Global-Warming Scientists ‘Need to Go Back to Square One,’ Rep. Barton Says
March 2, 2010 - 9:07 PMGlobal warming has not met scientific criteria, and scientists need to find a theory that matches the facts, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) said Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol.
“Science is verifiable, science is something that can be replicated,” Barton, the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told CNSNews.com.
“This whole theory of global warming is just that: It’s a theory. It’s based on models. Models are based on variables, and conditions that the modelers that develop the models put into them. And the models don’t replicate what’s happened,” Barton said. “So (scientists) need to go back to square one, look at the empirical data, look at alternative theories, and see if they can find a theory that actually fits the facts.”
Barton appeared Tuesday with House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other members of the House Republican Conference to introduce a resolution condemning the recent action by the Environmental Protection Agency declaring carbon dioxide – a gas that green plants need to survive -- as a pollutant.
Catching up with Barton after the news conference, CNSnews.com asked the Texas congressman if a statement by Phil Jones, ex-head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995 made a strong case against enacting the cap-and-trade bill that passed in the House.
“Sure,” Barton replied, adding that he did not believe that the bill's supporters had the votes to pass the legislation, which would require companies to obtain carbon "credits" from the government.
Barton offered concrete examples to justify challenging the validity of global warming, an e-mail in which Jones allegedly asked Penn State scientist Michael Mann to delete some of his own emails to prevent them from being seen by outsiders.
“You know, this Professor Mann all the sudden can’t find his data set, we have e-mails from several years ago where they were conversing with some folks over in England that if push came to shove, the dog would eat the homework. And that’s what’s happening now,” Barton said.
In a Feb. 13 interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), Prof. Phil Jones, former head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and among the world’s leading experts on global warming, was asked: “Do you agree that from 1995 to the present that there has been no statistically-significant global warming?”
“Yes,” said Jones, “but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period from 1995-2009. This trend (0.12 per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”
Jones also told the BBC that he does not think the debate on climate change is over.
The BBC asked Jones: “When scientists say, ‘the debate on climate change is over,’ what exactly do they mean – and what don’t they mean?”
He replied: “It would be a supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think it is. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well.”
Jones became involved in a controversy last fall -- dubbed “Climategate” -- when numerous leaked e-mails from the University of East Anglia raised evidence that some top climate researchers, including Jones, may have conspired to squelch research from some critics of the climate-change theory from being published.
Jones has relinquished his post as head of the university’s Climatic Research Unit pending an investigation.
On Monday, at a hearing conducted by the British House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Jones admitted that he had withheld raw data from his research on “global warming” and that it was “standard procedure” to do so.
“I have obviously written some pretty awful e-mails,” Jones said.
Referring to “Climategate,” Britain’s prestigious Institute of Physics said: “Unless the disclosed e-mails are proved to be forgeries or adaptations, worrying implications arise for the integrity of scientific research and for the credibility of the scientific method. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital.”
CNSNews.com: Phil Jones, the former head of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, recently told the BBC that there has been no statistically significant global warming for the past 15 years.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas): That’s true. It’s true that he said that, and I think he told the truth.
CNSNews.com: So do you think this makes a strong case against enacting the cap and trade bill that passed in the House?
Rep. Barton: Sure. I don’t think they have the votes. You know, science is verifiable. Science is something that can be replicated. This whole theory of global warming is just that: It’s a theory. It’s based on models. Models are based on variables, and conditions that the modelers that develop the models put into them. And the models don’t replicate what’s happened. So they need to go back to square one, look at the empirical data, look at alternative theories, and see if they can find a theory that actually fits the facts.
Rep. Barton: You know, this Professor Mann all the sudden can’t find his data set, we have e-mails from several years ago where they were conversing with some folks over in England that if push came to shove, the dog would eat the homework. And that’s what’s happening now.