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USA Climate Priorities

Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Aug 20, 2019 at 6:00 AM
Climate Change

The UNFCCC, the consensed climate science community and the environmental community assert that the USA should assume the mantle of climate change leadership and prioritize CO2 emissions reductions and financial transfers to the UN Green Climate Fund. Numerous US politicians and self-appointed “thought leaders” assert that climate change is a crisis, an “existential threat” to life on the earth. Numerous US cities, most recently New York City, have declared “climate emergencies”, intended to encourage the federal government and industry to take actions to eliminate or reverse climate change. These suggested priorities and assessments are fundamentally misguided. There is no crisis or emergency. The climate change which has apparently occurred has had a net positive impact. There is no certainty that it will not continue to be net positive.

There remain significant issues with our understanding of climate science which suggest that precipitate action is both unnecessary and unwise. There also remain significant limitations with renewable energy technology which suggest that it is unready to be relied upon to replace fossil fuels in the global energy economy. Turning US and global climate change action into a new “Manhattan Project” or the “Moral Equivalent Of War” would further increase the resulting economic cost and disruption.

The US and other nations have the intellectual and financial resources to address and resolve many of the significant issues in climate science, if they are willing to refocus their efforts on the basic science and assure that all of the data, computer code and analytical tools used in the research programs are freely available to other researchers in the various fields of study. This step is essential to facilitate reproducibility testing and to minimize unnecessary duplication of effort.

The first essential step in the process is the deployment of reliable and accurate temperature measuring stations in sufficient numbers and with sufficient global coverage, both land and sea, to assure that the changes in global temperatures can determined without “adjustment”. The combination of these measuring stations and the existing satellite network would permit both improved measurement accuracy and more comprehensive coverage.

The second essential step in the process is the establishment of definitive values for the sensitivity of the climate, the “greenhouse gases” and the feedbacks in the atmosphere caused by water vapor and clouds. These values are currently expressed as a range of estimated values, though recent research suggests that the actual climate sensitivity is below the lower end of the range of values currently in use.

The third essential step is improvement of the comprehensiveness of the climate models and their accuracy in modeling the real climate. This step would permit progress toward verifying one climate model capable of hindcasting historical climate without “tweaking”.

Government and private research funding sources must act to assure that their research contractors provide open access to their data and methods. Researchers who fail to provide open access should be excluded from further funding, since the accuracy of their research processes and reported results cannot be relied upon with confidence. There are sufficient resources available to fund and conduct this important climate research, but there are not sufficient funds to continue to waste funding on questionable or irreproducible research, or on “political science” intended to scare the populace.