February 18, 2018

Critical Thinking on Climate Change

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Empirical Evidence to Consider Before Taking Regulatory Action and Implementing Economic Policies – September 4, 2014


When this report was first introduced in July of 2013, a number of important assertions were being made in the public forum, particularly on Capitol Hill, that were wholly factually and scientifically inaccurate. The original version of the report, as well as the expert scientific testimony provided to Congress in the interim, was meant to be helpful in limiting some of the more egregious claims that were being perpetuated. Unfortunately, much of the public discourse on important issues related to climate science has devolved into name-calling, including terminology such as “denier” or “dirty denier.”1 Both have connotations which frequent use of is counter-productive to an honest public discussion involving a matter of such incredible scientific and economic importance. No scientific discussion that requires precision, particularly when it relates to issues as complex as climate science, should utilize means to limit debate and understanding when critical evaluation is necessary.

Additional events that have transpired since the first version of this report was introduced clarify the need for providing some basic level scientific facts that are important to understanding carbon dioxide’s (CO2) role in our environment. Certain media figures have gone so far as to try and discredit the basic science of photosynthesis2 and our understanding of the impacts of anthropogenic CO2. Such mischaracterization does an additional disservice to the understanding of this important greenhouse gas and related policy making.

To rectify some of the challenges in ensuring additional factors based on empirical evidence were understood, this report has been updated to include the following:

1. A new section has been added on the benefits of CO2.
2. Wildfires and forestry management have garnered additional public attention of late, and so was split into its own section with additional information.
3. A new section has been added on the impacts European countries have seen as a result of their climate regulations.
4. A new section has been added on Polar Bear populations and claims of mass extinctions.
5. Nearly all sections have been updated with new information.
6. An addendum was added to provide examples of how the Obama Administration’s National Climate Assessment report ignores critical scientific evidence when submitted by top researchers and scientists.

Four former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrators testified before the EPW Committee in 2014 and provided important answers to questions for the record as it relates to basic CO2 science, economics, and EPA regulations:<<<Read Full Report>>>