Obama science adviser calls questioning global warming perverse

President Barack Obama’s chief science adviser compared the Trump administration’s use of “red teams” to debate climate science to a “kangaroo court” meant to “create a sense of continuing uncertainty about the science of climate change.”

“But I suspect that most of the advocates of the scheme are disingenuous, aiming to get hand-picked non-experts from federal agencies to dispute the key findings of mainstream climate science and then assert that the verdict of this kangaroo court has equal standing with the findings of the most competent bodies in the national and international scientific communities,” former President Barack Obama’s science czar John Holdren wrote in a Boston Globe op-ed published Monday.

“The purpose of that, of course, would be to create a sense of continuing uncertainty about the science of climate change, as an underpinning of the Trump administration’s case for not addressing it. Sad,” Holdren wrote in his op-ed, railing against the “perversity of the climate science kangaroo court.”

The idea of using red teams gained traction with Trump administration officials this year after former Obama administration official Steve Koonin suggested the arrangement in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in April.

Koonin, a physicist and former top Department of Energy official, argued red teams could strengthen climate science by exposing its faults and uncertainties. The military and intelligence communities often pit red teams against blue teams to expose weaknesses in policies and strategies being pursued. It could work in a similar way for climate science, with a red team of researchers given the goal of finding pitfalls in blue team’s scientific argument.

“A Red/Blue exercise would have many benefits,” Koonin wrote in the WSJ. “It would produce a traceable public record that would allow the public and decision makers a better understanding of certainties and uncertainties. It would more firmly establish points of agreement and identify urgent research needs.”

Many climate scientists, however, say it has no place in their field. One group of prominent researchers even argued red team exercises amount to “dangerous attempts to elevate the status of minority opinions” that undercut mainstream science.

Holdren argued the scientific peer-review process already acts as a check on bad science, further arguing a red team exercise is a ‘right-wing’ plot against climate science.

“Climate science has been repeatedly ‘red-teamed,’ both by groups of avowed contrarians sponsored by right-wing groups and by the most qualified parts of the world’s scientific community,” Holdren wrote in his op-ed.

“The right wing’s ‘red team’ efforts have consistently been characterized by brazen cherry-picking, misrepresentation of the findings of others, recycling of long-discredited hypotheses, and invention of new ones destined to be discredited,” Holdren wrote. “Almost none of this material has survived peer review to be published in the respectable professional literature.”

Despite this, Trump administration officials have begun looking for scientists to participate in a red-blue team exercise to test scientific claims about man-made global warming. Media reports suggest the Trump team is considering asking Koonin to lead the exercise.

The administration also sought recommendations for who should participate in the red team exercise from the Heartland Institute, which is known for its skepticism of man-made warming.

“The White House and the Environmental Protection Agency have reached out to the Heartland Institute to help identify scientists who could constitute a red team,” Heartland spokesman Jim Lakely told reporters Monday.

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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

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About the Author: Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch writes on energy, climate and the environment for the Daily Caller.

  • Brin Jenkins

    Umm, just like the Roman Church and the Globe shape of the Earth. The time for debate was over, our consensus…

    • psychicbloodbrother

      Exactly right. The more things change the more they stay the same.

  • notesorotius

    When key findings are disputable, that means their is a question to the link they have in their role in the functions that arise out of the data: In other words are the key findings values that change as a function of another value, or are the key findings values that cause other values to change? If there is a question to causation and correlation, then the key findings are disputable. So far these climate experts have not provided any specific functions as to how their key findings relate to other values with in the whole scheme of the climate change model, would give the model the ability to make accurate predictions. So ya, we are still debating key findings and trying to be able to say for sure they are part of the causation of the problem.

  • MarcJ

    As January 2014 and 2015 arrived with
    blasts of EXTREMELY cold air, the White House released a video in which the
    Chief Science Advisor to President Obama, Dr. John Holdren, managed to get
    on both sides of it, declaring the “extreme cold” to be “a pattern that we
    expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.” How the
    Earth is getting both colder and
    warmer at the same time defies reality, but that is of little concern to Dr.
    Holdren and, indeed, the entire Global Warming—now called Climate Change hoax.
    And this year of 2017 is the 21th consecutive year of considerable
    global cooling!

  • MarcJ

    Those interested in this ongoing conspiracy should find on the Internet “Oregon Petition” and “Manhattan Declaration” to read the names of some 32,000 US and world scientists and professionals de-masking that gigantic conspiracy by the government-paid drones supervised by the United Nations socialist panel. I am one of the signatories – MS, PhD, Engineering, UCLA, with specialties in Thermodynamics and Heat & Mass Transfer.

  • Francisco Machado

    The significant point affecting human activity and resource utilization remains unmentioned in the article. I hope this does not imply that this will be a grand comedy about the accuracy of climate models versus actual climate which only centuries if not millennia to come will reveal without considering the principle issue of the moment, which is whether there’s any way that humans can significantly overcome natural forces that influence climate. An issue concerning climate, one of which we do have evidence in geologic history which does not seem to arise in these debates: We have had, in recent history, very massive extraterrestrial objects pass close to the earth – one, I believe, within the orbit of the moon. There is good reason to assume the terrestrial impact of one of these could significantly affect our climate – and Green Energy won’t stop it. Using our economic resources to develop a means of detecting and diverting such objects might have some value in preventing radical climate change.

    • J T

      Yeah, we need an asteroid deflector. I don’t want to have the bad luck of being alive when the next asteroid strikes Earth. Hemorrhoids are bad enough. Although I suppose you could call those assteroids, too…..

  • The GHG assertion is anti-science . No quantitative analytical physical equation nor experimental demonstration of the purported effect ever presented .

    And they determinedly leave gravity the universal asymmetric force out of their attempted explanations for why the bottoms of atmospheres are hotter than their tops .

    It’s game over except for dumpstering the trash .

  • J T

    This scares you climate alarmists? Good, it’s meant to.

    • Manado Jones

      What scares me is the “My mind’s made up, don’t bother me with facts! Apres moi le deluge.” mentality of the Trumpanzees.

      • J T

        You’re the idiots who won’t face the facts, that’s why you’re caught lying about them at every turn. Explain that away.

      • J T

        “After me it rains?”, or some such French foolishness?

        • Manado Jones

          “Après moi, le déluge” (After me the deluge.) is a set phrase used to denigrate the attitude of someone who acts irresponsibly, without worrying on the consequences that his/her acts could have. Something like: “I don’t care what happens next, I’ll be gone”, “The world could collapse after I’m gone, no big deal”. The phrase has a prophetic quality . It was uttered by Louis XVI before the French Revolution. After my reign the nation will be plunged into chaos and destruction.

          • psychicbloodbrother

            nice projection

          • J T

            Boy, he was a selfish bastrd, eh?

  • tom2

    Seventy years ago in Kansas, our home had no air conditioning and we slept in perspiration with open windows as our only shield against the 100 degree night time temperature. Today, 400 miles south, the night time temperature rarely reaches 80. I’m a skeptic for scientific reasons too.

  • Manado Jones

    What does CFACT stands for? CRAZY FACTS? CONTRIVED FACTS? CORROSIVE FACTS? COMFORTING FACTS! That’s it! COMFORTING FACTS that will lull us into a comfortable stupor where we don’t have to worry about nasty storms that seem to get bigger and bigger due to all the garbage we put in in our atmosphere.

    • psychicbloodbrother

      Neo Paganism is on the rise, preach it

  • Manado Jones

    My biggest beef with Trump is his disregard for the environment, unless it threatens his own property. Trump has hinted that he does not believe in man-made climate change, tweeting that the “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese” in 2012, but he has asked the Irish government to build a 200,000 tonne sea defence stretching two miles along dunes at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland in Doonbeg, The application cited global warming and rising sea levels to justify the wall.

    The Irish Government rejected Trump’s sea wall. They thought it would be unsightly and Environmentalists said the development could endanger the tiny narrow-mouthed whorl snail, or Vertigo angustior, which has survived since the Ice Age but is now classified as “near threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The construction of sea walls is one of the biggest threats to the snail, which requires precise conditions in dunes and wetlands to survive.

    God bless the Irish!

    Every great President has understood that if you damage the environment, there can be huge economic consequences. Donald Trump is not and never will be one of our great Presidents.

    • Tom Austin

      And the snail darter (which does not have a breeding population) almost destroyed farming in CA as it stop reservoirs from being built for 20 years. As a biologist I am for preserving species but make up your mind are we saving the land from sinking or are we saving species from man? Sometime you can’t have both, make up your mind.

      And I have problems with the AGW hypothesis on several fronts probably to complex for you. But with PhD’s in physical chemistry as well as microbiology I do keep abreast of current research. You?

    • psychicbloodbrother

      Are you a bishop in the church of latter day climatologists?

  • jameshrust

    John Holdren made scary predictions about millions starving to death before 2000. Would you use him as an advisor for your retirement investments? Only a fool would. Of course we had a fool for president from 2009 to 2017. This has cost our economy trillions of dollars. Let Holdren clean out a retirement home.

  • cjjf

    No scientist should ever object to having his work proofed.

    • 22waterford

      This is such an important point. People in high places are actually arguing to STOP scrutiny, and allow the alarmist climate madness to go unchallenged. It reveals the degree to which warmist institutions have invsted themselves in the process and how much they have to lose. Most people know that in politics, sunlight is the best disinfectant. And that is why the warmists might be on top right now, but we’ve passed the mathematical inflection point, and all the momentum belongs to the realists. For the warmists and their alarmism, the game is up, and it’s all downhill from here.