Former EPA Heads Mum When Asked If Global Warming Is Accelerating

Barbara Hollingsworth | June 24, 2014 | 2:20pm EDT
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Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)  (AP File Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( –  All four former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrators appointed by Republican presidents who testified in favor of the agency’s proposed power plant regulations at a Senate subcommittee hearing last week did not respond when asked if they agreed with President Obama that global warming was accelerating.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asked former EPA heads William RuckelshausChristine Todd WhitmanWilliam Reilly and Lee Thomas whether they agreed with Obama’s previous statements that the Earth is warming faster than previous predictions.

“The president, on Nov. 14, 2012, said, ‘The temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago’,” Sessions said at a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee’s “Climate Change: The Need to Act Now” hearing held on Capitol Hill last Wednesday.

“And then on May 29th last year, he said, ‘We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or ten years ago’,” Sessions said. “So I would ask each of our former administrators if any of you agree that that’s an accurate statement on the climate. So if you do, raise your hand.”

None of the former EPA heads did so.

“Well, thank you,” Sessions said. “The record will reflect no one raised their hands.”

Not only is global warming not accelerating, “if current trends continue for just a few more years, then the mean change for the 2000s will shift to negative; in other words, the warming would really stop,” wrote Capital Weather Gang meteorologist Matt Rogers.

But three Democratic senators at the hearing – Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) –  ignored the widely acknowledged “pause” in global warming that has lasted 17 and a half years.

Instead, all three repeated Boxer's assertion that “97 percent of scientists agree that [carbon dioxide] is leading to dangerous climate change that is affecting our families.”

“We really don’t have to get into a debate with the other 3 percent,” Cardin stated.

However, according to a study released in February by the Calgary, Canada-based Friends of Science Society, the origins of the 97 percent claim are “faulty” and “a psychological ploy that plays on our primal emotions, ‘herd mentality,’ and fear of being the odd man out.”

“The idea that 97% of scientists hold a consensus view on human-caused global warming/climate change has become part of the climate change mythology, reaching the highest echelons of science, such as NASA, and the highest political office – that of President Barack Obama….The persistent effort to make the public believe 97% of all scientists agree can only be understood as an intentional manipulation of data and public opinion for commercial gain,” the report concluded. (See Friends of Science report.pdf)

During the hearing, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) charged that the administration’s “unilateral actions will increase Americas’ electricity bill, decrease families’ disposable income, and result in real job losses for little or no measurable impact on our every-changing climate.”

“Unfortunately, anyone who’s actually read the 645-page rule finds it has no material effect on average global temperature or sea level rise,” Vitter said, calling the EPA’s proposed new regulations of power plants under the Clean Air Act “essentially a federal takeover of the American electricity system.”

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) agreed, calling the proposed rules the “first round of global warming regulations which will nationalize the electricity market and force Americans to live out the president’s green dream” even though “countless bills [were] introduced that do the very same thing through legislation. Each time they’re introduced, they’re defeated by a larger margin.”

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