The President recently requested $1 billion for a climate resilience fund to deal with global warming and climate change. Shortly after the request was made to congress, a statement was issued from one of the leading UK scientist that recent storms were not caused by global warming and climate change was not responsible. While the scientist was talking directly about the weather in Britain, his statement could affect the President’s budget plans.
Already the Kansas State Legislature is saying that they will not support the President’s initiative on climate change. According to USA Today the Kansas State Legislature took on President Obama’s plan which calls for a reduction in greenhouse emissions plus the development of renewable forms of energy. While the debate got heated at times the hearing mostly focused on the role of humans in global warming.
The chairman of the committee, Representative Dennis Hedke, cited evidence that suggested the earth had gone through periods of warming and cooling long before the industrial age, and he made the argument that it was simply going through another such period. Senator Forrest Knox also spoke at the hearing, stating that global warming was mostly alarmist, that scientist were skeptical of the change. Speaking on behalf of the global warming community, Rabbi Moti Rieber stated that most of the scientific community was united in the belief that climate change was real and that it was caused by people.
The scientist from the UK, Mat Collins, who said that global warming and climate change was not responsible for the recent storms, is a member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and one of the foremost authorities on the subject. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Collins said, there was no evidence that global warming caused the jet stream to get stuck in the way that caused the recent storms. He further added that if climate change was somehow responsible it was beyond their current comprehension and further study would be necessary.
His statement goes directly against the chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo who said only last week that all evidence suggests climate change had a role to play in the current storms. Slingo is the Met Office chief scientist and has made predictions based on climate change that have been wrong, according to the Daily Mail. Most notably were the predictions for this winter, as well as April 2009 the ‘barbecue summer’ that turned out to be a washout. Collins wouldn’t comment to the Daily Mail about the difference of opinion between him and Slingo.
The political disagreement in the United States over climate change will probably continue, as Republicans vehemently deny the effects of climate change and Democrats stand by the findings of certain members of the scientific community. Patrick Michaels of Forbes makes the observation that there has been an embarrassing lack of average global surface warming for the past 17 years, and he goes on to say that some scientists who were firm believers in climate change are beginning to change their opinions about the matter. While the scientist in the UK says that global warming didn’t play a part in recent storms some climate change scientists will maintain the opposite.
By Rachel Woodruff