On going back to the Dark Ages
The Assault on Climate ScienceBy MICHAEL E. MANN, NYT, DEC. 8, 2015
Michael E. Mann directs the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University and is the author of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From the Front Lines.”
State College, Pa. — WITH world leaders gathered in Paris to address climate change, most of the planet seems to have awakened to the reality that the Earth is warming and that we’re responsible.
But not Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who is chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He has long disputed the overwhelming scientific evidence that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are changing the climate. Now he is using his committee chairmanship to go after the government’s own climate scientists, whose latest study is an inconvenience to his views.
In October, Mr. Smith issued a subpoena to Kathryn D. Sullivan, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, demanding all internal notes, emails and correspondence concerning a study its scientists published in the journal Science. The study found that the “rate of global warming during the last 15 years has been as fast as or faster than what was seen during the latter half of the 20th century.”
This conclusion disputed the claim, seized upon by climate-change deniers like Mr. Smith, that there has been a slowdown in the rate of global warming in recent years. In fact, 2014 was the warmest year on record, and this year is likely to end up even warmer.