tropospheric baroclinicity over a large Central Atlantic/European domain and leading to a modification of the occurrence of extreme wind events along the French Mediterranean coast….
    doi: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.11.009
    ———————-

    Abstract
    Hubert H. Lamb – 1984
    [Climatic Changes on a Yearly to Millennial Basis 1984, pp 309-329]
    Some Studies of the Little Ice Age of Recent Centuries and its Great Storms
    …And so the series gives us our most reliable estimate of the magnitude of the temperature depression in England and neighbouring countries. In northern Scotland, southern Norway and Iceland there are indications of a significantly greater depression of the prevailing temperatures…..The enhanced thermal gradient between latitudes about 50° and 60–65°N in this part of the world is thought to have provided a basis for the development of some greater wind storms in these latitudes than have occurred in most of the last 100 years…
    doi: 10.1007/978-94-015-7692-5_34
    ———————-

    Abstract
    Zhang, Jiacheng et. al. –
    Journal of Climate, vol. 2, Issue 8, pp.833-849
    Historical Climate Records in China and Reconstruction of Past Climates
    … 1) There were significant historical climate fluctuations in China, with a range of about 1.0°-1.5°C in recent centuries. 2) Significant decadal-scale warm fluctuations occurred during a cool interval broadly correlative with the Little Ice Age. 3) There was an increased frequency of both droughts and floods in some pans of China during the Little Ice Age. Increased frequencies of dust storms accompanied the dry phases of the cool periods….
    doi: 10.1175/1520-0442(1989)0022.0.CO;2
    ———————-

    Abstract
    Dr. Paul Reiter – 2000
    From Shakespeare to Defoe: Malaria in England in the Little Ice Age
    …Crop practices throughout Europe had to be altered to adapt to the shortened, less reliable growing season, and there were many years of dearth and famine. Violent storms caused massive flooding and loss of life. Some of these resulted in permanent losses of large tracts of land from the Danish, German, and Dutch coasts….
    doi: 10.3201/eid0601.000101

    Letter – Nature
    Jeffrey P. Donnelly
    Intense hurricane activity over the past 5,000 years controlled by El Niño and the West African monsoon
    …..It has been proposed that an increase in sea surface temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change has led to an increase in the frequency of intense tropical cyclones2, 3, but this proposal has been challenged….sea surface temperatures as high as at present are not necessary to support intervals of frequent intense hurricanes….
    doi:10.1038/nature05834

  12. Jimbo says:

    Here is some further reading for Senator Sheldon should he pass by.

    ….From a meteorological point of view, this troublesome development in the late medieval time was the result of global cooling. When the planet cools, the cooling is especially pronounced near the poles and smaller near the equator. Along with planetary cooling, this therefore produces an enhanched thermal contrast between equatorial regions and the poles. In the northern hemisphere, this thermal contrast tend to develop especially in latitudes between about 50 and 65oN, in the zone of westerlies. This strengthened thermal gradient is the basis for development of more cyclonic storms over oceans in this zone, leading to increasing flood frequency and damage for adjoining coasts and land areas……..
    Climate4you.com
    ———————-
    The Guardian – 20 January 2011
    Weatherwatch: The Grote Mandrenke
    Few great weather events in British history were as devastating as the “Grote Mandrenke”, the great drowning of men, which took place in mid January 1362. A huge south-westerly gale originating in the Atlantic Ocean swept across Ireland, Britain, the Low Countries, and northern Germany, causing at least 25,000 deaths……As the storm reached the North Sea, it combined with high tides to produce the phenomenon most feared by coastal communities, a storm surge….

  13. DLBrown says:

    Dr. P., Jr., congrats for your Directorship! May your research continue to be productive and noteworthy.

  14. Mike Jowsey says:

    J. Philip Peterson says:
    August 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm
    “Is that true? I’m thinking of:…”

    The claim is that it is the longest absence of cat 3 hurricanes land-falling US since 1900. Not that there have been none since 1900.

  15. Mike Maguire says:

    1. Not only the longest period without a major huuricane(cat 3 or higher) to strike the US but
    2. Tornadoes near record lows the past 2 years
    3. Last years widespread US drought in the Midwest broke the longest streak for most years without a drought, going back to 1988. 24 years of the best growing seasons in the Cornbelt since records started.

    Do no hurricanes make the news? nope. The cat 1 hurricane, climate change induced Super Storm Sandy did( there were 3 cat. 3′s effecting the US in 3 months of 1954)
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/01/hurricane-season-begins-with-a-new-record-hurricane-drought-for-the-usa/

    Do no tornadoes make the news? Nope, the Moore OK and Joplin MO, climate change induced tornadoes did. 7 out of the 8 years with the most amount of strong to violent tornadoes occurred between 1954-1974(during global cooling) The other top 8 year was 2011………from climate change.
    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/tornado/clim/EF3-EF5.png

    Do good growing conditions in the Cornbelt make the news. Nope. The one year with the climate change induced drought, 2012 did. Corn yields have been soaring. Yes, technology and genetics get most of the credit but weather has been a huge plus too.
    http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/YieldTrends.html

    Clearly, isolated events like this in the midst of overwhelming beneficial and non extreme weather for decades would make a case, that if this is the climate change that is happening, we sure as heck should nurture it and try to keep it going as long as possible!

  16. Resourceguy says:

    The question from Sen. Whitehouse to Pielke on the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people is certainly a loaded question. The correct answer is of course No, because one has to consider the others as in a) Vietnam victory surge by Pres. Johnson, b) Pres. Johnson’s Great Society spending program, c) Obama stimulus and shovel ready, d) Jimmy Carter energy policy solutions and the start of Yucca Mountain storage program, and e) Sen. John Edwards was worthy of high elected office.

  17. bw says:

    Sheldon Whitehouse is a typical career lawyer with no science training. His Yale degree was Architecture. He is married to a marine biologist, so he can refer science questions to her.
    His questions reveal he has no clue about “Science” in any way. Pielke should have asked him to describe the scientific method in his own words.

    Wait, maybe he stayed in a Holiday Inn last night.

  18. Scarface says:

    Please, Dr Pielke, tell the world you’re a skeptic now.
    You just made the perfect case against CAGW.

  19. Mike Maguire says:

    On the strong to violent tornadoes, that should be 5 out of the top 6 years were between 1954-1974, not 7 out of 8. Sorry about that.

    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/tornado/clim/EF3-EF5.png

  20. OssQss says:

    I would bet Boxers face looked like it just had another facelift after reading that letter.

    Nice job !

  21. Joe says:

    J. Philip Peterson says:
    August 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    “In fact, the US is presently in the longest stretch without a Category 3+ hurricane landfall since at least 1900.”
    Is that true? I’m thinking of:
    Hazel (1954), Audrey (1957), Flora (1963), Cleo (1964), Frederic (1979), Joan (1988), Iniki (1992), Luis (1995), Charley (2004), Dennis (2005).Camille (1969), Anita (1977), David (1979), Gilbert (1988), Andrew (1992), Dean and Felix (both in 2007).
    ——————————————————————————————————————-

    Yes, it’s true. The last cat 3+ hurricanes to hit the United States were Charley, Ivan and Jeanne, all in 2004 (last seen Mexico, Nicaragua and Honduras – where Dean and Felix made landfall – aren’t part of the United States).

    That gives 9 years since a cat 3 or greater hurricane has landed in the US, which is actually the longest gap since the 11 years between 1860 and 1871 according to NOAA data here http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastint.shtml . The next lngest gap since 1900 is the 6 years between 1909 and 1915, so the current pause is a substantial 50% longer than anything in the last 100+ years!

    It’s worth bearing in mind, of course, that back in the 1860s there could well have been even major hurricanes landing in remote areas without anyone noticing!

  22. John West says:

    While I agree to a point with Dr. Pielke that the exact phrase: ”man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” is incorrect and misleading, I think he missed a golden opportunity to provide more context and describe the common mischaracterization of AGW as being undoubtedly catastrophic and scientifically “proven” to require immediate action in order to deceive the electorate into supporting various programs more likely to line the pockets of politicians and their friends or have unfavorable results on the economy and especially the poor than to have any effect on climate (i.e.: a hoax of unprecedented scale).

  23. “The claim is that it is the longest absence of cat 3 hurricanes land-falling US since 1900. Not that there have been none since 1900.”
    OK, I get it, I remember the graph now. It was the wording that tripped me up.

  24. Dr. Lurtz says:

    Our governmental system of representation almost guarantees that the representatives are put into office based on funding, not on scientific intelligence or the ability to learn. The representatives will go with the “flow” [of money]. Look at the education levels. How many Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, PhD s are there??? Don’t you need a math/science background to even understand our “scientific new world”?

    Does a Law Degree help you to understand the complex computer models that are used in science today?

    The entire system is based on money, money flows, grants and future funding.

    Try to talk to a representative about any technical issue [I have]: “They know nothing”.

  25. Ferd says:

    I just checked again .

    at 1:58. Dr. Cullen actually suggests that we cannot look at the global level to see the “signal” for Global Warming. instead we need to “think regionally”

    serously, watch this. I predict this will be the next itteration of the CAGW warmists screed. Global Warming is visible ONLY at the regional level.

    I didnt go thru the whole thing, but I am certain that she makes this very same statement later in the presentation.

  26. Gunga Din says:

    Unless I misread something, the questions are supposed to be in italics.
    From question 3b on they are not. Just a friendly heads up.

  27. Colin says:

    You know – I have noticed that when someone makes a mistake on these forums and is shown to be a mistake, most people admit it. Now to get some from the other camp to say “oops, I made a mistake. Thanks for showing me where I erred”. Sorry – I was smoking something funny and my typing got carried away.

  28. Joe says:

    John West says:
    August 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    While I agree to a point with Dr. Pielke that the exact phrase: ”man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” is incorrect and misleading, I think he missed a golden opportunity to provide more context and describe the common mischaracterization of AGW as being undoubtedly catastrophic and scientifically “proven” to require immediate action in order to deceive the electorate into supporting various programs more likely to line the pockets of politicians and their friends or have unfavorable results on the economy and especially the poor than to have any effect on climate (i.e.: a hoax of unprecedented scale).
    ———————————————————————————————————————–

    I don’t agree. Dr Pielke is a scientist, and he answered the questions scientifically. Any conjecture (and that’s all it is) about the motivations of the players has no place in science.

    In fact, the question as posed shouldn’t really have been posed at all – it appears to be a blatant political point-scoring attempt showing just how little the Senator cares about the science. I’m not providing scientific answers so I’m allowed to indulge in a little conjecture btw ;)

    Since it was posed, Dr Pielke answered it in an honest and forthright manner without giving it more oxygen than it deserved.

  29. Chad Wozniak says:

    Unless I’m somehow misreading Dr. Pielke’s answer, it looks like he says both alarmist claims and characterizing them as a hoax are misleading – meaning no hoax.

    Question: if CAGW isn’t the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people, what is?
    E.g., Bernie Madoff $50B, vs. CAGW $10T and upwards (and already at least $100B spent and paid to alarmists)? Did Lysenko cost us as much? Did phrenology?

    I hope I’ve misunderstood and that he really means the two claims by the alarmists are the hoax.

    @Jim S -
    It won’t matter who tells der Fuehrer he’s wrong about warming accelerating. He will simply fall back on his belief system’s central tenet: no evidence contrary to his meme could possibly exist. Therefore, now matter how hard the new ice age comes down on him, warming is still accelerating.

  30. Outrageous Ampersand says:

    I’m reminded of a quote from Dr Who: “Humans. You’re so preoccupied with dying you never consider what you might do if you lived”.

  31. John West says:

    @ Joe

    So, if you were a scientist and you were asked when did you stop beating your wife you couldn’t answer by providing exposing the question’s shortcomings?

    Part of a scientists job is to provide context, he chose not to.

  32. Mike Maguire says:

    “I predict this will be the next itteration of the CAGW warmists screed. Global Warming is visible ONLY at the regional level”

    You could be right. From 2005-2011, while we were breaking the previous record for growing seasons without a widespread drought in the Cornbelt(last one had been in 1988), I predicted that another drought would come at some point and the only thing for certain was that global warming/climate change would get the blame.

    In politics, religion and many other realms, including unfortunately, climate science, people have made assumptions based on what they think they know.
    If there are 2 opposing views/sides, you are drawn to the one that lines up best with your assumptions.
    It’s almost impossible to process new information without the bias of what you think you know effecting it. This applies even to junk science or false data. The only prerequisite for it to be stored as knowledge is that it needs to support what you think already.If it contradicts what you believe, chances are much greater for it to be discarded.

    For politicians, there is even more on the line. Agenda, money, votes and perception get great weighting. The biggest shock would be a liberal alarmist or conservative skeptic suddenly changing their view 180 degrees.

    However, there are some people(outside of politics) that go with the legit science and facts which are received with an open mind. This is why Anthony’s recent presentation has caused me to respect him even more. For years, he viewed things, mainly from one side but adjusted those views according to where the science and data led him.

    Anthony doesn’t just talk the talk(that includes the same rhetoric from many people/sources in some cases), he walks the walk and is about as authentic as it gets regarding the issue of global warming and climate change.

  33. A.D. Everard says:

    Chad Wozniak says:
    August 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Unless I’m somehow misreading Dr. Pielke’s answer, it looks like he says both alarmist claims and characterizing them as a hoax are misleading – meaning no hoax.

    Question: if CAGW isn’t the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people, what is?

    *

    I’m with Chad on this. I understand that an opinion on whether CAGW is a hoax or not is not scientific, but I would have thought then the answer would be along the lines of “This question asks for opinion and has no place in science.”

    It sounds like he’s agreeing with the warmists that CAGW is real and that politicians are right to take it seriously.

    Even an answer saying “Scientific findings indicate climate scientists got it wrong,” would be better than, “It would be incorrect to say CAGW is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated.” That’s not a scientific answer.

    How about, “We don’t know until this issue has been fully examined.” ?

  34. Mooloo says:

    Did Lysenko cost us as much?

    Lysenko cost the USSR, and the Soviet Bloc in general, an astounding amount of money. Far more than AGW has cost us so far.

    Firstly he ensured that crop productions remained well under those of the West in equivalent land. The Soviet Union for decades was losing billions upon billions.

    Almost more importantly, he prevented any clever people entering biology in the Soviet Union. He basically destroyed a whole branch of science. Chemistry went the same way, because no-one dared challenge the orthodoxy when it meant personal ruin (or death in certain phases). Half of all science and much of agriculture ruined is quite an achievement!

    There’s a reason all the clever Soviets were in Maths and hard physics — those were the only areas where people could be sure that their answer was not “wrong” on ideological grounds.

    The difference is that the Soviets acted as if Lysenko was right. The West largely plays lip service to the CO2 AGW, as we continue to drive and fly and consume exactly as we did before it.

  35. Joe says:

    But he’s absolutely right that AGW isn’t a hoax. Saying it is presupposes that it was deliberately fabricated, from the start, knowing that it was false. Suggesting that is beyond conspiracy theorising and being seen to suggest it does the cause of truth no good whatsoever.

    It also severely limits the likelihood of innocents who’ve been caught up in good faith – including, quite possibly, many in that alleged 97% scientific consensus – reconsidering their position. Would you give credence to someone who kept insisting that something you genuinely believed was a hoax and that, by believing it, you were implicated?

    Things do not have to be a hoax in order for some people to sieze on them for oportunistic gain. Even if AGW was real, people like Gore and Mann would be milking it for personal profit. Funnily enough, in other walks of life, that’s just called Capitalism ;)

  36. EW3 says:

    Have to admit my admiration for Dr. Pielke, in his patience in dealing with the moroons on Capital Hilll. I tend to be too free lipped to do that.

  37. BBould says:

    I watched this Senate hearing. It appeared to be more about politics than science. Also it was funny to watch the Senators’ parade their scientist around or tout their specific titles in a show of one-upmanship.

  38. jai mitchell says:

    Haha!!
    I’ll bite. . .

    Premise: worse extreme weather is increasing disaster costs.
    Restatement: (S1)As extreme weather worsens, disaster costs increase. And (S2)Extreme weather is worsening.

    Extreme weather analyzed: Drought
    (S1) – as drought worsens, disaster costs increase — True
    (S2) – Drought is worsening

    (S2) definition issue: Time period not defined

    Attribution of (S2) definition issue: absolutism
    Resolution of (S2) definition issue: Time period that IPCC attributes warming to anthropogenic sources (1945 to present)

    (S2) restatement (S2r) – Drought has worsened since 1945.

    (S2r) definition issue 2: Location not defined
    Resolution of (S2r) definition issue: Southwestern States

    (S2r) restatement (S2r2) – Drought has worsened in the southwestern states since 1945.

    S2r2 result – True
    S2r2 result evidence: historic drought values

    Upper Colorado http://drought.unl.edu/Portals/0/user_image/Palmer/upco.gif
    Lower Colorado http://drought.unl.edu/Portals/0/user_image/Palmer/lowerco.gif
    Great Basin http://drought.unl.edu/Portals/0/user_image/Palmer/greatbsn.gif
    California Basin http://drought.unl.edu/Portals/0/user_image/Palmer/calif.gif

    Therefore: Drought has worsened in the Southwestern states since 1945 and this has resulted in increased disaster costs.

    Q.E.D.

  39. Brian H says:

    Mike Maguire says:
    August 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Clearly, isolated events like this in the midst of overwhelming beneficial and non extreme weather for decades would make a case, that if this is the climate change that is happening, we sure as heck should nurture it and try to keep it going as long as possible!

    You jest, but that’s literally true. Maximizing CO2 output would be the best thing we could do.

  40. Brian H says:

    Chad Wozniak says:
    August 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Unless I’m somehow misreading Dr. Pielke’s answer, it looks like he says both alarmist claims and characterizing them as a hoax are misleading – meaning no hoax.

    You’re definitely misreading. The question is not about “a” hoax, but “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind”. Even Hal Lewis restricted that characterization to his “long life as a physicist”.

  41. Brian H says:

    Correction: “… on the American people.” Hal Lewis further restricted his assessment to “pseudoscientific hoax”, of course.

  42. Brian H says:

    Probably AGW is beaten by a nose by Obama (intentions, qualifications, eligibility). It’s a near thing, though.

  43. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Brian H -
    Well, I guess I can take some comfort in that other folks here think Dr. Pielke was not giving credence to CAGW – I’m happy to be wrong about that, if it is the case.. However, it makes me nervous when I misunderstand something like that – it suggests that others might also misunderstand it. Everyone reading my posts here knows I’m touchous about giving the alarmists any kind of an opening to say “Ha ha we told you so.”

  44. David Riser says:

    If every time a hypothesis was disproved, we treated it like a hoax, there would be no more science conducted in this country. Dr Pielke is obviously pretty smart in that regard. Some questions are better left answered for the greater good; for a scientist the idea of a hypothesis being a hoax would signal the end of science. The Honorable Senator on the other hand should think before asking a question that is essentially an untenable straw man. It just proves his obvious unthinking bias in this matter. It is now in the written record and once were done with this silliness is going to haunt him for the rest of his career.
    v/r,
    David Riser

  45. Gary Pearse says:

    I strongly disagree about the “hoax” reply. It’s one thing to say there has been some warming (Heck were coming out of the LIA) but in terms of trillions spent, the hyperbole, the clear and present danger to world civilization, freedom, impoverishment and neglect of the poorest and damage to science, there are no nice words to describe it. Hoax is an understatement and seems a little tame as a description – there needs to be a new word for such a thing that negatively impacts billions of people. Your reply is misleading and incorrect if you are looking at the big picture.

  46. kramer says:

    Who funds your research currently?

    Has Whitehouse looked at the environmentalist and left-wing causes that Rockefeller, Ford, and Carnegie money (to name a few) funds?

  47. Steve says:

    Dr Pielke’s responses were exactly as predicted by the climate models…

  48. Silly me, I always thought the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people was pairing the word “social” with the word “sciences.”

  49. C.M. Carmichael says:

    How about “Political ” science?

  50. C.M. Carmichael says:

    Or “fossil” fuels?

  51. commieBob says:

    Roger Pielke Jr. is not a scientist per se.

    His interests include understanding the politicization of science, decision making under uncertainty, and policy education for scientists in areas such as climate change, disaster mitigation, and world trade.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_A._Pielke,_Jr.

    I am a professor of environmental studies at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/04711007512915460627

    The thing that makes Pielke so powerful is that he doesn’t get sucked into arguments about the science. His statements and arguments are based on historical fact (not theory, extrapolation and conjecture).

  52. Stephen Richards says:

    I still would not want Peilke jnr on my side of the table. His first answer is utterly wrong. It is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated by ‘progressive’ politicians on their fellow citoyen.

    He also should leave alone those questions which relate to the science. He isn’t one and in my opinion will never be one, whereas Senior …. now he would have on my side of the table.

    However, his performance at the hearing(s) and his replies here are good. His answers are well crafted and not ‘extreme’

  53. richardscourtney says:

    Friends:

    I write to correct a misunderstanding by those thinking AGW is a “hoax”.

    AGW is a ‘bandwagon’.
    A coincidence of interests usually creates a bandwagon.

    And a bandwagon does not need a hoax or a conspiracy to create it or to sustain it. People join the band on the wagon when the wagon is going where they want to go. They stay on the wagon until it stops or ceases to be going in the direction they want to go. And they will try to keep it moving in the direction they desire.

    No “hoax” or conspiracy is needed or is involved.

    Richard

  54. John West says:

    If every time a hypothesis was artificially propped by Zohnerism, pal-review, and generally shoddy science then touted as settled science (on par with evolution), paraded around to emotionally charge the electorate, used to create damaging policy and then disproved, we treated it like a hoax, there would be a lot less pseudoscience conducted in this country.

  55. Chuck Nolan says:

    richardscourtney says:
    August 22, 2013 at 4:23 am
    Friends:

    I write to correct a misunderstanding by those thinking AGW is a “hoax”.

    AGW is a ‘bandwagon’.
    A coincidence of interests usually creates a bandwagon.
    —————————————————————————-
    Yes!
    I believe it.
    Bandwagon is the best explanation yet.
    Even if I don’t agree with everyone else’s causes. Since the wagon is heading this way, and I’m going in the same direction…..I’ll just ride along.
    Not everyone on an airplane to Orlando is going to visit The Mouse.
    Thank you Richard.
    cn

  56. John West says:

    @ richardscourtney
    I’m sure you are correct that the grand majority of the advocates for climate change action now are just bandwagon followers, but at the very core of CAGW is a deliberate deception (or incompetence) with respect to the robustness of the conclusion. It is this deception that encourages the bandwagon following and is usually accomplished through lies of omission. Whether it is the obvious information left out in an advocacy site or the referencing burial of inconvenient data in scientific journals, it’s still an intentional deception (or criminal level incompetence) and therefore fraud.

    In my book anything less than full disclosure of pertinent information is fraud. Let’s take, for example, the 4 Hiroshima bombs per second (HsB/s) analogy. Sounds pretty scary until it’s put into the context of solar insolation being on the order of 1000 HsB/s and the error range on the 4 Hiroshima bombs per second being (plus or minus) 113 HsB/s. From my point of view spouting on about 4 HsB/s without providing the context is fraudulent. Hiding behind caveats like “consistent with” and “might occur” and then when it comes time to recommend policy be all “settled science” is fraud. “Hiding the decline” in a graphic but having CYA buried in a reference of a reference of a reference is fraud. In industry (electro-chemical) we have to develop hypotheses and recommend courses of action based on those hypotheses too; and yes we also use caveats to communicate uncertainty. Yes, sometimes we’re wrong. The difference is our confidence in our hypothesis matches our confidence in our course of action recommendation. If I’m 80% sure of the hypothesis I’m 80% sure of the course of action. With climate science it seems from judging by the caveats that they’re 20% sure of the hypothesis and 100% sure of the course of action.

    But, either way you look at it, Dr. Pielke answered a nearly yes or no type question with a nearly yes or no type answer when the question really should have been answered IMO with much more additional context.

    We have Full Disclosure Laws governing transactions for almost anything we buy except for government policy direction recommendations.

    PS: I’m not saying the CAGW conclusion is wrong, I’m saying we don’t have anywhere near the level of confidence that some scientists have communicated concerning the CAGW conclusion.

  57. KLA says:

    @ C.M. Carmichael

    Or the expression “common sense”. It just ain’t common.

  58. Jeff Alberts says:

    Mike Maguire , August 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Mike, you really need to figure out the difference between
    “effecting” and “affecting”. You’ve gotten it wrong in both your comments in this thread that I’ve seen.

Comments are closed.