US Sci Tech Committee hearing on IPCC

The US Committee on Science, Space and Technology held a 2-hour hearing Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process today.

The aim was to evaluate the processes behind IPCC AR5.

The witnesses were Richard Tol, Michael Oppenheimer, Daniel Botkin, Roger Pielke Sr. The link above includes the opening statements of the witnesses.

Donna Laframboise has a blog post where she says “Experts condemn the IPCC”.

The views of Tol and Pielke are probably fairly familiar to most. Botkin’s comments were particularly interesting. He said that species are resilient and adaptable and that scares of extinctions have been greatly exaggerated. He also said that focus on global warming had distracted attention from other more serious environmental problems. It was left to Oppenheimer to defend the IPCC orthodoxy.

There was a live feed of the session, but it was rather patchy. There are some videos:

Video 1 where the (Republican) chairman Lamar Smith gives his introduction, criticising alarmism and Obama.

Video 2 which features the witnesses reading their statements, and includes several follow-up questions.

Supporters of the IPCC won’t like it.

Update May 30:

The videos that were linked above no longer work. There is now a video file linked from the hearing main page but it doesn’t work on my computer.

Judith Curry’s post on the hearing.

Washington Examiner: House panel takes hard look at UN climate change process

Washington Times: Experts tell House panel climate change science isn’t settled

Committee press release- Witnesses All Agree: Climate Science “Not Settled”

The Democrats have put up some youtube videos of their representatives questioning the witnesses:

Eric Swalwell asks Tol an odd series of questions.

Ami Bera gives a lecture on his own opinion, then asks Oppenheimer something – I’m not sure what.

Marc Veasey suggests that Christy’s model/observation comparisons are unreliable; Pielke disagrees.

Bonamici asks softball questions to Oppenheimer and refuses to allow Botkin to comment.

Johnson asks about the inclusiveness and the IPCC review process, and criticises Tol and Botkin. Again, ironically, only Oppenheimer is allowed to answer the question.

Joe Kennedy encourages speculation about 3 degrees of warming. He then asks aggressive questions to Botkin about whether he wears a seatbelt and what steps should be taken to mitigate warming. Botkin says there are 9 environmental issues more serious than climate change.

9 thoughts on “US Sci Tech Committee hearing on IPCC

  1. I read the Oppenheimer part. He is pro-IPCC in principle but makes no reference to the final conclusions vis-a-vis factualness. He indicates the reports are successful at what they attempt to do and are usefully clear and unified.

    Interesting that he doesn’t say the reports are accurate, fair and truthful, and that the criticisms are not material to the reality of the “problem”, the projected outcome and the urgency with which the CAGW “threat” must be met. He is damning with the faint praise a manager would when he says that his company’s procedures and policies are excellent but fails to talk about what they actually did or what their finances are like.

    Oppenheimer: “They are a bunch of nice guys doing cool stuff and their customer likes what he’s given.”

    Good enough for the High School yearbook committee, good enough for the IPCC.

  2. The videos seem to have gone. Perhaps they were taken down because they were flaky and incomplete. If anyone can find them, let me know and I will change the links.

  3. It was left to Oppenheimer to defend the IPCC orthodoxy.

    And let us not lose sight of the fact that Oppenheimer has a “proposal” in the works (or at least he did as of the IPCC meeting in Batumi, Georgia last October).

    His partner is none other than Oreskes. According to Pachauri (and/or whoever writes his “official” stuff for him):

    The [IPCC’s Executive Committee –hro] ExCom believes that [Oppenheimer’s] “Assessing Assessments” would be a worthwhile exercise which would strengthen the credibility of the scientific community as being transparent and objective. It would fill the knowledge gap which exists within the scientific community about how the IPCC functions. In addition to being of academic interest, it could also help the IPCC improve and innovate the process of assessment.

    The Panel is invited to consider this request and provide further guidance

    Haven’t had a chance to investigate what the Panel’s “response” to Pachauri/ ExCom’s “invitation” might have been!

    Links and related thoughts on this Oppenheimer/Oreskes word-salad at: Will IPCC accede to redefining “neutral”?

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