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Proposed Climate Science Review Continues to Attract Support and Opposition

The proposal by Dr. William Happer of the White House’s National Security Council staff to create an independent panel of experts to do a critical review of official climate science reports continues to attract supporters and opponents. The CO2 Coalition on April 8th sent a letter to President Trump supporting the independent review.

The CO2 Coalition’s letter was signed by a number of eminent scientists and includes a strong defense of Dr. Happer’s scientific credentials against the pathetically ignorant and nasty attacks by global warming alarmists that he has no expertise in climate science or national security. As the letter states, “Climate science, of course, is a massive field, incorporating dozens of specialized fields…. If anybody in America has command of enough scientific fields to be considered a climate scientist, it is Will Happer.”

On the other side, former Secretary of State and former Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) testified at a hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on April 9th. Between displays of ignorance, Kerry blustered against the proposed climate review. He (at about 1:15 of the hearing) and several Democratic members of the committee made a point of attacking Happer’s lack of qualifications to direct a review of climate science.    

For evidence of Kerry’s imbecility, here is how he explained the greenhouse effect in a major speech as Secretary of State in Jakarta in 2014:

In fact, this is not really a complicated equation. I know sometimes I can remember from when I was in high school and college, some aspects of science or physics can be tough – chemistry. But this is not tough. This is simple. Kids at the earliest age can understand this.

Try and picture a very thin layer of gases – a quarter-inch, half an inch, somewhere in that vicinity – that’s how thick it is. It’s in our atmosphere. It’s way up there at the edge of the atmosphere. And for millions of years – literally millions of years – we know that layer has acted like a thermal blanket for the planet – trapping the sun’s heat and warming the surface of the Earth to the ideal, life-sustaining temperature. Average temperature of the Earth has been about 57 degrees Fahrenheit, which keeps life going. Life itself on Earth exists because of the so-called greenhouse effect. But in modern times, as human beings have emitted gases into the air that come from all the things we do, that blanket has grown thicker and it traps more and more heat beneath it, raising the temperature of the planet. It’s called the greenhouse effect because it works exactly like a greenhouse in which you grow a lot of the fruit that you eat here.

This is what’s causing climate change. It’s a huge irony that the very same layer of gases that has made life possible on Earth from the beginning now makes possible the greatest threat that the planet has ever seen.

One odd development is that Will Happer and proponents of the review insist that it be done by an independent commission subject to the Federal Advisory Committees Act. At the hearing, Kerry and the committee Democrats made a point of insisting that if the president orders such a review, it must be done by an independent commission subject to all the transparency requirements of FACA.

Townhall posted amusing video clips of Rep. Thomas Massie’s (R-KY) exchanges with Kerry on climate science. For more details on the Happer review, The Washington Post and the The Washington Times ran stories this week.