Obama Supporters Target ‘Climate Deniers,’ As Science Challenges Obama on Global Warming

Fred Lucas | July 22, 2013 | 4:02pm EDT
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President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – Organizing for Action Executive Director Jon Carson said last week his group, which grew out of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, will be calling out “climate deniers.”

“We'll be calling out the climate deniers who are standing in the way of progress in Washington,” Carson said in an e-mail Thursday, the same day a supporter of more environmental regulations told a Senate committee “the warming over the past 15 years has slowed.”

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The OFA included targeting climate deniers as part of the group’s August agenda. The organization is now a 501(c)(4) group that focuses on mobilizing political support for issues advocated by the Obama administration.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), ranking member of the committee, asked Thursday at the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hearing on global warming, “President Obama said, ‘the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago.’ Do any of the witnesses agree with that statement? And if so, what is the data set you rely on?”

There was an eight-second pause, before Heidi Cullen, the chief climatologist with Climate Central, who was called as a witness by Democrats on the committee, spoke up. However, she contradicted what Obama said regarding temperature, while still asserting that global warming is a problem.

“I think right now we need to focus on the fact that the warming is happening very, very quickly. With respect to project of the future, we expect it to warm more quickly as we go forward,” Cullen told the committee. “So with respect to President Obama’s specific statement, I can’t comment on that. But, the bottom line is, greenhouse gasses have continued to move quickly in the atmosphere and the warming has continued.”

Vitter followed, “So you think the surface temperature increase has continued in the last 10 to 15 years?”

Cullen answered that atmosphere and temperature shouldn’t be the focus.

“Well, as I mentioned in my testimony, I think it’s important not to focus specifically on the atmosphere,” Cullen said. “As I said, the temperature rise has slowed in the atmosphere, despite continued warm decades, record-setting decades, the warming over the past 15 years has slowed, but it has went into other components of our climate system. So explaining the fact that the atmospheric temperature rise has slowed, it’s because the warming has gone into other components of our climate system, mostly notably the deep ocean. So the warming has by no means stopped. It’s merely penetrating into other aspects of our climate system.”

Organizing for Action notified supporters on Thursday of “Action August,” which would be the group’s agenda during the August recess for Congress. It included promoting global warming legislation, anti-gun legislation and other initiatives.

“While lawmakers are home for congressional recess, thousands of supporters will be holding events in key districts across the country,” Carson said in the e-mail Thursday. “It's all about making sure members of Congress hear directly from the people they represent, on the issues that matter to all of us. We're calling it Action August -- and there will be plenty of ways to get involved, no matter where you live.”

The e-mail encouraged people to sign up for “Action August” alerts to be notified of events happening in their area. It identified comprehensive immigration reform as being “at the top of the list.” It also said supporters will be “telling the truth about Obamacare.”

“We'll be calling out the climate deniers who are standing in the way of progress in Washington, and make sure the senators who hold the key votes on gun violence prevention hear from the people who sent them to Congress,” the e-mail continued.

During a speech at Georgetown University on June 25, Obama said, “The 12 warmest years in recorded history have all come in the last 15 years. Last year, temperatures in some areas of the ocean reached record highs, and ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest size on record -- faster than most models had predicted it would.”

During a Nov. 14, 2012 news conference, Obama said, “What we do know is the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago.”

At a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago on May 30, Obama said, “But the flipside is we also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago.” At the same event, he said, “I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change – but if you’ve got creative approaches, market-based approaches, tell me about them.”

At another Democratic fundraising event on April 21, 2011 in San Francisco, Obama said, “There are climate change deniers in Congress and when the economy gets tough, sometimes environmental issues drop from people’s radar screens. But I don’t think there’s any doubt that unless we are able to move forward in a serious way on clean energy that we’re putting our children and our grandchildren at risk.”

In a June 20 interview with the German magazine der Spiegel, Hans von Storch, the lead author of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report said that temperatures have increased “close to zero” over the past 15 years. (See Earlier Story)

“At my institute, we analyzed how often such a 15-year stagnation in global warming occurred in the simulations,” Storch told der Spiegel. “The answer was: in under 2 percent of all the times we ran the simulation. In other words, over 98 percent of forecasts show CO2 emissions as high as we have had in recent years leading to more of a temperature increase.”

Der Spiegel followed, “How long will it still be possible to reconcile such a pause in global warming with established climate forecasts?”

Storch answered, “If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.”

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