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Climate Security Panel

Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Jun 4, 2019 at 6:00 AM
Climate Change

Elements of the consensed climate science community, the consensed climate change commentariat and numerous environmental activist groups have recently been “triggered” by Administration discussions regarding the formation of a Committee on Climate Security (CCS) to critically evaluate whether climate change is a national security and environmental threat. The CCS would be chaired by Dr. William Happer, an eminent physicist with extensive academic and government experience, who is currently a Senior Director at the National Security Council.

The discussions regarding formation of the CCS are occurring against the background of the formation of the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis by the House of Representatives and the fanfare regarding the Green New Deal (GND) recently introduced by Senator Edward Markey (D,MA) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D,NY). The House leadership has clearly accepted the assertion that there is a climate crisis, while the GND describes climate change as an existential threat.

Much of the reaction to the Administration proposal is based on the view of the consensed climate science community that “the science is settled” and that the time for debate is over, which is echoed incessantly by the climate change commentariat. This reaction is exacerbated by the selection of Dr. Happer, who is an acknowledged skeptic regarding catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. The New York Times labeled Dr. Happer as a “climate denialist”, though Dr. Happer clearly does not deny that the earth has a climate. The choice of the term “denialist” is an attempt to isolate and disparage Dr. Happer. The reaction to the CCS is so intense that Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D,NY) has threatened to introduce legislation to defund the effort, referring to it as a “fake climate panel”.

The consensed climate science community has a long history of resisting skeptical evaluations of its studies and conclusions by refusing to provide open access to the data on which the studies are based and the statistical analysis methods and computer codes used to analyze the data and reach the study conclusions. These efforts are comprehensively documented in the Climategate emails and in the continuing efforts of Dr. Michael Mann and others to resist skeptical examination of their work.

The CCS bears some similarity to the “Red Team / Blue Team” evaluation effort proposed by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the “Tiger Team” evaluation suggested by some skeptical climate scientists. The CCS, or a “Red Team” or “Tiger Team” would logically be composed primarily of exclusively skeptical scientists, since the studies they would be reviewing have been performed and peer reviewed by members of the consensed climate science community.

The principal concerns of the CCS would focus on the current inability of climate models to competently model the real climate and produce reliable projections of future climate, since the concerns about catastrophic anthropogenic climate change and any national security risks resulting from such climate change are based on the climate models. The models are currently projecting significantly greater warming than is being observed by either the near-surface or satellite temperature anomaly products.