There are government scientists and researchers who are skeptical of man-made global warming — they just won’t speak up about it, according to two seasoned climate scientists.
“There are skeptics in NASA and NOAA, a good number. But they are quiet. They know in this administration, they don’t speak out,” John Christy, a veteran climate scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, told AL.com.
“These guys in government are not unbiased and they have pressures from above,” echoed Roy Spencer, also a climate scientist at UAH. “Those organizations, NASA and NOAA, they are part of the executive branch. So the White House has some influence over what direction they go. The heads are political appointees so you have political influence from the top down on scientists. And that’s a problem.”
Christy and Spencer sat down with AL.com to discuss their 25 years of using satellites to measure global temperatures, a method of monitoring the climate the two scientists pioneered more than two decades ago.
Satellite temperature measures have been crucial to the global warming debate, showing that temperatures have not risen nearly as fast as most climate models predicted. Satellite data also shows that global temperatures have been flat for the last 15 to 20 years. Trumpeting such data, however, has upset politicians and environmental groups and earned Christy and Spencer the label of “climate deniers.”
Christy and Spencer’s work was recently targeted in an investigation Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat, demanding that UAH reveal who is funding climate research. Grijalva is bent on trying to show that scientists who challenge science from federal agencies are being funded by “nefarious” oil companies.
But the two UAH scientists noted that federal agencies themselves have agendas based on whoever sits in the Oval Office.
“NASA, NOAA, EPA, DOE, those are agencies,” Christy said. “Agency leaders are appointed by the government, by the current administration. They do not represent objective independent scientific organizations. They can’t. They are appointed by the head. They try. People who come out with different views in their organizations are found to be squashed.”
“There is an agenda in those agencies, so it does not surprise me when they go full bore on something like climate change,” he added. “They are marching to the drum of the administration. It’s always been that way. But this administration has been extremely opaque. When you try to go provide information to EPA like these pictures, they will just dismiss it. They will come up with their findings and will not provide you with background for information so that you will know they made a scientific finding.”
“I know that they’re not unbiased. Most of them probably really do believe we’re destroying the earth,” Spencer told AL.com. “When I talk to scientists who should be objective over a beer at the end of the day, I will argue with them and their final position will always be, ‘Yeah, but we need to get away from fossil fuels anyway.’”
“Where did that come from?” Spencer asked. “Are you an expert in alternative energy sources and what they cost? How many poor people are you going to hurt? How many more people are you going to make poor through energy poverty because they are paying five to 10 times as much for their energy?”
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