Senate Environment and Public Works Committee members sparred Wednesday over whether there existed a consensus in the 1970s that the earth was cooling.
During the hearing, Republican Sens. James Inhofe of Oklahoma and John Barrasso of Wyoming questioned the supposed need to enact policies to combat global warming by pointing to similar predictions in the 1970s of a global cooling phenomenon.
The exchange started with Barrasso addressing the committee’s witness, Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Jackson.
“Forty years ago, the same scientists that are predicting the end of the world now from global warming were predicting the end of the world from global cooling,” said Barrasso. “So if we had committed the same amount of taxpayer resources and government manpower that the administration now wants us to commit to prevent global warming — if we’d done that prevent global cooling, we wouldn’t be the most prosperous nation on earth.”
He continued: “The fact is that the same doomsday predictions we were getting 40 years is the exact same thing this agency and this administration today. Only now…the problem is man-made global warming.”
Shortly thereafter, Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico* responded to Barrasso by citing an article which he said proved the “supposed global cooling consensus among scientists in the 1970s is a myth.”
“Would you put that in the record then,” committee chair Sen. Barbara Boxer of California eagerly interrupted.
Still later, Inhofe got into the science debate by citing a 1971 study by Dr. John Holdren, who just so happens to be President Obama’s advisor on science technology. In that study Holdren wrote, “The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here.” Holdren went on to write that the effects could “generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.”
A visibly satisfied Inhofe then turned to Boxer, and stated, “So even the president’s people are agreed with me, Madam Chairwoman!”
*This article has been corrected to attribute the above quote to Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico. It previously stated the quote belonged to Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado.