Prairie State Wire

Prairie State Wire

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Shaky science behind Durbin, Casten and Foster positions on climate change, environmental expert says


By W.J. Kennedy | Jul 23, 2019

Sen. Dick Durbin

The positions of three Democratic members of Congress on climate change – including a proposal that the U.S. government sell climate bonds – are premised on faulty science, one climate expert says.

“There is no evidence---none---of a climate ‘crisis,’ that is, serious adverse effects in terms of sea levels, temperatures, polar ice, cyclones, etc etc.,” Ben Zycher, Energy and Environment Scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in an email.

Zycher responded to a request from Prairie State Wire to comment on statements made by Congressmen Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove), Bill Foster (D-Geneva) and Sen. Dick Durbin at last week’s Climate Change Forum held at North Central College in Naperville.

Ben Zycher, American Enterprise Institute | AEI

“This is real stuff, 50 percent of all of the carbon dioxide that we have ever emitted into the atmosphere as a species, in the entire time that are species has been on the earth has been emitted since 1980,” Casten told attendees, according to news coverage of the forum.

But Zycher said that the percent of greenhouse gas emissions emitted since any given year “tells us nothing about the effects of those emissions. And that is the central question.”

The public learned about what steps they can take like using LED lights and taking different types of transportation, news accounts said. Durbin mentioned his proposal for climate bonds.

“U.S. savings bonds paid for World War II," Durbin said. "Individual families and people stepped up and bought $18.75 savings bonds and with that money we funded a victory in World War II. I believe climate bonds can do the same.”

Forum attendees were also reminded that the United States is the only nation that pulled out from the Paris Agreement, the 2016 international agreement targeting climate change.

Zycher said that the Paris Agreement, and other massive, costly climate change proposals would have a near zero effect on global temperatures.

“Any of the policies commonly proposed (Paris, Obama Climate Action Plan, etc.) would have effects either trivial or unmeasurable even under the most extreme assumptions of the advocates of climate policies,” Zycher wrote. “Obama Climate Action Plan: 0.015 degrees C. Paris: 0.17 degrees C. Green New Deal: 0.083-0.173 degrees C, depending on underlying assumptions. A massively aggressive international policy: 0.5 degrees C.”

Two recently published papers, highlighted by New York attorney Francis Menton in his blog, the Manhattan Contrarian, support Zycher’s view.

The first, from the January-February 2019 issue of a Russian science journal, is by O.M. Povrovsky titled “Cloud Changes in the Period of Global Warming: the Results of the International Satellite Project.” The second, dated June 29, 2019, is by J. Kauppinen and P. Malmi titled “No Experimental Evidence for the Significant Anthropogenic Global Warming.”

“Povrovsky did something that somebody should have long since done by now,” Menton wrote, “which is to collect month-by-month satellite cloud-cover data for the earth for the period 1983-2009, and plot it on a graph, and then compare that graph to the month-by-month temperature graphs.”

Povrovsky concludes that changes in cloud cover can explain not only the trend of global temperatures, but also the year-to-year variability in temperatures that scientists have also measured.

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U.S. Representative Bill Foster (IL - 17)U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin

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