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Annals of Extreme Statements

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJanuary 20, 2006 5:16 AM


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Lots of folks have been posting stuff from their prior blogs. I'm not going to do too much of that, but I would like to breathe some more life into one discovery from my old blog--a rather scandalous quote from Energy and Commerce committee chair Joe Barton on climate science. Nowadays everybody knows Barton for his outrageous attack on Michael Mann and his colleagues over the "hockey stick." But do they know what he said in 2001 in denouncing the Kyoto Protocol? To wit:

Second thing that the citizens of the United States need to understand about Kyoto is that the science is not settled. In fact, 2 years ago, 15,000 of the most eminent environmental scientists in the United States signed their names to a letter that I believe was sent to the President. It may have been sent to the Members of Congress. Fifteen thousand scientists said do not implement Kyoto because the science is not settled.

Just within the last 6 months, research based on actual data in the Atlantic Ocean has come out that says the whole concept of global warming may be exactly wrong, could be totally 180 degrees wrong. The source is the Congressional Record; search for "H2659" in the year 2001. At least as of that year, Barton was countenancing outright global warming denial, which is pretty outrageous.

I don't know what Atantic Ocean research Barton is referring to. The bit about the thousands of scientists is presumably a reference to the so-called Oregon Petition, which Tim Lambert has debunked at length. Although it's from 1998, this petition is still cited today. Which is pretty amusing when you think about it: Even assuming that the petition were trustworthy, it would be absurd to think that the science hasn't changed over the past 7-8 years.

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