[Senate Hearing 109-1003]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 109-1003
THE ROLE OF SCIENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY MAKING
ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 28, 2005
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COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma, Chairman
JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia JAMES M. JEFFORDS, Vermont
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri MAX BAUCUS, Montana
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island BARBARA BOXER, California
LISA MURKOWSKI, Alaska THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
JOHN THUNE, South Dakota HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, New York
JIM DeMINT, South Carolina FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia BARACK OBAMA, Illinois
DAVID VITTER, Louisiana
Andrew Wheeler, Majority Staff Director
Ken Connolly, Minority Staff Director
C O N T E N T S
SEPTEMBER 28, 2005
Bond, Hon. Christopher S., U.S. Senator from the State of
Boxer, Hon. Barbara, U.S. Senator from the State of California... 14
Clinton, Hon. Hillary Rodham, U.S. Senator from the State of New
Inhofe, Hon. James M., U.S. Senator from the State of Oklahoma... 1
Isakson, Hon. Johnny, U.S. Senator from the State of Georgia..... 6
Jeffords, Hon. James M., U.S. Senator from the State of Vermont.. 4
Lautenberg, Hon. Frank R., U.S. Senator from the State of New
Murkowski, Hon. Lisa, U.S. Senator from the State of Alaska...... 13
Voinovich, Hon. George V., U.S. Senator from the State of Ohio... 16
Benedick, Hon. Richard E., president, National Council for
Science and the Environment.................................... 21
Prepared statement........................................... 43
Responses to additional questions from:
Senator Inhofe........................................... 51
Senator Jeffords......................................... 52
Crichton, Michael, M.D., author, doctor.......................... 18
Prepared statement........................................... 52
Responses to additional questions from:
Senator Jeffords......................................... 55
Gray, William, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Atmospheric
Science, Colorado State
Prepared statement........................................... 56
Responses to additional questions from:
Senator Inhofe........................................... 66
Roberts, Donald R., Ph.D., professor, Division of Tropical Public
Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Uniformed
University of the Health Sciences.............................. 27
Prepared statement........................................... 71
Responses to additional questions from:
Senator Jeffords......................................... 78
Sandalow, David, director, Environment and Energy Project, the
Brookings Institution.......................................... 28
Prepared statement........................................... 80
DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud........................ 144
Health risks and benefits of DDT............................. 150
E-mail distributed on September 23, 2005 from Dr. Gerhard Hess of
Bayer Environmental Sciences S.A.S............................. 161
Fact sheet, Union of Concerned Scientists........................ 95
Alberts, Bruce, president, National Acadamy of Sciences to
Hon. Larry E. Craig........................................ 93
Craig, Hon. Larry E., U.S. Senator from the State of Idaho to
Bruce Alberts.............................................. 94
Mann, Michael E., Ph.D., associate professor and director of
Earth System Science Center Department of Meteorology, The
Pennsylvania State University to Chairman Barton and
Chairman Whitfield......................................... 109
Cicerone, Ralph J., Ph.D., president, National Academy of
Sciences, The National Academies........................... 85
Hansen, James, director, Columbia University Earth Institute
and Goddard Institute for Space Studies.................... 83
Testimony of Roger Bate and Richard Tren......................... 120
THE ROLE OF SCIENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY MAKING
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2005
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
Subcommittee on Superfund and Waste Management,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:30 a.m. in
room 406, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. John Thune
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Inhofe, Bond, Voinovich, Murkowski,
Thune, DeMint, Isakson, Jeffords, Boxer, Clinton, and
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES M. INHOFE, U.S. SENATOR FROM
THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA
Senator Inhofe. Our hearing will come to order. First of
all, this is a real heavy group we have got here today, and I
really appreciate all of your being here. You have come a long
way to be here. We are so appreciative. We, I am sure, are
going to have more members coming in, but the staffs are here,
and we have been talking about how to handle this, because we
want to make sure that everyone has ample time to make
So it is my suggestion--and if it is all right with you,
Senator Jeffords--that we will go ahead and start with, say, 5-
minute opening statements up here, and then as we recognize our
panel, each one can have 10 minutes. You don't have to take
that long, or even go a little bit over that would be fine,
depending on how many people show up.
I think probably what we will do is confine our opening
statement to 4 minutes, see who comes up, how many we have,
then we will turn it over to the panel. Then, of course, that
will give us time for several rounds of questioning. We will be
stopping promptly, though, at 11:50.
I am excited about this hearing because, when I first
became the chairman of this committee back in, oh, it is two
and a half years ago, I guess, now, the three objectives I had
was to make our decisions on sound science. Too often there is
a policy that is involved in that. You see this type of
research that gets funded by the discretionary grants that get
awarded. It is pushing people's political agenda many times, as
opposed to really concentrating on sound science.
I am particularly interested in hearing the testimony of
Dr. Michael Crichton. I think I have read most of his books. In
fact, I have read them all. Everyone knows Dr. Crichton as a
best selling author and an Emmy award winning producer, but
what most people don't know is that Dr. Crichton's background
includes degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Medical
He was also a visiting lecturer in physical anthropology at
Cambridge University and a post-doctoral fellow at Salk
Institute for biological studies, where he worked on media and
science policy with Jacob Bronowski, author of Common Sense of
Science, Science and Human Values, and The Identity of Man. Dr.
Crichton's science background has served him well in providing
material for his books.
And, of course, of all of his books that I have read, I
enjoyed the most ``State of Fear''. I have tried to say that is
required reading for this committee, but you just can't get by
with that when you are dealing with Senators. While ``State of
Fear'' is a novel, it is fiction, the footnotes are
incontrovertibly scientific. So I have enjoyed that.
We will also hear from Dr. Bill Gray. Dr. Gray is known as
the pioneer of hurricane prediction. In the wake of Hurricane
Katrina, German Environmental Minister Juergen Trittin alleged,
``the increasing frequency of these natural events can only be
explained through global warming which is caused by people.''
Now, this is totally absurd. If you look at the chart
behind us here, you can see that the data from the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration demonstrates clearly
that 100 years ago, even 50 years ago, we had just as many
intense hurricanes as we do today. So we look forward to your
thoughts on that, Dr. Gray.
We will also hear from Dr. Don Roberts, an epidemiologist
in the field of science regarding DDT. The EPA banned DDT in
the 1970's despite a finding by its own experts that DDT did
not cause cancer in human beings, nor did it have an adverse
effect on wildlife. Since then, DDT has become the most studied
chemical in the world, and the only thing that has been proven
is that there is no other substance, method or treatment as
effective in eradicating malaria.
You know, most of the members of this committee--and I know
Dr. Crichton and I have talked about this--know that I have
been very active, for about 10 years, in Africa, and when you
take Uganda--if you look at this up here--I would like my
colleagues to see this. That is the effects of malaria. Just in
Uganda alone--which I will be there in about 3 days, or at the
end of this next week--it kills about 70,000 people a year. The
interesting thing is we are all so concerned and the public
attention is on HIV/AIDS. The same number of people who died in
Uganda from AIDS are dying from malaria. So we will be looking
forward to that testimony.
I would also like to welcome David Sandalow of The
Brookings Institute, who is here to provide the committee with
his beliefs on global warming and its perceived effects.
Finally, we have Richard Benedick, President of the
National Council for Science and the Environment. He was one of
the authors of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which is a precursor
for the international framework for dealing with emissions
So we look forward to meeting and hearing from all of you.
[The prepared statement of Senator Inhofe follows:]
Statement of the Hon. James M. Inhofe, U.S. Senator
from the State of Oklahoma
Today's hearing will focus on one of the three objectives I set out
when I assumed the Chairmanship of the committee--to ensure that
regulatory decisions are based on sound science.
Too often the environmental policy decisions made by EPA and other
science-based agencies are driven by political or personal agendas. You
see this in types of research that gets funded or the types of grants
that get awarded. It is my hope this hearing will help shed some light
on how science is used by policy-makers and that we can arrive at some
concrete suggestions for making the process better.
I am particularly interested in hearing the testimony of Dr.
Michael Crichton. Everyone knows that Dr. Crichton is a best-selling
author and Emmy award-winning producer. But what most people do not
know is that Dr. Crichton's background includes degrees from Harvard
College and Harvard Medical School. He was also a visiting lecturer in
Physical Anthropology at Cambridge University; and a post-doctoral
fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he worked on
media and science policy with Jacob Bronowski, the author of Common
Sense of Science, Science and Human Values, and The Identity of Man.
Dr. Crichton's science background has served him well in providing
material for his books, many of which explore scientific issues, my
favorite of which is ``State of Fear''. I urge you all to read this
book. It's fiction, but it contains an enormous number of footnotes to
real studies backing up the scientific points made in the book. Dr.
Crichton, thank you for agreeing to testify today on your observations
and recommendations about the use of science in public policy-making.
We also will hear today from Dr. Bill Gray, known as the pioneer of
hurricane prediction. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, German
Environmental Minister Juergen Trittin (Yer-gan Trit-in) alleged, ``the
increasing frequency of these natural events can only be explained
through global warming which is caused by people.'' This is absolutely
absurd. This chart behind me, based on data from the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, demonstrates clearly that 100 years
ago, even 50 years ago, we had just as many intense hurricanes as we
have today. I look forward to your thoughts on this, Dr. Gray.
We will also hear today from Dr. Don Roberts, an epidemiologist and
a leader in the field of science regarding DDT. EPA banned DDT in the
1970s despite a finding by its own experts that DDT did not cause
cancer in humans nor did it have an adverse effect on wildlife. Since
then, DDT has become the most studied chemical in the world and the
only thing that has been proven is that there is no other substance,
method or treatment as effective in eradicating malaria.
As many of my colleagues are aware, I travel throughout Africa
several times a year. In fact, next week, I plan to make my third visit
to Uganda this year. Malaria is devastating that country and the entire
continent of Africa. It kills almost the same number of people as AIDS.
Yet we focus little attention on this enormous human tragedy. Malaria
kills 70,000 Ugandans every year, most under the age of five. It
enlarges their spleen such as in the picture behind me, causing acute
suffering and eventually death. In all of Africa, a child dies from
malaria every 30 seconds.
Yet, developed counties continue to stand on their environmental
agenda in the face of this human rights tragedy. Earlier this year, the
European Union strongly warned Uganda that its exports to Europe would
be in jeopardy if it goes ahead with current plans to use DDT to fight
malaria. I look forward to your thoughts on the matter, Dr. Roberts.
I would also like to welcome David Sandalow, of the Brookings
Institution, who is here to provide the committee with his beliefs on
global warming and its perceived effects.
Finally, we have Richard Benedick, the President of the National
Council for Science and the Environment. He was one of the authors of
the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which was a precursor international
framework for dealing with emissions reductions.
I look forward to hearing the testimony from our witnesses today.
Senator Inhofe. With that, I will turn it over to Senator
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES M. JEFFORDS, U.S. SENATOR FROM
THE STATE OF VERMONT
Senator Jeffords. Mr. Chairman, I know that today's hearing
is the one you had hoped to conduct for some time, and
certainly since the ``State of Fear'' was published. I want to
be clear that my support for you in the work we have done
together should not be diminished by my concern about the
timing and the content of today's hearing.
I fear I must publicly express my concern on my behalf and
the minority members of the committee. Chairman, given the
profound human suffering and ecological damage along the Gulf
Coast, why are we having a hearing that features a fiction
writer as a key witness? Some may accuse me, as a policymaker,
of falling into the exact policy trap that Mr. Crichton's book
critiques, being too focused on the consequences of the recent
large-scale natural disasters and our Nation's policy response
to them. If Mr. Crichton's book, ``State of Fear'', a terrorist
ring is developed to cause environmental destruction and bring
attention to environmental issues.
I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that unlike these characters in
``State of Fear'', I did not cause the two Gulf hurricanes in
order to prompt this committee and this Government into action.
The damage caused by the two Gulf storms is not fiction. As far
as I am aware, no one on the minority side of this committee
has advocated that the storms should be used as justification
for the adoption of wild-eyed drastic new policy initiatives.
Instead, the destruction we have witnessed in recent weeks
raises serious scientific questions that need to be answered in
very near term.
We should be looking into the role of the science in making
critical response and recovery decisions. We need to
incorporate scientific information as we develop programs to
help prevent future flood damage. How will we determine the
appropriate health and environmental standards for
rehabilitation in inundated areas? What does science tell us
about the best ways to reconstruct in the Gulf region? Should
we be engaging in enhanced wetland protection and
reconstruction to possibly protect against the severity of
We should be asking these questions and getting answers
expeditiously, as much as we may want to be focusing our
attention on the longer term interaction between science and
the decisionmaking process. I would also say in my 30 years in
the Congress, that I have been proud of some of the decisions
we have made, even in the absence of perfect scientific
information. We authorized a Brownfields program to help
cleanup our cities and towns. We did so even though in the
decade since we passed the Superfund, we have continued to
learn about the nature of toxic substances and the best ways to
As one of our witnesses will testify, the Senate ratified
the Montreal Protocol to address ozone-depleting substances,
even though there was some scientific uncertainty as that
agreement was negotiated. Sometimes we need to act to preserve
or even improve human health and the environment, even though
we don't have the perfect information we wish we had.
We certainly would not want to wait until there is
substantial scientific evidence of human suffering or death. In
my opinion, that is too long. We all recognize that one man's
credible science is another man's baloney.
Mr. Chairman, at the same time that this hearing is being
held, there is also a Finance Committee hearing on Hurricane
Katrina, where the Governors of each of the affected States
will be testifying. As a member of that committee, I plan to
attend that hearing and will not be able to stay for all of
this hearing. I ask, Mr. Chairman, that I be able to submit
written questions to the witnesses and that I am able to submit
additional scientific information into the record of the topics
raised by the witnesses.
Senator Inhofe. Without objection, so ordered.
Senator Jeffords. I am anxious to hear from these Governors
who may help us to better understand how the Federal Agencies
we oversee in this committee may have let them down and how our
committee can act to improve the crucial functioning of these
This week I will introduce legislation that the minority
side of the committee believes is necessary to respond to the
Gulf hurricanes. I think those affected by these disasters
deserve nothing less than our full attention when they are most
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Senator Jeffords follows:]
Statement of Hon. James M. Jeffords, U.S. Senator from the
State of Vermont
Mr. Chairman, I know that today's hearing is one you have hoped to
conduct for some time, certainly since ``State of Fear'' was published.
I want to be clear that my support for you, and the work we have done
together, should not be diminished by my concern about the timing and
content of today's hearing. But, I feel I must publicly express that
concern on my own behalf and that of the minority members of this
Mr. Chairman, given the profound human suffering and ecological
damage along the Gulf Coast, why are we having a hearing that features
a fiction writer as our key witness? Some may accuse me, as a policy
maker, of falling into the exact policy trap that Mr. Crichton's book
critiques--being too focused on the consequences of the recent large
scale natural disasters and our Nation's policy response to them.
In Mr. Crichton's book, ``State of Fear'', a terrorist ring is
deployed to cause environmental destruction and bring attention to
environmental issues. I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that unlike these
characters in ``State of Fear'', I did not cause the two Gulf
hurricanes in order to prompt this committee and this government into
The damage caused by these two Gulf storms is not fiction. As far
as I am aware, no one on the minority side of this committee has
advocated that these storms should be used as the justification for the
adoption of wild-eyed, drastic new policy initiatives. Instead, the
destruction we have witnessed in recent weeks raises serious scientific
questions that need to be answered in the very near term.
We should be looking into the role of science in making critical
response and recovery decisions. We need to incorporate scientific
information as we develop programs to help prevent future flood damage.
How will we determine the appropriate health and environmental
standards for re-habitation of inundated areas? What does science tell
us about the best ways to reconstruct in the Gulf Region? Should we be
engaging in enhanced wetland protection and reconstruction to possibly
protect against the severity of future storms?
We should be asking those questions and getting answers
expeditiously, as much as we may want to be focusing our attention on
the longer term interaction between science and decision making.
I should also say, in my 30 years in Congress, that I have been
proud of some of the decisions we've made, even in the absence of
perfect scientific information. We authorized a Brownfields program to
help clean up our cities and towns. We did so even though in the
decades since we passed Superfund we have continued to learn about the
nature of toxic substances and the best ways to remediate them.
As one of our witnesses will testify, the Senate ratified the
Montreal Protocol to address ozone-depleting substances, even though
there was some scientific uncertainty as that agreement was negotiated.
Sometimes we need to act to preserve or even improve human health
and the environment even when we don't have perfect information. We
certainly would not want to wait until there is substantial scientific
evidence of human suffering or death; in my opinion that is too long.
We all recognize that one man's credible science is another man's
Mr. Chairman, at the same time that this hearing is being held,
there is also a Finance Committee hearing on Hurricane Katrina where
the Governors of each of the affected States will be testifying. As a
member of that committee, I plan to attend that hearing and will not be
able to stay for all of this hearing.
I ask Mr.Chairman that I be able to submit written questions to the
witnesses, and that I am also able to submit additional scientific
information into the record on the topics raised by the witnesses.
I am anxious to hear from these Governors who may help us to better
understand how the Federal Agencies we oversee in this committee may
have let them down, and how, or if our committee can act to improve the
crucial functioning of these agencies.
This week, I will introduce legislation that the minority side of
this committee believes is necessary to respond to the Gulf hurricanes.
I think those affected by those disasters deserve nothing less than our
full attention when they are most in need.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Senator Jeffords. Since, in your
opening statement, you ask a question of me, I will take the
Chairman's prerogative and answer that question. Since Katrina
we have had nearly 10 briefings for staff members, including
two closed door member briefings from the Army Corps of
Engineers, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency. I
would say that we only had two people, you and Senator Boxer
were the only two that showed up. As Chairman, I have been down
there to the sites in all three States. We will be holding
multiple hearings on Katrina beginning next week.
That hearing is coming at the right time. I would remind
you that following the attacks on 9/11, this committee did not
hold its first oversight hearing on 9/11 until over a month
after the attacks. From 9/11 until that hearing, the committee
did not shut down; we held hearings unrelated to 9/11 and even
a 2-day conference on Senator Jeffords P4 bill. That was the
Climate bill that you had.
So we have been asked by the Senators from the Gulf States,
one of whom is here now, to not hold any immediate hearings
that would divert recovery assets from the Gulf. Just as
Chairman Jeffords waited an appropriate time following the
attacks of 9/11, I have done the same thing. So I don't think
this is at all inappropriate to hold this hearing at this time.
Senator Isakson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In the interest
of time and hearing from the distinguished panel, I have just
two statements that I would like to make.
Senator Inhofe. I appreciate that.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHNNY ISAKSON, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE
STATE OF GEORGIA
Senator Isakson. My two statements are, one, I appreciate
the Chair conducting this hearing and getting such a
Second, at the risk of seeming to pander, I would like to
tell Dr. Crichton and thank him for the countless hours of
entertainment he has given me on Delta Airlines back and forth
to Washington over many, many years. I have read ``State of
Fear'' and I found it very educational, very knowledgeable, and
very entertaining. Thank you, Dr. Crichton.
Senator Inhofe. All right. Senator Clinton.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Senator Clinton. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I want to certainly support Senator Jeffords' efforts to
come up with legislation. I look forward to the hearings you
will be holding next week.
I have to say, Mr. Chairman, I think that the topic of this
hearing is a very important one. Unfortunately, I think the
hearing is organized in a way that will muddy the issues around
sound science, rather than helping us clarify them.
First, with all respect to the extraordinary entertainment
value and success of Dr. Crichton's works, his views on climate
change are at odds with the vast majority of climate
scientists. More importantly, his critique of climate change
science appears in a work of fiction. It is a work of fiction
even if it has footnotes, Mr. Chairman. His views have not been
peer reviewed; they do not appear in any scientific journal.
I won't go into an assessment of Mr. Crichton's critique
point by point, because we don't have time. However, I do want
to submit for the record a document prepared by the Union of
Concerned Scientists that rebuts Mr. Crichton's primary
[The referenced document can be found on page 95.]
In addition, I want to submit a document prepared by James
Hanson, Director of the Columbia University Earth Institute and
Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In this document, Mr.
Hanson details the distortions of his climate change
predictions made by Mr. Crichton in his best selling novel.
[The referenced document can be found on page 83.]
Rather than focusing on Mr. Crichton's testimony, however,
I would like to focus on several broader points about
environmental policymaking and the record of this
Administration, because I think this Administration has taken
the politicization of science to new levels. That is not just
my opinion; it is the opinion of hundreds of prominent
scientists, 49 Nobel laureates, 63 National Medal of Science
recipients, 154 members of the National Academies, and
thousands of other scientists who have signed a statement
criticizing the Administration's misuse and politicization of
science. I want to read just a brief excerpt from that
``When scientific knowledge has been found to be in
conflict with its political goals, the administration has often
manipulated the process through which science enters into its
decisions. This has been done by placing people who are
professionally unqualified or who have clear conflicts of
interest in official posts and on scientific advisory
committees, by disbanding existing advisory committees, by
censoring and suppressing reports by the Government's own
scientists, and by simply not seeking independent scientific
advice. Other administrations have, on occasion, engaged in
such practices, but not so systematically nor on so wide a
Furthermore, in advocating policies that are not
scientifically sound, the administration has sometimes
misrepresented scientific knowledge and misled the public about
the implications of its policies. For example, in support of
the President's decision to avoid regulating emissions that
cause climate change, the administration has consistently
misrepresented the findings of the National Academy of
Sciences, government scientists, and the expert community at
Thus, in June 2003, the White House demanded extensive
changes in the treatment of climate change in a major report by
the Environmental Protection Agency. To avoid issuing a
scientifically indefensible report, EPA officials eviscerated
the discussion of climate change and its consequences.''
Mr. Chairman, I ask that the full statement be included in
Senator Inhofe. Without objection.
[The referenced report can be found on page 85.]
Senator Clinton. Now, unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, the
Administration has not only misused scientific data, they have
also underfunded basic science. Funding for scientific research
has flat-lined over the past few years. This year the
Administration's proposed budget actually calls for a decrease
in real dollars for federally funded research. Most of the R&D
budget increases that did occur in the President's budget were
for new defense weapons systems, not for basic research in
electronics, nanotechnology, computing, energy, physics, and
all of the other sciences.
I believe the U.S. is in real danger of losing its lead in
science and advanced technology. Federal R&D plays a critical
role in the education and training of future scientists and
engineers, technological innovation, advancing health,
increasing economic growth and competitiveness.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I am not, unfortunately, going to be
able to stay for the entire panel, but I want to just make a
few additional brief comments.
Senator Inhofe. Senator Clinton, I am very, very sorry. We
are all adhering to the time limit.
Senator Clinton. Mr. Chairman, if I could just get 1-
minute. I just want to make a comment about a few of the
Senator Inhofe. Senator Boxer, would you like to yield her
one of your minutes?
Senator Clinton. I wouldn't ask that. But I think actually
I may say something you agree with, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Boxer. I would ask unanimous consent that the
Senator from New York have an additional 60 seconds.
Senator Inhofe. Without objection, so ordered.
Senator Clinton. Thank you.
I want to thank the panelists. Although I think that the
point of the hearing is misleading, I think that some of the
testimony from the panelists is very important. I want to thank
Dr. Roberts for making it clear that there are questions that
need to be raised about DDT. I think that is an essential issue
that we need to look at. We can't necessarily turn the clock
back, but I think the threat of malaria is real.
I also want to thank Mr. Sandalow. I agree with you about
the National Academy of Sciences request that you put in your
Finally, I want to thank Ambassador Benedick. Your
testimony about what can happen if people act in good faith is
absolutely inspiring. The Montreal Protocol did risk imposing
substantial short-run economic dislocations, even though the
evidence was incomplete. But as your testimony demonstrates and
as you conclude in your testimony, politics is the art of
taking good decisions on insufficient evidence based on the
best possible science.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Senator Clinton follows:]
Statement of Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton U.S. Senator from
the State of New York
Mr. Chairman, I want to begin by echoing the comments of
our Ranking Member, Senator Jeffords, who observed that the
committee's time and energy would be better spent working on
Having said that, I think we can all agree that science is
an indispensable part of environmental policy making.
Clearly, examining the proper role of science in policy
making is a worthy subject for a hearing of this committee.
Unfortunately, I think this hearing is organized in a way
that will muddy this issue rather than clarifying it.
First, the views of Mr. Crichton on climate change are at
odds with the vast majority of climate scientists. More
importantly, Mr. Crichton's critiques of climate change science
appear in a work of fiction. His views have not been peer
reviewed. They do not appear in any scientific journal.
I won't go through an assessment of Mr. Crichton's critique
point-by-point. However, I do want to submit for the record a
document prepared by the Union of Concerned Scientists that
rebuts Mr. Crichton's primary arguments. In addition, I want to
submit a document prepared by James Hansen, director of the
Columbia University Earth Institute and Goddard Institute for
Space Studies. In this document, Mr. Hansen details distortions
of his climate change predictions made by Mr. Crichton.
Rather than focusing on Mr. Crichton's testimony, however,
I would like to make several broader points about environmental
policy making and the record of this Administration.
Because I think that this Administration has taken
politicization of science to new levels.
That's not just my opinion, it's the opinion of hundreds of
prominent scientists. 49 Nobel laureates, 63 National Medal of
Science recipients, 154 members of the National Academies and
thousands of other scientists have signed a statement
criticizing the Administration's misuse of science.
I want to read a brief excerpt from that statement. ``When
scientific knowledge has been found to be in conflict with its
political goals, the administration has often manipulated the
process through which science enters into its decisions. This
has been done by placing people who are professionally
unqualified or who have clear conflicts of interest in official
posts and on scientific advisory committees; by disbanding
existing advisory committees; by censoring and suppressing
reports by the Government's own scientists; and by simply not
seeking independent scientific advice. Other administrations
have, on occasion, engaged in such practices, but not so
systematically nor on so wide a front. Furthermore, in
advocating policies that are not scientifically sound, the
administration has sometimes misrepresented scientific
knowledge and misled the public about the implications of its
For example, in support of the president's decision to
avoid regulating emissions that cause climate change, the
administration has consistently misrepresented the findings of
the National Academy of Sciences, government scientists, and
the expert community at large. Thus in June 2003, the White
House demanded extensive changes in the treatment of climate
change in a major report by the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA). To avoid issuing a scientifically indefensible report,
EPA officials eviscerated the discussion of climate change and
Mr. Chairman, I ask that the full statement be included in
Unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, the Administration has not
only misused scientific data; they have underfunded basic
Funding for scientific research has flat-lined over the
past few years. This year, the Administration's proposed budget
actually called for a decrease in real dollars for federally
funded research [from $55.2 billion to $54.8 billion, a 0.6
Most of the R&D budget increases that did occur in the
President's budget were for new defense weapons systems, not
for basic research in electronics, nanotechnology computing,
energy and physics
The U.S. is in real danger of losing its lead in science
and advanced technology. Federal R&D plays a critical role in
the education and training of future scientists and engineers,
technological innovation, advancing health, increasing economic
growth and competitiveness, and increasing national and
homeland security. We need to do better.
I hope that at a later date, we can have a more rounded
discussion of this issue that includes an opportunity to ask
Administration witnesses to answer for the way that they have
used science in environmental policy making.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Senator Clinton.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, U.S. SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI
Senator Bond. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Obviously,
this is going to be an exciting hearing. Unfortunately, I have
to go to a fiscal responsibility budget meeting on Katrina. We
will let the discussion continue on what caused Katrina as we
try to figure out what to pay for and how to pay for it. I do
want to say that I believe it is time that we had a thorough
airing of how scientific evidence either does or does not
influence the policymakers and legislation and Administration.
I might just point out--and maybe Dr. Sandalow would want
to expand upon it--in the previous Administration there were
complaints directed against the EPA and the State Department,
which apparently once urged Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change to alter a chapter in a scientific report specifically
to delete phrases that cast scientific doubts on human
influences on climate. In fact, one scientist admitted doing so
to satisfy the State Department, and that may be an interesting
area for further discussion.
I have seen too many areas where science has been misused,
causing policy decisions that are not warranted or justified,
and examples over the years where there have been harsh and
sweeping policy decisions, either outdated, grossly
exaggerated, or highly misleading. In some decisions, existing
relevant information seems to have been ignored. We see, in my
State, places where faulty science has had far-reaching policy
decisions affecting the livelihoods and the lives of thousands
of individuals, families, and businesses.
We have heard on the DDT, where excessive concern over DDT
may have been causing tremendous deaths from malaria. In my
State, unsound scientific guesses have led to the possibility
of flooding and risking lives, man-made flooding as a result of
mandated spring rises when the rivers are already high, and
potential devastation of agricultural livelihood of many areas
of our State where our most bountiful crops are grown in the
I am reading, and will continue to read, the opening
statements of our distinguished panel. Dr. Gray, I was most
interested to see how you have been dismayed by science and
media hype over nuclear winter and human endorsed global
warming hypothesis. I think that will be an interesting subject
to pursue in light of Katrina.
I too have read ``State of Fear''. Even though it was not
assigned by our Chairman, I read it because, No. 1, it was
interesting fiction. Also I found the scientific footnotes to
be of great interest. We met with representatives of a leading
environmental organization who had a whole list of rebuttals to
So I asked my staff to pursue the thesis that you put forth
in your footnotes and the rebuttals, and an interesting thing
came back. They said, well, the rebuttals set up straw men;
they attributed to Dr. Crichton things that he did not say. He
merely stated the great deal of uncertainty. I said, well, what
was wrong with Dr. Crichton's thesis, his scientific footnotes?
They said nothing that we can find.
The people attacking them chose to misstate his
conclusions. If you set up a straw man, it is easy to knock him
I know all of you will have an opportunity to respond to
straw men, legitimate questions and others, and I look forward
to reading the record.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Senator Bond.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, U.S. SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Senator Lautenberg. Thanks very much, Mr. Chairman, and
thank you for inviting the members of this distinguished panel
to testify here today. We are, among the group, honored to have
Dr. Crichton here, a physician by training, best known,
however, as a writer of fiction and movies. The book Jurassic
Park was made into a film that ranks among the 10 highest
grossing movies of all times. I have 10 grandchildren; they
reported back to me and they liked it, so I will use them as
the yardstick and say that nobody can dispute Dr. Crichton's
talent as a writer of science fiction.
But our community needs science facts. In his latest book,
``State of Fear'', Dr. Crichton expresses his doubt that global
warming poses a real threat to our planet.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I have a full statement that I am going
to ask to be included in the record.
Senator Inhofe. Without objection, that will be the case.
Senator Lautenberg. I will use the balance of my time to
relate a personal experience. I went down to the South Pole a
couple years ago because I wanted to see what was happening
with the National Science Foundation. I found there alarming
conclusions that the supply of fresh water that was stored in
the ice was disappearing at a rapid rate, that there was a huge
ice melt. We know that Ward's Island and other significant
chunks of the Antarctica were afloat in the ocean, disappearing
into the salt water.
You have to say, without having the scientific discussion
that we would like to have here one day, Mr. Chairman, this
one, but I would like to see us have another one and maybe have
representation from the Union of Concerned Scientists, National
Academy of Sciences, because I think that we are getting into
an area of subjective thinking that represents a great danger
for us currently and in the future, and you see so much
evidence of it.
Now, I learned in my trip to the Antarctica and the South
Pole that, if one goes to Australia, that the hole in the ozone
layer and, thereby, the global warming that exists, is a threat
to child health. If children go to the beaches there, they are
compelled to wear full bathing suits, hats, etc. and the rate
of melanoma in Australia almost exceeds that of other countries
around the world by a substantial margin.
So as we look at the challenge that is raised here today,
the thing that perplexes me is--and if I am able to stay, I
will; otherwise, I am going to submit questions in writing, Mr.
Chairman, and hope that I will be able to get an answer back--
is there any agreement at all that the earth is getting warmer?
The Defense Department commissioned a report in 2003 that
presented an ominous picture of what the last half of the
twenty-first century might look like, with flooding in all
kinds of places, including The Netherlands and Bangladesh, and
suggesting that the military be prepared to fight off those
seeking higher ground, those seeking survival, and attempting
the worst dangers that nature can offer on oceans and mountains
and you name it to get to safer ground. So we can dismiss these
things by challenges that don't necessarily bear the scientific
approvals that make it more valid.
I hope, Mr. Chairman, before we finish these studies of
ours, that we will have gone to all sides of the issue. Thank
you very much.
[The prepared statement of Senator Lautenberg follows:]
Statement of Hon. Frank R. Lautenberg, U.S. Senator from
the State of Connecticut
Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening this hearing.
We're honored to have with us today Michael Crichton, a medical
doctor by training who is best known as a writer of fiction and movies.
His book ``Jurassic Park'' was made into a film that ranks among
the 10 highest grossing movies of all time. I have 10 grandchildren so
I know it well.
In ``Jurassic Park'', Dr. Crichton concocted a fascinating tale
about scientists who clone dinosaurs using DNA from fossils.
Nobody can dispute Dr. Crichton's talent as a writer of science
But this committee needs scientific facts, not science fiction.
His latest book, ``State of Fear'' expresses doubt that global
warming poses a real threat to our planet.
If we learned tomorrow that scientists had cloned dinosaurs from
DNA in fossils, Mr. Crichton would be hailed for his astute prediction.
But most scientists who have devoted their whole lives to studying
such issues do not dismiss the threat of global warming.
Everyone agrees that the Earth is getting warmer. The last 4 years
have been among the five hottest years on record.
And the projections for the future are not comforting.
It's a fact that hurricanes draw their power from warm waters in
the ocean. For years, climate scientists have warned that higher ocean
temperatures would spawn more powerful storms.
And in fact, we do have more powerful storms today than we did just
a few decades ago.
Just this month, the Journal Science reported that the proportion
of storms that achieve Category four or five status has almost doubled
since the 1970s.
Yet even when the warnings of climate scientists are borne out,
some people cling to denial.
It might make a good story to imagine that the threat of global
warming is a concoction of groups with a political agenda.
But we need scientific facts not science fiction.
Here's another fact: once greenhouse gases enter our atmosphere,
they remain there for a long time. There is nothing we can do to remove
So every day that we fail to act, the potential consequences grow
By refusing to act, we are gambling on the outside chance that most
of the scientists are wrong.
Let's not take that gamble with the future of our children and
Let's enjoy science fiction like Jurassic Park but let's base our
decisions on scientific facts.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Senator Lautenberg.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. LISA MURKOWSKI, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE
STATE OF ALASKA
Senator Murkowski. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I too want to
thank you for scheduling this very important hearing, and look
forward to hearing from the witnesses. It is unfortunate that
we have so much going on this morning and that so many of us
won't be able to stay. I intend to stay for as long as I
possibly can, so I will be sitting here with you to listen to
Our job in the Senate here is to understand the issues, to
make the decisions based on our understanding and to form
public policy based on those decisions. Very often our subjects
come from areas in which we have very little personal
involvement or expertise, so we have to depend on expert
witnesses. They educate us on the range of viewpoints, present
us with the relevant factors, and, if we are lucky, they can
cut through the ticket of contradicting claims.
Unfortunately, sometimes we are not always lucky. Sometimes
we see eminent scientists who provide us with only part of the
story, the part of the story that might suit them. That is
unfortunate, because when we only have half of the story, half
of the story can result in bad decisions, and bad decisions
lead to bad policy, and bad policy leads to a loss of trust.
That, Mr. Chairman, is something that we simply can't afford,
not as individuals, and certainly not as a Country.
Now, as an Alaskan, I have watched how several episodes of
poor decisionmaking based on poor or perhaps incomplete
information results in what we consider to be poor policies and
negative impacts, whether they be impacts to our fishing
industry or our mining industry or our forest products industry
and others. Real people are affected by these decisions that
Now, many of these decisions have been based on an approach
often called the precautionary principle. This term is
generally interpreted to mean that one should take action to
prevent harm, even if the harm has not yet been determined to
exist or there is still uncertainty about its cause. While the
sentiment for that is laudable, it may not always be
justifiable. From a scientific or science perspective, the
first and most important precautionary principle may be to
refrain from any action unless both the harm and the efficacy
of the proposed action are both understood and understood well
enough to avoid unintended adverse consequences.
Mr. Chairman, I think that this discussion is long overdue.
Speculation on consequences or remedies can be a dangerous
path, particularly when the proposed solutions themselves can
be damaging to our interests. So I look forward to the comments
this morning from this very distinguished panel, and hopefully
an ongoing dialog in this vein. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Senator Murkowski follows:]
Statement of Hon. Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator from
the State of Alaska
Mr. Chairman, thank you for scheduling this important hearing. I
look forward to hearing from all our distinguished witnesses.
Our job is to understand issues, to make decisions based on our
understanding, and to form public policy from those decisions.
Very often our subjects come from areas in which we have little
personal involvement or expertise, so we necessarily depend on expert
witnesses. They educate us on the range of viewpoints, present us with
relevant facts, and if we are lucky, they cut through thickets of
Unfortunately, we aren't often that lucky. We've all watched
eminent scientists provide only the parts of the story that suit them.
We all know it's human nature for them to do so, no matter how
illustrious their reputations. Most of us, I think, have learned that
blowing smoke doesn't always mean there is a fire. Sometimes it's only
smoke and mirrors.
The result of smoke and mirrors is bad decisions, whether they are
made by Congress or by an executive branch agency. Bad decisions lead
to bad policy, and bad policy leads to the loss of trust. That, Mr.
Chairman, is something we simply cannot afford. Not as individuals and
not as a country.
As an Alaskan I've watched several episodes of poor decision-making
based on poor information and resulting in poor policies and negative
impacts to our fishing industry, or mining industry, our forest
products industry and others. Real people are affected by those
Many of those decisions have been based on an approach often called
the ``precautionary principle.'' This term is generally interpreted to
mean one should take action to prevent harm even if ``harm'' has not
yet been determined to exist, or there is still uncertainty about its
The sentiment for that is laudable, but not always justifiable.
From a science perspective, the first and most important
``precautionary principle'' may be to refrain from action unless both
the harm and the efficacy of the proposed action are understood well
enough to avoid unintended adverse consequences.
I think this discussion is long overdue. Speculation on
consequences or remedies can create a dangerous path, particularly when
the proposed solutions themselves can be damaging to our interests. I
look forward to the witnesses' comments on the matter.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Senator Murkowski.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BARBARA BOXER, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Senator Boxer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and welcome to the
In this committee it is our job to talk about sound
science. It is not in our committee rules to discuss novels or
plays or TV shows or movies, although, as a Senator from
California, I appreciate my chairman's focus on the arts,
because it is very important to me.
I think we all agree that higher ocean temperatures result
in stronger storms. I don't think that is a debate. The
supposed disagreement is over the cause of the higher ocean
temperatures. But, in truth, if you look at who lines up on
each side of this, I don't really think there is a disagreement
among the real experts that a key contributor to rising ocean
temperatures is global warming. The leading scientists around
the world have overwhelmingly accepted this proposition. I have
a chart here I would like to show you.
You see here the organizations that support the existence
of climate change: National Academy of Sciences, American
Geophysical Union, American Association for the Advancement of
Science, American Meteorological Society representing 48,000
members now, National Sciences Academies of France, Germany,
Italy, Canada, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, Brazil,
India, and China.
Now, on the other side you have individuals. I won't go
through their names. They are from different institutes: the
George Marshall Institute, American Enterprise Institute,
Competitive Enterprise, American Enterprises, again Competitive
Enterprise--so these are duplicates here of some reason--
Frazier Institute, Cato Institute, Center for the Study of
Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a gentleman who is here today
from Colorado State University, American Council for Capital
Formation, and a gentleman from the Science and Environmental
Policy Project. Every one of these except two are supported by
a huge oil company. So let us get it straight in terms of who
fits on what side.
So, yes, there are a few dissenters on the issue, but they
receive major support from the industries that would have to
pay a price if in fact we move forward on global warming and
doing something about it.
So given what we know about the devastating effects of
hurricanes and the threats caused by global warming--which
could include flooding of our coastal cities, loss of
agriculture, irreparable damage to ecosystems--I think we have
to focus on fact, not fiction. How do we resolve it?
So I think we must set aside all of our disagreements--and
we will have disagreements, Mr. Chairman--on DDT and what
alternatives there may be and our disagreements on other
things. However I think we agree that--and I hope we would
agree, and I know the Corps agrees--protection of wetlands
would be a positive step in helping protect us against
So for the remainder of my time, I want to show you a
chart, a picture of a situation where you see how the wetlands
act as a buffer. Here you have the ocean. Here you have a very
healthy wetland and here you have the land. When we were
briefed--and Mr. Chairman, I do appreciate the meetings that
you called--I learned so much.
When the Corps spoke to us, they basically said that the
wetlands act as a cooling down element so that by the time the
hurricane reaches where people are, it is not as fierce. It is
also a buffer; it is also a sponge. So these wetlands are a
gift from God. We are all beginning to understand better just
how valuable they are.
In my home State of California, I am so sad to tell you
that we have lost 91 percent of our wetlands. It is disastrous.
We are suffering more flooding than ever. Now, in the lower 48,
we have lost 53 percent of our wetlands. Louisiana loses the
equivalent of one football field of wetlands every 38 minutes.
So with our increased understanding of the importance of
wetlands, I think we can work together in this committee,
setting aside how we feel about why the oceans are warming up.
Let us set it aside. Let us do something for our Country.
So thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Senator Boxer.
Before you speak, I want to make sure everyone here is
aware that probably Senator Voinovich is the most knowledgeable
person on air issues. When he was Governor of Ohio, he was
chairman of that committee of the Governors Conference, and it
is always an honor to have him appear when we are talking about
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, U.S. SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF OHIO
Senator Voinovich. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for having this
This is an area of great interest to me and of great
concern. I have introduced legislation in past Congresses to
improve the role of science in policy decisions at the
Environmental Protection Agency. I believe that by improving
science at the Agency we can improve the framework of our
regulatory decisions. It is important that these regulations be
effective, not onerous and inefficient. They must be based on a
solid foundation of solid understanding and data.
In 2000, the National Research Council recommended changes
to improve science within the EPA in their report
``Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, Research Management and Peer Review Practices.'' My
legislation, the Environmental Research Enhancement Act, would
have implemented several of the Council's recommendations.
Mr. Chairman, I understand that you are also working on
legislation, and I look forward to working with you on it.
EPA was created in 1970 by President Nixon with the mission
to protect human health and safeguard the environment. EPA was
part of President Nixon's reorganization efforts to effectively
ensure the protection, development, and enhancement of the
total environment. This mission requires the EPA have a
fundamental understanding of the science behind the real and
potential threats to public health and the environment.
Unfortunately, many institutions, citizens, and groups believe
that science has not always played a significant role in EPA's
The National Research Council's 2000 report concluded:
``While the use of sound science is one of EPA's goals, the
Agency needs to change its current structure to allow science
to play a more significant role in its decisions made by the
I want to quickly explain how my legislation was designed
to improve policymaking at EPA. First, the new Deputy
Administrator for Science and Technology would be established
at EPA. The individual would oversee the Office of Research and
Development, Environmental Information Agency, Science Advisory
Board, Science Policy Council, and scientific and technical
activities in the Agency's regulatory programs.
This new position would be equal in rank to the current
deputy administrator and would report directly to the
administrator. The new deputy would be responsible for
coordinating science research and application between the
scientific and regulatory arms of the Agency to ensure that
sound science is the basis for decisions.
Second, EPA's current top science job, Assistant
Administrator for Research and Development, would be appointed
for 6 years, instead of the current 4-year political
appointment. According to the Council, this position is one of
EPA's weakest and most transient administrative positions, even
though this position addresses some of the Agency's more
important topics. By lengthening the term of this position, I
had hoped to remove it from the realm of politics, allowing the
Assistant Administrator to focus on science and providing more
continuity in the Agency's scientific work across
I have long believed that sound science, not politics,
should drive our Nation's environmental policy. In fact, I
believe that in harmonizing our Nation's economic,
environmental, and energy policies, that sound science should
be the uniting factor. Unfortunately, this has not been the
case, and we are paying for it in thousands of lost jobs and
with the highest natural gas prices in the world. And unless we
start to harmonize our needs to become more energy independent,
we are not going to be able to compete in the global
marketplace, and our national economy and our national security
will continue to be in jeopardy.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Senator Voinovich follows:]
Statement of Hon. George V. Voinovich, U.S. Senator from
the State of Ohio
Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing on the important
subject of the role of science in environmental policymaking. This is
an area of great interest and concern for me.
I have introduced legislation in past Congresses to improve the
role of science in policy decisions at the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA). I believe that by improving science at the Agency, we can
improve the framework of our regulatory decisions. It is important that
these regulations be effective, not onerous and inefficient. They must
be based on a solid foundation of scientific understanding and data.
In 2000, the National Research Council recommended changes to
improve science within the EPA in their report, ``Strengthening Science
at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research Management and
Peer Review Practices.'' My legislation, the Environmental Research
Enhancement Act, would have implemented several of the Council's
recommendations. Mr. Chairman, I understand that you are also working
on legislation, and I look forward to working with you.
EPA was created in 1970 by President Nixon with a mission to
protect human health and safeguard the environment. EPA was part of
President Nixon's reorganization efforts to effectively ensure the
protection, development, and enhancement of the total environment.
This mission requires that EPA have a fundamental understanding of
the science behind the real and potential threats to public health and
the environment. Unfortunately, many institutions, citizens, and groups
believe that science has not always played a significant role in EPA's
decision-making process. The National Research Council's 2000 report
concluded that, while the use of sound science is one of EPA's goals,
the Agency needs to change its current structure to allow science to
play a more significant role in decisions made by the Administrator.
I want to quickly explain how my legislation was designed to
improve policymaking at EPA. First, a new Deputy Administrator for
Science and Technology would be established at EPA. This individual
would oversee the Office of Research and Development; Environmental
Information Agency; Science Advisory Board; Science Policy Council; and
scientific and technical activities in the Agency's regulatory
programs. This new position would be equal in rank to the current
Deputy Administrator and would report directly to the Administrator.
The new Deputy would also be responsible for coordinating scientific
research and application between the scientific and regulatory arms of
the Agency to ensure that sound science is the basis for regulatory
Second, EPA's current top science job, Assistant Administrator for
Research and Development, would be appointed for 6 years instead of the
current 4-year political appointment. According to the Council, this
position is one of EPA's weakest and most transient administrative
positions even though this position addresses some of the Agency's more
important topics. By lengthening the term of this position, I hoped to
remove it from the realm of politics allowing the Assistant
Administrator to focus on science and providing more continuity in the
Agency's scientific work across administrations.
I have long believed that sound science, not politics should drive
our Nation's environmental policies. In fact, I believe that in
harmonizing our Nation's economic, environmental and energy policies,
sound science should be the uniting factor.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case, and we are paying for it
in thousands of lost jobs and the highest natural gas prices in the
world. Unless we start harmonizing our needs to become more energy
independent, we will not be able to compete in the global marketplace
and our national economy and national security will be in jeopardy.
Mr. Chairman, I again thank you for holding this hearing today.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Senator Voinovich.
If any other members come in, we will not recognize them
for opening statements, because we are going to try to stay on
our time line.
Since several statements have been made about the National
Academy of Sciences, I would like to enter into the record a
letter from the former president of the National Academy of
Sciences to the president of the Royal Society. It refutes the
charge the Bush Administration has ignored the NAS'
The letter says: ``By appending your own phrase by reducing
emissions of greenhouse gases to an actual quote from our
report, you have considerably changed our report's meaning and
intent. As you must appreciate, having your own
misinterpretation of the U.S. Academy work widely quoted in our
press has caused considerable confusion both at my Academy and
in our Government.''
This entire letter will be entered as part of the record.
[The referenced letter can be found on page 93.]
Senator Inhofe. All right, we have already introduced our
distinguished panel, and we will start with Dr. Crichton. I
would like to ask the members of this panel to try to confine
your comments to a maximum of 10 minutes. We will do our best
to accommodate you. Don't feel like you have to take a full 10
minutes, but we will try to do that.
I would like to ask any member who has family with him to
introduce that family.
Dr. Crichton, we are delighted to have you here. Thank you
for your appearance.
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL CRICHTON, M.D., AUTHOR, DOCTOR
Dr. Crichton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the
committee. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the
important subject of politicization of----
Senator Inhofe. Aren't you going to introduce Sherri?
Dr. Crichton. Oh, yes. I am sorry. I am going to pay for
This is my wife, Sherri Alexander, behind me. Sorry, honey.
Dr. Crichton. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the
important subject of politicization of research. In that
regard, what I would like to emphasize to the committee today
is the importance of independent verification to science.
In essence, science is nothing more than a method of
inquiry. The method says an assertion is valid and merits
universal acceptance only if it can be independently verified.
The impersonal rigor of the method means that it is utterly
A truth in science is verifiable whether you are black or
white, male or female, old or young. It's verifiable whether
you like the results of the study or whether you don't.
Thus, when adhered to, the scientific method can transcend
politics. The converse may also be true. When politics take
precedent over content, it is often because the primacy of
independent verification has been overwhelmed by competing
Verification may take several forms. I come from medicine,
where the gold standard is the randomized double-blind study,
which has been the paradigm of medical research since the
In that vein, let me tell you a story. It is 1991 and I am
flying home from Germany, sitting next to a man who is almost
in tears, he is so upset. He is a physician involved in an FDA
study of a new drug. It is a double-blind study involving four
separate teams: one plans the study, another administers the
drug to patients, a third assesses the effect on patients, and
a fourth analyzes the results. The teams do not know each other
and are prohibited from personal contact of any sort on peril
of contaminating the results.
This man has been sitting in the Frankfort Airport
innocently chatting with another man when they discover to
their mutual horror they are on two different teams studying
the same drug. They were required to report their encounter to
the FDA, and my companion was now waiting to see if the FDA
would declare their multi-year, multimillion dollar study
invalid because of this chance contact.
For a person with a medical background accustomed to this
degree of rigor in research, the protocols of climate science
appear considerably more relaxed. In climate science, it is
permissible for raw data to be touched or modified by many
hands. Gaps in temperature and proxy records are filled in.
Suspect values are deleted because a scientist deems them
erroneous. A researcher may elect to use parts of existing
records, ignoring other parts. But the fact that the data has
been modified in so many ways inevitably raises the question of
whether the results of a given study are wholly or partially
caused by the modifications themselves.
In saying this, I am not casting aspersions on the motives
or fair-mindedness of climate scientists. Rather, what is at
issue is whether the methodology of climate science is
sufficiently rigorous to yield a reliable result. At the very
least, we should want the reassurance of an independent
verification by another lab in which they would make their own
decisions about how to handle the data and yet arrive at a
Because the fact is that any study where a single team
plans the research, carries it out, supervises the analysis,
and writes their own final report carries a very high risk of
undetected bias. That risk, for example, would automatically
preclude the validity of the results of a similarly structured
study that tested the efficacy of a drug. No one would believe
By the same token, any verification of the study by
investigators with whom the researcher had a professional
relationship--people with whom, for example, he had published
papers in the past--would not be accepted. That is peer review
by pals and is unavoidably biased. Yet, these issues are
central to the now familiar story of the ``Hockey stick graph''
and the debate surrounding it.
To summarize it briefly, in 1998-1999, the American climate
researcher Michael Mann and his coworkers published an estimate
of global temperatures from the year 1000 to 1980. Mann's
results appeared to show a spike in recent temperatures that
was unprecedented in the last 1,000 years. His alarming report
formed the centerpiece of the U.N.'s Third Assessment Report in
Mann's work was criticized from the start, but the real
fireworks began when two Canadian researchers, McIntyre and
McKitrick, attempted to replicate Mann's study. They found
grave errors in the work, which they detailed in 2003:
calculation errors, data used twice, data filled in, and a
computer program that generated a hockey stick out of any data
fed to it, even random data.
Mann's work has since been dismissed by scientists around
the world who subscribe to global warming. Why did the U.N.
accept Mann's report so uncritically? Why didn't they catch the
errors? Because the IPCC doesn't do independent verification.
Perhaps also because Mann himself was in charge of that section
of the report that included his own work.
The hockey stick controversy drags on. But I would direct
the committee's attention to three aspects of this story.
First, 6 years passed between Mann's publication and the first
detailed account of errors in his work. This is simply too long
for policymakers to wait for validated results.
Second, the flaws in Mann's work were not caught by climate
scientists but, rather, by outsiders, in this case, an
economist and a mathematician. They had to go to great lengths
to obtain their data from Mann's team, which obstructed them at
every turn. When the Canadians sought help from the NSA, which
was the funding Agency, they were told that Mann was under no
obligation to provide his data to other researchers for
Third, this kind of stonewalling is not unique. The
Canadians are now attempting to replicate other climate studies
and are getting the same runaround from other researchers. One
prominent scientist told them: ``Why should I make the data
available to you, when your aim is to try and find something
wrong with it.''
Even further, some scientists complain the task of
archiving is so time-consuming as to prevent them from getting
any work done. This is nonsense. Today we can burn data to a CD
or post it at an FTP site for downloading. Archiving data is so
easy it should have become standard practice a decade ago.
Government grants should require a ``replication package'' as
part of funding. Posting the package online should be a
prerequisite to journal publication. There is really no reason
to exclude anyone from reviewing the data.
Of course, replication takes time. Policy makers need sound
answers to the questions they ask. A faster way to get them
might be to give research grants for important projects to
three independent teams simultaneously. A provision of the
grant would be that at the end of the study period, all three
papers would be published together, with each group commenting
on the findings of the others. I believe this would be the
fastest way to get verified answers to important questions.
But if independent verification is the heart of science,
what should policymakers do with research that is unverifiable?
For example, the U.N. Third Assessment Report defines general
circulation climate models as unverifiable. If that is true,
are their predictions of any use to policymakers?
I would argue they are not. Senator Boxer says that we need
science fact, and I completely agree. But the unavoidable truth
is that a prediction is never a fact.
In any case, if policymakers decide to weight their
decisions in favor of verified research, that will provoke an
effort by climate scientists to demonstrate their concerns
using objectively verifiable data. I think we will all be
better for it.
In closing, I want to state emphatically that nothing in my
remarks should be taken to imply that we can ignore our
environment or that we should not take climate change
seriously. On the contrary, we must dramatically improve our
record on environmental management. That is why a focused
effort on climate science aimed at securing a sound,
independently verified answers to policy questions is so
I would remind the committee that in the end it is the
proper function of government to set standards for the
integrity of information it uses to make policy. Those who
argue that government should refrain from mandating quality
standards for scientific research--and that includes some
professional organizations--are merely self-serving. In an
information society, public safety depends on the integrity of
public information. Only Government can perform that task.
Thank you very much.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Dr. Crichton, for an excellent
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE RICHARD E. BENEDICK, PRESIDENT,
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Mr. Benedick. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Without a reminder,
I would like to introduce my fiancee, Irene Federwisch, who has
come here from Berlin, and who is not a fan of Environment
This is actually the first time that I have appeared not as
a government witness, so it is kind of a new feeling.
Since 1994 I have been President of the National Council
for Science and the Environment, which is an organization
dedicated to improving the scientific basis for environmental
decisionmaking, and in this context I would like to express
appreciation to Senator Voinovich for his initiatives to
improve science at the Environmental Protection Agency.
During the 1980's, I served under President Reagan as
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment. In 1985 I
was designated by Secretary of State George Schultz and then
Assistant Secretary John Negroponte to be the chief U.S.
negotiator for a treaty to regulate certain chemicals suspected
of depleting the stratospheric ozone layer.
I have submitted more extensive written testimony, which I
will summarize today. It tells the story of a remarkable
collaboration between scientists and government in the
development of public policy under conditions of risk and
CFCs and related halons seemed to be ideal manmade
chemicals. Invented in the 1930's, they found more uses in
thousands of products and processes: in pharmaceuticals, in
agriculture, in electronics, in defense and agriculture and
telecommunications, just to name a few. CFCs became virtually
synonymous with modern standards of living.
Billions of dollars of international investment and
hundreds of thousands of jobs were involved in their production
and consumption. Powerful governments in Europe aligned with
global economic interests in adamant opposition to controls,
maintaining that alternatives were nonexistent or too costly or
Most other governments and peoples were unaware or
indifferent to an arcane threat occurring 30 miles above
earth's surface. As an Indian diplomat admonished me: ``Rich
man's problem--rich man's solution.''
Perhaps most significant, during the negotiations the
arguments for controlling CFCs rested on unproved scientific
theories that these useful chemicals could damage the
stratospheric ozone layer that protects life on earth from
harmful solar radiation. The science was based on projections
from still-evolving computer models of imperfectly understood
atmospheric processes, models that yielded varying, and even
sometimes contradictory predictions, each time they were
Nevertheless, after contentious international negotiations,
a strong control treaty was signed in Montreal in September
1987, just 18 years ago. The treaty was hailed in the U.S.
Senate as ``the most significant international environmental
agreement in history.'' President Reagan became the first head
of state to endorse the Montreal Protocol, pronouncing it, ``a
monumental achievement of science and diplomacy,'' and the
treaty was unanimously ratified by the Senate.
The most extraordinary aspect of the Protocol was that it
imposed significant short-term costs in order to protect human
health and the environment against future dangers that rested
on scientific theories rather than on proven facts. Unlike past
environmental agreements, this was not a response to harmful
events but, rather, preventive action on a global scale.
Even so, it was a near thing. For decades no one had
suspected that these wonder-chemicals could cause any harm.
They had been thoroughly tested by customary industrial
standards and declared completely safe. Possible effects 30
miles above the earth had simply never been considered.
Unquestionably, the indispensable element in the success of
the Montreal Protocol was the role of science and scientists.
Without the curiosity and courage of a handful of researchers
in the mid-1970's, the world might have learned too late of the
Ozone's existence was unknown until 1839, and it has been
characterized by NOAA scientists as ``the single most important
chemically active trace gas in the earth's atmosphere.'' The
ozone layer, at its historic natural concentrations and
diffusion, is simply essential for life as it currently exists
Astonishingly, the research paths leading to the suspicion
that the ozone layer was in jeopardy had been serendipitous.
Scientists had not set out intentionally to condemn
chlorofluorocarbons. The serious theoretical dangers prompted a
wave of new scientific research over the following years, led
by our own NASA, NOAA, and the National Academy of Sciences.
Even as negotiators were hammering out the final
compromises in Montreal, an unprecedented international
scientific expedition was underway in Antarctica. Using
specially designed equipment placed in balloons, satellites, a
DC-8 flying laboratory, and a converted high-altitude U-2 spy
aircraft, scientists were tracking stratospheric chemical
reactions and measuring minute concentrations of gases.
Six months later the results came out and were stunning. No
longer a theory, ozone layer depletion had at last been
substantiated by hard evidence. CFCs and halons were now
implicated beyond dispute, including responsibility for the
``ozone hole'' over Antarctica. Without modern science, the
world would simply have remained unaware of an ozone problem
until it was too late.
A major lesson from the ozone history is that nature does
not always provide policymakers with convenient early warning
signals of impending disaster. For example, chlorine
concentrations in the stratosphere tripled over the decades
from their natural level with no effect on the ozone layer. But
when they reached two parts per billion--not a very large
amount--the ozone layer over Antarctica collapsed. This
nonlinear--what the scientists call a nonlinear--or threshold
response has obvious implications for the potential dangers of
other types of anthropogenic interference with the planet's
The history of the Montreal Protocol also underscored the
importance of having sufficient funding for all levels of
science, from curiosity-driven basic research to applied
The Montreal Protocol was not, as some opponents charged, a
``radical'' treaty. On the contrary, it was an expression of
faith in the market system. The treaty effectively signaled to
the marketplace that research into solutions would now be
The protocol stimulated a virtual technological revolution
in the international chemical, telecommunications, and numerous
other industries. By providing producers and users of CFCs with
the certainty that the CFC market was destined to decline, the
Montreal Protocol unleashed the creative energies and financial
resources of the private sector to find alternatives.
Another lesson from the Montreal Treaty was the importance
of education. Here the role of the U.S. Congress was
particularly critical in organizing many public hearings on
ozone and in commissioning several important studies by the
National Academy of Science.
Some European Governments allowed commercial self-interest
to influence their interpretations of the science. Uncertainty
was used by these governments as an excuse for delaying
decisions. In contrast, the U.S. Clean Air Act opted for a low
threshold to justify intervention. Our Government was not
obligated to prove conclusively that a suspected substance
would endanger health and environment. All that was required
was a standard of reasonable expectation.
As Governor Russell Peterson, who was a senior advisor to
President Nixon, had declared in reference to other potentially
harmful chemicals, CFCs, unlike U.S. citizens, would not be
considered innocent until proven guilty.
By the time the evidence on such issues as ozone layer
depletion and climate change is beyond dispute, the damage
could be irreversible and it may be too late to avoid serious
harm to human life and draconian future costs to society.
Political leaders must resist the tendency to assign excessive
credibility to self-serving economic interests that demand
scientific certainty and who insist that simply because dangers
are remote, they are therefore inconsequential.
In conclusion, there will always be resistance to change
and there will always be uncertainties. But faced with
plausible environmental threats, governments may need to act
while some major questions remain unresolved.
As Britain's Lord Kennet stated during ozone debates in the
House of Lords, ``Politics is the art of taking good decisions
on insufficient evidence.'' The ozone history demonstrates that
in the real world of ambiguity and imperfect knowledge, the
international community, with the assistance of science, is
capable of undertaking difficult actions for the common good.
I thank you for the opportunity to share this experience.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Benedick.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM GRAY, Ph.D., PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF
ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
Dr. Gray. Well, I appreciate very much being asked to come
to this hearing. I have been simmering for 20 years at what I
consider the hype on these subjects like nuclear winter and
I must say I have been a lifelong Democrat until Al Gore
ran for president. I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh; I don't go
to church. I come at this from having spent 52 years of my life
working very hard down in the trenches looking at data,
working. I have been around the world. I have done forecasting.
I have done all these things. I am appalled at what has come
We state that there's all these bodies. Senator Boxer
showed us all the bodies that agree that human-induced global
warming is such an important topic. Well, the problem is the
people that sit on these boards don't know much about how the
atmosphere ocean ticks. That is the problem. You know, just
because two curves go up, because we have seen some modest
warming in the globe the last three decades, and the human-
induced greenhouse gases have gone up does not mean these are
necessarily related, that one causes the other.
There is a very nice curve I could show that if you look at
sunspots on a number of Republicans in the Senate, they go up
on about a 10- or 12-year cycle. Now, would you accept that we
could predict the number of Republicans that are going to be in
the Senate 10 or 20 years down the line? I doubt it.
Now, what is wrong with the human-induced global warming
scenarios? What is wrong is they have basic physics wrong in
them. I don't think many people understand this. If you just
take the greenhouse gases, they have gone up about a third
since the industrial revolution started. They are supposed to
double by the late twenty-first century. If you just take those
gases and keep everything else constant, there is very little
global warming. Even the scientists will tell you doing this,
.2 or .3 or so degrees Centigrade, versus a 2 to 5 degrees
warming that all the models show.
Now, there are basic problems in these models. One is the
water vapor feedback loop. This is a technical subject. You
take the greenhouse gases, by themselves they should warm the
surface a little bit. You get a little more evaporation and a
little more rain. Now, what the models do is take that extra
rain and assume the middle and upper troposphere will slightly
increase its vapor. That upper level vapor, perhaps a little
cloudiness, will block additional long-wave radiation to space,
and that is where most of the warming comes from. It is eight,
nine times as much as the greenhouse gases themselves.
Another basic problem is the oceans are not modeled well.
You have to model the ocean and the salinity variations and
things, and that just is not possible.
Now, I brought a couple of graphs I would like to show. One
is the complex nature of the earth atmosphere system. Here is
what it is. It is impossible to write code, numerical code for
all these processes and integrate this hundreds of thousands of
time steps in the future.
Now, here is my last one. Let us look at how forecasting is
done. I and my group make hurricane seasonal forecasts and so
on. How do we do it? We admit that the atmosphere is too damn
complex to understand, but there is memory signals in it. So we
look at past data. We go to past years, look 3, 6, 9 months in
the past and say, gee, before active hurricane seasons there
seems to be a difference than before inactive ones; and we use
that and make a forecast. We don't understand all the complex
physics. You can use associations that work.
Now, with numerical prediction, I followed it for over 50
years. It is a great advance. The prediction out to 5 to 10
days in the future has gotten better. There is remarkable
improvements here. See, as this thing goes. However, after 10
days, 15 days or so, you can't do it well. The way it can be
done for 5 or 10 days in the future is the momentum fields can
be extrapolated. They carry information that can be used, and
this has been a great thing. When you try to go further than
that, when you try to go 15, 20 days over, you bring in all
these energy differences--radiation, air-sea interaction. It is
a can of worms. You can't go further.
Now, what I ask, there is almost a cottage industry out
there. Around the globe there are 30 numerical models that are
trying to predict climate. None of them gives you a forecast. I
say, look, if these climate models are OK, why don't they tell
us next season, next year whether the global temperature is
going to rise or not? They don't do that. The reason they
don't, they know they have no damn skill in doing so. So should
we believe them 50, 100 years down the line, when they can't
forecast 6 months or a year in the future? It is ridiculous.
I predict that in 15 or 20 years we are going to look back
on this whole business as the Eugenics movement. You know,
there used to be, 400 years ago, the majority of the scientific
opinion felt the sun went around the earth. Now, damn it, don't
tell me the sun rises, goes around.
Now, I think I know as much as anybody. I will take on any
scientist in this field to talk about this. I predict, in the
next 5 or 8 years or so, the globe is going to begin to cool as
it did in the middle 1940's. You know, I was around as a little
boy growing up in Washington here in the 1940's. The war was
on; I was delivering newspapers. Despite the war being on,
there was talk of global warming because the globe had warmed
so much between 1900 and 1940. What was going to happen? Nobody
knew. So about the middle 1940's the globe gradually started a
cooling trend, and it went on for about 30 years and the ice
age people then started coming out of the closet. Now it has
changed. Now I think we are going to sort of follow that
pattern the next decade or two down the line.
Now, hurricanes, my last topic. I spent my career in this.
I have been all over the world. I think I know something about
these storms. The globe has warmed a little bit the last two or
three decades, yes, 2, 3 degrees or so Centigrade. But I have
looked at intense hurricanes, and they really haven't changed.
We have no basic theory, despite what others might say, as to
if the globe doesn't warm much. Now, if it warmed 10, 20
degrees, yes, or cooled that amount, global tropical cyclone
activity will probably change, but we don't know how, whether
we would get more or less. For the small amounts of change we
have seen, the statistics don't show any difference.
Now, the Atlantic is different. That is a special basin
that has this thermohaleon circulation or moldy decadal cycle
in it. We had a lot of storms in the 1930's through the 1950's.
That is when I got started, in the 1950's. This looked like a
promising field. Then in the late 1960's through the middle
1990's the number of major Atlantic basin hurricanes went down.
Now it has come back the last 10 years. These are natural ocean
Senator Inhofe. Dr. Gray, your time has expired. Could you
wrap up real quickly, please?
Dr. Gray. Yes. OK.
There was a past year when a category 4 storm went just
west of Houston, and 6 weeks later a category 4 storm went
almost over New Orleans. That year was 1915. These things
happen. Nature plays these games and these tricks. Humans are
not involved, or if they are, it is so small. We just have to
adapt to nature as best we can.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Dr. Gray.
STATEMENT OF DONALD R. ROBERTS, Ph.D., PROFESSOR, DIVISION OF
TROPICAL PUBLIC HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE AND
BIOMETRICS, UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIVERSITY OF THE HEALTH
Dr. Roberts. I want to thank the members of the committee
for the opportunity to present testimony this morning. I need
to inform you that I am a faculty member of the Uniform
Services University of the Health Sciences, and as such my
comments should not be construed to represent the opinions of
the University, the Department of the Defense, or U.S.
As you are aware, we are making great strides against
chronic diseases, and we are living longer and longer as a
result. Yet, today, in much of the developing world there are
greater problems of malaria and other infectious diseases than
in 1960. I estimate that in just 12 countries of the Americas
there were as many as 21 million more malaria cases in 1993
than in any year in the 1970's.
We should be concerned about these huge reversals in the
public's health. Even if those impacted are not U.S. citizens,
a failure to control diseases in other countries eventually
translates into increased risk for our citizens.
These reversals in health result in part from the
environmental campaign against DDT. Many charges about
environmental harm of DDT are simply not true. One of the most
common claims against the use of DDT is that it is a human
carcinogen. Vast sums of money have been spent in attempts to
prove DDT is a cause of cancer. The results argue persuasively
that it is not.
In 1971, amid the growing pressure from environmentalist
groups, the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency held
scientific hearings into DDT. The hearings were held over 8
months, involved 125 witnesses, 365 exhibits, and produced
9,312 pages of transcript. The presiding judge, Edmund Sweeney,
noted ``the pros and cons of DDT have been well aired.'' He
then ruled that DDT should not be banned, saying that ``DDT is
not a carcinogenic hazard to man.''
In other words, it was concluded that DDT was not a cancer
risk to humans, and the allegations made against the chemical
did not stand up to scrutiny. Despite this evidence, then
Administrator of the EPA William Ruckelshaus banned DDT.
The decision to ban DDT was essentially a political one,
without any grounding in good science. This ruling was not a
tragedy, because it took DDT away from agriculture. History has
shown that agriculture productivity continued apace. This
ruling was a tragedy for what it did to public health.
Even before the EPA hearing, the Director of Malaria
Control in the Pan-American Health Organization stated that
without DDT, the endemic countries would revert to conditions
that existed before the advent of DDT. That is precisely what
I hope none of you have experienced malaria. I have. I had
shaking chills, a raging fever, enormous headache, and fatigue.
I thought I was going to die and I only had the mild form. The
dangerous form, falciparum malaria, can quickly enter a
cerebral phase and kill even with good medical care.
With chronic malaria, the bodies of children become
distended with enlarged livers and spleens. Malaria patients
can be severely anemic. Acute cases can experience renal
failure and slip into a coma and die. Latest estimates put the
number of deaths over one million a year, mostly in children
and pregnant women. Beyond this, there are as many as 500
million cases of malaria each year.
Malaria is a re-emerging disease, and it is a re-emerging
disease because of environmental pressures against the use of
insecticides. Poor countries need the freedom to use DDT for
disease control if they choose to do so. Yet, they do not have
that freedom. DDT continues to be portrayed negatively in the
press and elsewhere. It is taken as a given that DDT is a toxic
chemical with disastrous human health effects. It is not. DDT
is a simple compound with unique actions to prevent
transmission of malaria.
The pressure against DDT is sometimes subtle and appears in
the foreign aid programs to malaria-stricken countries.
Multilateral donors like The World Bank and bilateral donors
like USAID pressure countries to not use DDT in malaria
programs. The World Health Organization promotes use of
insecticide-treated bed nets to the practical exclusion of
spraying with DDT.
Bed nets are indeed a tool, but they are not nearly as
effective for one simple reason: the Governments of poor
African and South American Nations cannot force their citizens
to sleep under bed nets every single night. On the other hand,
inside walls of houses can be sprayed and DDT will be effective
night after night for months on end.
Another tool for combating malaria is the use of
antimalarial drugs. However, the number of malaria cases has
grown to such an extent that some countries cannot even afford
to treat the number of cases that they have. In 2003, Colombia
had first-line treatments for only 86 percent of its cases, and
Colombia is a relatively wealthy country. I have no idea how
incomplete such treatments are for the poorer countries of
The only solution to this growing public health disaster is
to prevent the disease. As explained in my written testimony,
DDT is 90 to 95 percent effective against malaria vectors
through its spatial repellant actions alone. This simply means
that it stops mosquitoes from entering houses and transmitting
disease. DDT exerts other protective actions as well.
In summation, the re-emergence of malaria is a colossal
human health disaster. It is made more so because the decision
to remove DDT was based on a political agenda and not on
science. Of the three big killer diseases--malaria, TB, and
AIDS--malaria should be the easiest to control. We simply need
the moral clarity and political willpower to do what is
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Dr. Roberts.
STATEMENT OF DAVID SANDALOW, DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
PROJECT, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
Mr. Sandalow. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. None of my
family is here today--my three children are in school, my wife
is at work. In a very real sense they are always with me, so I
appreciate the opportunity to acknowledge them, Mr. Chairman.
Hurricane Katrina has already been raised this morning, and
it casts a shadow over both this hearing and over much of our
national life. In fact, tomorrow it will be one month since
Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast. The
suffering caused by this storm is well known, but no less
tragic for being so. Today, countless thousands of Americans
grieve relatives lost in that storm, and many more search for
ways to restore shattered lives and livelihoods. As we join
together as a Nation to rebuild the Gulf Coast region, our
thoughts and prayers are with all of them.
Many observers have characterized Katrina as a defining
moment in our Nation's history. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich
said the impact of Katrina will be 30 to 100 times bigger than
Then this past weekend our Gulf Coast was struck by another
storm. Hurricane Rita was smaller and less powerful than
Katrina, but only by comparison to its predecessor could Rita
be considered a minor event. More than 3 million people were
evacuated from their homes, causing traffic jams that lasted
for more than 100 miles. The full death toll is not yet known,
but exceeds several dozens. The Governor of Texas estimates the
damage that occurred in his State alone exceeds $8 billion.
Mr. Chairman, the two hurricanes that struck our Nation in
the past month raise important questions about science policy,
environmental policy, and the intersection between the two. How
can we better predict natural disasters of this kind? Will our
response to Katrina be shaped by the best available science?
What forces of global change shaped these two disasters and
what impact will these forces have in the years to come?
Because these questions are so important, today I am
recommending that the Senate ask the U.S. National Academy of
Sciences to examine them. Specifically, I recommend the Senate
ask the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to conduct a major
new study on extreme weather events.
The report would assess the state of scientific knowledge
in several areas, including: one, our ability to predict
extreme weather events and how that ability might be improved;
two, the causes of extreme weather events, both natural and
human; three, land restoration in the Mississippi Delta both as
part of the response to Katrina and to protect against future
storms; and, four, human health and other risks related to the
cleanup of toxic chemicals released as a result of Katrina.
This study should be done in phases, with an early product
intended to help guide immediate recovery efforts in the Gulf
Coast region and then an ongoing and more comprehensive
The first area that I believe the National Academy should
look at, just to expand a bit, is improving our ability to
predict extreme weather events. More than 100 years ago, on
September 8, 1900, a category 4 hurricane blasted into
Galveston, TX. In an era before satellites, airplanes, or
modern communications, the population had scant information
about the fury arriving over warm Gulf waters, and 8,000 people
lost their lives.
Well, today we take for granted our ability to watch storm
clouds gather from satellite photos beamed to our living rooms.
We expect government agencies, well functioning government
agencies, to provide advanced warning of impending danger. We
shouldn't be satisfied with our current predictive powers.
Rapidly improving information and communication technologies
can steadily improve these powers, preventing property damage
and saving lives.
Nor, I believe, should our quest be limited to hurricanes.
This summer, new heat records were set in more than 200 U.S.
cities. Drought has been a chronic problem for several years in
the American West, and in 2004 more than 1,700 tornadoes struck
the U.S., by far the most recorded ever in a single year. I
recommend the National Academy study encompass all these
I also recommend the National Academy, as I said, look at
land restoration and wetlands issues--critically important
topics--as well as toxic cleanup issues. In the interest of
time, I will not expand on those, but I would be happy to
answer any questions on them.
A fourth area that I believe the National Academy should
look at is responsibly addressing global warming. Today, there
is ample evidence that heat-trapping gases from human
activities may produce more powerful hurricanes. We should
proceed responsibly with respect to this risk, steadily
improving our knowledge and shaping smart policies in response.
Much is already known on this topic. Heat-trapping gases from
human activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels, are
warming both the atmosphere and the oceans.
Now, Dr. Gray says he disagrees with this and that he has
been simmering on this topic for 20 years. I would respectfully
request that Dr. Gray simmer his way right into the peer
reviewed scientific literature on this topic. It is critically
important that we know whether Dr. Gray's passion on this
topic, which is considerable, is matched by the rigor of his
analysis in the judgment of his scientific peers.
Dr. Crichton suggests that we use randomized double-blind
studies. To make an obvious point, we have only one subject
when it comes to planet Earth. We cannot use a randomized
double-blind study with respect to our planet.
Now, that fact cannot and should not cripple either science
or policymaking when it comes to atmospheric science. Mr.
Benedick's testimony provides a compelling example of a way
forward, one embraced by President Ronald Reagan, as Ambassador
Benedick explains, on the basis of theories that were found to
be the basis for policymaking.
As sea surface temperatures rise, average hurricane
strength is predicted to increase as well. These predictions
are consistent with observations from the historical record.
During the past 30 years, as the total number of hurricanes
globally has remained roughly constant, the percentage of
category 4 and 5 storms has nearly doubled. In our hemisphere
during this period, peak wind speeds of hurricanes have
increased by roughly 50 percent.
Now, as many people have commented, there is no way to
determine whether any single hurricane is or is not the result
of global warming. When it comes to the strength of hurricanes,
we are starting to play with loaded dice. As heat-trapping
gases build in our atmosphere, the average hurricane will
become more intense.
Now, these observations are especially troubling because,
according to many experts, Atlantic hurricanes will likely be
more frequent in the years ahead as a result of natural cycles.
Thus, in the years ahead the United States faces a double
threat: more frequent hurricanes due to natural cycles and more
intense hurricanes due to human activities. This is a risk that
we ignore at our peril.
Today there are no Federal controls on the major heat-
trapping gases, although this Senate supported such controls in
a bipartisan resolution passed this summer. As the Senate
considers how best to translate this resolution into
legislation, it should be informed by the best available
scientific evidence concerning risks from extreme weather
events and from global warming.
Now, in my closing minutes, Mr. Chairman, I would just like
to briefly turn to some recent developments in the role of
science and Federal environmental policy. You have said
previously that scientific inquiry cannot be censored.
Scientific debate must be open, it must be unbiased, and it
must stress facts rather than political agendas.
Unfortunately, the past 2 years have not been a happy time
for the role of science in Federal environmental policy. Last
year, as Senator Clinton and Senator Boxer have said here, 48
Nobel laureates and 62 National Medal of Science recipients
were among the more than 4,000 scientists who signed a
statement expressing concern about ``the manipulation of the
process through which science enters into the Federal
Government's decisions.'' Among the specific matters identified
as concern were the suppression and distortion of scientific
conclusions from Federal environmental agencies, specifically
on the topic of climate change, and the political manipulation
of expert advisory committees, specifically in some
environmental areas including lead poisoning.
These are issues of great consequence. Sound policymaking
cannot proceed in the face of such concerns, and I believe that
they require priority attention from this committee and the
Senate as a whole.
One approach as suggested by the Restore Scientific
Integrity to Federal Research and Policy Making Act, introduced
in the House as H.R. 839--and this may serve as a complement to
your bill, Senator Voinovich, and one that might be considered
together among other things. This act would help prevent the
manipulation of data, strengthen the independence of Federal
science advisory committees, and require an annual report to
Congress by the Director of the Office of Science and
Technology Policy on the state of Federal scientific integrity.
This legislation would help address many of the most serious
concerns that have arisen in recent years and is worthy of
consideration by this body.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to address the
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Sandalow.
Let me start with just a real brief question for you. You
made several references in a respectful way to Dr. Crichton and
Dr. Gray. I think you know Dr. Gray's background in science,
In a way, I kind of regret that Michael Crichton was an
author. Because if he had not been an author, he would still be
here today because of his scientific credentials, having
degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School,
visiting lecturer of Physical Anthropology at Cambridge
University, post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for
Biological Studies. We would have him here anyway. I would ask
you what your scientific background is, Mr. Sandalow, in terms
of degrees and so forth.
Mr. Sandalow. Senator, I am an attorney, although I have
tried to overcome that handicap and go on to a useful and
productive career. I don't claim scientific training and don't
speak on the basis of any independent scientific research. I am
reporting the peer reviewed results of many scientists.
Senator Inhofe. I appreciate that. Thank you very much.
Dr. Crichton, would you explain why researchers might have
a vested interest in obtaining particular results? Any thoughts
Dr. Crichton. Well, Mr. Chairman, having spent some time in
the politicized environment of global warming, I am extremely
reluctant to ascribe motive to people. I operate on the
assumption that scientists I know are intelligent, hard
working, and honest.
But what I would say is that I was a believer of the study
of Michael Mann. I looked at that graph, which is very striking
and extraordinary. I thought, my goodness, we have a really
serious problem. So to the extent that I accepted the paper,
when I began to see page after page of errors that were listed,
I had disappointment to the same degree. It was very difficult
for me not to believe that the people who worked on this paper
never thought it would be checked. That is bad. That is bad for
all of climate science.
Senator Inhofe. In your testimony, you describe the
importance of being able to replicate studies. For some of us
who don't have your background, can you kind of tell us why it
is such a problem if studies cannot be replicated? What is the
significance of replicating studies?
Dr. Crichton. I think we see a bit of it in the Mann study.
The reason we are talking about the Mann study is that he
attempted to address an extremely important question. In other
words, we don't know what the future holds. There is a
temperature increase, and one way to think about it is to say
is this unprecedented or not. His findings indicated that it
was unprecedented, and it turns out that other people who
attempted to replicate this have concluded differently.
In fact, there is now some discussion about the extent to
which proxy studies are even useful in this matter at all,
because the proxies which have been studied from 1980--which
was the end of Mann's work--to the present time don't show the
kind of temperature increase that we know exists in the global
Senator Inhofe. I would ask this question of you or have
you comment on it, as well as Dr. Gray and any of the rest who
want to. When I first saw the hockey stick, with no scientific
background, I looked at it and I thought, well, that seems
But it seemed to me--and for some of us who don't have that
background--they completely overlooked both the medieval
warming period, the little ice age, and these things, when in
fact temperatures were actually higher during the medieval
warming period. Any thoughts about that for any of the experts
Dr. Crichton. That is true, sir. You know, to me, it
creates the very odd thought that there may in fact be more
constraints on what an American tabloid can publish than what
the UNIPCC can publish.
Senator Inhofe. Well----
Mr. Sandalow. Mr. Chairman.
Senator Inhofe. Yes.
Mr. Sandalow. Could I comment on the Mann study, if you
Senator Inhofe. Well, I would rather have someone who has
referred to it in their remarks. I think you did, Dr. Gray,
from a scientific standpoint.
Dr. Gray. I didn't refer to the Mann study, but I would
like to comment on it. We are studying the medieval warming
period. My daughter is a professor of geology, and we are
working on the medieval warming period and the little ice age.
She is covering more of that.
Sure there have been a lot of changes up and down. The
atmosphere has always gone through these cycles. Just because
the globe has warmed the last 100 years or last 30 years, we
should not interpret that necessarily as human-induced, it is
The majority of scientists, it is impossible--you see,
there is grant money, there is all these things out there that
compensates people that can arrange the data in such a way as
to stir up interest that humans are doing these things, but
there is no research money the other way.
Senator Inhofe. All right, thank you, Dr. Gray. I am going
to have to cut you off here because we are going to try to stay
within our time limits. It is not your fault, it is my fault.
Senator Boxer. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
A lot of people are being maligned here, and I take great
offense at that. They are not here, but they are being
maligned. One of them, Dr. Mann, who was the main subject of
Dr. Crichton's testimony. I would like to place in the record a
letter from Dr. Mann that was sent to a congressional
committee, in which he shows how in fact his data were
reproduced and used and studied. If I may place that in the
Senator Inhofe. Without objection.
[The referenced letter can be found on page 109.]
Senator Boxer. Thank you.
Dr. Gray, you have maligned a lot of people by a broad
brush, just basically dismiss them. I want to know if your
papers on global warming have been published.
Dr. Gray. Some of them have, yes. I am working on a long
paper on this now. But what----
Senator Boxer. Wait. I just want to get the answer. I don't
have time to go into other subjects. So some have been
published. Have they been peer reviewed?
Dr. Gray. A couple of them have been, yes.
Senator Boxer. OK. Would you please submit those to the
Dr. Gray. I have.
Senator Boxer. Because we have tried to find peer
Dr. Gray. I did send a number of papers.
Senator Boxer. OK, good. Because we have tried to find some
peer reviewed studies of yours--not on hurricanes, but on
global warming. You say there are some peer reviewed?
Dr. Gray. I have written some things on it, but I have been
Senator Boxer. Have they been peer reviewed?
Dr. Gray. I am working on that now. There will be--if they
will accept it. There is also----
Senator Boxer. Dr. Gray? Dr. Gray?
Dr. Gray [continuing]. A slight bias about accepting papers
that criticize peer review.
Senator Boxer. OK. I get your point. I am asking you
something, I still don't have an answer. You have been peer
reviewed for your articles on hurricanes. Have you been peer
reviewed on your articles on global warming?
Dr. Gray. Some have appeared. One appeared in a forum
Senator Boxer. Well, Mr. Chairman, I am not getting an
answer, so I am going to move on.
Now, one of the things you said at the end of your
testimony is nature plays its games and tricks. You reminded
me, in a very nice way, actually, about my mother, who said
everything was predictable until we landed on the moon. She was
convinced that changed weather patterns and everything else. So
it is very easy for us all to just say that and, you know, in
some ways it is comforting; say no one can really predict it.
The fact is would you not agree, Dr. Gray, that there are some
very talented people who believe that global warming is a
phenomenon and is occurring?
Dr. Gray. I would agree to that. The trouble with that is
they don't know how the atmosphere ticks.
Senator Boxer. OK.
Dr. Gray. They are modelers. They are people that make
assumptions that are not valid and they believe them.
Senator Boxer. OK, good.
Dr. Gray. They are probably honest people, but----
Senator Boxer. Right.
Dr. Gray. And----
Senator Boxer. Dr. Gray, I would like to ask you this. You
say people on the other side from you are wrong, and you say
they don't know what they are talking about. Your attitude is
not really very humble, but let me just probe you here.
Dr. James Hanson, he is one of those people. He is a chief
at NASA Institute for Space Studies. He is best known for his
testimony on climate control change to congressional committees
in the 1980's that helped raise broad awareness of the global
warming issue. He was elected to the National Academy of
Sciences in 1995. He received the Hines Environment Award for
his research on global warming. You think he doesn't know what
he is talking about on this?
Dr. Gray. I am glad you asked that question. James Hanson
is a very bright, outstanding scientist, I have no doubt about
that. He got his Ph.D., I believe, on the runaway greenhouse
effect of Venus. I don't know what he knows about the
atmosphere. He is not trained as a meteorologist, and I don't
know why the press goes to him so much. I don't know why he
could come down here in the hot summer of 1988, before a
congressional committee, and make these claims. They are
ridiculous. And how----
Senator Boxer. Do you know what he was trained in?
Dr. Gray. What?
Senator Boxer. Since you are now trying to shatter his
reputation, what was he trained in? What was his area of
expertise that he was trained in when he was in school?
Dr. Gray. Who?
Senator Boxer. Dr. Hanson.
Dr. Gray. I believe Hanson was an astronomer, a very
capable, good astronomer who I have been told that his Ph.D.
thesis was on a runaway greenhouse effect of Venus. He knows
Venus well, just like Sagan knew Mars well.
Senator Boxer. Sir, you are making my point. He was trained
in physics as well as astronomy, and he is well acclaimed. You
just brush away everybody who doesn't agree with you, which I
think, going in, isn't a very scientific thing to do. To
Dr. Gray. No. There are a lot of us out there that don't
Senator Boxer. Dr. Gray? Dr. Gray? Dr. Gray? I understand.
I understand. But I am just trying to say something in a
friendly way to you. It doesn't help your case to demonize
everyone who doesn't agree with you, because you wind up
without very much credibility.
Dr. Gray. No, it is not everyone doesn't agree with me.
Senator Boxer. I would like to ask Dr. Crichton a question.
Dr. Gray. I represent a lot of meteorologists who think
very much like I do.
Senator Boxer. Dr. Gray, my time is running out.
Dr. Crichton, you say predictions are not science.
Dr. Crichton. Excuse me. I said they are not facts.
Senator Boxer. They are not facts.
Dr. Crichton. Right.
Senator Boxer. Predictions are not facts. Do you think that
there is room for prediction in weather science, for example?
Dr. Crichton. Senator Boxer, yes, I think that climate
modeling is excellent. I have had a lot of discussions with the
climate modelers about that. I am making a single point only.
It is a very interesting scientific undertaking. At the moment
the models differ one from another by 400 percent, which is an
enormous amount. All I am saying is you can't use them for
Senator Boxer. OK. But you are saying there is room for
predictions in weather science.
Dr. Crichton. Yes. You have heard Dr. Gray. We can make
excellent predictions for 4 days.
Senator Boxer. Well, I have heard a lot of people other
than Dr. Gray, but thank you very much. Also, I would like to
put in the record something called ``Distort Reform, A Review
of the Distorted Science in Michael Crichton's State of Fear,''
by Gavin Schmidt. If I could put that in the record.
Senator Inhofe. Without objection, so ordered.
Senator Boxer. Thank you.
[The referenced document was not submitted at time of
Senator Inhofe. Senator Thune.
Senator Thune. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your
holding what I believe is a crucial hearing on this subject and
the importance of sound science and environmental policymaking.
I am intrigued in listening to the discussion on climate change
and atmospheric science, and appreciate very much this very
distinguished panel being here today and sharing your thoughts
and your insights and your expertise.
I want to approach it from a slightly different angle,
which you could argue, I suppose, is somewhat parochial, but it
comes back to the basic premise that science does inform
policy. This committee will be dealing in the very near future
with reforms of the Endangered Species Act, and how do we
approach making that Act more workable. Frankly, if you look at
since its inception in 1973, there have been very few successes
in terms of recovering species, and lots of hardships imposed
on landowners and State and local governments and others.
In specific I want to use one example here, and then maybe
get the panel's reaction to it or comment. We had an instance
here a few years ago in South Dakota where the prairie dog was
listed or proposed to be listed as a threatened species under
the Endangered Species Act, and at the time, of course, it was
suggested that the prairie dog is the diet for the black-footed
ferret, which was on the list, and that in order to provide
diet for the black-footed ferret, we needed to protect the
Now, most of the ferrets--and I would argue a large number
of the prairie dogs--are, of course, in the western part of the
Country, many in South Dakota. It was feared that we didn't
have enough prairie dogs for the ferrets to eat. What happened
was that fear was unjustified.
In my view, and I think arguably they came to the same
conclusion when they decided not to list it, but sound science
was not used in that decision to list the prairie dog. In fact,
if sound science had been used, it would have been proven that
there are literally thousands, probably millions, I think, of
prairie dogs living on South Dakota's grasslands, certainly
more than there are people in South Dakota.
The Government was relying on bad science and, as a
consequence, South Dakota's landowners in that area suffered.
If you look at the range--and I have in that area, visited
numerous times--it looks like the face of the moon. That is the
impact that not managing this population has imposed on
landowners out there. Anybody who has been to that area of
South Dakota knows the prairie dog is not endangered.
Anyway, my question is this. I have talked to the experts
about this and what is the criteria by which the standard that
is used for whether or not a species goes on that list. The two
questions that are asked: Is the species endangered today?
Second: Will it be endangered in the foreseeable future? To
answer those questions, I assume there has to be some data,
some science that is used. There again, clearly in this case,
that science was completely incorrect.
I guess the question I would ask--and this is with respect
to the Endangered Species Act and some of the changes that we
are looking at making--is what should be the scientific
standard that applies to such policy pronouncements? Clearly,
there were some extrapolations made about the numbers out
there, but I think this is another example of where we rely and
decisions are sometimes made in a political environment rather
than a scientific one. I frankly hope that when we make some
changes in this, that we will impose some scientific standards.
I would welcome anybody's thoughts or insights about that.
Mr. Benedick. Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman. It seems to me,
in listening to the conversation up until now, that we all
agree that there is a need for sound science. Where the
disagreement comes is: what is sound science. I think what
constitutes sound science--is not as simple as some of us would
like to have it. It is not black and white; there is not
We have to ask the right questions and then evaluate the
answers. One issue is: to whom do you address the right
questions? Is it to individual scientists, some of whom have
been mentioned here, or is it to bodies of scientists? That is
why we have a National Academy of Sciences, for example. That
is why we also have, or had, the Office of Technology
Assessment within the Congress, which was designed at that time
to provide scientific information.
One can't wish a problem away just because one hopes it
won't happen. I honestly hope that climate change doesn't
happen. But when the National Academy of Sciences, when the
other institutions of real experts come out with their
conclusions, I find it hard to dispute it. If it was only one
or two, or only a small number of dissenters, that may not be
significant. If there are real questions, I think they should
be addressed to institutions like the National Academy of
There is also some reference made about climate models
varying in wide dimensions and, therefore, we can't trust them.
Well, perhaps they are models at the extremes, but there is
also a certain convergence. For example, if I feel ill and
consult 10 doctors, and 2 of them say I am going to die right
away, and 2 say no problem at all, you don't need to do
anything, and the other 6 say, wait a minute, there is
something that you can take for it, I will listen to that
convergence. I am not going to listen to the extremes.
I would suggest that on many of the issues that we are
talking about, there is a real convergence. There are going to
be extremes on both sides, but we have to look for those
convergences and then have the courage to act on them.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Benedick. In fairness to
Senator Thune, who is going to have to be leaving, did anyone
else want to comment on the question that he asked?
Senator Inhofe. All right, that is fine.
Senator Thune. Mr. Chairman, if I might, as a matter of
closing, just say this. I think that if in fact scientific
truth has to be verifiable, that is a key thing. I would argue
that much of the science at least that was used in predicting
the number of prairie dogs on the ranges of South Dakota wasn't
accurate and wasn't verified, and, as a consequence, was bad
science on which to make a decision like this.
I would also argue that it ought to include, in addition to
the science groups out there, the folks who do this sort of
research, perhaps talking to local people. I think local input
is a key. You know, you might have been able to get a lot more
accurate count if you just asked a few ranchers in South Dakota
about this subject.
So I know my time has expired, and I appreciate your
indulgence. Again, I thank you. It has been very informative.
Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Senator Thune.
Senator Murkowski. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to
follow up on this issue of verification, because I really do
think that this goes to the heart of what we are talking about
Mr. Sandalow, you have suggested numerous studies be
conducted that would look into the aftermath of Katrina, or
what happened or how we can calculate it. I am sitting up in
Alaska, where I can see that we are experiencing climate
change. I am not going so far as to say it is global warming,
but we see climate change.
Just in this morning's press clips, I have got a clip on a
major winter storm that is continuing the erosion from our
coastal villages. Yesterday's account in the clips indicated
that we have seen the warmest summer up north that we have seen
in 400 years. The stories are out there.
So I look at not only what I am able to see and what we are
able to verify as Alaskans on the ground looking at climate
change, but I am also looking at the studies and at the
reports. The problem is that the studies and the reports are
less than conclusive. You have one that is saying one thing,
another that is saying another thing.
So I don't know that I am necessarily with you in saying
that the solution here is to conduct more studies. I think we
need to make sure that the studies that are conducted do have
some level of verification, do have some level of
accountability, if you will. We are dealing in an area where
the science is difficult.
I appreciate your statement, Dr. Crichton, that prediction
is not fact. It is exactly that, it is prediction.
So I hear what you are saying, and you are saying let us
get three independent studies going on. I don't know whether
that is the answer, but I think the key here is going to be
Now, Senator Boxer, in her statement, showed a list of
individuals who were backed by certain institutes, and I think
her suggestion was that, of all of these, only two institutes
were not supported in some way by the oil industry or whatever.
To what extent does funding influence the researcher, the
analysis, and the conclusions? I throw that out to any one of
you if you are willing to touch it.
Dr. Gray. I would very much like to take that. Yes, I
notice myself. I have been a bit of a critic on this human-
induced global warming, and I had NOAA money for 30 years to
study tropical storms and stuff, and I wanted to keep on doing
it. When the Clinton administration came in, I couldn't get any
money out of NOAA. I was turned down by something like 13
There is a lot of research support out there to find
things, rearrange data, I might say, to support this human
induced global warming hypothesis. I know of no way--if I go in
and say I don't believe in it, would you give me some resources
so I could study and try to prove that the statements made are
exaggerated. There is no funding there.
There is even a question on publication. If you submit in
something that doesn't go with this general brainwashing that
has occurred, I call it that, over the last 20 years in the
press, the press has played a great part, government, it has
been used as a political issue. The reality of it, I mean, with
all the problems in the world----
Senator Murkowski. Dr. Gray.
Dr. Gray [continuing]. This is one we humans are not much
Senator Murkowski. Dr. Gray, if we can, I know that Mr.
Benedick and Dr. Crichton also wanted to answer the question,
and we are just about out of time. Thank you.
Mr. Benedick. Thank you, Senator. Do I think that funding
can influence scientific results? Yes, I do. Just look at the
tobacco industry. On the question of funding for critics of the
climate change theory, of the global warming theory, I would
cite Dr. Richard Lindzen at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, who is a very eminent critic of global warming. I
don't believe he has any problem getting funding.
If we are talking about verification of data, I think that
rather than cherry-picking which scientist or which particular
statement or which particular footnote, that we go to the
bodies that are constituted to do this: the National Center for
Atmospheric Research, for example, in Boulder, CO; the National
Academy of Sciences, which I mentioned earlier; the great
research universities. There are plenty of resources out there
if one wants to listen to them. If one doesn't want to listen
to them, one can always cherry-pick and find relatively
isolated people who will say whatever they want to say.
Senator Murkowski. Dr. Crichton.
Mr. Benedick. I think that our society and our institutions
are prepared, are set up to provide responsible science if we
will give them a chance, if we don't try to destroy their
reputations or pick out one or another thing out of context.
On the climate issue, I would like, respectfully, to
suggest adding to the record the testimony of Dr. Ralph
Cicerone, who is the President of the National Academy of
Sciences, who testified on July 20th before the subcommittee on
Global Climate Change and Impacts, of the committee on
Commerce, Science and Transportation of the U.S. Senate. I
would suggest this might be some part of the record. It is his
statement representing the National Academy of Science.
Senator Murkowski. Mr. Chairman, I know we are out of time,
but if Dr. Crichton can just----
Senator Inhofe. I am going to go ahead and give you a
couple of my minutes on the second round right now, because I
know you directed Dr. Crichton to please respond.
Senator Murkowski. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Crichton. Senator Murkowski, I think in part my
comments were intended to suggest a broader issue. I think in
the twenty-first century this body is going to be dealing
increasingly with scientific issues, and you are going to have
to find some new strategies.
One of them which I think would answer Senator Thune, is if
there were four studies that were let out by totally different,
independent entities--not people who knew each other, not
people who published together--that asked the question how are
the prairie dogs doing, you are going to get a more reliable
In the long run I think, yes, you are going to have to find
funding. Scientists, like everyone else, know who they work
for, and I think there is a perception that many government
agencies now want to get back answers that confirm global
warming. The notion that there are industries that don't want
that, of course, I think is straightforward.
Whoever you work for, they are looking for a certain kind
of answer. The solution is only to have scientists not know who
they are working for in terms of where the funding is coming
Senator Inhofe. Senator Voinovich.
Senator Voinovich. I think the most alarming thing I heard
today was, Dr. Roberts, your testimony. Do other people share
your opinion about DDT, or are you out there in the weeds
somewhere on this one?
Dr. Roberts. I am out there. Actually, if I could have just
a couple of minutes to respond. In response, I would like to
bring together a couple of things, Senator Thune's comments and
Senator Boxer's list.
Senator Voinovich. You are on my time now, OK?
Dr. Roberts. OK.
Senator Voinovich. I would like to ask you my questions.
Dr. Roberts. OK.
Senator Voinovich. You are saying that there are lots of
scientists who disagree with you on DDT? The impression that
you gave me was that my good friend, Bill Ruckelshaus, when all
of the testimony came in about DDT and found that it wasn't
what people said it was, that he banned it anyhow and, as a
result of that ban, we are seeing malaria come back all over
the world, and that thousands of people are dying because of
malaria; and that if we reviewed our interest in DDT, that
might save thousands of lives. Is that what you are saying?
Dr. Roberts. That is what I am saying. The answer as to
whether or not the scientific community is in support of me, we
initiated an effort in the 1990's to prevent DDT from being
banned through the POPs negotiations, and we circulated a
letter to get scientists to sign on to that letter, and a very
large number, hundreds of scientists, signed on in support of
that effort. I would say that there is a very broad base of
support for the continued use of DDT.
Senator Voinovich. Mr. Chairman, that might be something
that we look at.
All of the witnesses have talked about the issue of
scientists disagreeing, and the question I have to all of you
is how can the Federal Government achieve good science-based
decisions, making them when there are so many different
opinions among the scientists with respect to a particular
environmental concern? We get this all the time around here.
In my statement I mentioned the creation of a position in
the EPA called the Deputy Administrator for Science and
Technology, and the second thing was to take EPA's current top
science job, the Assistant Administrator for Research and
Development, and give them a 6-year term, which would insulate
them to a certain extent from politics. Also, traditionally, it
has been one of the weakest positions in the EPA.
Mr. Sandalow. Senator, I would like to applaud what is
behind your legislation. Certainly the effort to insulate
environmental science from political factors is a crucially
important one. So I think your bill deserves very close
I think, in answer to your question about ways to address
the use of science, I would recommend a couple of things.
First, it is important that we commit the most difficult
questions to independent bodies, and that is one reason that I
have recommended the National Academy take on various Katrina-
related issues in my testimony.
Second, it is important that science be adequately funded.
That has been raised a little bit today, but not much. The
pressures right now on budget for scientific research are very
considerable, and it is very important that we adequately fund
basic science research going forward.
Third, it is critically important to have leadership from
the top and from the Federal Government at all levels on this
issue, and to make it clear that there will be no tolerance for
political manipulation of scientific data. I think with those
things we could take big steps forward.
Senator Voinovich. Other comments in terms of do you think
we need to improve the capacity at the Environmental Protection
Agency? Would you support somebody over there that would have a
6-year term that would segue into another term and possibly
insulate him more from ``political pressure'' than someone
Mr. Benedick. Senator, I did mention at the beginning of my
statement that, representing the National Council, I applaud
your efforts to do this at EPA. I think that any measures that
are taken to insulate scientific inquiry and the peer review
process from political pressures, from wishful thinking, from
``we wish it weren't there and, therefore, we are going to pick
out the scientists we want,'' that our society will be better
off if we can do this.
As I suggested earlier, there are institutions in which you
can find, not the extremes on either side, but where you can
find a reasonable convergence. That is what we did in the ozone
history. We didn't listen to the ones who were saying the sky
is falling, and we also didn't listen to the ones who said that
CFCs were no problem. I think that worked out right under a
conservative administration, and I believe that is the way we
should go, and really keep ideology out of science as much as
Senator Voinovich. Thank you.
Dr. Gray. I would just like to make a statement, that in
science a majority is often wrong, it is not a democracy. That
is our problem. You can have these institutes and Nobel Prize
people and all the credentials people you want, but that
doesn't mean they are able to render a proper judgment. That is
Senator Voinovich. You know, Dr. Gray, what you do is you
try to get the best information that you can, and make a
decision. Sometimes, I think some other witnesses mentioned,
those decisions aren't black and white, sometimes they are
gray. You try to do the best that you can with the information
that you have, because if you take a position that they may be
wrong, nothing is done.
Dr. Crichton. Senator, it is not exactly on the point of
your question, but the confidence in the independent bodies
like the NAS that some others have expressed I don't
necessarily share in this particular area. I think it has
become so intensely politicized that even that may not be
For example, the NAS was asked at some time in the recent
past to investigate the difference between satellite
temperature measurements and ground temperature measurements,
since those records in recent years haven't agreed, and there
has been dispute about which might be incorrect or both. The
NAS came back and said they are both correct, which is, in my
view, simply taking a pass on the whole subject.
If in fact this is so hot among even academic communities
that it can't be examined closely, I think you are going to
back yourself into something like the sort of blue ribbon
commission that was used to investigate the Challenger
disaster, in which you bring in all kinds of outside people and
ask them to assess the state of the science, because internally
it is just too difficult for people to do it.
Mr. Sandalow. Senator, in Mr. Crichton's book he writes
roughly--I won't get the words exactly right--``I am the only
person who doesn't have an agenda.'' When I read that in his
book, I thought it was tongue in cheek. Hearing him sit here
and question the objectivity and bona fides of the National
Academy of Science, while taking it upon himself to form
judgments on this question, makes me wonder whether in fact he
meant to write that sentence seriously.
I think it is beyond controversy that the National Academy
of Sciences of this Nation is well respected. Its product has
been and is widely admired by many scientists, and I don't
think this statement should go unchallenged.
Senator Inhofe. Let me make a comment about that. First of
all, I hope you were listening when I entered into the record
statements by the National Academy of Science. Actually, it was
by the past President of the National Academy of Sciences. They
have not been definite on this issue in terms of global
warming, and I think we all understand that.
Let me just make a comment too, since we only have 4
minutes left, and certainly, Senator Voinovich, it is down to
you and me now.
Senator Voinovich. I have to be excused.
Senator Inhofe. Oh, all right. Well, thank you for your
I would like to say that those of us on this side of the
panel are not experts. We are not scientists, and I recognize
that. But sometimes it might be healthy to sit back and kind of
push back and look at it in an unscientific way, and look at it
just on a logical way. You have to keep in mind that
Washington, DC is the city of hysteria; everyone has to be
hysterical about everything that happens up here. When I look
at this and I read some of the stuff that came out of this
committee and that was on the front page of almost every
magazine in America, like Time Magazine, U.S. News and World
Report back in the middle 1970's, they talked about another ice
age is coming.
I went back and checked, and found that the same people
that now are hysterical over global warming were the ones that
were talking about the ice age. I look and see what happened in
the 1940's. The largest increase in the use of CO2
increased by about 80 percent during the middle and late
1940's. Did that precipitate a warming? No, it didn't, it
precipitated a cooling at times.
So I just think that we have to look at these things and
try to get as much of the hysteria out of our minds. I could
put it another way. I think in the case of global warming, it
really has become a religion to a lot of people. A lot of
people have so many years of their lives wrapped up in it that
they don't want to all of a sudden realize that most of the
science since 1999 has refuted it. How could I have been wrong;
and did I waste 10 or 15, 20 years of my life? I kind of think
this is some of the things that are going on.
We have come to the time here. We have several things that
I am going to enter into the record on flawed science. Without
objection, it will be a part of the record.
Let me thank all of you for your time that you have spent
here. It has been a long hearing. You have come a long way. I
want you to know that I personally appreciate each one of the
five of you very much.
We are adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the committee was adjourned.]
[Additional statements submitted for the record follow:]
Statement of The Honorable Richard E. Benedick, President, National
Council for Science and the Environment
Since 1994, I have been President of the National Council for
Science and the Environment (NCSE), an organization dedicated to
improving the scientific basis for environmental decision making that
is supported by over 500 universities, scientific societies, State and
local Governments, corporations, chambers of commerce, foundations and
During the 1980s, I served under President Reagan as Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, Health and Natural
Resources. In 1985, I was designated by Secretary of State George
Shultz and then-Assistant Secretary John Negroponte to be chief U.S.
negotiator for a treaty to regulate certain chemical substances
suspected of depleting the stratospheric ozone layer. I later wrote a
book on the subject, Ozone Diplomacy, which was published by Harvard
University Press (1991, revised ed. 1998) and Kyogo Chosakai (Japan,
1999), and was later selected by McGraw-Hill for an anthology of
environmental classics of the twentieth century.
introduction: an historic agreement
The ozone history illustrates the critical role that science and
scientists can play in the development of public policy under
conditions of risk and uncertainty. Yet, when the negotiations began on
the treaty to control use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), few gamblers
would have wagered that they could succeed.
CFCs and their related bromine halon compounds seemed to be ideal
man-made chemicals. Invented in the 1930s, they are stable, nontoxic,
nonflammable, non-corrosive, and relatively inexpensive to produce--all
qualities that made them uniquely suited for a myriad of consumer and
industrial applications. Over the years, they found more and more uses
in thousands of products and processes--in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics,
spray cans, agriculture, petroleum, microchips, electronics,
automotive, defense, aircraft, insulation, plastic foam, aerospace,
telecommunications, refrigeration, and air conditioning, to name a few.
CFCs became virtually synonymous with modern standards of living.
The scientific, economic, technological and political issues
involved in the negotiations were staggeringly complex. Billions of
dollars of international investment and hundreds of thousands of jobs
worldwide were involved in production and consumption of CFCs and
halons. Powerful governments in Europe, Japan and the Soviet Union
aligned with global economic interests in adamant opposition to
controlling CFCs, maintaining that technological alternatives were
nonexistent or too costly or unfeasible.
The then twelve nation European Community (EC) was the primary
opponent of action. Its ozone position was based largely on the self-
serving data and contentions of a few major companies--including
Britain's Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), France's Atochem, and
Germany's Hoechst. European industry's primary objective was to
preserve their market dominance and to avoid the costs of switching to
alternative products for as long as possible. Epitomizing the close EC
industry-government linkages, company executives often served on
official delegations. Indeed, during the protocol negotiations we
actually came across an official EC instruction drafted on an Atochem
Most other governments and peoples were unaware or indifferent to
an arcane threat occurring 30 miles above the earth's surface. As an
Indian diplomat admonished me early in the negotiations: ``Rich man's
problem--rich man's solution.''
Perhaps most significant of all, during the negotiations the
arguments for controlling CFCs rested on unproven scientific theories.
The science remained speculative, based on projections from still-
evolving computer models of imperfectly understood atmospheric
processes--models that yielded varying, sometimes contradictory
predictions each time they were refined.
Despite the significant growth in emissions of CFCs, thirty years
of recorded measurements had not demonstrated any statistically
meaningful ozone depletion over mid-latitudes. The models did not even
predict global depletion, with existing levels of emissions, for at
least the next twenty years. Moreover, not only was there no evidence
of increased levels of UV-B radiation reaching earth's surface, but
such measurements as existed actually showed reduced radiation.\1\
During the negotiations, the seasonal ``ozone hole'' over Antarctica,
while alarming, was considered by most scientists to be an anomaly,
since it did not conform to the theoretical ozone depletion models and
could possibly have had other than anthropogenic causes.
\1\D. Albritton et al., Stratospheric Ozone: The State of the
Science and NOAA's Current and Future Research (Washington, DC:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1987), p.9; WMO,
Atmospheric Ozone 1985: Assessment of Our Understanding of the
Precesses Controlling Its Present Distribution and Change (Geneva,
1986), chapter 14.
Nevertheless, after contentious international negotiations,
compounded by unexpected late controversy from within the U.S.
Administration, a strong control treaty was signed in Montreal in
September 1987. The treaty signing attracted worldwide media attention,
and it was hailed in the United States Senate as ``the most significant
international environmental agreement in history.''\2\ President Reagan
became the first head of state to endorse the Montreal Protocol,
characterizing it as ``a monumental achievement of science and
diplomacy,''\3\ and the treaty was unanimously ratified by the Senate.
\2\U.S. Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Ozone Protocol,
Executive Report 100-14, Feb. 19, 1998, p. 61.
\3\``President Signs Protocol on Ozone-Depleting Substances,''
Department of State Bulletin, June 1988, p. 30.
Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the Montreal Protocol was
that it imposed substantial short-term economic costs in order to
protect human health and the environment against speculative future
dangers--dangers that rested on scientific theories rather than on
proven facts. Unlike environmental agreements of the past, this was not
a response to harmful developments or events, but rather preventive
action on a global scale.
Within less than six years after the negotiations began in late
1986, the Montreal Protocol had been ratified by more than 100 (later
over 180) nations. Gradually unfolding scientific evidence of damage to
the ozone layer led to major revisions of the protocol, expanding the
list of controlled chemicals from 8 to over 90 and considerably
strengthening timetables for reduction and phase out of the dangerous
chemicals.\4\ A veritable technological revolution was unleashed that
within a few years transformed entire industries. The protocol also
created the first-ever global environmental fund to assist poorer
nations, and promoted an unprecedented North-South collaboration in
developing and diffusing new technologies that have now made most
ozone-depleting substances obsolete.
\4\R. Benedick, Ozone Diplomacy: New Directions in the Planet
(Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, rev. ed. 1998),
provides a history and analysis of the ozone issue and the Montreal
Even so, it was a near thing. For decades after their discovery, no
one had suspected that these multifaceted wonder-chemicals could cause
any harm. They had been thoroughly tested by customary industrial
standards and declared completely safe. Possible effects thirty miles
above the earth had simply never been considered. And, because the CFCs
and halons have such long atmospheric lifetimes, their deleterious
impacts will still be felt for decades, even after new emissions cease.
The Montreal Protocol is generally considered to be the most
successful environmental treaty in history. The heads of the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment
Programme'' (UNEP) stated that ``the action to defend the ozone layer
will rank as one of the great international achievements of the
century.''\5\ Given the threats to human life and the global economy
that have been averted through this landmark treaty, few would
challenge their statement as hyperbole.
\5\G.O.P. Obasi and Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Foreword to R. Bojkov,
The Changing Ozone Layer, Geneva: WMO/UNEP, 1995.
the role of science and scientists
Unquestionably the indispensable element in the success of the
Montreal Protocol was the role of science and scientists. Without the
curiosity and courage of a handful of researchers in the mid-1970s, the
world might have learned too late of the hidden dangers linked with
rapidly expanding use of CFCs.
Ozone, whose existence was unknown until 1839, has been
characterized as ``the single most important chemically active trace
gas in the earth's atmosphere.''\6\ Two singular characteristics of
this remote, unstable, and toxic gas make it so critical to human
society. First, certain wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation (UV-B)
that can damage DNA and the immune system and can cause cancer in
living cells are absorbed by the thin layer of ozone molecules
scattered throughout the atmosphere; the harmful radiation is thus
prevented from reaching the earth's surface. And second, differing
quantities of ozone at different altitudes have major implications for
global climate. In sum, human health, agriculture and livestock,
fisheries, biological diversity, and many materials would be
significantly impacted by damage to the ozone shield. The ozone layer,
at its historic natural concentrations and diffusion, is essential to
life as it currently exists on earth.
\6\D. Albritton et al., Stratospheric Ozone: The State of the
Science and NOAA's Current and Future Research (Washington, DC:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1987), p.1.
In 1973, two University of Michigan scientists, Richard Stolarski
and Ralph Cicerone, in the course of examining possible effects of
chemical emissions from National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) rockets, theorized that chlorine in the stratosphere could
unleash a complex chain reaction that would continually destroy ozone
over a period of decades. Fortunately, very little ``free chlorine''
was thought to exist at that altitude.\7\
\7\R.S. Stolarski and R.J. Cicerone, ``Stratospheric Chlorine: A
Possible Sink Ozone,'' Canadian Journal of Chemistry 52 (1974).
However, a year later, Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland at the
University of California, Irvine, became intrigued with some peculiar
properties of chlorofluoro- carbons. They discovered that, unlike
almost all other gases, CFCs were not chemically destroyed or rained
out in the lower atmosphere, but rather migrated slowly up into the
stratosphere. There they remained for many decades--some variants for
more than a century. The two researchers concluded that the man-made
CFCs, which are not naturally present at this altitude, are eventually
broken down by radiation and thereby release large quantities of free
\8\M.J. Molina and F.S. Rowland, ``Stratospheric Sink for
Chloroflouromethanes: Chlorine Atomic Catalyzed Destruction of Ozone,
Nature 249 (1974).
The combined implications of these two hypotheses were nothing less
than sensational: the protective ozone shield would be seriously
compromised. The enhanced levels of ultraviolet radiation that would
then penetrate the atmosphere and reach earth's surface could have
potentially disastrous impacts. The Rowland-Molina hypotheses unleashed
a firestorm of criticism and controversy in the scientific and business
communities. They were later vindicated by the 1995 Nobel Prize in
Chemistry (together with Paul Crutzen of the Max Planck Institute), but
it is worth noting that the first popular book on this subject,
published in 1978, was entitled The Ozone War.\9\
\9\L. Dotto and H. Schiff, The Ozone War (Garden City, NY:
Astonishingly, the research paths leading to the suspicion that the
stratospheric ozone layer was in jeopardy had been serendipitous. The
scientists had not set out intentionally to condemn
chlorofluorocarbons. Notwithstanding the initial controversy, the
serious theoretical dangers prompted a wave of new scientific research
over the following years.
It would be difficult to exaggerate the complexity of the research
effort. Ozone itself amounts to considerably less than one part per
million of the total atmosphere, with 90 percent of it located above
six miles in altitude. The intrinsically unstable ozone molecules are
continually being created and destroyed by complex natural forces
involving solar radiation and interactions with even more minute
quantities of other gases. Moreover, stratospheric ozone concentrations
can fluctuate on a daily, seasonal, and solar-cyclical basis, and there
are significant geographical as well as altitudinal variations
Amidst all these fluxes, scientists faced a formidable challenge in
predicting, and then detecting, the minuscule ``signal'' of the
beginning of a possible long-term downturn in stratospheric ozone as
postulated by the theory. This necessitated the development of ever
more sophisticated computer models to simulate the stratospheric
interplay among radiative, chemical, and dynamic processes such as wind
and temperature, for decades and centuries into the future. In
addition, intricate observation and measuring devices had to be created
and fitted onto aircraft, satellites, and rockets to monitor remote
gases in quantities as minute as parts per trillion.
To fully understand the implications of a diminishing ozone layer,
scientists had to venture far beyond atmospheric chemistry: they had to
examine our planet as a system of interrelated physical, chemical and
biological processes on land, in water, and in the atmosphere--
processes that are themselves influenced by economic, political, and
social forces. The Montreal Protocol thus became a truly multi- and
interdisciplinary effort. Over the years, researching the dangers and
solutions involved not only chemists and physicists, but also
meteorologists, oceanographers, biologists, oncologists, economists,
epidemiologists, soil chemists, toxicologists, agronomists,
pharmacologists, botanists, entomologists, and electrical, chemical,
automotive and materials engineers.
the protocol in transition
Even as the negotiators were hammering out the final compromises in
Montreal in September 1987, an unprecedented international scientific
expedition was under way in Antarctica. Using specially designed
equipment placed in balloons, satellites, a DC-8 flying laboratory, and
a converted high-altitude U-2 spy aircraft, scientists were tracking
stratospheric chemical reactions and measuring minute concentrations of
gases. Preliminary results, announced about two weeks after the
protocol's signing, indicated high stratospheric chlorine presence and
the worst-ever seasonal drop in Antarctic ozone.
Six months later, in March 1988, a joint NASA-NOAA press conference
released the Ozone Trends Panel Report, a comprehensive international
scientific assessment of all previous air- and ground-based
stratospheric trace gas measurements, including those from the 1987
Antarctic expedition. The conclusions were stunning: no longer a
theory, ozone layer depletion had at last been substantiated by hard
evidence. The analysis established that between 1969 and 1986,
stratospheric ozone over heavily populated regions of the northern
hemisphere, including North America, Europe, and the Soviet Union,
China, and Japan, had diminished by small but significant amounts. And
CFCs and halons were now implicated beyond dispute--including
responsibility for the ozone collapse over Antarctica.
The new scientific findings were profoundly disquieting. The most
alarming implication was that the models on which the Montreal Protocol
was based had proven incapable of predicting either the chlorine-
induced Antarctic phenomenon or the extent of ozone depletion
elsewhere. Most probably, therefore, they were underestimating future
Scientific studies now indicated that if existing atmospheric
concentrations of chlorine and bromine were merely stabilized, the
Antarctic ozone loss would be permanent. In order for ozone levels over
Antarctica gradually to recover, and to avoid possibly crossing similar
unforeseen thresholds in the future, it would be necessary to restore
atmospheric chlorine concentrations (then at three parts per billion
and rising) to levels at least as low as those prevailing in the early
1970s, namely, two parts per billion.
The original CFCs and halons would be phased out more rapidly than
any of the negotiators at Montreal could have dreamed possible.
Although the work of protecting the ozone layer is still not
completely finished, the major challenges have been successfully
addressed. The industrialized countries have either phased out, or are
in process of phasing out, all of the major ozone-depleting substances
as well as the less-damaging transitional chemicals. Developing
countries have also accepted phase-out schedules as a great wave of new
technologies is being diffused around the world. Now, the ozone layer
is slowly beginning to recover.
lessons for science
Without modern science and technology, the world would have
remained unaware of an ozone problem until it was too late. Science
became the driving force behind ozone policy, but it was not sufficient
for scientists merely to publish their findings. In order for the
theories to be taken seriously and lead to concrete policies,
scientists had to interact closely with government policy makers and
diplomatic negotiators. This meant that they had to leave the familiar
atmosphere of their laboratories and assume an unaccustomed shared
responsibility for the policy implications of their research. The
history of the Montreal Protocol is filled with instances of scientific
panels being called upon to analyze and make informed judgments about
the effectiveness and consequences of alternative remedial strategies
and policy measures.
International scientific consensus was also essential. In effect, a
community of scientists from many nations, dedicated to scientific
objectivity, experienced through their research a mutual concern for
protecting the planet's ozone layer that transcended divergent national
allegiances. The development of an accepted common body of data and
analysis was the prerequisite for a political solution among
negotiating Governments whose initial positions seemed irreconcilable.
In 1984, a remarkable international collaborative research effort
was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
in cooperation with the WMO, UNEP, the Federal Aviation Administration,
the German Ministry for Research and Technology, and the Commission of
the European Communities. Approximately 150 scientists of various
nationalities worked under United States scientists' leadership for
more than a year. The resulting study, Atmospheric Ozone 1985, was the
most ambitious analysis of the stratosphere ever undertaken: three
volumes containing nearly 1,100 pages of text and eighty-six pages of
references.\10\ This was followed by even more ambitions international
\10\See footnote 1.
The Montreal Protocol later institutionalized this concept by
establishing independent international expert panels to periodically
assess scientific, technological, economic, and environmental
developments and thereby guide the negotiators in the implementation
and revision of the treaty. Over the years, thousands of scientific and
industry experts from dozens of countries participated in the effort to
learn more about both the dangers and the possible technological
solutions. This proved to be a central element in the protocol's
success, facilitating agreement by negotiators on additional controls
to protect the ozone layer. In effect, the protocol was deliberately
designed to be a dynamic process of narrowing the ranges of
uncertainties and adjusting the measures accordingly, rather than being
a static one-time solution.
A major lesson from the ozone history is that Nature does not
always provide policy makers with convenient early-warning signals of
disaster, as exemplified in the case of the Antarctic ``ozone hole.''
In 1985, British scientists published findings based on balloon
measurements of ozone made at Halley Bay in Antarctica. It appeared
that stratospheric ozone concentrations during the Antarctic early
spring (September-October) were about 40 percent lower than during the
1960s. While the ozone layer recovered toward the end of each spring,
the extent of the seasonal ozone collapse, or ``ozone hole'' (i.e., a
portion of the stratosphere in which greatly diminished ozone levels
were measured), had apparently accelerated beginning in 1979.
Total chlorine concentrations over Antarctica, at a natural level
of 0.6 parts per billion, had been slowly increasing for decades.
However, no effect on the ozone layer was evident until the
concentration exceeded two parts per billion, which apparently
triggered the totally unexpected collapse. In other words, chlorine
concentrations had tripled with no impact whatsoever on ozone until
they crossed an unanticipated threshold. This nonlinear response has
obvious implications for the potential dangers of other types of
anthropogenic interference with the planet's natural cycles and
The British group had actually initially hesitated to publish their
findings because they were considered too fantastic.\11\ Ironically, it
was later discovered that United States and Japanese space satellites
had not signaled the ozone collapse because, in order not to deluge
scientists with unmanageable masses of data, satellite computers were
programmed to automatically reject as anomalies any measurements so far
below the ``error'' range of existing predictive models!
\11\J. Farman, B.G. Gardiner, and J.D. Shanklin. ``Large Losses of
Total Ozone in Antartica Reveal Seasonal Clx/NOx Interaction,'' Nature,
no. 315 (1985).
The role of scientists in the ozone history also provided some
useful lessons for the climate change issue. During the 1980s,
scientific assessments on climate change appeared regularly, under the
aegis of WMO and UNEP, from a small group of largely self-selected
scientists called the Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases. In the summer
of 1987, while preparing for the conclusive final negotiation in
Montreal, I recommended that the U.S. propose establishing a formalized
international assessment body on climate change, similar to what we
were doing on the ozone issue. My belief was that findings would be
more credible coming from a larger and more diverse group of scientists
operating under intergovernmental auspices.
This idea attracted unexpected allies and opponents. Some
traditionally anti-environmental officials within the Reagan
administration endorsed the concept, anticipating that it would provide
governments with more control over the science. In contrast,
environmental groups feared that the process would become distorted by
politics. My own feeling, grounded in the ozone experience, was that
the great majority of scientists were unlikely to allow themselves to
be influenced by political, ideological or commercial interests, and
that governments for their part would have greater respect for the
results of a comprehensive international process of investigation and
peer review. The subsequent experience of the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change, founded in 1988, has largely confirmed this hope.
lessons for the private sector
The history of the Montreal Protocol also underscored the
importance of having sufficient funding for all levels of science, from
curiosity-driven basic research to applied engineering solutions.
Initially, most research funding came from government sources, in
particular NASA and NOAA in connection with their space-related
But this was not always the case. In 1985, when the U.K. Government
was still strongly opposed to meaningful controls over CFCs, it ceased
financing, for obvious political motives, the British scientific
mission in Antarctica that had uncovered the ``ozone hole.''
Significantly, the financial gap was filled by the U.S. Chemical
Manufacturers Association; the American chemical companies hoped that
controls would not be necessary, but they wanted to resolve the
uncertainties--one way or the other.
In general, American industry throughout the ozone negotiations was
more pragmatic than ideological. Recognizing the growing scientific
consensus, the Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy, a coalition of
about 500 producer and user companies,
announced its acceptance of international controls in September
1986, three months before the formal negotiation process actually
opened. Eight months later, American industry stayed conspicuously
aloof from the campaign by anti-environmental elements within the
administration to undermine a meaningful treaty, and subsequently fully
endorsed President Reagan's strong position for the climactic September
1987 negotiation in Montreal.
The financial and intellectual resources of the private sector make
its involvement and cooperation indispensable, since society ultimately
depends primarily on industry to provide technological solutions.
Technology is dynamic, and not, as often implied by those who resist
change, a static element. If the market is left completely on its own,
it may not necessarily bring forth the right technologies at the right
time. Although the 1987 ozone protocol established targets that were
initially beyond the reach of best-available technologies, the goals
were in fact not unrealistic.
The Montreal Protocol was not, as some opponents charged, a
``radical'' treaty. On the contrary, it was an expression of faith in
the market system. The treaty employed realistic market incentives to
encourage technological innovation. The negotiators effectively
signaled to the marketplace that research into solutions would now be
profitable. Competitive--and collaborative--forces then took over, and
solutions were developed much sooner, and at considerably lower cost,
than had earlier been predicted.
The protocol in fact stimulated a virtual technological revolution
in the international chemical, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, and
numerous other industries. By providing CFC producers and users with
the certainty that the CFC market was destined to decline, the treaty
unleashed the creative energies and financial resources of the private
sector to find alternatives. Following the protocol's signing, the
chemical industry began the race for substitutes. Four months after
Montreal, several hundred industry representatives participated in a
CFC-substitutes trade fair in Washington.
Some user industries did not wait for the chemical companies to
come up with substitutes; such companies as Nortel, IBM and Motorola
re-examined their manufacturing processes and found ways to eliminate
CFCs. In cooperation with a small Florida company, AT&T announced a
replacement for CFC 113 derived from citrus fruit, for cleaning
electronic circuit boards. Japanese and American importers of
electronics parts from Thailand, including AT&T, Ford, Honda, and
Toshiba, teamed up with EPA and Japan's Ministry of Trade and Industry
to provide non-CFC technologies to their suppliers. More than 40
multinational companies from eight countries, including Asea Brown
Boveri, British Petroleum, Hitachi, and Honeywell, joined to help Viet
Nam phase out CFCs.
lessons for credibility
Another lesson from the Montreal Protocol's success was the
importance of education: interpreting the continuously evolving and
sometimes confusing data and communicating it intelligibly to the
public, the media, and political and legislative leaders. This
information flow mobilized public support for addressing the potential
dangers of a diminishing ozone layer, and thereby promoted political
consensus for both funding research and for policy actions. The role of
the U.S. Congress was particularly critical in organizing many public
hearings on the ozone issue over the years, and in commissioning
several important studies by the National Academy of Sciences.
In the 1980s, environmental organizations that favored strong
actions to protect the ozone layer generally avoided invoking
apocalypse in order to capture media and public attention. As chief
United States negotiator pressing the official American position for
strong controls against the opposition of most of the other major
producing and consuming countries, I insisted that our delegation in
principle never exaggerate the scientific case: let the science speak
for itself, even when it is not completely unambiguous. I wanted to
preserve our integrity and not present the opposition with a gratuitous
weapon against our position.
When some opponents of controlling CFCs within the U.S.
Administration tried late in the negotiations to reverse the strong
American position (and, incidentally, to dismiss me as chief
negotiator), they belittled the science and the dangers, claiming inter
alia that the problem could be solved by wearing cowboy hats and
sunglasses. The resultant ridicule and backlash from the Congress,
scientists, media, public, and the White House itself eventually led to
a personal decision by President Reagan reaffirming the United States
position favoring strong controls.
Unfortunately, the lesson of scientific integrity appears to have
been lost in the debate over climate change that began in the late
1980s. Some environmental groups became overly alarmist in exaggerating
the case for global warming following the hot summer of 1988, and,
later, by crusading for the Kyoto Protocol as the only conceivable
solution. This only engendered a strong counter-reaction from some
affected industrial sectors. In addition, when the predicted dire
consequences of climate change did not emerge soon, the American
public--which in any case is accustomed to natural seasonal weather
extremes--became generally apathetic toward possible long-term dangers.
For their part, skeptics of climate change were also not immune to
distortion. In an effort to discredit the climate science, opponents
repeatedly cite the ``Heidelberg Appeal,'' released by a
nongovernmental group at the United Nations Earth Summit in
Johannesburg in 2002, as definitive evidence that most of the
scientific community--more than 4000 eminent international scientist
signatories, including over 70 Nobel Laureates--rejects the idea that
rising anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions could cause dangerous
global climatic consequences. In actuality, the one-page document is a
general treatise on the importance of science and contains not a single
reference to the climate problem.\12\
\12\See ``Heidelberg Appeal'' at www.sepp.org.
lessons for government
Some governments allowed commercial self-interest to influence
their interpretations of the science: uncertainty was used as an excuse
for delaying decisions. Some political leaders, particularly those in
Europe with substantial chemical industries, were initially prepared to
accept speculative long-term environmental risks rather than to impose
the tangible near-term costs entailed in limiting products seen as
important contributors to a modern standard of living. Short-range
political and economic concerns were, therefore, formidable obstacles
to cooperative international action based upon the theory of ozone-
Other political leaders, however, including President Reagan and
the Governments of Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Denmark, New
Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, decided to act even while
there were still scientific ambiguities, based on a balancing of the
risks and costs of delay.
As early as 1977, the U.S. Congress had authorized the
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Clean
Air Act to regulate ``any substance which in his judgment may
reasonably be anticipated to affect the stratosphere, especially ozone
in the stratosphere, if such effect may reasonably be anticipated to
endanger public health or welfare'' (emphasis added). This law
attempted to balance the scientific uncertainties with the risks of
inaction. It opted for a low threshold to justify intervention: the
Government was not obligated to prove conclusively that a suspected
substance could modify the stratosphere or endanger health and
environment. All that was required was a standard of reasonable
expectation. As Governor Russell Peterson, a senior advisor to
President Nixon, had declared in reference to other potentially harmful
chemicals, CFCs would not, like United States citizens, be considered
innocent until proven guilty.
Unfortunately, current tools of economic analysis are not fully
adequate for evaluating the costs and risks, and can be deceptive
indicators; they are in urgent need of reform. The customary methods of
measuring national income do not satisfactorily reflect societal and
ecological costs--especially those far in the future. Politicians
should nevertheless resist the tendency to assign excessive credibility
to self-serving economic interests that demand scientific certainty,
and who insist that, simply because dangers are remote, they are
By the time the evidence on such issues as ozone layer depletion
and climate change is beyond dispute, the damage could be irreversible
and it may be too late to avoid serious harm to human life and
draconian future costs to society. The signatories at Montreal risked
imposing substantial short-run economic dislocations even though the
evidence was incomplete. The prudence of their decision was vindicated
when the scientific models turned out to have actually underestimated
prospective ozone depletion. And, thanks to the ingenuity of private
entrepreneurs, the costs of action turned out to be much lower than
conclusion: acting under uncertainty
The Montreal Protocol was by no means inevitable. Knowledgeable
observers had long believed it would be impossible to achieve. The
ozone negotiators confronted formidable political, economic, and
psychological obstacles. The dangers of ozone depletion could touch
every nation and all life on earth over periods far beyond politicians'
normal time horizons. But although the potential consequences were
grave, they could neither be measured nor predicted with certitude when
the diplomats began their work.
In the realm of international relations there will always be
resistance to change, and there will always be uncertainties--
scientific, political, economic, psychological. Faced with global
environmental threats, governments may need to act while some major
questions remain unresolved. In achieving the Montreal accord,
consensus was forged and decisions were made on a balancing of
probabilities--and the risks of waiting for more complete evidence were
finally deemed to be too great.
``Politics,'' stated Lord Kennet during early ozone debates in the
House of Lords, ``is the art of taking good decisions on insufficient
evidence.''\13\ The success of the Montreal Protocol stands as a beacon
of how science can help decision makers to overcome conflicting
political and economic interests and reach solutions. The ozone history
demonstrates that even in the real world of ambiguity and imperfect
knowledge, the international community, with the assistance of science,
is capable of undertaking difficult and far-reaching actions for the
\13\U.K. House of Lords, Hansard 500 (October 20, 1988): col. 1308.
Supplementary Statement of the Honorable Richard E. Benedick,
President, National Council for Science and the Environment
Like Dr. Crichton, I am not a climate scientist and also like Dr.
Crichton, I have followed the controversy surrounding Dr. Michael Mann
and his associates. Given that Dr. Crichton has devoted considerable
attention to this matter in his testimony, I would also like to add
some observations for the record of the Hearing.
First, contrary to Dr. Crichton's assertion, it is a matter of
record that the initial paper by Mann et al., which appeared in the
highly respected scientific journal Nature in 1998, did undergo
thorough peer review prior to its publication.
Second, it is my understanding that all of the data and
methodologies used by them is publicly accessible and has been
accessible since 1998. The only controversy has been about access to
the specific computer program used by Dr. Mann and his co-authors.
While the data and methodologies are typically the only requisites for
public access, Mann and colleagues have also made their computer
program available. I note that the National Science Foundation has been
consulted on this matter and its legal office has stated that Dr. Mann
and his colleagues have behaved in an entirely appropriate manner.
Third, Dr. Crichton is correct to assert that replication of
results is a very important aspect of sound science. I understand that
the work of Dr. Mann et. al has in fact been replicated by other
I understand that the Committee has received through other channels
the letter sent by Dr. Mann to the House Committee on Energy and
Science on July 15th of this year. This letter addresses in detail each
of the issues raised by Dr. Crichton and others. The letter also
indicates where the data, methodologies and computer programs are
publicly accessible. I believe it is important that no one reading the
record of this Hearing should have the impression that the statements
made by Dr. Crichton have not already been addressed.
There appears, moreover, to be controversy about the type of peer
review undertaken on the paper by McIntyre and McKitrick before its
publication in the magazine Energy and Environment, as well as whether
the alleged ``errors'' that they report are in fact real, and indeed
whether the work of McIntyre and McKitrick is itself replicable.
In conclusion, there will always be disputes and disagreements
among reputable scientists of good will. This is a normal part of the
process of developing generally respected sound science. I would like
to emphasize that reputable, peer-reviewed journals, and trusted,
apolitical institutions like the National Academy of Sciences, have
earned a deserved reputation as the best places to resolve scientific
disagreements, rather than politicized innuendos, conspiracy theories,
or science fiction novels. I believe that those who would make
sensationalized accusations about the integrity of scientists--
accusations that could destroy professional careers--have an ethical
obligation to check their facts before seeking publicity. Unless they
do this, their insinuations merit no credibility.
Responses of Richard E. Benedick to Additional Questions from
Question 1. After the Hearing, your Executive Director, Peter
Saundry was quoted in the press saying:
``Outside the committee room, Peter Saundry, executive director of
the National Council for Science and the Environment, said that he was
bemused by Crichton's apparent position. ``If you read his book, you
are left with the impression that environmentalists are only one step
up from the sort of people who will cross the road to murder your
children, but then you get the author's note at the back and he makes
this statement saying that he is not a climate change denier. It's hard
to know what his position is.''
Were you in fact confused by Dr. Crichton's testimony on the need
for independent verification of scientific research? Does the National
Council for Science and the Environment oppose independent verification
of scientific research?
Response. The comments of Dr. Saundry quoted above, appear to refer
to a contradiction between the murderous exploits of a fictional
environmental organization and the ``debunking'' of the issue of
climate change that is the basis of Dr. Crichton's novel, and Dr.
Crichton's statement in a postscript to the novel that he does not deny
the possibility of human impacts on climate. Thus, if there is some
confusion on Dr. Crichton's testimony, it concerns his position on
climate change rather than his position on independent verification of
The National Council for Science and the Environment emphatically
supports the independent verification of scientific research. The
National Council for Science and the Environment also supports
independent peer review of scientific results prior to publication, and
also supports making both the data and methodology of published
scientific findings sufficiently accessible for independent
verification of results to be carried out. On these principles, I
believe that there is agreement between myself and Dr. Crichton.
I confess that I was also confused by the substantial part of Dr.
Crichton's testimony that applied these principles to the work of Dr.
Michael Mann and colleagues--especially since the initial paper by Mann
et al., which appeared in the highly respected scientific journal
Nature in 1998, did undergo thorough peer review prior to its
It is my understanding that all of the data and methodologies used
by Mann et. al. are publicly accessible and have been accessible since
1998. The only controversy appears to be about access to the specific
computer program used by Dr. Mann and his co-authors. While the data
and methodologies are typically the only requisites for public access,
Mann and colleagues have in fact also made their computer program
available. The National Science Foundation was consulted on this matter
and its legal office has stated that Dr. Mann and his colleagues have
behaved in an entirely appropriate manner.
I understand that the work of Dr. Mann et. al has also been
replicated by other climate scientists and these independent
replications have been explicitly referred to in the comprehensive
letter sent by Dr. Mann to the House Committee on Energy and Science on
July 15th of this year, which I understand has been submitted into the
record of this hearing. The letter also indicates where the data,
methodologies and computer programs are publicly accessible and
addresses in detail each of the issues raised by Dr. Crichton.
In an imperfect world, there will always be disputes and
disagreements among reputable scientists of good will. This is a normal
part of the process of developing generally respected sound science.
Peer-reviewed journals, and trusted, apolitical institutions like the
National Academy of Sciences, have earned a deserved reputation as the
best places to resolve scientific disagreements, rather than in works
I believe that anyone who would make accusations about the
integrity of scientists--accusations that could destroy professional
careers--has an ethical obligation to independently verify facts before
seeking publicity. Unless they do this, their insinuations lose
Responses of Richard E. Benedick to Additional Questions from
Question 1. In your written testimony, you write that in March 1998
a joint NASA press conference released the Ozone Trends Panel Report.
Can you provide a citation for the record of the Executive Summary of
that report, which you used in your remarks?
Response. R.T. Watson, F.S. Rowland, and J. Gille, ``Ozone Trends
Panel Executive Summary,'' NASA, Washington, D.C.
Statement of Dr. Michael Crichton, M.D., Author, Doctor
Thank you Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee. I am Michael
Crichton, known to most people as the author of Jurassic Park and the
creator of the television series ER. My academic background includes
degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School; I was a
visiting lecturer in Physical Anthropology at Cambridge University; and
a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute, where I worked on media
and science policy with Jacob Bronowski.
My recent novel ``State of Fear'' concerns the politicization of
scientific research. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this
subject. What I would like to emphasize to the committee today is the
importance of independent verification to science.
In essence, science is nothing more than a method of inquiry. The
method says an assertion is valid and will be universally accepted only
if it can be reproduced by others, and thereby independently verified.
The impersonal rigor of the method has produced enormously powerful
results for 400 years.
The scientific method is utterly apolitical. A truth in science is
verifiable whether you are black or white, male or female, old or
young. It's verifiable whether you know the experimenter, or whether
you don't. It's verifiable whether you like the results of a study, or
Thus, when adhered to, the scientific method can transcend
politics. Unfortunately, the converse may also be true: when politics
takes precedent over content, it is often because the primacy of
independent verification has been abandoned.
Verification may take several forms. I come from medicine, where
the gold standard is the randomized double-blind study. Not every study
is conducted in this way, but it is held up as the ultimate goal.
In that vein, let me tell you a story. It's 1991, I am flying home
from Germany, sitting next to a man who is almost in tears, he is so
upset. He's a physician involved in an FDA study of a new drug. It's a
double-blind study involving four separate teams--one plans the study,
another administers the drug to patients, a third assess the effect on
patients, and a fourth analyzes results. The teams do not know each
other, and are prohibited from personal contact of any sort, on peril
of contaminating the results. This man had been sitting in the
Frankfurt airport, innocently chatting with another man, when they
discovered to their mutual horror they are on two different teams
studying the same drug. They were required to report their encounter to
the FDA. And my companion was now waiting to see if the FDA would
declare their multi-year, multi-million-dollar study invalid because of
For a person with a medical background, accustomed to this degree
of rigor in research, the protocols of climate science appear
considerably more relaxed. A striking feature of climate science is
that it's permissible for raw data to be ``touched,'' or modified, by
many hands. Gaps in temperature and proxy records are filled in.
Suspect values are deleted because a scientist deems them erroneous. A
researcher may elect to use parts of existing records, ignoring other
parts. Sometimes these adjustments are necessary, sometimes they are
questionable. Sometimes the adjustments are documented, sometimes not.
But the fact that the data has been modified in so many ways inevitably
raises the question of whether the results of a given study are wholly
or partially caused by the modifications themselves.
In saying this, I am not casting aspersions on the motives or fair-
mindedness of climate scientists. Rather, what is at issue is whether
the methodology of climate science is sufficiently rigorous to yield a
reliable result. At the very least, we should want the reassurance of
independent verification by another lab, in which they make their own
decisions about how to handle data, and yet arrive at a similar
Because any study where a single team plans the research, carries
it out, supervises the analysis, and writes their own final report,
carries a very high risk of undetected bias. That risk, for example,
would automatically preclude the validity of the results of a similarly
structured study that tested the efficacy of a drug. Nobody would
By the same token, it would be unacceptable if the subsequent
verification of such a study were conducted by investigators with whom
the researcher had a professional relationship--people with whom, for
example, he had published papers in the past. That's peer review by
pals, and it's unavoidably biased. Yet these issues are central to the
now-familiar story of the ``Hockey stick graph'' and the debate
To summarize it briefly: in 1998-99 the American climate researcher
Michael Mann and his co-workers published an estimate of global
temperatures from the year 1000 to 1980.\1\ Mann's results appeared to
show a spike in recent temperatures that was unprecedented in the last
thousand years. His alarming report received widespread publicity and
formed the centerpiece of the U.N.'s Third Assessment Report, in 2001.
The graph appeared on the first page of the IPCC Executive Summary.
\1\Mann, M.E., R.S. Bradley and M.K. Hughes, 1998. ``Global-Scale
Temperature Patterns and Climate Forcing Over the Past Six Centuries,''
Nature, 392, 779-787.
Mann's work was initially criticized because his graph didn't show
the well-known Medieval Warm Period, when temperatures were warmer than
they are today, or the Little Ice Age, when they were colder than
today. But real fireworks began when two Canadian researchers, McIntyre
and McKitrick, attempted to replicate Mann's study. They found grave
errors in the work, which they detailed in 2003:\2\ calculation errors,
data used twice, and a computer program that generated a hockey stick
out of any data fed to it even random data.
\2\McIntyre, S. and R. McKitrick, 2003. ``Corrections to the Mann
et. Al. (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemisphere Average
Temperature Series.'' Environment and Energy 14(6) 751-771. See also,
McIntyre, S. and R. McKitrick, 2005. ``Hockey Sticks, Principal
Components and Spurious Significance'', Geophysical Research Letters V
32 (3) L03710 10.1029/2004GL021750 12
Mann's work has been dismissed as ``phony'' and ``rubbish'' by
climate scientists around the world who subscribe to global warming.
Some have asked why the UN accepted Mann's report so uncritically. It
is unsettling to learn Mann himself was in charge of the section of the
report that included his work. This episode of climate science is far
from the standards of independent verification.
The hockey stick controversy drags on. But I would direct the
committee's attention to three aspects of this story. First, six years
passed between Mann's publication and the first detailed accounts of
errors in his work. This is simply too long for policymakers to wait
for validated results. Particularly if it is going to be shown around
the world in the meantime.
Second, the flaws in Mann's work were not caught by climate
scientists, but rather by outsiders in this case, an economist and a
mathematician. McIntyre and McKitrick had to go to great lengths to
obtain the data from Mann's team, which obstructed them at every turn.
When the Canadians sought help from the NSF, they were told that Mann
was under no obligation to provide his data to other researchers for
Third, this kind of stonewalling is not unique or uncommon. The
Canadians are now attempting to replicate other climate studies and are
getting the same runaround from other researchers. One leading light in
the field told them: ``Why should I make the data available to you,
when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.''
Even further, some scientists complain the task of archiving is so
time-consuming as to prevent them from getting any work done. But this
The first research paper I worked on, back in the 1960s, consisted
of data on stacks of paper. When we received a request for data from
another lab, I stood at a Xerox machine, copying one page a minute at
11 cents a page for several hours. Back in those days, a request for
data meant a lot of work.\3\
\3\Crichton, M., N.P. Christy and A. Damon, 1981. ``Host Factors in
`Chromophobe' Adenoma of the Anterior Pituitary; a Retrospective Study
of 464 Patients.'' Metabolism, 3:248-67.
But today we can burn data to a CD, or post it at an ftp site for
downloading. Archiving data is so easy it should have become standard
practice a decade ago. Government grants should require a ``replication
package'' as part of funding. Posting the package online should be a
prerequisite to journal publication. And since it's so easy, there's
really no reason to exclude anyone from reviewing the data.
One problem with replication is this: while it can tell you a
research result is faulty, it can't tell you what the right answer is.
Policymakers need sound answers to the questions they ask. A better way
to get them might be to give research grants for important projects to
three independent teams simultaneously. A provision of the grant would
be that at the end of the study period, all three papers would be
published together, with each group commenting on the findings of the
other. I believe this would be the fastest way to get verified answers
to important questions.
But if independent verification is the heart of science, what
should policymakers do with research that is unverifiable? For example,
the UN Third Assessment Report defines general circulation climate
models as unverifiable.\4\ If that's true, are their predictions of any
use to policymakers?
\4\``Our evaluation process is not as clear-cut as a simple search
for `falsification.' While we do not consider that the complexity of a
climate model makes it impossible to ever prove such a model `false' in
any absolute sense, it does make the task of evaluation extremely
difficult and leaves room for a subjective component in any
assessment.'' IPCC TAR p 474. See also ``We fully recognize the
evaluation statements we make contain a degree of subjective scientific
perception and may contain much `community' or `personal' knowledge.''
IPCC TAR p. 475. Evaluations that are non-falsifiable, personal, and
subjective are by definition not independently verifiable.
Arguably not. In 2000, Christopher Landsea and co-workers studied
various computer models that had forecast the strong El Nino event of
1997-98. They concluded that the older, simpler models hardly more than
simple formula had performed much better than the global circulation
models when predicting the arrival and strength of the El Nino.\5\
\5\Landsea, C. et al., 2000, ``How Much Skill Was There in
Forecasting the Very Strong 1997-98 El Nino?'' Bulletin American
Meteorological Society 81: 2107-19. The authors observe: ``--one could
have even less confidence in anthropogenic global warming studies
because of the lack of skill in predicting El Nino--the successes in
ENSO forecasting have been overstated (sometimes drastically) and
misapplied in other arenas.''
If policymakers decide to weight their decisions in favor of
verified research, that will provoke an effort by climate scientists to
demonstrate their concerns using objectively verifiable research.
In closing, I want to state emphatically that nothing in my remarks
should be taken to imply that we can ignore our environment, or that we
should not take climate change seriously. On the contrary, we must
dramatically improve our record on environmental management. That's why
a focused effort on climate science, aimed at securing sound,
independently verified answers to policy questions, is so important
I would remind the committee that in the end, it is the proper
function of government to set standards for the integrity of
information it uses to make policy, and to ensure that standards are
maintained. Those who argue government should refrain from mandating
quality standards for scientific research including some professional
organizations are merely self-serving. In an information society,
public safety depends on the integrity of public information. And only
government can perform that task.
Responses of Dr. Michael Crichton to Additional Questions from
Question 1. Did your interest in climate change science stem solely
from the writing of your book, or is there something else in your
background that initiated your interest in this issue? Do you consider
yourself to be an expert on the science of climate change?
Response. My views on global warming were entirely conventional
until 2001 when I began to inspect temperature records, which are
available online. I was underwhelmed by the evidence I saw and I
continued my research for two years. My decision to write a book came
I am not a climate scientist and I consider my observations useful
precisely because I am an outsider looking at this field. I do consider
myself a well-educated American citizen, and I share with my countrymen
a healthy skepticism toward experts of all sorts. If war is too
important to be left to the generals, science is too important to be
left to the scientists.
Question 2. Have you ever received funding from any person or
entity for your views on climate change or any other environmental
scientific issue? If so, please provide the amount received, when and
for what purpose.
Response. In the 25 years of my career, I have never received
funding for my views on any subject. No one has ever offered, either.
Question 3. Do you think scientific studies that have not been
peer reviewed or published in a scientific peer reviewed journal should
be given equal weight to studies that have has such review?
Response. In general I agree with the scientific tradition that
gives greater weight to peer-reviewed articles. But I am sure you are
aware that several published studies in recent years have questioned
the effectiveness of peer review as a process. This has spurred a
debate among scientists about the procedure. The debate has several
aspects, ranging from questions of subtle censorship, to questions
about whether peer-review really results in improved papers overall.
One area of particular concern is whether peer-review catches
statistical errors efficiently. I mention this debate to raise a
questionmark behind my answer, and also to remind you that peer-review
is not the same as independent replication of results (which is what I
argued for in my testimony.)
Question 4. You are quite critical of Michael Mann's study on
global temperature changes based on a study done by McIntyre and
McKitrick. You also state that the National Science Foundation told
McIntyre and McKitrick that ``Mann was under no obligation to provide
his data to other researchers.'' My understanding is that access to the
data are not the issue, Mann's data are publicly available. At issue,
is whether researchers need access to exactly the same computer program
(or ``code'') as the initial researcher to get the same result.
Response. My understanding is not the same as yours on this matter.
I believe McIntyre and McKitrick said they did not obtain prompt access
to relevant data. The matter of computer code was only one aspect of
the larger question of access.
Question 4a. Would you agree that the key to replicability is
unfettered access to all of the underlying data and methodologies used
by the first researcher?
Response. Yes. Such access is necessary but not sufficient. At a
minimum, two other elements are required. The first is that
verification be performed by a genuinely independent researcher, and
the second is that the results be published, preferably by the original
Question 4b. If the data and methodological information are
available to anyone who wants them, are there other limitations to
Response. Replication of a study requires that the original
investigator provide all the information necessary for another research
laboratory to perform the replication. What constitutes ``all the
information necessary'' will vary from instance to instance. Some back-
and-forth between investigator and replicator is often required, and
frequently occurs in other scientific fields.
Question 4c. Are you aware that other scientists have reproduced
Mann's results based on publicly available information?
Response. It's often claimed that ten other studies have replicated
the work. But four of the papers have Mann's name listed among the
authors. The authors of the other six papers include scientists with
whom Mann has published other papers. As I indicated in my testimony,
this is not genuine independent replication. It's not a matter of
honesty or good intentions. It's simply procedurally invalid.
Question 4d. As a writer, are you sympathetic to Mann's concerns
regarding intellectual property protection for his climate model?
Response. I believe your question contains two erroneous
assumptions. First of all, to refer to Mann's study as a ``climate
model'' invites misunderstanding. Mann performed a meta-analysis of
many studies taken together. Such meta-analyses have been carried out
for decades in many fields of science; there is nothing new or unusual
about such a study. There are a variety of known computer algorithms
that are employed for meta-analysis. The particular computer code that
Mann employed for his meta-analysis has been reported to be flawed. The
determination that the code is flawed has been made by scientists
around the world.
Second, you ask about intellectual property protection. As you
know, ownership of intellectual work product is subject to negotiation.
Scientists (and novelists) find themselves making different
arrangements in different instances. Many scientists do not own the
work that they do; others have a financial participation but no
ownership rights regarding use or disposition of their work; others may
have full control over their own work.
However, as a general principle whoever pays for the work will have
much to say about how it is used. In the case of publicly-funded
research, I argue that the results are owned by the American people.
This is not clearly the understanding now, but it should be. And
furthermore, when the public funds a study, it is because the public
(or its representatives) deems that the answers provided by that study
to be of public importance. In science, answers need to be verified
independently. Therefore I argue that any scientist who accepts public
funding also accepts the obligation to make his work available for
verification by others.
Question 5. Following the publication of ``State of Fear'', you
have spoken publicly about your concerns regarding the state of
environmental science. How do you view your role in critiquing
environmental science? Will it be something you will continue?
Response. I have spoken about environmental matters since the
1980s. I have always argued that our environmental knowledge is
inadequate; that our efforts are insufficient; that we spend too little
on the environment; and that we don't necessarily spend our money on
the most important problems. These views are explicitly stated in the
afterward of my book. At no time have I ever suggested that we need to
do less about the environment. We need to do more. And we need to be
much more effective.
Since I have been speaking on this subject for the last twenty
years, I expect I will continue from time to time.
Question 6. As I think you anticipated, your book has stirred up
some controversy among climate scientists, some of whom have charged
that you did not accurately portray their work. Do you anticipate
responding to these challenges in future editions of the book?
Response. I have included footnotes and thirty pages of annotated
bibliography so that readers can go to the scientific references I
used, and decide for themselves what they think. I am pleased that many
readers are doing so.
Question 7. On p. 246 of ``State of Fear'' one of the characters
talks about testimony by Dr. James Hansen, director of the Goddard
Institute for Space Studies. Your character only mentions one of
Hanson's three scenarios. Why? Are you aware that Dr. Hansen
characterized the highest scenario that is reference in your book as
not very likely? Are you aware that the middle scenario, which Dr.
Hansen characterized as most likely, is consistent with the observed
warming since 1988?
Response. Whenever there are multiple estimates for some future
outcome, there is always an issue of which estimate to use. In keeping
with the established tradition of the mainstream media, I used the
highest and most dramatic estimate. The fictional character on page 246
is clearly evoking the public impact of Hansen's 1988 Senate testimony,
and that impact is clear in contemporary news accounts. Nowhere did I
find it reported that Dr. Hansen predicted a tenth of a degree increase
in the next 10 years. On the contrary: after the Hansen testimony, the
New York Times stated in several articles that increases would be on
the order of 3 to 9 degrees by 2030, and might run as high as 20
degrees by 2075.
Statement of William M. Gray, Ph.D., Professor, Department of
Atmospheric Science Colorado State University
Mr. Chairman and Members of the committee, I am William M. Gray, a
Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University in Fort
Collins, Colorado. I have been studying and forecasting weather and
climate for over 50 years (see my attached Vitae). My specialty has
been tropical meteorology and tropical cyclones. I have made Atlantic
basin seasonal hurricane forecasts for the last 22 years.
Over the last 20 years, I have been dismayed over the bogus science
and media-hype associated with the nuclear winter and the human-induced
global warming hypotheses. My innate sense of how the atmosphere-ocean
functions does not allow me to accept either of these scenarios.
Observations and theory do not support these ideas. The nuclear winter
hypothesis did not recognize that the globe's hydrologic cycle operates
on a time scale of 8-10 days and that nuclear- spawned dust material
would be quickly rained out of the atmosphere. The human-induced global
warming scenarios have a major flaw in that they accept the view that
an increase in the global hydrologic cycle will cause enhanced upper-
tropospheric water vapor gain and a suppression of outgoing long wave
radiation (OLR) to space. The opposite is true. Global Climate Models
(GCMs) are also not able to realistically predict the ocean's deep
water circulation which is fundamental to any understanding of global
As a boy, growing up here in Washington, DC, I remember the many
articles on the large global warming that had occurred between 1900 and
1940. No one understood or knew if this warming would continue. Then
the warming abated, and a weak global cooling trend set in from the
mid-1940s to the early 1970s. The global warming talk ceased and
speculation about a coming ice age came into vogue. I anticipate that
the trend of the last few decades of global warming will come to an
end, and in a few years we will start to see a weak cooling trend
similar to that which occurred from the mid-1940s to the early 1970s.
I would like to present a different view on the likelihood of
human-induced global warming and also provide evidence that global
hurricane activity has not increased as the globe has warmed in recent
decades. There is no significant correlation between global warming and
global hurricane activity.
human-induced global warming
Although initially generated by honest scientific questions, this
topic has long ago advanced into the political arena and taken on a
life of its own. It has been extended and grossly exaggerated and
misused by those wishing to make gains from the exploitation of
ignorance on this subject. This includes many governments of western
countries, the media, and scientists who were willing to bend their
objectivity to obtain government grants for research. It is unfortunate
that most of the resources for climate research come from the federal
government. When a national government takes a political position on a
scientific topic, the wise meteorologist or climatologist either joins
the crowd or keeps his/her mouth shut. Scientists can be punished if
they do not accept the current views of their funding agents. An honest
and objective scientific debate cannot be held in such a political
I have closely followed the greenhouse gas warming arguments. From
what I have learned of how the atmosphere functions in over 50 years of
study and forecasting, I have been unable to convince myself that a
doubling of human-induced greenhouse gases can lead to anything but
quite small and likely insignificant amounts of global warming ( 0.2-
Most geophysical systems react to forced imbalances by developing
responses which oppose and weaken the initial forced imbalance; hence,
a negative feedback response. Recently proposed human-induced global
warming scenarios go counter to the foregoing in hypothesizing a
positive feedback effect. They assume that a stronger hydrologic cycle
(due to increased anthropogenic greenhouse gases) will cause additional
upper-level atmospheric water vapor. This increased vapor results in a
reduction of OLR loss to space and causes additional warming (Fig. 1).
This positive water vapor feedback assumption allows the small initial
warming due to human-induced greenhouse gases to be unrealistically
multiplied 8-10 times. This is where much of the global modeling is in
error. As anthropogenic greenhouse gases increase it does not follow
that upper-level water vapor will increase. If it does not, little
global warming will result. Observation of middle tropospheric water
vapor over the last few decades shows that water vapor has in fact been
undergoing a small decrease. The assumed positive water vapor feedback
as programmed into the GCM models is not occurring. Energy budget
studies indicate that if atmospheric water vapor and the rate of
condensation were held fixed, a doubling of carbon dioxide would cause
only a small ( 0.2-0.3 C) global warming. This can be contrasted to
the 2-5 C warming projected in the models.
The other primary physical limitations of the GCM simulations are
their inability (as yet) to properly treat the global ocean deep
circulation. This requires the need to model ocean salinity variations.
Climate change cannot be objectively discussed without a realistic
treatment of the ocean.
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Skillful initial value GCM climate prediction is not possible and
probably never will be. This is due to the complex nature of the
atmosphere/ocean system and the inability of numerical models to
realistically represent this physical complexity. Realistic features
currently cannot be forecast more than a week or two into the future
(see Figs. 2 and 3). Imperfect representations of the highly non-linear
parameters of the atmosphere-ocean system tend to quickly degrade (the
so-called butterfly influence) into unrealistic flow states upon long
period integration. Short-range prediction is possible up to a week or
10 days into the future because there tends to be conservatism in the
initial momentum fields which can be extrapolated for short periods.
But beyond about 1-2 weeks, the multiple unknown and non-linear energy-
moisture exchanges within the earth system become dominant. Model
results soon decay in chaos. Numerical climate models cannot now and
likely never will be able to be accurately forecast more than a few
weeks into the future. If skillful GCM climate forecasts were possible,
we would be eager to follow their predictions. Currently, GCMs do not
make seasonal or yearly forecasts. How can we trust climate forecasts
50 and 100 years into the future (that can't be verified in our
lifetime) when they are not able to make shorter seasonal or yearly
forecasts that could be verified? They know that they dare not issue
shorter forecasts because they are aware that they have little or no
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Besides the physical uncertainty concerning how to represent the
complexity of the atmosphere-ocean system in quantitative terms,
climate models have become too complex for any one person or team to
understand. Due to the great complexity of the GCM system, the true
reasons for success or failure often cannot be determined. These models
have been developed by teams of specialists who concentrate on
different parts of their model. No one person is able to understand the
whole GCM simulation. Most model developers are talented and skilled
technicians. However, few have ever given real-world weather briefings
or made operational weather forecasts.
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The potential for climate modeling mischief and false scares from
incorrect climate model scenarios is enormous. Numerical modeling
output gives an air of authenticity which is not warranted by the input
physics and long periods of integration. How many more climate scares
are we to see from climate models which are not able to realistically
predict past and future climate changes let alone future decadal or
Many of my older meteorological colleagues are very skeptical of
these anthropogenic global warming scenarios. But we are seldom asked
for any input. Despite my 50 years of meteorology experience and my
many years of involvement in seasonal hurricane and climate prediction,
I have never been asked for input on any of the International Panels on
Climate Change (IPCC) reports. They know my views and do not wish to
have to deal with them. Many other experienced but skeptical
meteorologists and climatologists are also ignored. I find that the
summary page conclusions of the IPCC reports frequently do not agree
with the extensive factual material contained within them. In fact, the
summary conclusions of many of the IPCC reports give the impression
they were written before the research is done.
It is disappointing that more atmospheric scientists have not
spoken out about the reality of human-induced global warming and the
reliability of the GCM simulations. It is also mystifying to me how the
global warming advocates are able to get away with the argument that
extreme weather events have become more prevalent in recent years and
that they likely have a human-induced component. Such assertions are
There is nothing we humans can do to prevent natural climate
change, which I believe nearly all the recent global temperature rise
is due too. We have no choice but to adapt to future climate changes.
Restricting human-induced greenhouse gas emissions now, on the basis of
their assumed influence on global warming, is not a viable economic
option, even if it were politically possible. China and India would
never restrict their growing fossil fuel usage. Restricting greenhouse
gas emissions would have little or no effect on global temperature. We
need to keep the western world economies vibrant if for no other reason
than to be able to afford the needed large technical research funding
that will be required to develop future non-fossil fuel energy sources.
I am convinced that in 15-20 years, we will look back on this
period of global warming hysteria as we now look back on so many other
popular, and trendy, scientific ideas--such as the generally accepted
Eugenic theories of the 1920s and 1930s that have now been discredited.
There are so many other more important problems in the world which need
our immediate attention. We should not be distracted by a false threat
that is mostly just due to natural changes in climate.
global warming influence on hurricanes
The Atlantic has large multi-decadal variations in major (category
3-4-5) hurricane activity. These variations are observed to result from
multi-decadal variations in the North Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation
(THC)-Fig. 4. When the THC is strong, it causes the North Atlantic to
have warm or positive Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies (SSTA) and when
the THC is weak, cold SSTAs prevail. Figure 5 shows these North
Atlantic SSTAs over the last century with a projection for the next 15
We observe that there are significantly more Atlantic basin major
hurricanes when the THC is strong than when it is weak. Figure 6 shows
the sum of tracks of Atlantic major hurricane tracks during a 20-year
period when the THC was strong (left) versus an 18-year period when it
was weak (right). Note the large differences. Figure 7 gives an
illustration of how fortunate peninsula Florida was in terms of
landfalling hurricanes during the period of 1966-2003 in comparison
with the earlier period of 1932-1965. The varying strength of the
Atlantic THC is partly responsible for these differences. Luck also
played a role. There were many intense hurricanes just off the Florida
coast during the later period that did not come ashore (i.e., Hurricane
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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] 38918.005
Recent major hurricanes Katrina and Rita and last year's four U.S.
land falling major hurricanes have spawned an abundance of questions
concerning the role that global warming might be playing in these
events. The ideas that global warming was the cause for these last two
years of greater hurricane activity has been greatly enhanced by two
recent papers presenting data to show that global tropical cyclones
have become more intense in recent years. They tie this increased
hurricane activity to global warming. These papers are:
a) Kerry Emanuel, 4 August 2005: Increasing destructiveness of
tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature, 436, 686-688.
b) P.J. Webster, G.J. Holland, J. Currie and P. Chang, 16 September
2005: Changes in tropical cyclone number, duration, and intensity in a
warming environment. Science, 309, 1844-1846.
The near universal reference to these two papers over the last two
weeks by most major media outlets is helping to establish a belief
among the general public and scientists not involved in tropical
cyclone studies that global hurricane intensity has been rising and
that global warming is primarily responsible. This conclusion is not
valid. The authors have improperly handled their data sets and their
findings should not be accepted. These papers require a response from a
few of us who study hurricanes. I feel I have an obligation to make
formal comments on these papers (to the editors of the journals), which
I will do in another week or two.
determination of hurricane intensity
There always has been, and there probably always will be, problems
in assigning a representative maximum surface wind to a hurricane. As
technology advances and the methods of determining a hurricane's
maximum winds change, different values of maximum winds will be
assigned to hurricanes than would have been assigned in previous years.
With the availability of new aircraft deployed inertial
dropwindsondes and the new step-frequency surface wind measurement
instruments, it is being established that Atlantic hurricane surface
winds are sometimes stronger than were previously determined from wind
values extrapolated from aircraft altitude. Saffir/Simpson category
numbers in the Atlantic due to these changes in measurement techniques
have risen slightly in recent years. Although most of the comparative
differences in the 38 major hurricanes of the last 10 years in the
Atlantic basin (1995-2004) vs. the 14 major hurricanes of the prior 10
years (1985-1994) is thought to represent real variability, a small
part of this difference may be due to the assignment of a Category 3 or
Category 4 status to a hurricane which in earlier years might have
received a one category lower designation.
Despite what many in the atmospheric modeling community may
believe, there is no physical basis for assuming that global tropical
cyclone intensity or frequency is necessarily related to global
temperature. As the ocean surface warms, so does the upper air to
maintain conditionally unstable lapse-rates and global rainfall rates
at their required values. Although there has been a general warming of
the globe and an increase of SSTs in recent decades, observations do
not show increases in tropical cyclone frequency or intensity.
variation in major hurricane numbers during recent decades of global
The NOAA reanalysis of global mean temperature difference over the
last two 10-year periods have shown that the mean annual global surface
temperature has risen 0.39 degree C from the 10-year periods of 1985-
1994 to 1995-2004. This is a substantial increase in global temperature
(rate of 3.9 per century). Table 1 shows the number of measured major
hurricanes around the globe (excluding the Atlantic). Major hurricanes
have not gone up in the more recent 10-year period when SSTAs have
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The Atlantic has seen a very large increase in major hurricanes
during the last 10-year period in comparison to the previous 10-year
period (38 between 1995-2004 vs. 11 during 1985-1994). The large last
decade increase is a result of multi-decadal fluctuations in the
Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation (THC). Changes in salinity are
believed to be the driving mechanism. These multi-decadal changes have
also been termed the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO). Even
when the large increase in Atlantic major hurricane activity is added
to the non-Atlantic global total of major hurricanes, there is no
significant global difference (208 vs. 218) in the numbers of major
hurricanes between the two periods.
comparison of atlantic hurricane activity between the last 15-year
active period (1990-2004) with the activity during the active 15-year
period of 1950-1964.
There have been hurricane periods in the Atlantic in the past which
have been just as active as the current period. A comparison of the
last 15 years of hurricane activity with an earlier 15-year period from
1950-64 shows no significant difference in the more intense major
hurricanes (Table 2). Note that there has actually been a slight
decrease in major hurricane numbers in the most recent 15 years. The
number of weak tropical Named Storms (NS) rose by over 50 percent,
however. This is a reflection of the availability of the satellite in
the later period. It would not have been possible that a hurricane,
particularly a major hurricane, escaped detection in the earlier
period. But many weaker systems far out in the Atlantic undoubtedly
went undetected before satellite observations.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] 38918.007
change in intensity measurement technology of the northwest (nw)
pacific and comparison of earlier and later periods
This most active of the tropical cyclone basins had aircraft
reconnaissance flights during the period 1945-1986 but has not had
aircraft reconnaissance since. The satellite has been the only tool to
track NW Pacific typhoons since 1987.
There was an anomaly in the measurement of typhoon intensity in the
14-year period of 1973-1986 when the Atkinson-Holliday (1977) technique
for typhoon maximum wind and minimum sea-level pressure (MSLP) was
used. This technique is now known to have significantly underestimated
the maximum winds of the typhoons in comparison with their central
pressures. This has been verified by a combination of satellite-
aircraft data from the Atlantic and pre-1973 NW Pacific aircraft-
measured wind and MSLP. Table 3 shows the official average of the
annual number of super typhoons in the West Pacific (equivalent to the
number of category 3-4-5 or major hurricanes of the Atlantic). Note
that between 1950-1972 and over the last 18 years, this number of
super-typhoons has averaged about five per year while during the
Atkinson-Holliday period of 1973-1986 it was less than half this
number. Weaker storm numbers during the 1973-1986 period were the same.
If we disregard this anomalous 1973-1986 period and compare annual
frequency of super-typhoon activity between 1950-1972 versus 1987-2004
we see little difference despite the recent global warming trend.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] 38918.008
what others say
I fully subscribe to the view expressed by Max Mayfield, Director
of the NOAA National Hurricane Center when he stated last week before
the Senate Committee of Commerce, Science and Transportation Sub-
``We believe this heightened period of hurricane activity will
continue due to multi-decadal variance, as tropical cyclone activity in
the Atlantic is cyclical. The 1940s through the 1960s experienced an
above average number of hurricanes, while the 1970s into the mid-1990s
averaged fewer hurricanes. The current period of heightened activity
could last another 10-20 years. The increased activity since 1995 is
due to natural fluctuations/cycles of hurricane activity, driven by the
Atlantic Ocean itself along with the atmosphere above it and not
enhanced substantially by global warming. The natural cycles are quite
large with an average 3-4 major hurricanes a year in active periods and
only about 1-2 major hurricanes annually during quiet periods, with
each period lasting 25-40 years''.
I also subscribe to the views expressed in the new paper titled
``Hurricanes and Global Warming'' which will soon be published in the
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This paper is authored
by [Roger Pielke, Jr., Director, Center for Science and Technology,
University of Colorado; Christopher Landsea, Director of Research, NOAA
National Hurricane Center, Miami, FL; Max Mayfield, Director, National
Hurricane Center, Miami, FL; James Laver, Director, NOAA National
Climate Center, Washington, DC; and Richard Pasch, Hurricane
Specialist, NOAA National Hurricane Center, Miami, FL] and makes the
``Since 1995 there has been an increase in frequency and in
particular the intensity of hurricanes in the Atlantic. But the changes
of the past decade are not so large as to clearly indicate that
anything is going on other than the multi-decadal variability that has
been well documented since at least 1900 (Gray et al. 1997; Landsea et
al. 1999; Goldenberg et al. 2001)'' and ``Globally there has been no
increase in tropical cyclone frequency over at least the past several
decades (Lander and Guard 1998, Elsner and Kocher 2000). In addition to
a lack of theory for future changes in storm frequencies, the few
global modeling results are contradictory (Henderson-Sellers et al.
1998; IPCC 2001)"
Analysis of global tropical cyclone activity of all intensities
does not support the hypothesis that there has been a significant
increase in tropical cyclone frequency-intensity associated with global
Atkinson, G.D. and C.R. Holliday, 1977: Tropical cyclone minimum
sea level pressure/maximum sustained wind relationship for the western
North Pacific. Mon. Wea. Rev., 105, 421-427.
Elsner, J.B and B. Kocher, 2000: Global tropical cyclone activity:
A link to the North Atlantic Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters,
Goldenberg, S.B., C.W. Landsea, A.M. Mestas-Nunez and W.M. Gray,
2001: The recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity: Causes and
implications. Science, 293, 474-479.
Gray, W.M., J.D. Sheaffer and C.W. Landsea, 1997: Climate trends
associated with multidecadal variability of Atlantic hurricane
activity. ``Hurricanes: Climate and Socioeconomic Impacts.'' H.F. Diaz
and R.S. Pulwarty, Eds., Springer-Verlag, New York, 15-53.
Henderson-Sellers, A., H. Zhang, G. Berz, K. Emanuel, W. Gray, C.
Landsea, G. Holland, J. Lighthill, S-L. Shieh, P. Webster and K.
McGuffie, 1998: Tropical cyclones and global climate change: a post-
IPCC assessment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 79,
Lander, M.A. and C.P. Guard, 1998: A look at global tropical
cyclone activity during 1995: Contrasting high Atlantic activity with
low activity in other basins. Mon. Wea. Rev., 126, 1163-1173.
Landsea, C.W., R.A., Pielke, Jr., A.M. Mestas-Nunez and J.A. Knaff,
1999: Atlantic basin hurricanes: Indices of climate changes. Climate
Change, 42, 89-129.
Responses of William Gray to Addtional Questions from
Question 1. Is there any other information you wish to add?
Response. Yes, my below discussion and interpretation of how we
should interpret the very active U.S. hurricane landfall years of 2004-
2005 and their potential relationship to global warming. It is very
important that we not read more into these years than is there.
Although 2004 and 2005 had a rare combination of very intense hurricane
activity accompanied by westward steering currents, it is not outside
the realm of natural variations.
The recent U.S. landfall of major hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita
and Wilma and the four landfalling hurricanes of last year (Charley,
Frances, Ivan and Jeanne) have raised questions about the possible role
that global warming played in the last two unusually destructive
The global warming arguments have been given much attention by many
media and blog citations to recent papers claiming to show such a
linkage. Observations my colleagues and I have gathered do not
observationally or theoretically support this contention. Despite the
global warming of the sea surface of about 0.3oC that has taken place
over the last 3 decades, the global number of hurricanes and major
hurricanes (Category 3-4-5) have not shown increases in recent years
except for the Atlantic.
The Atlantic basin has seen a very large increase in major
hurricanes during the last 11-year period of 1995-2005 (average 4.0 per
year) in comparison to the prior 25-year period of 1970-1994 (average
1.5 per year). This large increase in Atlantic major hurricanes is
primarily a result of the strengthening of the Atlantic Ocean
thermohaline circulation (THC) that is not directly related to global
temperature increase. Changes in ocean salinity are believed to be the
driving mechanism. These multi-decadal changes have also been termed
the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO).
There have been similar past periods (the later part of the 19th
century and 1940s-1960s, for example) when the Atlantic had similar
activity to that observed in recent years. For instance, when we
compare Atlantic basin hurricane numbers of the last 15 years with an
earlier 15-year period (1950-64), we see little difference in hurricane
frequency or intensity even though global surface temperatures were
cooler. Also, there was a general global cooling during 1950-64 as
compared with global warming during 1990-2004.
We should interpret the last two years of unusually large numbers
of US landfalling hurricanes as low probability events but within the
realm of natural variations. During 1966-2003, U.S. hurricane landfall
numbers were substantially below the long-term average. In the last two
seasons, they have been much above the long-term average. Although the
2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons have had an unusually high number of
major landfall events, the overall Atlantic basin hurricane activity
has not been much more active than other recent hurricane seasons such
as 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2003 have been. What has made the 2004-
2005 seasons so unusually destructive is the higher percentage of major
hurricanes which have moved over the US coastline. These landfall
events were not primarily a function of the overall Atlantic basin net
major hurricane numbers, but rather of the strong westerly broad-scale
Atlantic upper-air steering currents which were present the last two
seasons. It was these westerly steering currents which caused so many
of the major hurricanes which formed to come ashore.
It is rare to have such a strong simultaneous combination of high
amounts of major hurricane activity together with especially favorable
western Atlantic steering flow currents. Historical records and laws of
statistics indicate that the probability of seeing another two
consecutive hurricane season like 2004-2005 is very low. Even though we
expect to see the current active period of Atlantic major hurricane
activity to continue for another 15-20 years, it is statistically
unlikely that the coming 2006 and 2007 hurricane seasons, or the
seasons which follow these will have nearly the number of major
hurricane U.S. landfall events that we have seen in 2004-2005.
Question 2. In your written testimony, you say it is ``unfortunate
that most of the resources for climate research come from the Federal
Government.'' Is it your view that the Federal Government should not be
funding climate research at all, or just that it should not be
supporting certain areas of investigation?
Response. I am in favor of the Federal Government funding climate
research because so many aspects of needed climate research will not be
supported by the private industry of research foundations. A problem of
bias occurs when top government officials desire to obtain a particular
scientific outcome evidence of (human-induced global warming, for
instance, by the Clinton/Gore Administration) when overall climate
resources are limited. They try to concentrate funding in the areas
they think will produce results verifying their views. They become
reluctant to support other needed research or research which may come
up with results of opposite persuasion. Those who disagree with the
Government's position get typecast as anti-administration and are often
cut-off from research support. I believe this has happened to me (see
my answer to questions No. 3 and No. 15). The Government's funding of
science should be objective and removed from a desired result.
Question 3. So the Committee has a clear understanding, what
percentage of your work is federally funded versus funding by non-
federal sources? Please include an estimate of your total level of
Response. Up until this fall, I have had two sources of funding for
my project's research.
a. The Federal Government -- NSF ( $110k/year). This funding
terminates 30 November 2005. I have a new 2-year proposal which I hope
will be renewed in December 2005 at an increased funding level of
$160k/year. This is the only federal funding support I receive. I have
not been able to obtain NOAA, FEMA, ONR or NASA support.
b. Lexington Insurance ($50k/year). I hope to increase this to
$100k/year starting this fall. This is the only private support I
My total grant support, up until this fall, has thus been $160k/
year. With Colorado State University overhead taken out, I barely have
$100k/year to actually spend on project research. I have stopped taking
a CSU salary. Two years ago I made a personal contribution of $45k in
order to keep my few support staff employed, some at a reduced part-
time level. See the answer to question No. 15 for more background
Question 4. Your written testimony states that federally funded
climate research is tainted by a ``political position.'' I think it is
fair to say that this Administration has a different political view
than the previous Administration with respect to the need for federal
or multilateral action to address climate change. Have you noticed any
change in the amount or availability of funds for those researchers
that have differing viewpoints on climate change under this
Response. I applaud the new outlook on this topic by the Bush
Administration. But down at my grass-roots research level, I have not
observed any real changes. The federal administrators who hand out the
grants are at lower administration levels and are mostly the same
people who were in place during the prior Clinton/Gore Administration.
They still have the same pro-human induced global warming and pro-
numerical modeling biases. They are not about to discontinue federal
support to those they have been supporting for years. As far as I have
observed, life goes on just about the same down in the research
trenches. The big government weather labs (GFDL, GISS, NACA, Livermore,
etc.) seem to me to be impervious as to what the president and his
higher level advisors may believe and mandate to the lower echelons.
Question 5. Have you ever received any grants from any agencies
under this Committee's jurisdiction, such as the US EPA or the Fish and
Wildlife Service? Or have you done any work for the Army Corps of
Response. No -- I have never had support from any of these
Question 6. Is it, in your view, only federally funded climate
science that seeks to obtain results that fit with a particular policy
outcome? Are you saying that, for researchers, the conduct of
foundation-funded or industry-funded science is less restrictive and
does not contain any presumption of outcome?
Response. I can only judge the category of federal support for
human-induced global warming as being directed to obtain a desired
outcome. I am sure other federally- supported research disciplines have
this same problem to some extent, but I judge it to not be as blatant
as with the human-induced global warming funding that VP Gore and his
appointees were pushing.
I am sure foundation-funded and industry-funded research is often
rendered to obtain a desired outcome. But these outcomes usually have
much less impact on the global economy and the change of lifestyles of
humanity as does the global warming debate. We need to have some
Federal research resources specifically directed to uncovering the
technical and other problems associated with the human-induced global
warming hypothesis. We need to determine how much of the recent global
warming trend is due to natural variability. If ever there was a topic
which needed researchers to play the `Devil's Advocate' it has to be
human-induced global warming.
Question 7. You express concern in your written testimony that you
have never been asked to contribute, participate or review in any
report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Though you say
you haven't ever been asked, have you ever sought a nomination by the
U.S. Federal Government to serve on the IPCC? Do you work with the NOAA
lab in Boulder, CO that serves as the IPCC Working group I support
unit, which is the IPCC working group that is specifically tasked to
assess the scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change?
Response. I am well-known in the atmospheric science field. Had
they wanted my input, I am sure the organization would have solicited
me as they have solicited the services of some of my former students. I
did not feel that it was my responsibility to force myself on them. I
know many of the NOAA Lab (Boulder) scientists and have had profitable
exchanges with many of them over the years. Four years ago I gave a
formal seminar on my views on global warming to a large audience at the
NOAA lab. There is very little research on hurricanes conducted at the
NOAA Boulder lab.
Question 8. Is it a correct assumption, in reading your testimony
that though you dispute projections about the magnitude of human
induced climate change, you do believe in a background or natural
greenhouse effect? Do you believe there is any human contribution to
Response. There is a natural greenhouse effect. The primary driver
of the natural greenhouse effect is water vapor. The globe would be
much colder (about 33 C colder) than it is if it were not for water
vapor acting as a greenhouse gas.
I believe that there are likely a lot of human-induced changes
brought on by differing land use, industrial pollution, urban heat
island effects, contrails, etc. I believe all of these human influences
are present, but their influence cannot be isolated from a global
temperature change perspective. None of these human influences is
strong enough, in my view, to bring about anything close to the amounts
of global warming of 2-5 C as projected by the GCMs for a doubling of
Yes, I believe in human induced greenhouse gas warming but of a
much smaller magnitude ( .K 0.3 C for a doubling of CO2).
This magnitude is not sufficient to justify a forced alteration of
global industry and global lifestyles as the pro-warming advocates
Question 9. In your written testimony, you say that developed
country governments should not take actions to combat climate change,
which you argue would possibly be very costly for governments to
implement. You further say that developed country governments should
take no action on climate change if only for reason that the dollars
that should be spent on researching alternatives to fossil fuel. If
human induced climate change is not causing climate change, what would
you cite as the justification for researching fossil fuel alternatives?
Response. Fossil fuels cause local pollution which can considerably
reduce air quality. Most environmental problems are local. Non-
polluting energy sources are, of course, highly desirable if they are
not economically prohibitive. The difference between having clean
energy sources or not will make little difference in global surface
Question 10. Over the last few weeks it seems that the controversy
over hurricanes and global warming exists because different scientists
have different views as to what future research will reveal, and they
have been outspoken in advancing these opinions. It seems clear that
you expect future research to reveal no discernible connection between
hurricanes and global warming. By contrast, others believe that a
connection will be found. Future research will help to clarify this
dispute. Is it the case that the two papers about which you have
concerns, the Emanuel and Webster papers referred to in your testimony,
are the current peer reviewed research on this topic?
Response. The Emanuel and Webster et al. papers I referred to were
peer reviewed but they are just plain wrong in saying that there has
been a thirty year increase in global intense hurricane activity and
that this increase may be associated with global mean surface
temperature rise. The peer reviewers apparently did not have the
background or knowledge to properly review these papers.
Increased hurricane activity has occurred only in the Atlantic and
only during the last 11 years. The Atlantic increases have resulted
from the large increase in strength of the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline
circulation that has occurred since 1995. Atlantic changes are not
related to overall global surface temperature change.
I have written Letters to the Editors of Nature (Emanuel paper) and
Science (Webster et al. paper) showing how their interpretations of the
trend in global hurricane activity is not correct. The longer versions
of these reviews are available on my website
(tropical.atmos.colostate.edu). I have also e-mailed copies of these
reviews to John Shanahan. I recommend their reading for anyone
interested in the topic of global warming's influence on global
hurricane activity and why the United States hurricane seasons of 2004-
2005 have been so destructive.
The authors of these two papers have little recent experience in
global tropical cyclone data sets. They were naive to believe their
Question 11. Is it also the case that research has not been
conducted that would allow for a definitive conclusion on these
different opinions on hurricanes and global warming?
Response. I would recommend other research be performed on this
topic but not by those with a bias toward global warming. A question
exists of what magnitude of global warming will influence hurricanes.
Does a warming of less than 0.5 C constitute global warming or is this
just noise within the climate system? The observations of global
warming and hurricanes that we have seen do not indicate a
Question 12. You suggest in your written testimony, that you may
have something in the publication pipeline on the link between
hurricane and warming. Will this be in the form of a new communication
with the editors of Nature and Science, or are you conducting a new
Response. Yes, I have already sent out letters to Nature and
Science discussing the many problems of accepting the research put
forth in the Emanuel and Webster et al. papers. I hope to send a paper
to Science in the next month or two concerning how we should interpret
the very active 2004-2005 United States landfall hurricane seasons.
Question 13. Do you know if there will be any peer-reviewed
scientific studies available by the end of 2005, and thus available for
the next IPCC report, that clarify the issue of attribution of
greenhouse gas effects on hurricanes?
Response. I do not know of any 'reliable' peer-reviewed studies
that will be published by the end of 2005. I think that my answer to
question No. 1 and my reviews of the Emanuel and Webster et al. papers
is the best information available on this topic. I doubt that the IPCC
report will take much notice of my or other views to the contrary. My
extended range prediction for what the next IPCC report will say is as
follows: ``The weight of evidence suggests that there is a discernable
association between global surface temperature increases and the
increase of global tropical cyclone activity.'' Somehow, they will find
and twist data that will lend support to this conclusion.
Question 14. In your written testimony, you review the
correlations between the occurrences of hurricanes in the Atlantic
during a 20-year period when THC was strong versus when the THC was
weak. You state that Atlantic THC was partially responsible for the
difference in the numbers of hurricanes that make landfall. You also
say in your written testimony that ``luck'' played a role. How often,
in your estimation, was hurricane landfall in the Atlantic during the
20-year period you examined associated with strong THC versus just
Response. It is hard to make the THC versus luck distinction. This
has a lot to do with the westerly Atlantic upper-air steering currents
that cause hurricanes to move as they do. It is possible to have very
active hurricane seasons with no landfalls if the steering currents are
not favorable, and the opposite--few storms, but many come ashore if
the steering currents are just right.
Luck plays a greater role on the short-time scale. On longer
timescales, multi-decadal periodicity is more dominant. For instance,
in the 25 years between 1970-1994 when the Atlantic ocean thermohaline
circulation (THC) was weak, there were 12 United States landfalling
major hurricanes ( .48/year). In the last 11 years (1995-2005) when
the THC was strong, there were 10 landfalling major hurricanes ( .96/
year) -- twice as many. This difference was not luck but due to natural
fluctuations in Atlantic hurricane activity.
Let us now break up the last 11 years into two groups; 1) 1995-
2003--9 years with only 3 of 32 (9 percent) major hurricanes making
United States landfall or .33/year, and 2) 2004-2005--2 years with 7 of
13 (54 percent) major hurricanes making United States landfall or 3.5/
year (10 times the number of the earlier period). This difference might
be explained to a large extent as luck. With a strong THC the years of
1995-2003 should have had, by normal climate standards, eight
landfalling major hurricanes but they only had three. These were lucky
years. But in the last 2 years (2004-2005) we have had 7 landfalling
major hurricanes. These were very unlucky years.
Question 15. You testified ``scientists can be punished if they do
not accept the current views of the funding agents.'' Have you
experienced such actions? If so, please explain by whom and the
Response. Yes, I think I was not funded by the NOAA-OGP (Office of
Global Programs) in part because of my views on human-induced global
warming, and also the fact that I was working on climate features
(seasonal hurricane variability) that were not then of OGP interest.
Also, I was not performing numerical modeling research.
I had received NOAA funding for nearly 30 years until 1990 (my last
grant). I could not obtain any OGP funding after the Clinton/Gore
Administration began. I submitted about 1-2 proposals per year for
about 8 years (1992-2000) and was turned down on all of them (13 turn-
downs in a row). Yet, my students and I were performing research on
climate influences on Atlantic hurricanes and how we were likely to see
large increases in United States landfalling hurricanes when the
Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) changed to a stronger mode.
This has come to pass.
I have also been issuing 2-4 seasonal forecasts per year for
Atlantic hurricane activity over the last 22 years. The forecasts have
received extensive media coverage and been well received by the public,
emergency managers, the Red Cross, etc. I am almost a household name in
some hurricane-prone areas like Florida and along the Gulf Coast. Yet
none of this made a difference to NOAA-OGP. I made many protests to
higher NOAA officials above OGP but to no avail.
I have given nearly 50 years of my life to studying hurricanes (and
have turned out a high percentage of the best graduate students in
hurricanes and tropical meteorology). Yet I was continually turned down
by OGP on small $60k/year and $75k/year grants for over 9 years. What
was I to think? My best estimate of what happened is as follows: VP
Gore appointed the directors of NOAA-OGP and they (I believe) followed
his dictates. There was little new OGP money for climate research when
the Clinton/Gore administration came in. Gore wanted new money to
support his global warming claims. He directed his new department heads
to cut out some existing programs to free up new global warming-
directed research funds. Hurricanes, at this time, were not considered
important. I was consequently required to turn down a number of very
promising graduate students that wanted to study hurricanes and also
reduce my staff.
Question 16. You testified that there has been a substantial
increase in global temperatures and sea surface temperatures. Please
explain why you are convinced that this rise in temperatures will not
result in a greater frequency and intensity of storms?
Response. By substantial increase, I meant that global mean surface
temperatures averaged 0.4 C higher during the 10 years of 1995-2004 in
comparison with the 10 years of 1985-1994. The sea surface temperature
(SST) increases in the oceans where tropical cyclones formed went up
only about half as much ( 0.2 C) during these two 10-year periods.
I would say that sea surface temperature rise has not caused
tropical cyclone frequency-intensity to rise because the global
tropical cyclone data sets do not show a rise (except for the Atlantic)
during this period. We have no theory as to why global hurricane
activity should go up with a small increase in sea surface temperature.
There is no physical basis for assuming that global hurricane
intensity or frequency is necessarily related to global mean surface
temperature changes of less than plus or minus 0.5 C. As the ocean
surface warms, so too does global upper air temperatures to maintain
conditionally unstable lapse-rates and global rainfall rates at their
required values. Seasonal and monthly variations of sea surface
temperature (SST) within individual storm basins show only very low
correlations ( 0.30) with monthly, seasonal, and yearly variations of
hurricane activity. Other factors such as tropospheric vertical wind
shear, surface pressure, low level vorticity and mid-level moisture
play more dominant roles in explaining hurricane variability than do
surface temperatures. According to the observations, there has not been
a significant increase in global major tropical cyclones except for the
Atlantic which as discussed, has multi-decadal oscillations driven
primarily by changes in Atlantic salinity. No credible observational
evidence is available or likely will be available in the next few
decades which will be able to directly associate global surface
temperature change to changes in global hurricane frequency and
Question 17. Table 2 in your written testimony shows an increase
in the number of Category 4-5 hurricanes, net hurricanes, thunderstorms
and named storms in 1990-2004 as compared with 1950-64. You attribute
the increase in hurricanes to the availability of satellites in the
later period. How do you explain the very large increase in tropical
storms (56 percent increase in later years)?
Response. I do not attribute the increase of Category 1-2 or major
(Category 3-4-5) hurricanes to satellites. In fact, this table shows no
increase between 1950-1964 and 1990-2004. The only significant increase
occurred in tropical storms (Vmax 40-75 mph). This is due to the large
number of storms being named in the mid-Atlantic in recent years.
During the pre-satellite era, these storms may not have been observed.
The 21 named storms of 1933 would have likely been 2-5 storms higher
had satellite data been available at that time.
Statement of Donald R. Roberts, Ph.D., Professor, Division of Tropical
Public Health, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics,
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD\1\
\1\ Observations presented here are the opinions of the author and
should not be interpreted as reflecting the views or opinions of the
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Department of
Defense, or the United States Government.
Thank you, Chairman Inhofe, and distinguished members of the
committee on Environment and Public Works for the opportunity to
present my views on the misuse of science in public policy. My
testimony focuses on misrepresentations of science during decades of
environmental campaigning against DDT
Before discussing how and why DDT science has been misrepresented,
you first must understand why this misrepresentation has not helped,
but rather harmed, millions of people every year all over the world.
Specifically you need to understand why the misrepresentation of DDT
science has been and continues to be deadly. By way of explanation, I
will tell you something of my experience.
I conducted malaria research in the Amazon Basin in the 1970s. My
Brazilian colleague who is now the Secretary of Health for Amazonas
State and I worked out of Manaus, the capitol of Amazonas State. From
Manaus we traveled two days to a study site where we had sufficient
numbers of cases for epidemiological studies. There were no cases in
Manaus, or anywhere near Manaus. For years before my time there and for
years thereafter, there were essentially no cases of malaria in Manaus.
However in the late 1980s, environmentalists and international
guidelines forced Brazilians to reduce and then stop spraying small
amounts of DDT inside houses for malaria control. As a result, in 2002
and 2003 there were over 100,000 malaria cases in Manaus alone.\2\
\2\ Boletim Scientifico FMTAM-Abril/Jun-2004
Brazil does not stand as the single example of this phenomenon. A
similar pattern of declining use of DDT and reemerging malaria occurs
in other countries as well, Peru\3\ for example. Similar resurgences of
malaria have occurred in rural communities, villages, towns, cities,
and countries around the world. As illustrated by the return of malaria
in Russia, South Korea, urban areas of the Amazon Basin, and increasing
frequencies of outbreaks in the United States, our malaria problems are
growing worse. Today there are 1 to 2 million malaria deaths each year
and hundreds of millions of cases. The poorest of the world's people
are at greatest risk. Of these, children and pregnant women are the
ones most likely to die.
\3\ Guarda, Asayag, Witzig. 1999. Malaria reemergence in the
Peruvian Amazon Region. Emerg Infectious Diseases. 5(2) at www://
We have long known about DDT's effectiveness in curbing insect
borne disease. Othmar Zeidler, a German chemistry student, first
synthesized DDT in 1874. Over sixty years later in Switzerland, Paul
Muller discovered the insecticidal property of DDT.\4\ Allied forces
used DDT during WWII, and the new insecticide gained fame in 1943 by
successfully stopping an epidemic of typhus in Naples, an unprecedented
achievement.\5\ By the end of the war, British, Italian, and American
scientists had also demonstrated the effectiveness of DDT in
controlling malaria-carrying mosquitoes. DDT's proven efficacy against
insect-borne diseases, diseases that had long reigned unchecked
throughout the world, won Muller the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1948.
After WWII, the United States conducted a National Malaria
Eradication Program, commencing operations on July 1, 1947. The
spraying of DDT on internal walls of rural homes in malaria endemic
counties was a key component of the program. By the end of 1949, the
program had sprayed over 4,650,000 houses. This spraying broke the
cycle of malaria transmission, and in 1949 the United States was
declared free of malaria as a significant public health problem.\6\
Other countries had already adopted DDT to eradicate or control
malaria, because wherever malaria control programs sprayed DDT on house
walls, the malaria rates dropped precipitously. The effectiveness of
DDT stimulated some countries to create, for the first time, a national
malaria control program. Countries with pre-existing programs expanded
them to accommodate the spraying of houses in rural areas with DDT.
Those program expansions highlight what DDT offered then, and still
offers now, to the malaria endemic countries. As a 1945 U.S. Public
Health Service manual explained about the control of malaria:
``Drainage and larviciding are the methods of choice in towns
of 2,500 or more people. But malaria is a rural disease.
Heretofore there has been no economically feasible method of
carrying malaria control to the individual tenant farmer or
sharecropper. Now, for the first time, a method is available
the application of DDT residual spray to walls and ceilings of
Health workers in the United States were not the only ones to
recognize the particular value of DDT. The head of malaria control in
Brazil characterized the changes that DDT offered in the following
``Until 1945-1946, preventive methods employed against
malaria in Brazil, as in the rest of the world, were generally
directed against the aquatic phases of the vectors (draining,
larvicides, destruction of bromeliads, etc.). These methods,
however, were only applied in the principal cities of each
State and the only measure available for rural populations
exposed to malaria was free distribution of specific
\7\ U.S. Public Health Service. 1944-45. Malaria control in war
areas. Federal Security Agency U.S. Public Health Service. 134pp
DDT was a new, effective, and exciting weapon in the battle against
malaria. It was cheap, easy to apply, long-lasting once sprayed on
house walls, and safe for humans. Wherever and whenever malaria control
programs sprayed it on house walls, they achieved rapid and large
reductions in malaria rates.
Just as there was a rush to quickly make use of DDT to control
disease, there was also a rush to judge how DDT actually functioned to
control malaria. That rush to judgment turned out to be a disaster. At
the heart of the debate to the extent there was a debate was a broadly
accepted model\8\ that established a mathematical framework for using
DDT to kill mosquitoes and eradicate malaria. Instead of studying real
data to see how DDT actually worked in controlling malaria, some
scientists settled upon what they thought was a logical conclusion: DDT
worked solely by killing mosquitoes. This conclusion was based on their
belief in the model. Scientists who showed that DDT did not function by
killing mosquitoes were ignored. Broad acceptance of the mathematical
model led to strong convictions about DDT's toxic actions.\9\ Since
they were convinced that DDT worked only by killing mosquitoes, malaria
control specialists became very alarmed when a mosquito was reported to
be resistant to DDT's toxic actions.\10\ As a result of concern about
DDT resistance, officials decided to make rapid use of DDT before
problems of resistance could eliminate their option to use DDT to
eradicate malaria. This decision led to creation of the global malaria
\8\ The first direct studies on DDT as a repellent were conducted
in the mid-1940s and published in 1947. However, also there were many
field studies during the same timeframe that supported the idea that
DDT was functioning as a spatial repellent to keep mosquitoes from
entering houses and transmitting malaria. Kennedy, J., The excitant and
repellent effects of mosquitoes of sub-lethal contacts with DDT.
Bulletin of Entomological Research, 1947. 37: p. 593-607.
\9\ Macdonald, G. and G. Davidson, Dose and cycle of insecticide
application in the control of malaria. Bulleting of the World Health
Organization, 1953. 9: p. 785-812
\10\ ``Resistance to the DDT deposits sprayed on house walls for
malaria control was first discovered in 1951, in Anopheles sacharovi at
Nauplion in the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece, a locality where DDT
had been applied to rice fields since 1946.'' From Laird, M, Miles, JW.
Ed. 1983. Integrated mosquito control methodologies, vol. 1. Academic
Press, N.Y. page 188 of 369 pages.
The active years of the global malaria eradication program were
from 1959 to 1969. Before, during, and after the many years of this
program, malaria workers and researchers carried out their
responsibilities to conduct studies and report their research. Through
those studies, they commonly found that DDT was functioning in ways
other than by killing mosquitoes. In essence, they found that DDT was
functioning through mechanisms of repellency and irritancy. Eventually,
as people forgot early observations of DDT's repellent actions, some
erroneously interpreted new findings of repellent actions as the
mosquitoes' adaptation to avoid DDT toxicity, even coining a term,
``behavioral resistance,'' to explain what they saw. This new term
accommodated their view that toxicity was DDT's primary mode of action
and categorized behavioral responses of mosquitoes as mere adaptations
to toxic affects. However this interpretation depended upon a highly
selective use of scientific data.
The truth is that toxicity is not DDT's primary mode of action when
sprayed on house walls. Throughout the history of DDT use in malaria
control programs there has always been clear and persuasive data that
DDT functioned primarily as a spatial repellent.\11\ Today we know that
there is no insecticide recommended for malaria control that rivals,
much less equals, DDT's spatial repellent actions, or that is as long-
acting, as cheap, as easy to apply, as safe for human exposure, or as
efficacious in the control of malaria as DDT. Attached as Annex 1 is a
more technical explanation of how DDT functions to control Malaria.
\11\ I am including this testimony, as Annex 2, pages from a book
chapter I wrote entitled ``The contextual determinants of malaria.''
This attachment provides a detailed explanation of the importance of
spatial repellent actions of DDT in controlling malaria.
The 30 years of data from control programs of the Americas plotted
in Figure 1 illustrate just how effective DDT is in malaria control.
The period 1960s through 1979 displays a pattern of malaria controlled
through house spraying. In 1979 the World Health Organization (WHO)
changed its strategy for malaria control, switching emphasis from
spraying houses to case detection and treatment. In other words, the
WHO changed emphasis from malaria prevention to malaria treatment.
Countries complied with WHO guidelines and started to dismantle their
spray programs over the next several years. The line graph in Figure 1
illustrates the progress of the dismantling. As you can see, fewer and
fewer houses were sprayed. The bar graph illustrates the cumulative
increase in cases over the baseline of cases that occurred during years
when adequate numbers of houses were being sprayed (1965-1979). As you
can also see, as countries reduced numbers of houses sprayed, the
number of malaria cases continually increased.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] 38918.090
Figure 1. Impact of the World Health Organization's malaria control
strategy in 1979 to de-emphasize indoor spraying of house walls and
adoption of World Health Assembly resolution in 1985 to decentralize
malaria control programs in the Americas. The x-axis is years and the
y-axis is cumulative numbers of malaria cases above the baseline.
Baseline is defined as the average number of malaria cases each year
from 1965 to 1979.
With data such as this, I find it amazing that many who oppose the
use of DDT describe its earlier use as a failure. Our own citizens who
suffered under the burden of malaria, especially in the rural south,
would hardly describe it thus.
Malaria was a serious problem in the United States and for some
localities, such as Dunklin County, Missouri, it was a very serious
problem indeed. For four counties in Missouri, the average malaria
mortality from 1910 to 1914 was 168.8 per 100,000 population. For
Dunklin County, it was 296.7 per 100,000 a rate almost equal to malaria
deaths in Venezuela and actually greater than the mortality rate for
Freetown, Sierra Leone. Other localities in other states were equally
as malarious.\12\ Growing wealth and improved living conditions were
gradually reducing malaria rates, but cases resurged during WWII. The
advent of DDT, however, quickly eradicated malaria from the United
\12\ Hoffman, F.L. 1916. A plea and a plan for the eradication of
malaria throughout the Western Hemisphere. Read in abstract before The
Southern Medical Association, Tenth Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia,
November 14, 1916:65pp.
DDT routed malaria from many other countries as well. The Europeans
who were freed of malaria would hardly describe its use as a failure.
After DDT was introduced to malaria control in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon),
the number of malaria cases fell from 2.8 million in 1946 to just 110
in 1961. Similar spectacular decreases in malaria cases and deaths were
seen in all the regions that began to use DDT. The newly formed
Republic of China (Taiwan) adopted DDT use in malaria control shortly
after World War II. In 1945 there were over 1 million cases of malaria
on the island. By 1969 there were only 9 cases and shortly thereafter
the disease was eradicated from the island and remains so to this
day.\13\ Some countries were less fortunate. South Korea used DDT to
eradicate malaria, but without house spray programs, malaria has
returned across the demilitarized zone with North Korea. As DDT was
eliminated and control programs reduced, malaria has returned to other
countries such as Russia and Argentina. Small outbreaks of malaria are
even beginning to appear more frequently in the United States.
\13\ World Health Organization, (1971) Executive Board, 42nd
Session, Appendix 14 ``The Place of DDT in Operations Against Malaria
and Other Vector Borne Diseases'' p 177. WHO, Geneva.
These observations have been offered in testimony to document first
that there were fundamental misunderstandings about how DDT functioned
to exert control over malaria. Second, that regardless of systematic
misunderstandings on the part of those who had influence over malaria
control strategies and policies, there was an enduring understanding
that DDT was the most cost-effective compound yet discovered for
protecting poor rural populations from insect-borne diseases like
malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and leishmaniasis. I want to emphasize
that misunderstanding the mode of DDT action did not lead to the
wholesale abandonment of DDT. It took an entirely new dimension in the
misuse of science to bring us to the current humanitarian disaster
represented by DDT elimination.
The misuse of science to which I refer has found fullest expression
in the collection of movements within the environmental movement that
seek to stop production and use of specific man-made chemicals.\14\
Operatives within these movements employ particular strategies to
achieve their objectives. By characterizing and understanding the
strategies these operatives use, we can identify their impact in the
scientific literature or in the popular press.
The first strategy is to develop and then distribute as widely as
possible a broad list of claims of chemical harm. This is a sound
strategy because individual scientists can seldom rebut the scientific
foundations of multiple and diverse claims. Scientists generally
develop expertise in a single, narrow field and are disinclined to
engage issues beyond their area of expertise. Even if an authoritative
rebuttal of one claim occurs, the other claims still progress. A broad
list of claims also allows operatives to tailor platforms for
constituencies, advancing one set of claims with one constituency and a
different combination for another. Clever though this technique is, a
list of multiple claims of harm is hardly sufficient to achieve the
objective of a ban. The second strategy then is to mount an argument
that the chemical is not needed and propose that alternative chemicals
or methods can be used instead. The third strategy is to predict that
grave harm will occur if the chemical continues to be used.
The success of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring serves as a model for
this tricky triad. In Silent Spring, Rachel Carson used all three
strategies on her primary target, DDT. She described a very large list
of potential adverse effects of insecticides, DDT in particular. She
argued that insecticides were not really needed and that the use of
insecticides produces insects that are insecticide resistant, which
only exacerbates the insect control problems. She predicted scary
scenarios of severe harm with continued use of DDT and other
insecticides. Many have written rebuttals to Rachel Carson and others
who have, without scientific justification, broadcast long lists of
potential harms of insecticides. One such rebuttal (see page 143) is
attached to my testimony. It is a paper by Dr. J. Gordon Edwards
entitled ``DDT: A case study in scientific fraud.''
As shown in Annex 2, time and science have discredited most of
Carson's claims.\15\ Rachel Carson's descriptions of inappropriate uses
of insecticides that harmed wildlife are more plausible. However harm
from an inappropriate use does not meet the requirements of anti-
pesticide activists. They can hardly lobby for eliminating a chemical
because someone used it wrongly. No, success requires that even the
proper use of an insecticide will cause a large and systematic adverse
effect. However, the proper uses of DDT yield no large and systematic
adverse effects. Absent such adverse actions, the activists must then
rely on claims about insidious effects, particularly insidious effects
that scientists will find difficult to prove one way or the other and
that activists can use to predict a future catastrophe.
\15\ Dr. Edwards mentions some of those claims. See page 143.
Rachel Carson relied heavily on possible insidious chemical actions
to alarm and frighten the public. Many of those who joined her campaign
to ban DDT and other insecticides made extensive use of claims of
insidious effects. These claims were amplified by the popular press and
became part of the public perception about modern uses of chemicals.
For example, four well-publicized claims about DDT were:
1. DDT will cause the obliteration of higher tropic\16\ levels.
If not obliterated, populations will undergo reproductive
failure. Authors of this claim speculated that, even if the use
of DDT were stopped, systematic and ongoing obliterations would
\16\ A tropic level can be defined by an organism's position within
a food chain. The number of energy transfers to get to that level can
establish the organism's position. For example, humans are at the
highest atrophic level. As lions are at the top of their food chain ,
they are at the highest tropic level in that chain.
\17\ Harrison, HL, Loucks, OL, Mitchell, JW, Parkhurst, DF, Tracy,
CR, Watts, DG, Yannacone, VJ. Systems studies of DDT transport. Science
170, 30 October 1970, 503-508.
2. DDT causes the death of algae.\18\ This report led to
speculations that use of DDT could result in global depletion
\18\ Wurster, C, DDT reduces photosynthesis by marine
phytoplankton. Science, 29 March 1968.
3. DDT pushed the Bermuda Petrel to the verge of extinction and
that full extinction might happen by 1978.\19\
\19\ Wurster, CF, Wingate, DB. DDT residues and declining
reproduction in the Bermuda petrel. Science 159(818):979-81.
4. DDT was a cause of premature births in California sea
\20\ Science 1973;181:1168-1170
Science magazine, the most prestigious science journal in the
United States, published these and other phantasmagorical allegations
and/or predictions of DDT harm. Nonetheless, history has shown that
each and every one of these claims and predictions were false.
1.) The obliteration of higher tropic levels did not occur; no
species became extinct; and levels of DDT in all living organisms
declined precipitously after DDT was de-listed for use in agriculture.
How could the prediction have been so wrong? Perhaps it was so wrong
because the paper touting this view used a predictive model based on an
assumption of no DDT degradation. This was a startling assertion even
at the time as Science and other journals had previously published
papers that showed DDT was ubiquitously degraded in the environment and
in living creatures. It was even more startling that Science published
a paper that flew so comprehensively in the face of previous data and
2.) DDT's action against algae reportedly occurred at
concentrations of 500 parts per billion. But DDT cannot reach
concentrations in water higher than about 1.2 parts per billion, the
saturation point of DDT in water.
3.) Data on the Bermuda petrel did not show a cause and effect
relationship between low numbers of birds and DDT concentrations. DDT
had no affect on population numbers, for populations increased before
DDT was de-listed for use in agriculture and after DDT was delisted as
4.) Data gathered in subsequent years showed that ``despite
relatively high concentrations [of DDT], no evidence that population
growth or the health of individual California sea lions have been
compromised. The population has increased throughout the century,
including the period when DDT was being manufactured, used, and its
wastes discharged off southern California.''\22\
If time and science have refuted all these catastrophic
predictions, why do many scientists and the public not know these
predictions were false? In part, we do not know the predictions were
false because the refutations of such claims rarely appear in the
When scientists hear the kinds of claims described above, they
initiate research to confirm or refute the claims. After Charles
Wurster published his claim that DDT kills algae and impacts
photosynthesis, I initiated research on planktonic algae to quantify
DDT's effects. From 1968-1969, I spent a year of honest and demanding
research effort to discover that not enough DDT would even go into
solution for a measurable adverse effect on planktonic algae. In
essence, I conducted a confirmatory study that failed to confirm an
expected result. I had negative data, and journals rarely accept
negative data for publication. My year was practically wasted. Without
a doubt, hundreds of other scientists around the world have conducted
similar studies and obtained negative results, and they too were unable
to publish their experimental findings. Much in the environmental
science literature during the last 20-30 years indicates that an
enormous research effort went into proving specific insidious effects
of DDT and other insecticides. Sadly, the true magnitude of such
efforts will never be known because while the positive results of
research find their way into the scientific literature, the negative
results rarely do. Research on insidious actions that produce negative
results all too often ends up only in laboratory and field notebooks
and is forgotten.\23\ For this reason, I place considerable weight on a
published confirmatory study that fails to confirm an expected result.
\23\ An internationally recognized epidemiologist recently told me
that three different journals had rejected his negative data on the
association of DDT with human health harm.
The use of the tricky triad continues. A copy of a recent paper
(see page 150) published in The Lancet\24\ illustrates the triad's
modern application. Two scientists at the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences, Walter Rogan and Aimin Chen, wrote this
paper, entitled ``Health risks and benefits of bis (4-chlorophenyl)-
1,1,1-trichloroethane (DDT).'' It is interesting to see how this single
paper spins all three strategies that gained prominence in Rachel
Carson's Silent Spring.
\24\ Rogan, WJ, Chen, A. Health risks and benfits of bis (4-
chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane (DDT). The Lancet 366, August 27,
The journal Emerging Infectious Diseases had already published a
slim version of this paper,\25\ which international colleagues and I
promptly rebutted.\26\ The authors then filled in some parts, added to
the claims of harm, and republished the paper in the British journal,
The Lancet. To get the paper accepted by editors, the authors described
studies that support (positive results) as well as studies that do not
support (negative results) each claim. Complying with strategy number 1
of the triad, Rogan and Chen produce a long list of possible harms,
including the charge that DDT causes cancer in nonhuman primates. The
literature reference for Rogan and Chen's claim that DDT causes cancer
in nonhuman primates was a paper by Takayama et al.\27\ Takayama and
coauthors actually concluded from their research on the carcinogenic
effect of DDT in nonhuman primates that ``the two cases involving
malignant tumors of different types are inconclusive with respect to a
carcinogenic effect of DDT in nonhuman primates.'' Clearly, the people
who made the link of DDT with cancer were not the scientists who
actually conducted the research.
\25\ Chen, A, Rogan, WJ. Nonmalarial infant deaths and DDT use for
malaria control. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2003 Aug. Available from:
\27\ Takayama, S, Sieber, SM, Dalgard, DW, Thorgeirsson, UP,
Adamson, RH. Effects of long-term oral administration of DDT on
nonhuman primates. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol (1999) 125: 219-225.
The authors enacted strategy number two of the triad by conducting
a superficial review of the role of DDT in malaria control with the
goal of discrediting DDT's value in modern malaria control programs.
The authors admitted that DDT had been very effective in the past, but
then argued that malaria control programs no longer needed it and
should use alternative methods of control. Their use of the second
strategy reveals, in my opinion, the greatest danger of granting
authority to anti-pesticide activists and their writings. As The Lancet
paper reveals, the NIEHS scientists assert great authority over the
topic of DDT, yet they assume no responsibility for the harm that might
result from their erroneous conclusions. After many malaria control
specialists have expressed the necessity for DDT in malaria control, it
is possible for Rogan and Chen to conclude that DDT is not necessary in
malaria control only if they have no sense of responsibility for levels
of disease and death that will occur if DDT is not used.
Rogan and Chen also employ the third strategy of environmentalism.
Their list of potential harms caused by DDT includes toxic effects,
neurobehavior effects, cancers, decrements in various facets of
reproductive health, decrements in infant and child development, and
immunology and DNA damage. After providing balanced coverage of diverse
claims of harm, the authors had no option but to conclude they could
not prove that DDT caused harm. However, they then promptly negated
this honest conclusion by asserting that if DDT is used for malaria
control then great harm might occur. So, in an amazing turn, they
conclude they cannot prove DDT causes harm, but still predict severe
harm if it is used.
Rogan and Chen end their paper with a call for more research. One
could conclude that the intent of the whole paper is merely to lobby
for research to better define DDT harm, and what's the harm in that?
Surely increasing knowledge is a fine goal. However, if you look at the
specific issue of the relative need for research, you will see that the
harm of this technique is great. Millions of children and pregnant
women die from malaria every year, and the disease sickens hundreds of
millions more. This is an indisputable fact: impoverished people engage
in real life and death struggles every day with malaria. This also is a
fact: not one death or illness can be attributed to an environmental
exposure to DDT. Yet, a National Library of Medicine literature search
on DDT reveals over 1,300 published papers from the year 2000 to the
present, almost all in the environmental literature and many on
potential adverse effects of DDT. A search on malaria and DDT reveals
only 159 papers. DDT is a spatial repellent and hardly an insecticide
at all, but a search on DDT and repellents will reveal only 7 papers.
Is this not an egregiously disproportionate research emphasis on non-
sources of harm compared to the enormous harm of malaria? Does not this
inequity contribute to the continued suffering of those who struggle
with malaria? Is it possibly even more than an inequity? Is it not an
Public health officials and scientists should not be silent about
enormous investments into the research of theoretical risks while
millions die of preventable diseases. We should seriously consider our
motivations in apportioning research money as we do. For example
consider this: the United States used DDT to eradicate malaria. After
malaria disappeared as an endemic disease in the United States, we
became richer. We built better and more enclosed houses. We screened
our windows and doors. We air conditioned our homes. We also developed
an immense arsenal of mosquito control tools and chemicals. Today, when
we have a risk of mosquito borne disease, we can bring this arsenal to
bear and quickly eliminate risks. And, as illustrated by aerial spray
missions in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, we can afford to do so.
Yet, our modern and very expensive chemicals are not what protect us
from introductions of the old diseases. Our arsenal responds to the
threat; it does not prevent the appearance of old diseases in our
midst. What protects us is our enclosed, screened, air-conditioned
housing, the physical representation of our wealth. Our wealth is the
factor that stops dengue at the border with Mexico, not our arsenal of
new chemicals. Stopping mosquitoes from entering and biting us inside
our homes is critical in the prevention of malaria and many other
insect-borne diseases. This is what DDT does for poor people in poor
countries. It stops large proportions of mosquitoes from entering
houses. It is, in fact, a form of chemical screening, and until these
people can afford physical screening or it is provided for them, this
is the only kind of screening they have.
DDT is a protective tool that has been taken away from countries
around the world, mostly due to governments acceding to the whims of
the anti-pesticide wing of environmentalism, but it is not only the
anti-pesticide wing that lobbies against DDT. The activists have a
sympathetic lobbying ally in the pesticide industry. As evidence of
insecticide industry working to stop countries from using DDT, I am
attaching an e-mail message dated September 23, 2005 and authored by a
Bayer official (see page 161). The Bayer official states ``[I speak]
Not only as the responsible manager for the vector control business in
Bayer, being the market leader in vector control and pointing out by
that we know what we are talking about and have decades of experiences
in the evolution of this very particular market. [but] Also as one of
the private sector representatives in the RBM Partnership Board and
being confronted with that discussion about DDT in the various WHO, RBM
et al circles. So you can take it as a view from the field, from the
operational commercial level-but our companies point of view. I know
that all of my colleagues from other primary manufacturers and
internationally operating companies are sharing my view.''
The official goes on to say that ``DDT use is for us a commercial
threat (which is clear, but it is not that dramatic because of limited
use), it is mainly a public image threat.''
However the most damming part of this message was the statement
that ``we fully support EU to ban imports of agricultural products
coming from countries using DDT''
The e-mail (see page 161) provides clear evidence of international
and developed country pressures to stop poor countries from using DDT
to control malaria. This message also shows the complicity of the
insecticide industry in those internationally orchestrated efforts.
Pressures to eliminate spray programs, and DDT in particular, are
wrong. I say this not based on some projection of what might
theoretically happen in the future according to some model, or some
projection of theoretical harms, I say this based firmly on what has
already occurred. The track record of the anti-pesticide lobby is well
documented, the pressures on developing countries to abandon their
spray programs are well documented, and the struggles of developing
countries to maintain their programs or restart their uses of DDT for
malaria control are well documented. The tragic results of pressures
against the use of DDT, in terms of increasing disease and death, are
quantified and well documented. How long will scientists, public health
officials, the voting public, and the politicians who lead us continue
policies, regulations and funding that have led us to the current state
of a global humanitarian disaster? How long will support continue for
policies and programs that favor phantoms over facts?
Responses of Donald R. Roberts to Additional Questions from
Question 1. You have testified that ``proper uses of DDT yield no
large and systematic adverse effects.'' Would you clarify for us what
is the ``proper'' use of DDT?
Response. The proper use of DDT is in public health, not
A fundamental trait of public health programs is limited resources,
to include financial, material, and human resources. Because of limited
resources the public health use of DDT has always been limited, meaning
that its use was highly selective in application.
There have been two very different but major public health uses of
DDT. One was in malaria control, the other was to eradicate Aedes
aegypti from the Americas. In each case, I consider the two different
uses of DDT as ``appropriate.'' There have been other public health
uses, such as spraying DDT in clothing to effectively stop typhus
epidemics, and DDT to combat plague in wild rodents. Thus, its
contributions to human health have been many; but DDT was used
continuously over many years for malaria and Aedes aegypti eradication.
I will explain briefly how DDT was used in the two programs.
For malaria control, DDT was applied to house walls at a rate of 2
grams of active ingredient per square meter of wall surface. Each house
was to be sprayed every 6 months. All houses in an endemic area were
supposed to be sprayed. Theory was that at least 80 percent of houses
must be sprayed (some claimed that complete coverage was necessary).
The goal of such a program was disease eradication. Even today the
guidelines for using DDT hark back to the goals of eradication, not
malaria control. In 1969 the World Health Organization abandoned the
goal of eradication. After 1969 an internationally orchestrated program
of DDT elimination snuffed out the realignment of programs to use DDT
for disease control, opposed to eradication.
DDT was used in programs of peri-focal spraying for eradication of
Aedes aegypti from countries of the Americas. This meant that it was
sprayed in and around containers of water used by the mosquito for
their larvae. If the container was next to a wall, the wall closest to
the container was sprayed. If the container was near a bush, the bush
was sprayed. The use of peri-focal spraying of DDT for eradicating
Aedes aegypti from countries of the Americas was highly successful; but
environmental activist pressures in the United States ended the program
There are important distinctions between the two uses of DDT
described here; but there were also similarities. For example, in each
of the two uses, if eradication was achieved for a particular area,
region, or country, there was no need to continue spraying DDT. So for
both malaria and Aedes aegypti eradication there was an identifiable
end point beyond which routine spraying of DDT was no longer needed, or
need was greatly reduced.
Unlike the goal of Aedes aegypti eradication, poverty and poor
living conditions made malaria eradication a non-attainable goal in
many, if not most, tropical countries. In contrast, Aedes aegyti
eradication was indeed demonstrated and carried out in many tropical
countries. Once the mosquito was eradicated, DDT was then needed only
when a re-invasion of the mosquito was detected. Largely ignored in our
historical record is that the United States was the major country of
the Americas that failed in its obligation to eradicate Aedes aegytpi.
Not surprisingly, as environmental pressure gained strength in the
United States during the late 1960s, our fledgling eradication program
was stopped. Once the United States stopped, the rest of the countries
of the Americas collapsed their programs and Aedes aegypti started to
reinvade all of the Americas.
Basically, I have described here two uses of DDT.
The use of DDT to eradicate Aedes aegypti was realistic and largely
successful. This hemisphere-wide program should have been carried to
completion. The struggle against Aedes aegypti and the diseases it
transmits to humans would not have ended with eradication. But the
dimensions of the fight would have been greatly lessened and would have
been continued through active surveillance and vigilance. As it is
today, the mosquito has returned to all its old haunts and is
inflicting great human health harm and suffering on counties of the
Americas outside the United States.
As for the use of DDT to eradicate malaria, the goal was not
realistic, but that lesson was learned slowly. In the end, use of DDT
for control of malaria, opposed to eradication, was overtaken by
environmental activism for DDT elimination. So today we are faced with
growing problems of malaria and a growing need to make use of DDT for
purposes of control, not eradication. Regrettably, environmental
activism poisoned the politics of insecticide research to the point
that there has been almost no research in the United States to find an
acceptable alternative to DDT. For that reason, even now there is no
cost-effective DDT alternative for preventing malaria transmission
Question 2. You have done a great deal of work in mapping to
predict the presence of mosquitoes and target homes for spray in
developing countries. Am I correct in my understanding that the spray
regime that you advocate is not spraying of every house in a developing
Response. You are correct in your understanding. I definitely do
not advocate spraying of every house in a developing country.
In the history of house spray programs, I know of no country that
sprayed even a majority of houses. Programs were highly successful by
spraying only a small proportion of houses. Using advance geographic
information system technology we can achieve better targeting of houses
today than ever before. As houses are sprayed, the distribution of
disease will change and the distribution of spraying should change as a
I have studied the history of spraying programs in countries of the
Americas. There is almost no country where every single house was
sprayed. Where this might have occurred, it was a temporary condition
and spraying quickly declined to levels commensurate with greatly
reduced levels of disease risk as a result of the spray program. The
spraying of every house would be an abusive use of DDT--it would be
costly, wasteful, and unaffordable.
Question 3. Though you have concerns about DDT bans, do you concur
that restriction of the use of DDT in agriculture was an appropriate
action for the U.S. to take?
Response. I concur that DDT should have been phased-out of
agriculture use. I do not concur that DDT should have been de-listed
for agricultural uses in such a short timeframe as occurred in 1972. I
also question the validity of de-listing DDT use in agriculture when
the replacement chemical (methyl parathion) was multiple times more
In essence, EPA de-listed DDT for agricultural uses even though
there was no convincing proof that it caused human health harm (as
revealed in the EPA hearing of 1971-72). EPA opined that DDT was not
necessary and that a substitute could be used, knowing full well that
the substitute would almost certainly result in human deaths (methyl
parathion, the replacement chemical, is one of the most toxic
insecticides in existence). Dangerous toxicity of parathion eventually
resulted in it being de-listed for most agricultural uses in the United
States, and even banned for all uses in many countries. In conclusion,
I agree that DDT should have been phased out of agricultural use; but
do not concur that the 1972 decision was appropriate. There should be
no doubt that innocent Americans died as a result of that decision.
Question 4. You have looked at DDT's efficacy as a repellent. Have
you examined the efficacy of the alternatives to DDT, and are they
Response. Yes, we have examined alternatives to DDT for efficacy as
spatial repellents. In fact, we have now tested hundreds of chemicals
and have yet to find another chemical equal to DDT. No other
insecticide presently recommended for use in malaria control programs
functions as a spatial repellent. The pyrethroid insecticides
(comprising those insecticides presently used for treating bed nets)
exhibit contact irritant and contact toxic actions; but no spatial
repellent actions. No other insecticide presently recommended for
malaria control will provide protection for as many months as DDT. DDT
is still the cheapest chemical to buy, offers much greater protection
to sprayed households, and is the only chemical that will stop the
mosquitoes from entering houses and transmitting malaria indoors. So
the short answer to this question is that DDT has a unique set of
actions and there is no known acceptable replacement insecticide.
Question 5. In your testimony, you state that not one death or
illness can be attributed to DDT. That is in terms of human health, is
that correct? Do you dispute research into the effect of DDT and its
byproducts on animal health in the environment?
Response. Yes, my comment was in reference to human health.
Yes, I dispute the claims of research into the effect of DDT and
its by products on animal health in the environment. I dispute those
claims for the following reasons. There are criteria for evaluating a
cause and effect relationship, and this relationship is really the
critical issue of whether DDT has harmed animal health in the
environment. I propose the following reasonable criteria: 1)
consistency of results, 2) statistical coherence in the form of a
proportional dose response relationship, and 3) predictive performance.
Many claims of harm are just that, claims. No standards or criteria for
defining cause and effect relationships are used. For these reasons,
many claims of harm have been proven false. On the other hand, the
cause and effect relationships between declining uses of DDT for
malaria control and reemerging malaria fulfill completely the criteria
As a concluding comment, I personally do not consider the issue of
DDT causing harm to animals in the environment to be truly relevant to
the debate for using DDT in malaria control programs. Few would argue
that spraying DDT on inside walls of houses poses a meaningful risk to
animal health in the environment.
Question 6. You talk about wealth reducing the need for chemical
repellents to control malaria in your written testimony. Does your work
show that physical screening ultimately replaces the need for
Response. I really cannot answer this question from standpoint of
my own research. However, the research of others plus the events of
countries in economic transition after controlling malaria suggest that
screening, air conditioning, and other facets of a higher standard of
living provide considerable protection from indoor transmission of
malaria. Obviously, such protections are greater in temperate
environments, less so in tropical environments. My own opinion is that
you might never eliminate need for chemical control in some tropical
regions; but the need would be much less if houses were well enclosed,
with windows and doors screened, or houses air conditioned.
To provide a better answer to this question, consider the scenario
that is played out in households across the United States. Family
members are sitting on their porch on a warm summer day. As it begins
to get dark the mosquitoes begin to bite. After a time, family members
tire of the mosquitoes and go inside away from the mosquitoes. Inside,
there are no mosquitoes. If one moves this scenario to a malaria
endemic tropical country, very different conditions prevail. Family
members sitting outside feel the bites and move indoors. Indoors they
do not get away from mosquitoes; but the mosquitoes indoors may be very
different from the ones biting outside. The mosquitoes inside are the
truly dangerous ones. The mosquitoes inside the house bite as people
sleep and acquire infection from sick people or transmit infection to
those who are not sick. In the United States our well-enclosed houses
afford protection, but the open houses of the tropics actually provide
a gathering place for the most dangerous mosquitoes. Preventing those
mosquitoes from being indoors is the work of DDT.
Statement of David B. Sandalow, Director, Environment & Energy Project
The Brookings Institution
Thank you Mr. Chairman. Tomorrow it will be one month since
Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast. The suffering caused
by this storm is well known, but no less tragic for being so. Today
countless thousands of Americans grieve relatives lost in the storm,
and many more search for ways to restore shattered lives and
livelihoods. As we join together as a nation to rebuild this region,
our thoughts and prayers are with them all.
Many observers have characterized Katrina as a defining moment in
our nation's history. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich said the impact of
Katrina will be ``30 to 100 times bigger than 9/11,'' arguing that the
``after effects of this extreme disaster will last longer and be more
complex than any domestic event since World War II.'' Commentators have
focused on the importance of this event to race relations, anti-poverty
programs, the federal budget, homeland security and more.
Then, this past weekend our Gulf Coast was struck by another storm.
Hurricane Rita was smaller and less powerful than Katrina, but only by
comparison to its predecessor could Rita be considered a minor event.
More than three million people were evacuated from their homes, causing
traffic jams that stretched for more than one hundred miles. The full
death toll is not yet known but, including fatalities that occurred
during the evacuation of Houston, appears to number at least 30. The
governor of Texas estimates damages exceeding $8 billion in his state
Your hearing, Mr. Chairman, is timely. The two hurricanes that
struck our nation in the past month raise important questions about
science policy, environmental policy, and the intersection between the
two. How can we better predict natural disasters of this kind? Will our
response to Katrina be shaped by the best available science? What
forces of global change shaped these two disasters, and what impact
will these forces have in the years to come?
Because these questions are so important, today I am recommending
the Senate ask the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to examine them.
Specifically, I recommend the Senate ask the US National Academy of
Sciences to conduct a major new study on extreme weather events,
including hurricanes, droughts and floods. The report would assess the
state of scientific knowledge in several areas, including (i) our
ability to predict extreme weather events and how that ability might be
improved, (ii) the causes of extreme weather events, both natural and
anthropogenic, (iii) land restoration in the Mississippi Delta, both as
part of the response to Katrina and to protect against future storms,
and (iv) human health and other risks related to the clean-up of toxic
chemicals released as a result of Katrina. This study should be done in
phases, with an early product intended to help guide immediate recovery
efforts in the Gulf Coast region, and then an ongoing and more
Today I will touch briefly on several questions raised by the
Katrina and Rita, and then on questions of science and environmental
policy more broadly.
1. katrina, rita and sound science
Sound science should guide all government policy, including in
particular matters as consequential as our response to Katrina and
Rita. Among the areas that require priority attention are:
A. Improving our ability to predict extreme weather events
More than 100 years ago, on September 8, 1900, a Category 4
hurricane blasted into Galveston, Texas. In an era before satellites,
airplanes or modern communications, the population had scant
information about the fury arriving over warm Gulf waters. Eight
thousand people lost their lives.
Today we take for granted our ability to watch storm clouds gather
from satellite photos beamed to our living rooms. We expect government
agencies to provide advance warning of impending danger. But we should
not be satisfied with our current predictive powers. Rapidly improving
information and communications technologies can steadily improve these
powers, preventing property damage and saving lives. New data on ocean
currents, for example, may help us predict weather patterns and even
project the paths of hurricanes with greater confidence than today.
Nor should our quest be limited to hurricanes. This summer, new
heat records were set in more than 200 United States cities. Drought
has been a chronic problem for several years in the American West. In
2004, more than 1700 tornadoes struck the United States, by far the
most ever recorded in a single year.
Much more work is needed to develop the capacity to predict such
events and better understand the forces causing them. Generations
hence, our current abilities to predict extreme weather may seem as
quaint and outmoded as those from 1900 do today.
B. Land Restoration in the Mississippi Delta
Wetlands have been called nature's ``speed bumps,'' protecting
coastal cities and from waves and storm surges. But Louisiana's
wetlands have been receding for decades, largely because levees on the
Mississippi River send silt-rich waters away from marshlands and
directly out to sea. No restoration program can succeed without
strengthening the natural buffer that protects New Orleans and other
parts of Louisiana from the next hurricane.
Although a regional plan called Coastal 2050 was developed several
years ago, new work is needed to understand the implications of Katrina
and Rita on the strategies developed and critically--to set priorities.
Furthermore, questions of first impression concerning land restoration
will be raised in the process of rebuilding New Orleans. Can enough
fill be found to raise the level of whole neighborhoods? Would such
fill be stable and safe? These questions require the expertise of a
team of national and international experts from diverse disciplines.
C. Toxic Clean-Up
The clean-up challenge in New Orleans is unprecedented. Experts
have advised residents to exercise extreme caution in returning to
flooded homes, in part because of contaminants that may have settled
out of still waters. E coli and fecal coliform are the best understood,
but other contaminants may also threaten health and safety. At one site
within New Orleans, a Superfund site was covered in several feet of
water and may have leached toxic chemicals. Oil spills throughout the
region rival the Exxon Valdez oil spill in total volume.
The clean-up will involve not just extraordinary resources, but
difficult choices. Decisions will need to be made about steps to
protect human health and safety, to restore damaged ecosystems and to
re-open and rebuild parts of Louisiana's devastated sea food industry.
These decisions must be informed by the best available science. Current
resources within the federal and state environmental protection
agencies are insufficient and should be supplemented with outside
D. Responsibly Addressing Global Warming
Today, there is ample evidence that heat-trapping gases from human
activities may produce more powerful hurricanes. We should proceed
responsibly with respect to this risk, steadily improving our knowledge
and shaping smart policies in response.
Much is already known on this topic. Heat-trapping gases from human
activities-mainly the burning of fossil fuels--are warming both the
atmosphere and oceans. As sea surface temperatures rise, average
hurricane strength is predicted to increase as well. These predictions
are consistent with observations from the historical record. During the
past 30 years, as the total number of hurricanes globally has remained
roughly constant, the percentage of Category 4 and 5 storms has nearly
doubled. In our hemisphere, during this period, peak wind speeds of
hurricanes have increased by roughly 50 percent.
As several observers have noted, we are starting to play with
loaded dice. There is no way to determine whether any single hurricane
is or is not the result of global warming, but as heat-trapping gases
build in our atmosphere, the average hurricane will become more
These observations are especially troubling because, according to
many experts, Atlantic hurricanes will likely be more frequent in the
years ahead as a result of natural cycles. Hurricanes in our hemisphere
appear to fluctuate on a multi-decadal basis-they were more frequent
during the 1950's and 1960's, dropped from the early 1970's through
mid-1990's, and have climbed in number since then.
Thus, in the years ahead the United States faces a double threat--
more frequent hurricanes due to natural cycles and more intense
hurricanes due to human activities. This is a risk we ignore at our
Today, there are no federal controls on the major heat-trapping
gases, although the Senate supported such controls in a resolution this
summer. As the Senate considers how best to translate this resolution
into legislation, it should be informed by the best available
scientific evidence concerning risks from extreme weather events and
2. Recent Developments in the Role of Science in Federal
Sound science is central to wise environmental policymaking. Our
major environmental statutes all contemplate expert scientific and
technical analyses as the prerequisite for federal government action.
That analysis must be objective and unbiased. As the chair of this
committee, Senator James Inhofe, has said: ``Scientific inquiry cannot
be censored-scientific debate must be open, must be unbiased and it
must stress facts rather than political agendas.''
Unfortunately, the past few years have not been a happy time for
the role of science in federal environmental policy. Last year, 48
Nobel laureates and 62 National Medal of Science recipients were among
the more than 4,000 scientists who signed a statement expressing
concern about the ``manipulation of the process through which science
enters into [the Federal Government's] decisions.'' Among the specific
matters noted in the scientists' statement were several relating to
The specific concerns expressed by these scientists and others
a. The suppression or distortion of scientific conclusions from
federal environmental agencies. In 2003, for example, the White House
insisted on changes to the climate change sections of an EPA report.
Because its scientists considered the proposed changes scientifically
indefensible, EPA eliminated the discussion of climate change from its
overall report. Similarly, the New York Times reported recently on
extensive edits to an EPA document concerning the science of climate
change by a White House political aide.
b. Political manipulation of expert advisory committees. For
example, substantial concerns have been expressed about adjustments to
the composition of the CDC Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead
Poisoning during 2002. Experts recommended by CDC staff were rejected
and replaced with individuals characterized by their opposition to
tighter federal standards, some of whom may have had financial ties to
the lead industry.
These are issues of great consequence. Sound policymaking cannot
proceed in the face of such concerns. These issues demand priority
attention from this committee and the Senate as a whole.
One approach is suggested by the Restore Scientific Integrity to
Federal Research and Policy Making Act, introduced in the House as H.R.
839. Among other things, the Act would
Help prevent the manipulation of data;
Strengthen the independence of federal science advisory committees;
Require an annual report to Congress by the Director of the Office
of Science and Technology Policy on the state of Federal scientific
This legislation would help to address many of the most serious
concerns that have arisen in recent years and is worthy of
consideration by this body as well.
Thank you for the opportunity to address the committee. I would be
pleased to answer any questions.
Statement of James Hansen, Director, Columbia University Earth
Institute and Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Michael Crichton's latest fictional novel, ``State of Fear'',
designed to discredit concerns about global warming, purports to use
the scientific method. The book is sprinkled with references to
scientific papers, and Crichton intones in the introduction that his
``footnotes are real''. But does Crichton really use the scientific
method? Or is it something closer to scientific fraud?
I have not read Crichton's book, but several people have pointed
out to me that Crichton takes aim at my 1988 congressional testimony
and claims that I made predictions about global warming that turned out
to be 300 percent too high. Is that right?
In my testimony in 1988, and in an attached scientific paper
written with several colleagues at the Goddard Institute for Space
Studies (GISS) and published later that year in the Journal of
Geophysical Research (volume 93, pages 9341-9364), I described climate
simulations made with the GISS climate model. We considered three
scenarios for the future, labeled A, B and C, to bracket likely
Scenario A was described as ``on the high side of reality'',
because it assumed rapid exponential growth of greenhouse gases and it
assumed that there would be no large volcanoes (which inject small
particles into the stratosphere and cool the Earth) during the next
half century. Scenario C was described as ``a more drastic curtailment
of emissions than has generally been imagined'', specifically
greenhouse gases were assumed to stop increasing after 2000. The
intermediate Scenario B was described as ``the most plausible''.
Scenario B had continued growth of greenhouse gas emissions at a
moderate rate and it sprinkled three large volcanoes in the 50-year
period after 1988, one of them in the 1990s.
Not surprisingly, the real world has followed a course closest to
that of Scenario B. The real world even had one large volcano in the
1990s, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, which occurred in 1991, while
Scenario B placed a volcano in 1995.
In my testimony to congress I showed one line graph with scenarios
A, B, C and observed global temperature, which I update below. However,
all of the maps of simulated future temperature that I showed in my
congressional testimony were for scenario B, which formed the basis for
my testimony. No results were shown for the outlier scenarios A and C.
Back to Crichton: how did he conclude that I made an error of 300
percent? Apparently, rather than studying the scientific literature, as
his footnotes would imply, his approach was to listen to ``global
warming skeptics''. One of the skeptics, Pat Michaels, has taken the
graph from our 1988 paper with simulated global temperatures for
scenarios A, B and C, erased the results for scenarios B and C, and
shown only the curve for scenario A in public presentations, pretending
that it was my prediction for climate change. Is this treading close to
Crichton's approach is worse than that of Michaels. Crichton
uncritically accepts Michaels' results, and then concludes that
Hansen's prediction was in error ``300 percent''. Where does he get
Let's reproduce here (Figure 1) the global temperature curves from
my 1988 congressional testimony, without erasing the results for
scenarios B and C. Figure 1 updates observations of global temperature
using the same analysis of meteorological station data as in our 1988
paper (which removes or corrects station data from urban locations)\1\.
The 2005 data point is a preliminary estimate based on the first eight
months of the year.
\1\The warming is slightly less (change less than 0.1 C) in our
analysis of observations if we combine ocean temperature measurements
with the meteorological station data. However, the result is slightly
more warming in the British analysis of observations by Phil Jones and
associates. So the observational analysis shown in Figure 1 is
representative of the various analyses of global surface temperature
The observations, the black curve in Figure 1, show that the Earth
is indeed getting warmer, as predicted. The observed temperature
fluctuates a lot, because the real world is a ``noisy'', chaotic
system, but there is a clear warming trend. Curiously, the scenario
that we described as most realistic is so far turning out to be almost
dead on the money. Such close agreement is fortuitous. For example, the
model used in 1988 had a sensitivity of 4.2 C for doubled
CO2, but our best estimate for true climate sensitivity\2\
is closer to 3 C for doubled CO2. There are various other
uncertain factors that can make the warming larger or smaller\3\. But
it is becoming clear that our prediction was in the right ballpark.
\2\Climate sensitivity is usually expressed as the equilibrium
global warming expected to result from doubling the amount of
CO2 in the air. Empirical evidence from the Earth's history
indicates that climate sensitivity is about 3 C, with an uncertainty
of about 1 C. A climate model yields its own sensitivity, based on the
best physics that the users can incorporate at any given time. The 1988
GISS model sensitivity was 4.2 C, while it is 2.7 C for the 2005. It
is suspected that the sensitivity of the 2005 model may be slightly too
small because of the sea ice formulation being too stable.
\3\Our papers related to global warming can be obtained from
So how did Crichton conclude that our prediction was in error 300
percent? Beats me. Crichton writes fiction and seems to make up things
as he goes along. He doesn't seem to have the foggiest notion about the
science that he writes about. Perhaps that is o.k. for a science
\4\Discussion of Crichton's science fiction is provided on the blog
However, I recently heard that, in considering the global warming
issue, a United States Senator is treating words from Crichton as if
they had scientific or practical validity. If so, wow--Houston, we have
Acknowledgement. I thank Makiko Sato for reproducing and updating
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] 38918.091
Statement of Ralph J. Cicerone, Ph.D. President, National Academy of
Sciences, The National Academies
Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. My name is
Ralph Cicerone, and I am President of the National Academy of Sciences.
Prior to this position, I served as Chancellor of the University of
California at Irvine, where I also held the Daniel G. Aldrich Chair in
Earth System Science. In addition, in 2001 I chaired the National
Academies Committee that wrote the report, Climate Change Science: An
Analysis of Some Key Questions, at the request of the White House.
This morning I will summarize briefly the current state of
scientific understanding on climate change, based largely on the
findings and recommendations in recent National Academies' reports.
These reports are the products of a study process that brings together
leading scientists, engineers, public health officials and other
experts to provide consensus advice to the nation on specific
scientific and technical questions.
The Earth is warming. Weather station records and ship-based
observations indicate that global mean surface air temperature
increased about 0.7 F (0.4 C) since the early 1970's (See Figure).
Although the magnitude of warming varies locally, the warming trend is
spatially widespread and is consistent with an array of other evidence
(including melting glaciers and ice caps, sea level rise, extended
growing seasons, and changes in the geographical distributions of plant
and animal species). The ocean, which represents the largest reservoir
of heat in the climate system, has warmed by about 0.12 F (0.06 C)
averaged over the layer extending from the surface down to 750 feet,
since 1993. Recent studies have shown that the observed heat storage in
the oceans is consistent with expected impacts of a human-enhanced
The observed warming has not proceeded at a uniform rate. Virtually
all the 20th century warming in global surface air temperature occurred
between the early 1900s and the 1940s and from the 1970s until today,
with a slight cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during the interim
decades. The causes of these irregularities and the disparities in the
timing are not completely understood, but the warming trend in global-
average surface temperature observations during the past 30 years is
undoubtedly real and is substantially greater than the average rate of
warming during the twentieth century.
Laboratory measurements of gases trapped in dated ice cores have
shown that for hundreds of thousands of years, changes in temperature
have closely tracked atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Burning
fossil fuel for energy, industrial processes, and transportation
releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere is now at its highest level in 400,000 years and continues
Nearly all climate scientists today believe that much of Earth's
current warming has been caused by increases in the amount of
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mostly from the burning of fossil
fuels. The degree of confidence in this conclusion is higher today than
it was 10, or even 5 years ago, but uncertainties remain. As stated in
the Academies 2001 report, ``the changes observed over the last several
decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule
out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of
One area of debate has been the extent to which variations in the
Sun might contribute to recent observed warming trends. The Sun's total
brightness has been measured by a series of satellite-based instruments
for more than two complete 11-year solar cycles. Recent analyses of
these measurements argue against any detectable long-term trend in the
observed brightness to date. Thus, it is difficult to conclude that the
Sun has been responsible for the warming observed over the past 25
Carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for many decades and
major parts of the climate system respond slowly to changes in
greenhouse gas concentrations. The slow response of the climate system
to increasing greenhouse gases also means that changes and impacts will
continue during the twenty-first century and beyond, even if emissions
were to be stabilized or reduced in the near future.
Simulations of future climate change project that, by 2100, global
surface temperatures will be from 2.5 to 10.4 F (1.4 to 15.8 C) above
1990 levels. Similar projections of temperature increases, based on
rough calculations and nascent theory, were made in the Academies first
report on climate change published in the late 1970s. Since then,
significant advances in our knowledge of the climate system and our
ability to model and observe it have yielded consistent estimates.
Pinpointing the magnitude of future warming is hindered both by
remaining gaps in understanding the science and by the fact that it is
difficult to predict society's future actions, particularly in the
areas of population growth, economic growth, and energy use practices.
Other scientific uncertainties about future climate change relate
to the regional effects of climate change and how climate change will
affect the frequency and severity of weather events. Although
scientists are starting to forecast regional weather impacts, the level
of confidence is less than it is for global climate projections. In
general, temperature is easier to predict than changes such as
rainfall, storm patterns, and ecosystem impacts.
It is important to recognize however, that while future climate
change and its impacts are inherently uncertain, they are far from
unknown. The combined effects of ice melting and sea water expansion
from ocean warming will likely cause the global average sea-level to
rise by between 0.1 and 0.9 meters between 1990 and 2100. In colder
climates, such warming could bring longer growing seasons and less
severe winters. Those in coastal communities, many in developing
nations, will experience increased flooding due to sea level rise and
are likely to experience more severe storms and surges. In the Arctic
regions, where temperatures have risen more than the global average,
the landscape and ecosystems are being altered rapidly.
The task of mitigating and preparing for the impacts of climate
change will require worldwide collaborative inputs from a wide range of
experts, including natural scientists, engineers, social scientists,
medical scientists, those in government at all levels, business leaders
and economists. Although the scientific understanding of climate change
has advanced significantly in the last several decades, there are still
many unanswered questions. Society faces increasing pressure to decide
how best to respond to climate change and associated global changes,
and applied research in direct support of decision making is needed.
My written testimony describes the current state of scientific
understanding of climate change in more detail, based largely on
important findings and recommendations from a number of recent National
the earth is warming
The most striking evidence of a global warming trend are closely
scrutinized data that show a relatively rapid increase in temperature,
particularly over the past 30 years. Weather station records and ship-
based observations indicate that global mean surface air temperature
increased about 0.7 F (0.4 C) since the early 1970's (See Figure).
Although the magnitude of warming varies locally, the warming trend is
spatially widespread and is consistent with an array of other evidence
(e.g., melting glaciers and ice caps, sea level rise, extended growing
seasons, and changes in the geographical distributions of plant and
Global annual-mean surface air temperature change derived from the
meteorological station network. Data and plots available from the
Goddard Institute for Space Sciences (GISS) at http://
The ocean, which represents the largest reservoir of heat in the
climate system, has warmed by about 0.12 F (0.06 C) averaged over the
layer extending from the surface down to 750 feet, since 1993. Recent
studies have shown that the observed heat storage in the oceans is what
would be expected by a human-enhanced greenhouse effect. Indeed,
increased ocean heat content accounts for most of the planetary energy
imbalance (i.e., when the Earth absorbs more energy from the Sun than
it emits back to space) simulated by climate models with mid-range
The observed warming has not proceeded at a uniform rate. Virtually
all the 20th century warming in global surface air temperature occurred
between the early 1900s and the 1940s and since the 1970s, with a
slight cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during the interim decades.
The troposphere warmed much more during the 1970s than during the two
subsequent decades, whereas Earth's surface warmed more during the past
two decades than during the 1970s. The causes of these irregularities
and the disparities in the timing are not completely understood.
A National Academies report released in 2000, Reconciling
Observations of Global Temperature Change, examined different types of
temperature measurements collected from 1979 to 1999 and concluded that
the warming trend in global-average surface temperature observations
during the previous 20 years is undoubtedly real and is substantially
greater than the average rate of warming during the twentieth century.
The report concludes that the lower atmosphere actually may have warmed
much less rapidly than the surface from 1979 into the late 1990s, due
both to natural causes (e.g., the sequence of volcanic eruptions that
occurred within this particular 20-year period) and human activities
(e.g., the cooling of the upper part of the troposphere resulting from
ozone depletion in the stratosphere). The report spurred many research
groups to do similar analyses. Satellite observations of middle
troposphere temperatures, after several revisions of the data, now
compare reasonably with observations from surface stations and
radiosondes, although some uncertainties remain.
humans have had an impact on climate
Laboratory measurements of gases trapped in dated ice cores have
shown that for hundreds of thousands of years, changes in temperature
have closely tracked with atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
Burning fossil fuel for energy, industrial processes, and
transportation releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere is now at its highest level in 400,000 years
and continues to rise. Nearly all climate scientists today believe that
much of Earth's current warming has been caused by increases in the
amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The degree of confidence
in this conclusion is higher today than it was 10, or even 5 years ago,
but uncertainties remain. As stated in the Academies 2001 report, ``the
changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to
human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of
these changes is also a reflection of natural variability.''
Carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for many decades and
major parts of the climate system respond slowly to changes in
greenhouse gas concentrations. The slow response of the climate system
to increasing greenhouse gases also means that changes and impacts will
continue during the twenty-first century and beyond, even if emissions
were to be stabilized or reduced in the near future.
In order to compare the contributions of the various agents that
affect surface temperature, scientists have devised the concept of
``radiative forcing.'' Radiative forcing is the change in the balance
between radiation (i.e., heat and energy) entering the atmosphere and
radiation going back out. Positive radiative forcings (e.g., due to
excess greenhouse gases) tend on average to warm the Earth, and
negative radiative forcings (e.g., due to volcanic eruptions and many
human-produced aerosols) on average tend to cool the Earth. The
Academies recent report, Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding
the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties (2005), takes a close look at
how climate has been changed by a range of forcings. A key message from
the report is that it is important to quantify how human and natural
processes cause changes in climate variables other than temperature.
For example, climate-driven changes in precipitation in certain regions
could have significant impacts on water availability for agriculture,
residential and industrial use, and recreation. Such regional impacts
will be much more noticeable than projected changes in global average
temperature of a degree or more.
One area of debate has been the extent to which variations in the
Sun might contribute to recent observed warming trends. Radiative
Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing
Uncertainties (2005) also summarizes current understanding about this
issue. The Sun's brightness--its total irradiance--has been measured
continuously by a series of satellite-based instruments for more than
two complete 11-year solar cycles. These multiple solar irradiance
datasets have been combined into a composite time series of daily total
solar irradiance from 1979 to the present. Different assumptions about
radiometer performance lead to different reconstructions for the past
two decades. Recent analyses of these measurements, taking into account
instrument calibration offsets and drifts, argue against any detectable
long-term trend in the observed irradiance to date. Likewise, models of
total solar irradiance variability that account for the influences of
solar activity features--dark sunspots and bright faculae--do not
predict a secular change in the past two decades. Thus, it is difficult
to conclude from either measurements or models that the Sun has been
responsible for the warming observed over the past 25 years.
Knowledge of solar irradiance variations is rudimentary prior to
the commencement of continuous space-based irradiance observations in
1979. Models of sunspot and facular influences developed from the
contemporary database have been used to extrapolate daily variations
during the 11-year cycle back to about 1950 using contemporary sunspot
and facular proxies, and with less certainty annually to 1610.
Circumstantial evidence from cosmogenic isotope proxies of solar
activity (14C and 10Be) and plausible variations in Sun-like stars
motivated an assumption of long-term secular irradiance trends, but
recent work questions the evidence from both. Very recent studies of
the long term evolution and transport of activity features using solar
models suggest that secular solar irradiance variations may be limited
in amplitude to about half the amplitude of the 11-year cycle.
warming will continue, but its impacts are difficult to project
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which
involves hundreds of scientists in assessing the state of climate
change science, has estimated that, by 2100, global surface
temperatures will be from 2.5 to 10.4 F (1.4 to 5.8 C) above 1990
levels. Similar projections of temperature increases, based on rough
calculations and nascent theory, were made in the Academies first
report on climate change published in the late 1970s. Since then,
significant advances in our knowledge of the climate system and our
ability to model and observe it have yielded consistent estimates.
Pinpointing the magnitude of future warming is hindered both by
remaining gaps in understanding the science and by the fact that it is
difficult to predict society's future actions, particularly in the
areas of population growth, economic growth, and energy use practices.
One of the major scientific uncertainties is how climate could be
affected by what are known as ``climate feedbacks.'' Feedbacks can
either amplify or dampen the climate response to an initial radiative
forcing. During a feedback process, a change in one variable, such as
carbon dioxide concentration, causes a change in temperature, which
then causes a change in a third variable, such as water vapor, which in
turn causes a further change in temperature. Understanding Climate
Change Feedbacks (2003) looks at what is known and not known about
climate change feedbacks and identifies important research avenues for
improving our understanding.
Other scientific uncertainties relate to the regional effects of
climate change and how climate change will affect the frequency and
severity of weather events. Although scientists are starting to
forecast regional weather impacts, the level of confidence is less than
it is for global climate projections. In general, temperature is easier
to predict than changes such as rainfall, storm patterns, and ecosystem
impacts. It is very likely that increasing global temperatures will
lead to higher maximum temperatures and fewer cold days over most land
areas. Some scientists believe that heat waves such as those
experienced in Chicago and central Europe in recent years will continue
and possibly worsen. The larger and faster the changes in climate, the
more difficult it will be for human and natural systems to adapt
without adverse effects.
There is evidence that the climate has sometimes changed abruptly
in the past--within a decade--and could do so again. Abrupt changes,
for example the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930's displaced hundreds of
thousands of people in the American Great Plains, take place so rapidly
that humans and ecosystems have difficulty adapting to it. Abrupt
Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (2002) outlines some of the
evidence for and theories of abrupt change. One theory is that melting
ice caps could ``freshen'' the water in the North Atlantic, shutting
down the natural ocean circulation that brings warmer Gulf Stream
waters to the north and cooler waters south again. This shutdown could
make it much cooler in Northern Europe and warmer near the equator.
It is important to recognize that while future climate change and
its impacts are inherently uncertain, they are far from unknown. The
combined effects of ice melting and sea water expansion from ocean
warming will likely cause the global average sea-level to rise by
between 0.1 and 0.9 meters between 1990 and 2100. In colder climates,
such warming could bring longer growing seasons and less severe
winters. Those in coastal communities, many in developing nations, will
experience increased flooding due to sea level rise and are likely to
experience more severe storms and surges. In the Arctic regions, where
temperatures have risen almost twice as much as the global average, the
landscape and ecosystems are being altered rapidly.
observations and data are the foundation of climate change science
There is nothing more valuable to scientists than the measurements
and observations required to confirm or contradict hypotheses. In
climate sciences, there is a peculiar relation between the scientist
and the data. Whereas other scientific disciplines can run multiple,
controlled experiments, climate scientists must rely on the one
realization that nature provides. Climate change research requires
observations of numerous characteristics of the Earth system over long
periods of time on a global basis. Climate scientists must rely on data
collected by a whole suite of observing systems--from satellites to
surface stations to ocean buoys--operated by various government
agencies and countries as well as climate records from ice cores, tree
rings, corals, and sediments that help reconstruct past change.
collecting and archiving data to meet the unique needs
of climate change science
Most of the instrumentation and observing systems used to monitor
climate today were established to provide data for other purposes, such
as predicting daily weather; advising farmers; warning of hurricanes,
tornadoes and floods; managing water resources; aiding ocean and air
transportation; and understanding the ocean. However, collecting
climate data is unique because higher precision is often needed in
order to detect climate trends, the observing programs need to be
sustained indefinitely and accommodate changes in observing technology,
and observations are needed at both global scales and at local scales
to serve a range of climate information users.
Every report on climate change produced by the National Academies
in recent years has recommended improvements to climate observing
capabilities. A central theme of the report Adequacy of Climate
Observing Systems (1999) is the need to dramatically upgrade our
climate observing capabilities. The report presents ten climate
monitoring principles that continue to be the basis for designing
climate observing systems, including management of network change,
careful calibration, continuity of data collection, and documentation
to ensure that meaningful trends can be derived.
Another key concept for climate change science is the ability to
generate, analyze, and archive long-term climate data records (CDRs)
for assessing the state of the environment in perpetuity. In Climate
Data Records from Environmental Satellites (2004), a climate data
record is defined as a time series of measurements of sufficient
length, consistency, and continuity to determine climate variability
and change. The report identifies several elements of successful
climate data record generation programs, ranging from effective, expert
leadership to long-term commitment to sustaining the observations and
integrating knowledge and data on climate change through models
An important concept that emerged from early climate science in the
1980s was that Earth's climate is not just a collection of long-term
weather statistics, but rather the complex interactions or
``couplings'' of the atmosphere, the ocean, the land, and plant and
animal life. Climate models are built using our best scientific
knowledge, first modeling each process component separately and then
linking them together to simulate these couplings.
Climate models are important tools for understanding how the
climate operates today, how it may have functioned differently in the
past, and how it may evolve in the future in response to forcings from
both natural processes and human activities. Climate scientists can
deal with uncertainty about future climate by running models with
different assumptions of future population growth, economic
development, energy use, and policy choices, such as those that affect
air quality or influence how nations share technology. Models then
offer a range of outcomes based on these different assumptions.
modeling capability and accuracy
Since the first climate models were pioneered in the 1970s, the
accuracy of models has improved as the number and quality of
observations and data have increased, as computational abilities have
multiplied, and as our theoretical understanding of the climate system
has improved. Whereas early attempts at modeling used relatively crude
representations of the climate, today's models have very sophisticated
and carefully tested treatment of hundreds of climate processes.
The National Academies' report Improving Effectiveness of U.S.
Climate Modeling (2001) offers several recommendations for
strengthening climate modeling capabilities, some of which have already
been adopted in the United States. At the time the report was
published, U.S. modeling capabilities were lagging behind some other
countries. The report identified a shortfall in computing facilities
and highly skilled technical workers devoted to climate modeling.
Federal agencies have begun to centralize their support for climate
modeling efforts at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and
the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. However, the U.S. could
still improve the amount of resources it puts toward climate modeling
as recommended in Planning Climate and Global Change Research (2003).
climate change impacts will be uneven
There will be winners and losers from the impacts of climate
change, even within a single region, but globally the losses are
expected to outweigh the benefits. The regions that will be most
severely affected are often the regions that are the least able to
adapt. For example, Bangladesh, one of the poorest nations in the
world, is projected to lose 17.5% of its land if sea level rises about
40 inches (1 m), displacing tens of thousands of people. Several
islands throughout the South Pacific and Indian Oceans will be at
similar risk of increased flooding and vulnerability to storm surges.
Coastal flooding likely will threaten animals, plants, and fresh water
supplies. Tourism and local agriculture could be severely challenged.
Wetland and coastal areas of many developed nations including
United States are also threatened. For example, parts of New Orleans
are as much as eight feet below sea level today. However, wealthy
countries are much more able to adapt to sea level rise and threats to
agriculture. Solutions could include building, limiting or changing
construction codes in coastal zones, and developing new agricultural
The Arctic has warmed at a faster rate than the Northern Hemisphere
over the past century. A Vision for the International Polar Year 2007-
2008 (2004) reports that this warming is associated with a number of
impacts including: melting of sea ice, which has important impacts on
biological systems such as polar bears, ice-dependent seals, and local
people for whom these animals are a source of food; increased snow and
rainfall, leading to changes in river discharge and tundra vegetation;
and degradation of the permafrost.
preparing for climate change
One way to begin preparing for climate change is to make the wealth
of climate data and information already collected more accessible to a
range of users who could apply it to inform their decisions. Such
efforts, often called ``climate services,'' are analogous to the
efforts of the National Weather Service to provide useful weather
information. Climate is becoming increasingly important to public and
private decision making in various fields such as emergency management
planning, water quality, insurance premiums, irrigation and power
production decisions, and construction schedules. A Climate Services
Vision (2001) outlines principles for improving climate services that
include making climate data as user-friendly as weather services are
today, and active and well-defined connections among the Government
agencies, businesses, and universities involved in climate change data
collection and research.
Another avenue would be to develop practical strategies that could
be used to reduce economic and ecological systems' vulnerabilities to
change. Such ``no-regrets'' strategies, recommended in Abrupt Climate
Change: Inevitable Surprises (2002), provide benefits whether a
significant climate change ultimately occurs or not, potentially
reducing vulnerability at little or no net cost. No-regrets measures
could include low-cost steps to: improve climate forecasting; slow
biodiversity loss; improve water, land, and air quality; and make
institutions--such as the health care enterprise, financial markets,
and transportation systems--more resilient to major disruptions.
reducing the causes of climate change
The climate change statement issued in June 2005 by 11 science
academies, including the National Academy of Sciences, stated that
despite remaining unanswered questions, the scientific understanding of
climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking
cost-effective steps that will contribute to substantial and long-term
reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions. Because carbon
dioxide and some other greenhouse gases can remain in the atmosphere
for many decades and major parts of the climate system respond slowly
to changes in greenhouse gas concentrations, climate change impacts
will likely continue throughout the 21st century and beyond. Failure to
implement significant reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions now
will make the job much harder in the future--both in terms of
stabilizing their atmospheric abundances and in terms of experiencing
more significant impacts. At the present time there is no single
solution that can eliminate future warming. As early as 1992 Policy
Implications of Greenhouse Warming found that there are many
potentially cost-effective technological options that could contribute
to stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations.
meeting energy needs is a major challenge to slowing climate change
Energy--either in the form of fuels used directly (i.e., gasoline)
or as electricity produced using various fuels (fossil fuels as well as
nuclear, solar, wind, and others) --is essential for all sectors of the
economy, including industry, commerce, homes, and transportation.
Energy use worldwide continues to grow with economic and population
growth. Developing countries, China and India in particular, are
rapidly increasing their use of energy, primarily from fossil fuels,
and consequently their emissions of CO2. Carbon emissions
from energy can be reduced by using it more efficiently or by switching
to alternative fuels. It also may be possible to capture carbon
emissions from electric generating plants and then sequester them.
Energy efficiency in all sectors of the U.S. economy could be
improved. The 2002 National Academies' report, Effectiveness and Impact
of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, evaluates car and
light truck fuel use and analyzes how fuel economy could be improved.
Steps range from improved engine lubrication to hybrid vehicles. The
2001 Academies report, Energy Research at DOE, Was It Worth It?
addresses the benefits of increasing the energy efficiency of lighting,
refrigerators and other appliances. Many of these improvements (e.g.,
high-efficiency refrigerators) are cost-effective means to
significantly reducing energy use, but are being held back by market
constraints such as consumer awareness, higher initial costs, or by the
lack of effective policy.
Electricity can be produced without significant carbon emissions
using nuclear power and renewable energy technologies (e.g., solar,
wind, and biomass). In the United States, these technologies are too
expensive or have environmental or other concerns that limit broad
application, but that could change with technology development or if
the costs of fossil fuels increase. Replacing coal-fired electric power
plants with more efficient, modern natural-gas-fired turbines would
reduce carbon emissions per unit of electricity produced.
Several technologies are being explored that would collect
CO2 that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere from
fossil-fuel-fired power plants, and then sequester it in the ground or
the ocean. Successful, cost-effective sequestration technologies would
weaken the link between fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. The
2003 National Academies' report, Novel Approaches to Carbon Management:
Separation, Capture, Sequestration, and Conversion to Useful Products,
discusses the development of this technology. Capturing CO2
emissions from the tailpipes of vehicles is essentially impossible,
which is one factor that has led to considerable interest in hydrogen
as a fuel. As with electricity, hydrogen must be manufactured from
primary energy sources. Significantly reducing carbon emissions when
producing hydrogen from fossil fuels (currently the least expensive
method) would require carbon capture and sequestration. Substantial
technological and economic barriers in all phases of the hydrogen fuel
cycle must first be addressed through research and development. The
2004 National Academies' report, The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities,
Costs, Barriers and R&D Needs, presents a strategy that could lead
eventually to production of hydrogen from a variety of domestic
sources--such as coal (with carbon sequestration), nuclear power, wind,
or photo-biological processes--and efficient use in fuel cell vehicles.
continued scientific efforts to address a changing climate
The task of mitigating and preparing for the impacts of climate
change will require worldwide collaborative inputs from a wide range of
experts, including natural scientists, engineers, social scientists,
medical scientists, those in government at all levels, business
leaders, and economists. Although the scientific understanding of
climate change has advanced significantly in the last several decades,
there are still many unanswered questions. Society faces increasing
pressure to decide how best to respond to climate change and associated
global changes, and applied research in direct support of decision
making is needed.
national academies' reports cited in the testimony
Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and
Addressing Uncertainties (2005)
Climate Data Records from Environmental Satellites (2004)
Implementing Climate and Global Change Research (2004)
A Vision for the International Polar Year 2007-2008 (2004)
The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers and R&D Needs
Understanding Climate Change Feedbacks (2003) Planning Climate and
Global Change Research (2003)
Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Separation, Capture,
Sequestration, and Conversion to Useful Products (2003)
Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (2002)
Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions (2001)
Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Climate Modeling (2001)
A Climate Services Vision: First Steps Towards the Future (2001)
Energy Research at DOE, Was It Worth It? (2001)
Reconciling Observations of Global Temperature Change (2000)
Adequacy of Climate Observing Systems (1999)
Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming (1992)
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E-mail message distributed on September 23, 2005 by Dr. Gerhard Hess of
Bayer Environmental Sciences S.A.S.
Sorry for joining the ongoing discussion rather late, You can be
assured that I followed the discussion very closely, travelling now
through Asia and having met my Indian and African colleagues here in
Bangkok for a meeting, during which we discussed intensively the DDT
issue. I can give you the following additions to the discussion. Not
only as the responsible manager for the vector control business in
Bayer, being the market leader in vector control and pointing out by
that we know what we are talking about and have decades of experiences
in the evolution of this very particular market. Also as one of the
private sector representatives in the RBM Partnership Board and being
confronted with that discussion about DDT in the various WHO, RBM et al
circles. So you can take it as a view from the field, from the
operational commercial level but our companies point of view. I know
that all of my colleagues from other primary manufacturers and
internationally operating companies are sharing my view. Even the
international pesticide manufacturers association Crop life
International has standpoint on that (I can make contacts if you wish).
DDT use is for us a commercial threat (which is clear, but it is
not that dramatic because of limited use), it is mainly a public image
We agree with WHO that DDT should be used as an exception, when
there is no alternative efficacy and economically wise, we can proof
from the field that there are alternatives in nearly all cases where
DDT is re-introduced (but these alternatives are not considered as it
should be, reasoning to be speculated!
We agree with WHO that DDT should be used for indoor residual
spraying for malaria mosquito control only. It is an open secret in the
market that considerable quantities of the DDT ends up in agriculture,
worst case from one country program showed a ``loss'' of 40 percent of
the allocated DDT volume during the spraying operation. Checking
agricultural products from ``DDT countries'' show increasing residues.
Therefore we fully support EU to ban imports of agricultural
products coming from countries using DDT.
We are in discussion with WHO's Pesticide Evaluation Scheme
(WHOPES) on manufacturers association level (here Public Health Project
Team from CropLife International) about the significance of the DDT
specification available. The value of that specification is more than
questionable, it is very old, non updated since than, and done only
according to the old specification procedure. This is due to the reason
that there is not a single DDT manufacturer in the world but a group of
producers, which are not always (to be polite) producing WHO standard
quality material. So WHO has to admit that it is very difficult to
guarantee to the country programs, seeking advice from WHO, a WHO
confirmed quality of the product ``recommended''.
This brings us into the situation that WHOPES evaluated and
recommended products are split into a two class society: the DDT class
with basically no guarantee possible for quality and conformity to the
specs, and the other pesticides which have to run through the WHOPES
system with a necessary dossier about tox, efficacy, chem/phys data
etc. etc., and which are encouraged to update their specification
according to the new system to stay in ``business''. WHOPES is a
perfect and marvelous system from WHO to guarantee the highest efficacy
and quality for products used in public health in general and in vector
control in special.
Needless to say that if one DDT supplier (or a consortium) will go
nowadays through the expensive and time consuming WHOPES, he will fail
already in Phase I when it comes to the supply of the tox data and the
risk and safety assessment. Every new compound which is evaluated in
WHOPES and the data fill proves that it accumulates in the food chain,
and that there are doubts about the long term tox impacts will be
rejected. But there is no supplier of DDT doing that, so there is no
change in listing of DDT as recommended product for indoor residual
spraying against mosquitoes by WHO. This seems to be the weakness of
Difficult and sensitive area: country cases and how the use of DDT
sometimes evolves (not a general statement but some anecdotal data).
India has widespread DDT (and Pyrethroid and OP) resistance in malaria
vectors, still DDT (and pyrethroids) are used accepting control levels
below 40 percent.
Resistance management programs are hardly accepted by the central
authorities despite pressure from WHO, the State authorities and the
academical side, because resistance is denied. Here international
donors (like World Bank for India), Global Fund etc. giving funds to
those countries are asked to take necessary restrictive actions when it
comes to product choice and strategies selected, here WHO can play the
Southern Africa: political pressure is made on neighboring
countries from the Republic of South Africa to use DDT (reasons can
only be speculated). Surprisingly at the end let me define a role for
DDT: if there is widespread resistance to pyrethroids e.g. being the
major class of insecticides for indoor residual spraying nowadays and
there is no confirmed cross-resistance to DDT-than DDT might play a
role for a short term rotational partner in a resistance management
scheme. Short term in the sense unless the level of resistance for the
other insecticides in use reaches a level which allows re-introduction
of these. Of course close monitoring and evaluation of the resistance
has to be included in the scheme. Needless to say that there are other
alternatives like carbonates which can be used in rotational programs.
It would be interesting to get the findings of the various
resistance networks, e.g. the African network, discussed in this forum,
especially what is the level of resistance for DDT.
Thanks for having the chance to share these thoughts with you,
looking forward to feedback.
Dr. Gerhard Hesse
Bayer Environmental Science S.A.S.
Business Manager Vector Control
email: [email protected]