[House Hearing, 111 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
PREPARING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: ADAPTATION POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
MARCH 25, 2009
Serial No. 111-21
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COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
HENRY A. WAXMAN, California, Chairman
JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan JOE BARTON, Texas
Chairman Emeritus Ranking Member
EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts RALPH M. HALL, Texas
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia FRED UPTON, Michigan
FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey CLIFF STEARNS, Florida
BART GORDON, Tennessee NATHAN DEAL, Georgia
BOBBY L. RUSH, Illinois ED WHITFIELD, Kentucky
ANNA G. ESHOO, California JOHN SHIMKUS, Illinois
BART STUPAK, Michigan JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York ROY BLUNT, Missouri
GENE GREEN, Texas STEVE BUYER, Indiana
DIANA DeGETTE, Colorado GEORGE RADANOVICH, California
Vice Chairman JOSEPH R. PITTS, Pennsylvania
LOIS CAPPS, California MARY BONO MACK, California
MICHAEL F. DOYLE, Pennsylvania GREG WALDEN, Oregon
JANE HARMAN, California LEE TERRY, Nebraska
TOM ALLEN, Maine MIKE ROGERS, Michigan
JAN SCHAKOWSKY, Illinois SUE WILKINS MYRICK, North Carolina
HILDA L. SOLIS, California JOHN SULLIVAN, Oklahoma
CHARLES A. GONZALEZ, Texas TIM MURPHY, Pennsylvania
JAY INSLEE, Washington MICHAEL C. BURGESS, Texas
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee
MIKE ROSS, Arkansas PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York STEVE SCALISE, Louisiana
JIM MATHESON, Utah PARKER GRIFFITH, Alabama
G.K. BUTTERFIELD, North Carolina ROBERT E. LATTA, Ohio
CHARLIE MELANCON, Louisiana
JOHN BARROW, Georgia
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
DORIS O. MATSUI, California
DONNA CHRISTENSEN, Virgin Islands
KATHY CASTOR, Florida
JOHN P. SARBANES, Maryland
CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, Connecticut
ZACHARY T. SPACE, Ohio
JERRY McNERNEY, California
BETTY SUTTON, Ohio
BRUCE BRALEY, Iowa
PETER WELCH, Vermont
Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts, Chairman
MICHAEL F. DOYLE, Pennsylvania DENNIS HASTERT, Illinois
G.K. BUTTERFIELD, North Carolina Ranking Member
CHARLIE MELANCON, Louisiana RALPH M. HALL, Texas
BARON HILL, Indiana FRED UPTON, Michigan
DORIS O. MATSUI, California ED WHITFIELD, Kentucky
JERRY McNERNEY, California JOHN SHIMKUS, Illinois
PETER WELCH, Vermont HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia CHARLES W. ``CHIP'' PICKERING,
FRANK PALLONE, New Jersey Mississippi
ELIOT ENGEL, New York STEVE BUYER, Indiana
GENE GREEN, Texas GREG WALDEN, Oregon
LOIS CAPPS, California SUE WILKINS MYRICK, North Carolina
JANE HARMAN, California JOHN SULLIVAN, Oklahoma
CHARLES A. GONZALEZ, Texas MICHAEL C. BURGESS, Texas
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
MIKE ROSS, Arkansas
JIM MATHESON, Utah
JOHN BARROW, Georgia
C O N T E N T S
Hon. Edward J. Markey, a Representative in Congress from the
Commonwealth of Massachussetts, opening statement.............. 1
Prepared statement........................................... 3
Hon. Fred Upton, a Representative in Congress from the State of
Michigan, opening statement.................................... 5
Hon. John D. Dingell, a Representative in Congress from the State
of Michigan, opening statement................................. 6
Prepared statement........................................... 8
Hon. John Shimkus, a Representative in Congress from the State of
Illinois, opening statement.................................... 9
Hon. Doris O. Matsui, a Representative in Congress from the State
of California, opening statement............................... 9
Hon. Joseph R. Pitts, a Representative in Congress from the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, opening statement................ 10
Hon. Gene Green, a Representative in Congress from the State of
Texas, opening statement....................................... 11
Hon. Michael C. Burgess, a Representative in Congress from the
State of Texas, opening statement.............................. 12
Hon. Jane Harman, a Representative in Congress from the State of
California, opening statement.................................. 12
Hon. Steve Scalise, a Representative in Congress from the State
of Louisiana, opening statement................................ 13
Hon. Charlie Melancon, a Representative in Congress from the
State of Louisiana, opening statement.......................... 14
Hon. Joe Barton, a Representative in Congress from the State of
Texas, opening statement....................................... 15
Hon. Tammy Baldwin, a Representative in Congress from the State
of Wisconsin, opening statement................................ 16
Hon. Cliff Stearns, a Representative in Congress from the State
of Florida, opening statement.................................. 17
Hon. G.K. Butterfield, a Representative in Congress from the
State of North Carolina, opening statement..................... 18
Thomas Karl, Director of the National Climatic Data Center,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration................ 19
Prepared statement........................................... 22
John Stephenson, Director of Natural Resources and Environment,
Government Accountability Office............................... 31
Prepared statement........................................... 33
Larry Schweiger, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation. 47
Prepared statement........................................... 49
E. Calvin Beisner, The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of
Prepared statement........................................... 106
Lord Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.. 117
Prepared statement........................................... 119
David Waskow, Climate Change Program Director, Oxfam American.... 159
Prepared statement........................................... 161
Bishop Callon Holloway, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
On Behalf of The National Council of Churches.................. 171
Prepared statement........................................... 173
Letter of March 24, 2009, from the Outdoor Industry Association
to Mr. Inslee, submitted by Mr. Inslee......................... 253
PREPARING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: ADAPTATION POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2009
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Energy and Environment,
Committee on Energy and Commerce,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:30 a.m., in
Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Edward J.
Markey (chairman) presiding.
Members present: Representatives Markey, Inslee,
Butterfield, Melancon, Matsui, McNerney, Welch, Dingell, Green,
Capps, Harman, Baldwin, Barrow, Upton, Hall, Stearns, Shimkus,
Pitts, Walden, Sullivan, Burgess, Scalise, and Barton (ex
Staff present: Matt Weiner, Legislative Clerk; Melissa Bez,
Professional Staff; Michael Goo, Counsel; Lindsay Vidal, Press
Assistant; Amanda Mertens Campbell, Minority Counsel; Peter
Spencer, Minority Professional Staff; Andrea Spring, Minority
Professional Staff; and Garrett Golding, Minority Legislative
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD J. MARKEY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
Mr. Markey. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the
subcommittee on Energy and Environment. Today's hearing is on
Adaptation Programs and Policies as we prepare to deal with
inexorable, inevitable consequences of climate change.
Nearly 20 years ago, Congress passed the Global Change
Research Program Act of 1990, which requires the preparation of
a national assessment of the consequence of climate variability
and change. This assessment was designed to help understand the
impacts of climate change in the United States.
A distinguished panel of experts completed that assessment
in 2000. One of the lead authors, Dr. Tom Karl, is with us here
today. On the front cover of the report were these prophetic
words: ``Humanity's influence on the global climate will grow
in the coming century. Increasingly there will be significant
climate change related problems that will affect each one of
us.'' We must begin now to consider our responses as the
actions taken today will affect the quality of life for us and
for future generations.
In the decade since that report was completed, global
warming has not waited. It has accelerated. Climate change is
occurring as we speak, and the greenhouse gases already in the
atmosphere will continue to warm the planet for decades.
In the United States and the world, we must work together
to successfully combat climate change. Mitigation, the act of
reducing greenhouse gas emissions, will not be enough. Our
country and other nations must also implement adaptation
policies to respond to changes in our climate, in our
ecosystems, and in our infrastructure.
The many changes predicted in the national assessment are
already happening, and they are happening faster than expected.
An updated 2008 assessment of the 2007 report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change documented many of
these changes. According to the UN Panel, North America has
experienced locally severe economic damage plus substantial
ecosystem, social, and cultural disruption from recent weather-
related extremes, including hurricanes, other severe storms,
floods, droughts, heat waves, and wild fires.
Whether it is the eroding coastal areas of Louisiana,
Texas, or the Atlantic states, the floods in the Midwest,
hurricanes in Florida, wildfires in California, or the loss of
snow pack in the Pacific Northwest, I am sure that every member
of the subcommittee has their own story of how a changing
climate has affected their area.
North America is not the only continent facing adaptation
challenges. Internationally, low-lying island states like the
Maldives could literally go under as sea levels rise. As a
result, the president of the Maldives is considering purchasing
land to prevent his population from becoming ``climate refugees
living in tents for decades.''
In Africa, the UN Panel projected that by 2020, 250 million
people will be exposed to increased water stress due to climate
change and yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by
up to 50 percent, severely compromising food production.
This, in turn, could lead to significant national security
issues for the United States. The UN Panel also noted that if
warming continues unabated, 30 to 40 percent of all the species
on the planet will be at risk of extinction.
In the climate change bill I introduced last year, I
included provisions for a national climate service. A national
climate service would create a central source of federal
information on climate change, ranging from projections of
additional sea level rise to mapping the nation's best sites
for solar and wind power. This information will be vital in the
years ahead and will reap tremendous long-term dividends. I
look forward to hearing from NOAA to discuss their plans to
implement this much-needed program.
Adaptation alone cannot solve climate change. We can and
must take actions to reduce emissions. Yet as we enter the
warming world that we have now created for ourselves, we must
recognize that we, as humans, have worldwide responsibilities
for all of God's creatures, both human and animal, many of whom
have little or no ability to adapt to climate change on their
own. They will need our help, and we should be prepared to
provide it as best we can.
I hope that that will be our goal as we craft our ongoing
adaptation policies. I look forward to our witnesses'
[The prepared statement of Mr. Markey follows:]
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] T7818A.001
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] T7818A.002
Mr. Markey. I turn now to recognize the ranking member of
the subcommittee, the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Upton.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. FRED UPTON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
Mr. Upton. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. As you said, our
hearing today is on climate change adaptation policies. And I
view, as you know, cap and tax as a policy that requires
adaptation. How will Americans adapt to losing their jobs? How
do we adapt to increased energy costs? How do we adapt to a
legislatively imposed economic recession? How does the nation
adapt to losing its superpower status?
Cap and tax isn't our only option. We can pursue policies
that will both help the environment and our economy. And by
design, a cap and tax can only hurt the economy while providing
a questionable environmental benefit. It is indeed a scheme.
Absent of global agreement that includes the heavy emitting
developing countries, cap and tax will only send energy costs
up while sending employment numbers down or some place else.
This year, the U.S. will reduce its greenhouse gas
emissions. We will reduce them, and we will do it without cap
and tax. Emissions are way down in Michigan this year, but
emissions levels haven't even dropped to the 1990 levels, and
folks are asking for 80 percent below those levels by the year
How do we get those reductions down so far? Unemployment in
Michigan is already about 13 percent. 15 percent perhaps isn't
too far away with greater reductions in emissions. But in this
debate over climate change, we have lost sight of our real
goal. We have lost sight of what our policy should achieve. The
focus has become a cap and tax as an end in itself. What about
reducing global temperatures?
As one who believes that climate change must be dealt with
on a global scale, I have advocated a no-regrets policy that
will achieve the same, if not better, results as an arbitrary
cap-and-tax scheme at a fraction of the cost.
In fact, there are policy options available that would have
a net economic and societal benefit while at the same time,
cutting emissions. We have lost too many jobs already. We
shouldn't pursue options that will make matters worse.
If we are going to pass climate change legislation, it
should adhere to the following five principles. One, provide a
tangible environmental benefit to the American people. Two,
advance technology and provide the opportunity for export.
Three, protect American jobs. Four, strengthen U.S. energy
security. And five, require global participation.
These principles deal with the issue of cost versus
benefit, the cost of action as well as inaction. Cap-and-tax
schemes simply don't meet that criteria. We don't need costly
mandates if we invest in clean coal technology, remove the
regulatory barriers to nuclear power, reward efficiency gains
and allow a technology to succeed in a marketplace. And we
won't need the developing world to remain in the Stone Age, if
we want to export American technology. We don't need to lose
millions of jobs if we help our energy-intensive industries in
domestic auto manufacturers with their R and D investments.
Climate change is a global problem, and it requires a
global solution. And without joint international action, jobs
and emissions will simply ship some place else overseas to
countries that require few, if any, environmental protections,
harming the global environment as well as the United States
economy. And I yield back.
Mr. Markey. Gentleman's time has expired. The chair
recognizes the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Dingell.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN D. DINGELL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
Mr. Dingell. Thank you, and I commend you for holding this
hearing. It is important. You are building a record which I
hope will be very important as we go through the consideration
of climate change legislation.
Today's hearing is also on a matter that is important. The
funds generated by an auction are already in great demand for
all manner of things, some with great merit, some with rather
less, and some with quite frankly, none. As we have already
seen in the President's budget, the funds generated from an
auction are being counted on for budget purposes.
I note that the fourth assessment report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted ``observational
evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many
natural systems are being affected by climate changes,
particularly temperature increases.'' In the same report, we
are warned that in the lifetime of a child born today, 20 to 30
percent of the world's plant and animal species will be on the
brink of extinction if we don't take action now.
I would note that the wild lands that we have a chance to
save here are of immense value, not just to the future of
society, but also to the purpose which we have, which is
protecting us against climate change. So we must consider the
value of marshes, mountains, forests, and ecosystems which can
serve both as carbon sumps and also as opportunities for
conservation in the traditional sense.
A great conservationist, one that we all admire, the 26th
president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, taught us
that conservation is also a great moral issue. That it is our
duty as it ensures safety and continuity for this nation.
So, Mr. Chairman, as we move forward, I remain committed to
securing a dedicated fund for natural resource adaptation. I
encourage the members of this subcommittee to look at subtitle
B of the Dingell-Boucher draft released last year, which has in
it carefully crafted natural resource adaptation language that
was written by my staff and the staff of the natural resources
committee. And it has the support of most, if not all, the
Similar actions are going to be taken by the committee on
natural resources. So I want to thank you for holding this
hearing today, Mr. Chairman. And I hope that my colleagues will
join me in saving some of the precious treasures that we can
save, using the resources and the finances generated by the
auctions, which will take place for the monies that we can
produce for a very important cause. I thank you, and I yield
back the balance of my time.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Dingell follows:]
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] T7818A.003
Mr. Markey. We thank the gentleman. The chair recognizes
the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Shimkus.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN SHIMKUS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Mr. Shimkus. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The right of free
speech is a great right that we have in this country. Very few
times we use it to espouse our theological religious beliefs,
but we do have members of the clergy here as members of the
panel. So I want to start with Genesis 8, verses 21 and 22.
``Never again will I curse the ground because of man even
though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood,
and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have
done. As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold
and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.''
I believe that is the infallible word of God, and that is the
way it is going to be for his creation.
The second verse comes from Matthew 24. ``And he will send
his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his
elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the
other.'' The earth will end only when God declares it is time
to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will
not be destroyed by a flood.
And I appreciate having panelists here who are men of
faith, and we can get into the theological discourse of that
position. But I do believe God's word is infallible,
Two other issues, Mr. Chairman. Today we have 388 parts per
million in the atmosphere. I think in the age of the dinosaurs
when we had the most flora and fauna, we were probably at 4,000
parts per million. There is a theological debate that this is a
carbon-starved planet, not too much carbon. And the cost of a
cap-and-trade on the poor is now being discovered. These miners
lost their jobs through the last--and Mr. Chairman, we have
talked about this job lost. I have an IDNR report, Illinois
Department of Natural Resources, that points to four mines that
were closed specifically because of Clean Air Act amendments in
1990. I am going to share those with you later because we did
have that discussion, and I do appreciate that.
Appreciate the hearing, and I look forward to the
questions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Markey. We thank the gentleman. The chair recognizes
the gentlelady from California, Ms. Matsui.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DORIS O. MATSUI, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Ms. Matsui. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you very
much for this hearing today. I am eager to hear from today's
witnesses about how our communities and our world can adapt to
climate change, and adapt we must.
California's Department of Water Resources projected that
the Sierra Nevada snow pack will experience a 25 to 40 percent
reduction by 2050. These are not empty numbers. They represent
real impacts of climate change that translate into serious
risks for my constituents.
As California's climate warms, more of the Sierra Nevada's
watersheds will contribute to peak storm runoff. High frequency
flood events are projected to increase as a result. We have no
choice but to adapt to these changing realities.
In Sacramento, we live by two beautiful rivers, the
Sacramento and the American. As global warming intensifies,
scientists predict greater storm intensity that could forever
change these rivers' flow patterns. This means that my district
will have to cope with more direct runoff and more flooding.
California has not hid from these changes. Instead, we are
leading the way in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. We are
developing a comprehensive climate adaptation strategy.
However, California and the entire United States will need
additional resources to adapt to the realities of climate
change. Water resource adaptation strategies will need to be
coordinated between local, state, and federal leaders. And
states with strained budgets and growing needs will require
federal funding in order to adapt and protect our communities.
That is why upcoming climate legislation must be bold and
resourceful when it comes to adaptation policy.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this hearing, and I look
forward to today's testimony. I yield back the balance of my
Mr. Markey. We thank the gentlelady. Chair recognizes the
gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Pitts.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH R. PITTS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Mr. Pitts. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for convening
today's hearing on this important topic. I believe it is
imperative to look at the role of adaptation as we continue to
discuss cap-and-trade legislation. Human beings are designed to
be able to adapt to changing climate temperatures, and there
are repeated examples in history of mankind being able to adapt
when temperatures have fluctuated.
However, adapting to drastic job losses and a failing
economy due to burdensome cap-and-trade or massive bureaucratic
regulations or a national energy tax scheme will be incredibly
difficult for all Americans. A March 2009 National Public Radio
survey said that Americans' top concern is the decline in the
stock market and investment losses. The second highest concern
is job losses.
Every American realizes that we are in a time of economic
trouble. So we must ask the question. Is it prudent to pass a
cap-and-trade bill which will increase the cost of energy and
conceivably cause 3.75 million job losses? What is more, is it
prudent to pass legislation that will make matters even worse
by levying a new national energy tax that could cost families
up to $3,100 per year?
Mr. Chairman, we need to carefully consider the negative
impact a cap-and-trade bill with the a national energy tax will
have on our economy. I do not believe it is in the best
interest of American families to pass a bill that will make
their way of life harder and more challenging.
Instead, we should focus on investment in economic growth
and direct actions to adapt to climate change as better
alternatives. I look forward to hearing our witnesses today and
Mr. Markey. Thank the gentleman. The chair recognizes the
gentleman from Texas, Mr. Green.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. GENE GREEN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Mr. Green. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I appreciate you
calling this hearing on adaptation policies and programs. One
of the things I would like to say is I hope whatever this
committee creates, cap-and-trade, that those dollars that are
generated from it would be designated for the direct utility
consumer assistance and not be used as a piggy bank for the
U.S. government. We need to make sure that we deal with the
policies that we really are trying to protect.
While Congress continues to debate how to address future
greenhouse gas emissions, many scientists believe we must learn
to adapt to changes in the earth's climate caused from
emissions existing in the atmosphere today. Human beings have
been adapting in our world for literally millions of years.
Altered climate systems may have impacts on our environmental
economic well being, and agencies at all levels of the
government must be tasked when implementing adaptation policies
to respond to real or potential climate change threats.
This is not an easy task. Previous natural disasters in the
U.S. have shown how woefully ill-prepared our nation is in
responding to natural events. A hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico
is not unusual, whether it was Hurricane Katrina or Rita, or
the most recent was Hurricane Ike that was the first hurricane
to hit the Houston that I represent for 25 years. Thousands of
homes were destroyed. Vast areas of our community were left for
weeks without power, and many areas were short on essentials,
food, ice, or water supplies.
We must avoid the mistakes of the past and create more
efficient and responsive federal recovery efforts for natural
events. Coordinating climate research and monitoring across the
federal government will be challenging, and I hope to learn
more about NOAA's efforts to provide policymakers with the
latest climate information and assessments.
Perhaps most important will be preparing officials for
decision-making and future planning based on unknown or
unreliable factors. According to the National Research Council
the decision rules that assume a stationary climate are no
I hope we can create the tools and provide the resources
necessary to assist officials in preparing for outside-the-box
thinking to address these future conditions. State and local
governments would also be provided assistance to perform local
assessments at climate impact related preparation efforts such
as updating flood plain maps and reinforcing levees and flood
drainage systems, conditions to survive for those vulnerable to
climate change, particularly low-income Americans with
insufficient resources to prepare or adapt to the changing
And thank you again for the hearing, Mr. Chairman. I yield
back my time.
Mr. Markey. Great. Thank the gentleman. The chair
recognizes the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Burgess.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. MICHAEL C. BURGESS, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Mr. Burgess. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I certainly look
forward to hearing from our witnesses today. I think we have a
very varied and potentially a very lively panel, and I am sure
it will be very enlightening as well as very entertaining.
Now, I am not sure how the climate is going to change in
the future or necessarily what effect our behaviors today are
going to have on the planet, but one thing I do know is we need
to do a better job ensuring that people are prepared for
changes, changes in the weather, changes in natural disasters.
This is something we can address without necessarily taxing
carbon or proposing or imposing a cap on carbon or establishing
a trading platform where sophisticated investors can work up
exotic carbon options and manipulate the market and make great
sums of money.
Now, next month in my district, I will be hosting an
emergency preparedness summit. I want to ensure that I am
providing the people in my district with information and
resources that they need to survive and overcome changes in the
environment. I don't have to tell my constituents because the
weather in Texas is legendary. It changes constantly, and we
have some of the most varied weather between hurricanes,
tornadoes, hailstorms, snow, sleet, dust storms. We have some
of the most varied cosmological conditions on the planet.
But taking the time to prepare and plan ahead does save
money and does save lives. And that leads me to the point of
today's hearing. Preparing for any potential effects of climate
change would be far less costly to the economy than mandating a
carbon cap. And I have said it before this committee. Strong
and growing economies are more likely to develop the technology
and the breakthroughs that we need to spur the next wave in
Stifling the economy with carbon mandates may actually
stifle our ability to solve this very problem. And yesterday,
in the ``Washington Post'' the second editorial, I believe,
dealt with just that issue. That it would be more
straightforward and more honest of this committee to be talking
about a carbon tax as opposed to a cap-and-trade. I don't
support a carbon tax. I think it is the wrong idea, but let us
not hide behind this cloud of obfuscation with a cap-and-trade
when really what we are going to do is tax energy, tax jobs,
and tax carbon. I will yield back.
Mr. Markey. Okay, the gentleman's time has expired. The
chair recognizes the gentlelady from California, Ms. Harman.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JANE HARMAN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Ms. Harman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Global warming needs a
two-pronged approach. One, mitigation and two, as we have been
discussing this morning, adaptation. We are just beginning to
understand that even if we implement an aggressive mitigation
policy and significantly begin to reduce greenhouse gases, our
nation and the world will still confront the impacts of global
warming, including changes in weather patterns, deadly heat
waves, and increasing infectious disease outbreaks.
This is why any climate bill passed from this committee
must address adaptation. California is already in the process
of developing a statewide adaptation strategy because of its
vulnerability to global warming. For example, my district
includes a breathtaking part of the California coast, one of
our nation's most beautiful natural resources. As a result of
rising sea levels and increased storm intensity, we could lose
the beaches. This not only affects the quality of life for me
and my constituents but will have a huge financial impact with
the loss of tourism dollars.
My district will also confront other California-wide
impacts such as a reduced water supply as salt water mixes with
our fresh water sources, increased air pollution, and more days
with temperatures over 100.
The consequences of global warming will also lead to major
national and global security concerns. And as someone who
focuses on security, this is where, I think, we all need to
focus. They include large scale human migration due to resource
scarcity, increased competition for food, water, and other
resources, increased frequency and severity of disease
outbreaks. The impact of climate change, such as
desertification in the horn of Africa, could lead to conflicts
and push countries to the brink of collapse. This could
strengthen terror groups that are already active in the region
and could be a central breeding ground and safe haven for
That is why I am pleased that we are studying climate
change as a part of our national intelligence estimates, and I
think it is absolutely critical, Mr. Chairman, to focus on
adaptation here as one of the strategies that will hopefully
keep our country and the world safer. I yield back.
Mr. Markey. Okay, we thank the gentlelady. The chair
recognizes the gentleman from Louisiana, Mr. Scalise.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. STEVE SCALISE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF LOUISIANA
Mr. Scalise. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is an important
hearing, and I appreciate the panel's participation today. It
is the job of Congress to seek ways to promote our country's
economy prosperity and to support policies that protect our
country's national security interests. It is my opinion that a
cap-and-trade energy tax does neither and runs contrary to
where our focus should be in these tough economic times.
The members of this subcommittee do not all agree on the
causes of climate change, nor have all of the experts that have
come before our group. While the debates on the causes of
climate change have not been settled, what also has not been
called into question is the fact that a cap-and-trade energy
tax will cost this country millions of good jobs and will force
the average American family to pay thousands of dollars in
increased energy costs.
President Obama's budget director, Peter Orszag, has even
testified that energy taxes designed to decrease carbon
emissions will be passed on to American families. According to
Mr. Orszag, the average American household, the cost to them
would be about $1,300 a year for a 15 percent cut in
CO2 emissions. He admitted to Congress last year
that the price increases borne by consumers are essential to
the success of a cap-and-trade energy tax. If the idea is to
promote clean energy, why do we continue to reject nuclear
power as an alternative source of energy? Energy production and
development in our country has come a long way over the past
Instead of taxing American families and the small
businesses that create wealth in this country, we should
promote policies that encourage the development of new, cleaner
technologies. That is the direction and the course that we are
currently on, and we should continue to travel that path
instead of crippling our economy when we can least afford it.
There are countless small businesses across America that
are watching the subcommittee's action very closely to
determine their future in our country. They employ millions of
Americans and want to continue to invest here, but if we act
irresponsibly, these firms will pack up and ship their
investment and American jobs overseas.
And to add insult to injury, many of the countries where
these companies will relocate do not have the environmental
standards that we already have today in America.
These are important issues we need to discuss, and I look
forward to hearing from the panel. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Markey. Great. We thank the gentleman. Chair recognizes
the gentleman from Louisiana, Mr. Melancon.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLIE MELANCON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF LOUISIANA
Mr. Melancon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to
thank you for holding this hearing today, and I appreciate the
conversations we have had and your decisions to try and look at
all energy sources. I appreciate the ability of you to
recognize that we need to explore all avenues.
We are here today to talk about the effect of climate
change in the world around us, and I find it interesting that
some people say it is a world problem now since we didn't
participate in Kyoto. We should have been there at that point
in time so we wouldn't be discussing what we need to be doing,
which is different now.
Even if this Congress enacted climate change legislation
tomorrow, it would be impossible to avoid the consequences
related to the early effects of climate change. In fact, my
district has felt the effects of warm ocean waters firsthand.
Three years ago, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall on
the coast of Louisiana and leveled entire cities. Nearly 2,000
lost their lives to those storms, and tens of thousands more
lost everything else.
The widespread devastation from the greatest natural
disaster this country has ever seen is still evident today.
Communities across the Gulf are facing rising tides, increased
temperatures in the Gulf, which leads to stronger hurricanes.
And in the case of Louisiana, the fastest sinking coastline in
the country. Louisiana has lost over 1,900 square miles of land
since the 1930s. That is more land than the entire state of
This country can't survive without coastal communities.
These are the people that provide the seafood that we eat, the
energies that drives our economy, and the labor that keeps our
exports flowing to buyers around the world. Keeping our coastal
communities alive ensures the health of the rest of the
country, and to help these coastal communities preserve as the
vibrant hubs of hard work and the culture that they are, we
must all work together to find creative ways to adapt to the
world that is always changing around us.
Again thank you for your interest and your help in this
Mr. Markey. We thank the gentleman. The chair now
recognizes the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Barton.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOE BARTON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Mr. Barton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to again
commend you and Chairman Waxman for holding these series of
hearings. They are very informational and informative, and most
of the time, they are even entertaining. So I am grateful, as
always for this regular order.
I especially want to thank Lord Monckton for testifying. He
is generally as one of the most knowledgeable, if not the most
knowledgeable experts from a skeptical point of view on this
issue of climate change. And we are very glad that he could
stay over this week in the United States and testify at this
Today's hearing is about adaptation. Adapting is a common
natural way for people to adapt to their environment. I believe
that the earth's climate is changing, but I think it is
changing for natural variation reasons. And I think mankind has
been adapting to climate as long as man has walked the earth.
When it rains, we find shelter. When it hot, we get in shade.
When it is cold, we find a warm place to stay. Adaptation is a
practical, affordable, utterly natural reflex response to
nature when the planet is heating or cooling, as it always is
doing one or the other.
As Lord Monckton will testify, in the Middle Ages, it was
warmer almost everywhere in the world than it is today. Some of
our ancestors grew grapes in Britain. Others sailed ice-free
seas to settle northern places like Newfoundland and Greenland.
This period used to be known as the Medieval Warm Period. It
was followed by the Little Ice Age, the Period of Dramatic
Cooling, which lasted until the middle of the 19th Century.
During the Little Ice Age, both the Vikings and the British
adapted to the cold by changing. I suppose that one possible
adaptation response of Viking retrenchment and British
expansion is that we are conducting the hearing today in
English instead of Norwegian.
In the Chesapeake Bay and the Piedmont Marsh, the lower
Hudson Valley, layers of sediment reflect what happened to the
North American continent. That history shows that the nature of
the climate is to change and to make organic shifts in
temperature regardless of mankind's presence or supposed
Nature doesn't seem to adjust to people as much as people
seem to adjust to nature. I think that it is inevitable that
humanity will adapt to global warming. I also believe the
longer we postpone finding ways to do it successfully, the most
expensive and unpalatable the adjustment will become.
Adaptation to shifts in temperature is not that difficult.
What will be difficult is the adaptation to rampant
unemployment, enormous, spontaneous, and avoidable changes to
our economy if we adopt such a reckless policy as cap and tax
or cap-and-trade. That will devastate our economy, and we will
have great difficulty adapting to that.
The majority of this committee has promised, and I hope
this is a promise they don't meet, to introduce an economy-wide
cap-and-trade bill in the next month no matter that the past
seven years have witnessed a cooling period. Europe just
experienced its coldest winter in the last 20 years last
In the name of the house of cards posing as scientific
certainty and an alarmist policy asserted by its followers with
a religious fervor, the Democratic majority apparently is hell-
bent to propose to cap our economy and trade away our jobs.
Some of us on this committee are going to try to stop that or
at least deflect it.
On top of the very real threat of job losses caused by
closed factories, shut down mines, vacant power plants rendered
uncompetitive under an American cap-and-trade scheme, the new
majority's cap-and-trade goal is to make our electricity so
expensive, our gas so pricey, and our food so dear that we will
be forced to change the way we live. We will literally be
forced to change the American way of life.
We have had hearing after hearing where armies of witnesses
representing both sides of the debate have warned us that the
impact of cap-and-trade on everybody in this country but the
mega-rich. The people at greatest risk are low income, middle
income families, blue-collar workers, the elderly, and those
whose jobs will be destroyed--and I say will be, not may be,
will be destroyed if we adopt a cap-and-tax policy.
The question is not how Americans will adapt to cap-and-
trade legislation. The question is if and how we will survive
when blackouts, rampant job loss, and empty cupboards threaten
out very way of life. With those cheery words, Mr. Chairman, I
yield back, and I look forward to this hearing.
Mr. Markey. And we thank the gentleman. The chair
recognizes the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Barrow. The
gentleman's time will be reserved. The chair recognizes the
gentlelady from Wisconsin, Ms. Baldwin.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. TAMMY BALDWIN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WISCONSIN
Ms. Baldwin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I woke up this
morning and watched a little bit of the morning news, and the
headlines were about very unnatural adaptation that is going on
in North Dakota. Apparently hundreds of citizens spent the
night last night filling over a million bags with sand as they
are trying to race against time to keep the Red River within
its bank. It is now twice its natural level, and, of course,
our thoughts go out to them.
Last year, I witnessed firsthand the extreme rain and
flooding and devastation that people in my district and across
the upper Midwest experienced as a result of intense rainfall.
We lost homes and businesses and farmland, not to mention
millions of dollars of productivity. Wisconsinites also will
not soon forget the severe winter storms that we shoveled our
way out of a year ago. My hometown had more snow than had ever
been recorded since such measurements began to be taken decades
and decades ago. And in fact, we beat the old existing record
by 40 percent approximately.
Many, including leading experts on climate change, fear
that, as a result of unabated increases in greenhouse gas
emissions, this record rain and snowfall will become the norm.
These events used to be called 100 year events or 500 year
events, and we find them happening separated only by years or
decades these days.
And as the various regions across the country and the world
experience sweeping changes in precipitation and weather
patterns, not only is the environment at risk, but also food
and water supplies, ecosystems, social structure and national
Fortunately, adaptation efforts are occurring to minimize
both the cost and severity of climate change. In Wisconsin,
local communities like Dane County are assessing lake levels to
minimize property damage. Funding wetland restoration efforts
and updating the hazardous mitigation plan, which identifies
potential impacts of natural hazards.
Smart planning is essential to ensuring that the most
vulnerable regions and populations are protected. I expect our
witnesses today will inform us about other adaptation practices
taking place around the globe.
Finally, let me state what I hope many here will agree
with, that the impacts of climate change vary greatly from area
to area. As such, to the extent that future proceeds are
directed to support adaptation strategies, we must recognize
that states and localities are best equipped to make decisions
about how to effectively and efficiently invest in these
practices. I hope we keep that in mind as we craft our bill.
And thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back the balance of my
Mr. Markey. The gentlelady's time has expired. The chair
recognizes the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Stearns.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CLIFF STEARNS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. Stearns. Mr. Chairman, thank you and my good friend Mr.
Upton for having this hearing. It is nice to have, as Mr.
Barton mentioned, Lord Monckton here. He was a policy advisor
to the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. And so he is a very
good witness for us to have, Mr. Chairman. And I would like to
welcome Dr. Beisner from Florida from Broward County. Dr.
Beisner is a welcome witness here from my home state.
We have gone through this whole idea of cap-and-trade here
and is a mantra for global warming and now is a mantra for cap-
and-trade. But if you said to yourself is there any country in
the world who is doing cap-and-trade? Well, there is. The
European Union has put in place cap-and-trade. Phase one was
tried, and now they are into phase two. As I understand it,
they had to suspend the cap-and-trade commodity exchange
because of very serious problems on ethics.
And I think, Mr. Chairman, in all deference to you, I think
we should also have a hearing on how cap-and-trade is working
in the European Union because if you have something that is
actually being implemented somewhere, then it does not become
theoretical. It becomes pragmatic and actual. And so, at this
point, we can theorize here, but the bottom line is let us see
how it is working in Europe.
Now, I can quote obviously statistics to show--but the
bottom line is that where are your statistics to show this
enormous increase in jobs because of the greening or the cap-
and-trade? So I think you have to show us that. We can show you
statistics that we are going to lose jobs. It is going to
increase taxes, but I think it is incumbent upon you folks when
you talk about all these new jobs from the greening of America,
where are they coming from? And what kinds of jobs are they?
And I yield back. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Markey. We thank the gentleman. The chair recognizes
the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Butterfield.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. G.K. BUTTERFIELD, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
Mr. Butterfield. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for
convening this important hearing and particularly to the seven
witnesses. Thank you for coming forward today.
Mr. Chairman, the effects of climate change at times now
seem distant compared to the pressing matters of restoring our
economy, dealing with AIG bonuses and the like and, of course,
attending to our budget. But ignoring this issue would be a
terrible, terrible mistake. Regardless of our success at
curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the global temperatures will
continue to rise in the coming decades.
Consequentially, we face rising sea levels, increased
tropical storm activity, more precipitation in wetter areas and
less in dryer areas, and increased spread and range of disease.
This will affect immunities domestically and abroad. And low-
income communities will be at greatest risk.
It would be my hope, Mr. Chairman, that in a cap-and-trade
bill to see regular funding generated from auction revenue
dedicated to 2 to 3 percent each for both domestic and
international adaptation efforts annually.
Domestically, the Department of Interior and the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers should administer these funds to deal with
sea level rise and flood reduction and wise water use.
Internationally, the U.S. Agency for International Development,
as we call it, USAID, should administer the funds to promote
Further, investments in deploying technology to developing
countries, aiding farmers who face shifting weather patterns,
and responding to increases in tropical-borne disease are
imperative to confronting the coming problems rather than
reacting to them.
Again, Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening this hearing.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. Markey. Okay, gentleman's time has expired. All time
for opening statements has been completed. We are now going to
turn to our very distinguished witness panel. I will advise the
panelists before we begin that I am going to strictly enforce
the 5-minute rule. So my advice to you would be this. I am
going to introduce you so everyone will know who you are. You
will not have to reintroduce yourself. If you have three key
points and they are on page three of your testimony, move them
up to the top, and then at the very end, if there is time left
over, you can tell us more about your wonderful organizations.
Okay, but get to your key points. I will be tapping the
gavel right at 5 minutes, so please try to make sure that you
think in those terms as we are going along.
Our first witness is Mr. Thomas Karl, director of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National
Climate Data Center. Dr. Karl has had a distinguished
scientific career and has served as lead author on many key
scientific reports including as a lead author on the recent
fourth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, and as the co-chair of the National Assessment on
Climate Variability and Change. We thank you for joining us,
Mr. Karl. Whenever you are ready, please begin.
STATEMENTS OF THOMAS KARL, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC
DATA CENTER, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION;
JOHN STEPHENSON, DIRECTOR OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT,
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE; LARRY SCHWEIGER, PRESIDENT
AND CEO, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION; E. CALVIN BEISNER, THE
CORNWALL ALLIANCE FOR THE STEWARDSHIP OF CREATION; LORD
CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON, THIRD VISCOUNT MONCKTON OF BRENCHLEY;
DAVID WASKOW, CLIMATE CHANGE PROGRAM DIRECTOR, OXFAM AMERICAN;
AND BISHOP CALLON HOLLOWAY, EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN
AMERICA, ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
STATEMENT OF THOMAS KARL
Mr. Karl. Thank you, Chairman Markey, Ranking Member Upton,
and members of the committee. I appreciate the opportunity to
testify before you today. First I do want to make note that Dr.
Lochanko, our new administer for NOAA, sends her regrets for
not being able to be here today. This is her third day on the
job, and she looks forward to working with the committee in the
I wanted to mentioned that the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change definition of climate change refers to climate
change over time, whether due to natural variability or the
result of human activity. One of the things that we have
already seen in many observed changes in the climate within the
United States and globally.
These include changes in air and water temperature, sea
level, fresh water, severity of intense hurricanes. These kind
of changes are likely to increase and continue and have
profound effects on the physical and biological environment,
our economic prosperity, human health, and national security.
There are typically two courses society can take to respond to
First is mitigation. Mitigation meaning options for
reducing heat-trapping gases. Second is adaptation. Adaptation
meaning changes that can be made to better respond to present
or future climate change and other environmental conditions,
thereby reducing harm and taking advantage of whatever
opportunities a changing economy may present.
Adaptation can include a wide variety of activities.
Farmers deciding to grow crops in a different way. Moving
business centers away from coasts, protecting coastlines. There
are a countless number of adaptation plans that already have
been devised. A few of them have actually been implemented but
NOAA is the nation's provider of weather and climate data
and information. We assemble this from a great variety of
sources. NOAA's climate information services result from a long
history of collaboration coordination with our sister agencies,
NASA, USGS, USDA, National Science Foundation, other government
Climate information such as drought forecasts, long-term
precipitation trends, fire forecasts, the frequency and
intensity of coastal storms are all examples of the kinds of
information that NOAA provides and will be useful for
adaptation plans and strategies that will be developed by
NOAA works with customers and stakeholders to ensure we are
providing high-quality information that is user-friendly,
responsive, relevant to the issues being addressed. Increasing
demands today for adaptation information, however, are
straining the ability of the agency to provide the kinds of
information that is being requested at the appropriate space
and time scales.
Some of the categories for climate information products and
services, technical assistance, and training that NOAA provides
today include scientific assessments of climate change and
impacts, as the chairman has mentioned. We work with a number
of partners in providing information services in support of
adaptation. This would include applications to living green
resources, applications to coastal communities, and
applications to water resources just to name a few.
In closing, I wanted to mention that despite the
substantial efforts that NOAA has had to date, there still
remains significant knowledge gap, uncertainties for
adaptation, as well as impediments to flows of knowledge
information relevant for decision makers.
In addition, the scale at which reliable information is
produced does not always match what is needed for adaptations
decisions. We have considerable information about and
confidence about changes in broad-scale aspects of climate
change. Often questions are asked of us to provide local and
regional information where the certainty is less apt to be as
confidently applied as might otherwise be in a more general
case. So there is clearly a need for some new tools and new
science to ensure that adaptation progresses at the most
An effective response to changing climate conditions is
going to require integrated flexible and responsive government-
wide approach. To help this need, NOAA has been working to
build on existing capacities to create seamless integrated
processes for transferring climate science information to
society and allow for informed decision making in the
development of adaptation activities at federal, state, and
I thank you for letting me have this opportunity today. I
would be happy to answer questions subsequently.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Karl follows:]
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Mr. Markey. We thank you, Mr. Karl. Our next witness is Mr.
John Stephenson. He is the director for Natural Resources and
Environment for the Government Accountability Office. Mr.
Stephenson has appeared many times before this committee to
provide GAO's perspective on energy and environmental issues.
We welcome you back, sir.
STATEMENT OF JOHN STEPHENSON
Mr. Stephenson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Upton, and
members of the subcommittee. I am here today to give GAO's
perspective on how the United States is adapting to actual and
anticipated changes in the climate.
Thus far, attention and resources have focused largely on
emissions reduction options, climate science research, and
technology investment. However, adaptation is beginning to
receive more attention because the greenhouse gases already in
the atmosphere are expected to continue altering the climate
system regardless of efforts to control emissions.
While it may be costly to build coastal dikes to protect
community from sea level rise or to build higher bridges or to
improve storm water systems, there is a growing recognition in
the United States and elsewhere that the cost of inaction could
My testimony addresses the actions federal, state, local
and international authorities are currently taking to adapt to
changing climate, the key challenges these officials are facing
in their efforts to adapt, and the actions that Congress and
federal agencies could take to help address these challenges.
The information in my testimony is based largely on prior
GAO work but also draws on our ongoing study for this
subcommittee. In summary, we found that a variety of
adaptation-related activities are underway at different levels
of government including federal efforts like NOAA's to provide
information and guidance to decision makers.
In addition, federal resource management agencies like the
Departments of Interior and Agriculture are beginning to
consider climate change in their planning activities. We also
found that certain state, local, and international governments
are developing and implementing climate change adaptation
For example, we just completed a site visit exploring
Maryland's strategy for reducing its vulnerability to climate
change, focusing on sea level rise and coastal storms. We found
that the state has completed an extensive mapping effort to
identify coastal vulnerability and has begun educating coastal
communities about changes that can be made to local ordinances
to reduce coastal erosion and increase resilience.
Specifically, Maryland provided guidance to three coastal
counties, recommending changes to planning documents, building
codes, and local laws to address the risk resulting from sea
level rise. We attended a public meeting held within the county
threatened by sea level rise and observed how difficult it was
to come to a resolution about the costs and trade-offs
associated with taking versus not taking adaptive measures.
Several of our recent reports illustrate a number of
challenges faced by government officials in attempting to
address climate change adaptation. First, climate change is one
of many priorities competing for their attention. Second, a
lack of guidance can constrain the ability of officials to
consider climate change in management and planning decisions.
Third, insufficient site-specific information can reduce the
ability of officials to manage the effects of climate change on
the resources they oversee. And finally, officials are
struggling to make decisions based on projected future climate
scenarios rather than past conditions.
On this last point, a recent report by the National
Resource Counsel stated that decision makers are not prepared
to manage or plan for adaptation because many of their usual
practices assume a continuation of past climate conditions.
According to the NRC, this assumption is no longer valid
because climate change will create a new and constantly
changing decision environment.
Our own 2000 report on FEMA's national flood insurance
program, which insures properties against flooding, and USDA's
federal crop insurance corporation, which insures crops against
drought or other weather disasters, reached similar
conclusions. Both highlighted how historical information may no
longer be a reliable guide for decision making. Unlike private
sector insurers, neither federal insurance program had
considered how climate change could affect their portfolios
over the near or long term, potentially exposing the programs
and taxpayers to greater financial risk.
Our ongoing work for this committee will continue to
explore these other adaptation issues and identify actions that
can be taken to help move adaptation programs forward.
To date, preliminary observations suggest a need for, one,
improving coordination among federal agencies and with state
and local governments; two, preparing a national adaptation
strategy and better guidance; and three, developing regional
and sector-specific information on the impacts of climate
Some have also suggested the creation of a centralized
government entity to collect and publicly share information
about climate change impacts and adaptation strategies. We plan
to continue to obtain information and perspectives from a broad
range of federal, state, and local stakeholders, and later this
year, issue a report to the committee on the results of our
work. Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement, and I will be
happy to answer questions at the appropriate time.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Stephenson follows:]
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Mr. Markey. And we thank you, Mr. Stephenson, very much.
Our next witness is Mr. Larry Schweiger, who is the president
and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. Previously Mr.
Schweiger served as president and CEO of the Western
Pennsylvania Conservancy and as the first vice-president of the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation. He currently chairs the Green Group,
a coalition of environmental organizations. We welcome you
back, and whenever you are ready, please begin.
STATEMENT OF LARRY SCHWEIGER
Mr. Schweiger. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the
Mr. Markey. Pull the microphone in just a little bit closer
Mr. Schweiger. Yeah. America has been blessed with an
abundance of natural resources. Born and raised as a hunter and
angler, I can say that our unique wildlife heritage has helped
define the traditions and values of my family and I know of
many other American families for generations.
Since the conservation leadership of President Theodore
Roosevelt, millions of Americans have devoted themselves to
protecting and restoring our country's natural resources. Now,
because of unchecked global warming, a century of conservation
achievement is in jeopardy.
Today's hearing is essentially about whether Congress will
ensure our children and their children are not left in a world
that is fundamentally different from the one that we have
enjoyed. I ask you, Mr. Chairman and subcommittee members, are
you ready to talk about a world that no longer has polar bears,
vast sagebrush depth, and free-roaming antelope, ice fishing,
and deep snows in the water, cold water rivers teeming with
salmon and trout? It is not an exaggeration to call what we are
facing a climate crisis. In fact, the problem with the debate
so far is that the climate change has consistently been
underestimated. The conservative protections that have framed
this story for many years are now being surpassed at a rate
that has even shocked scientists closely monitoring the
Congress must enact a two-part agenda in its climate and
energy legislation to adequately address the climate crisis.
First, Congress must cap global warming pollution now and being
steadily and rapidly reducing at a rate and pace dictated by
the science and by the precautionary principles. Reducing
carbon pollution in the atmosphere is the only way to head off
the worst impacts of the climate change on people and on
Secondly, Congress must use revenues from the carbon cap
program to carry out a program that is clean, green, and fair.
Clean because we must invest in clean energy technologies to
move to a new place in this country. Green because we must
provide a large-scale dedicated funding to protect our nation's
wildlife and other natural resources from climate change. And
fair because we must protect consumers and particularly help
those who are most vulnerable around the world.
I want to emphasis if we cap carbon pollution but fail to
invest adequately in natural resource protection, we will have
accomplished only half of the job. Because we have already
committed so much global warming pollution to the atmosphere,
we will necessarily be grappling with the harmful impacts to
wildlife for decades to come.
National Wildlife Federation is working with scientists,
resource managers, and a coalition of more than 700 hunting,
fishing, and conservation organizations from every state in the
nation to urge Congress to design climate legislation that
conserves wildlife and other natural resources from the impacts
of global warming.
You will see from the attached to my written testimony a
set of principles from the National Wildlife Federation and 19
other national conservation and supporting organizations
calling for large-scaled dedicated funding for natural resource
adaptation and for identifying key legislative provisions to
ensure that expenditures of such funding is science based and
Also attached is a letter from 612 leading scientists,
highlighting the urgency of the issue and also calling for
large-scale dedicated funding to the purpose of adaptation. We
are gratified to see President Obama pledge in his campaign to
use dedicated funding from the climate legislation for natural
resource adaptation. We are also pleased that our coalition's
principles were largely reflected in the Climate Security Act,
passed by the Senate Environmental Public Works Committee last
Conservation practitioners have already started planning
their natural resource adaptation efforts across the country,
but planning will be wasted without the resources to put that
program on the ground. Some have argued that funds for
safeguarding natural resources should come from sources other
than a cap program; however, the principle of pollute-or-pay
must apply here. Any legislation that allows companies to pay
to pollute must dedicate a portion of those payments to repair
the current and future damages caused by that pollution.
Mr. Chairman, the fourth report of the IPCC warns that in
the lifetime of a child born today, 20 to 30 percent of the
world's plant and animal species will be on the brink of
extinction if we don't take action now. It makes it clear that
unless we both cut carbon emissions and invest in adaptation,
we could easily lose over a million species.
To meet our fundamental ethical duty to pass on a healthy
planet to future generations, we must reduce carbon pollution,
and we must invest now in natural resource adaptation. We must
protect the natural world that protects us and our children.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Schweiger follows:]
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Mr. Markey. Thank you, Mr. Schweiger, very much. Our next
witness is Dr. Calvin Beisner, founder and national spokesman
of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Dr.
Beisner also serves on the pastoral staff of Holy Trinity
Presbyterian Church in Broward County, Florida. Thank you for
being with us, Dr. Beisner.
STATEMENT OF E. CALVIN BEISNER
Mr. Beisner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Upton, and
members of the committee.
Mr. Markey. Pull that microphone in just a little bit
Mr. Beisner. I have prepared a more extensive documented
written testimony and submit it for the record. When the
Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians about meeting with the
other apostles early in his ministry, he said, ``They only
asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager
to do.'' That has been my motivation for over 25 years of study
and writing on developmental and environmental economics.
Both the Old and the New Testaments insist that rulers
protect the poor from harm, following the example of Yahweh,
who Psalm 140:12 tells us ``will maintain the cause of the
afflicted and justice for the poor.'' Yet often the very people
who are responsible to protect the poor make laws that, whether
intentionally or not, harm them.
Climate change legislation may, I fear, be one such case.
The naturalist atheistic worldview sees earth and all its
ecosystems as the result of chance processes and therefore
inherently unstable and fragile, vulnerable to enormous harm
from tiny causes. The biblical worldview sees earth and its
ecosystems as the effect of a wise God's creation and
providential preservation and therefore robust, resilient, and
self-regulating, thus preventing small perturbations from
setting off a catastrophic cascade of reactions.
Both this biblical worldview and high quality scientific
empirical findings convince me that the fear of catastrophic
manmade global warming is mistaken. And if so, fighting it is a
waste. But even if not, fighting it may still be a mistake. The
most thorough comparisons between the costs and benefits of
temperature mitigation on the one hand and adaptation through
economic growth on the other have concluded resoundingly that
adaptation wins hands down.
I am aware that the Stern Review argues that the costs of
doing nothing will exceed those of fighting warming, but it
reaches that conclusion by assuming, among other mistakes, a
zero time discount rate to compare the values of present and
future costs. If you doubt the buffoonery of that, see me
afterward. I would like to borrow $1 million for 90 years at
What concerns me most is the impact of climate policy on
the poor. If we tax CO2 emissions, which, after all,
enhance plant growth and so benefit all of life, if we tax
them, whether directly or via cap-and-trade, we raise the price
of energy and so the prices of all things made and transported
by energy, which is essentially everything. This is
particularly devastating to the poor, for whom energy
constitutes a higher proportion of spending than for others.
Forcing the poor in the developing world, as must be done
if we seriously mean to stabilize CO2, to forego the
use of carbon-based fuels, coal, oil, and natural gas, the
cheapest fuels per kilowatt hour of energy delivered, means
delaying by decades or generations the time when they can
afford electricity for their homes and industries and thus
delays for similar periods the time when they can refrigerate
their food and so protect it from spoilage and themselves from
under-nutrition for lack of food and diseases from spoiled
When they can heat their homes with clean electricity
rather than by open fires of wood and dry dung, the smoke from
which causes respiratory diseases that reduce the amount of
work they can do and so reduce their incomes and kill two to
four million per year.
When they can air condition their homes and so close
windows and doors, keeping out insects that spread malaria,
dengue fever, and other diseases that kill millions every year
and disable scores to hundreds of millions.
As Lomborg puts it, in the Third World, access to fossil
fuels is crucial. About 1.6 billion people don't have access to
electricity, which seriously impedes development. 2.5 billion
people use biomass, such as wood, waste, and dung, to cook and
keep warm. About 1.3 million people, mostly women and children,
die each year due to heavy indoor air pollution. A switch from
biomass to fossil fuels would dramatically improve 2.5 billion
Inexpensive fossil fuels contributed enormously to the
economic development of the wealthy countries of the world. To
demand that poor countries forego their use is to deprive them
of that benefit and is, I insist, a grave injustice. It is the
demand of wealthy powerful elites at the expense of the
No alternative fuels can compete at present with fossil
fuels for price. To compel their use in order to reduce
CO2 emissions is therefore to raise the price of
energy and to harm the poor. Until someone can justify just a
regressive tax with its fatal consequences, I can only conclude
that it is unethical and that we are morally obligated not to
impede access by the poor to abundant, inexpensive fossil
fuels. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Beisner follows:]
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Mr. Markey. We thank you very much for being here. Our next
witness is Lord Christopher Monckton. He is the Viscount of
Brenchley. Lord Monckton is the chief policy advisor to the
Science and Public Policy Institute. From 1982 to 1986, Lord
Monckton served as a special advisor to Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher. Please proceed, Lord Monckton.
STATEMENT OF LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON
Mr. Monckton. Sir, I bring fraternal greetings from the
mother of Parliament to the great Congress of your athletic
democracy, and I pray that God's blessing may rest upon your
The right response to the non-problem of global warming is
to have the courage to do nothing.
Slide please. Thank you. There has been global cooling, as
you see on that slide, for 7 years. The UN's climate panel has
exaggerated carbon dioxide's effect on temperature sevenfold,
verified by satellite observation--next slide please--that the
diminution over time in outgoing long-wave radiation is one-
seventh of that which the UN's computer models were told to
Next slide please. Carbon dioxide is accumulating in the
air at less than half the rate that the United Nations had
imagined. This century we may warm the world by just half a
Fahrenheit degree, if that.
Next slide please. If doing nothing is inexpedient,
adaptation to warmer or cooler weather, when and if necessary,
is many times more cost effective than attempted mitigation.
Adaptation to warmer weather is, of course, unnecessary
unless the weather actually gets warmer. For 14 years, there
has been no statistically significant global warming. Do not do
or spend anything to mitigate or adapt to global warming until
global temperature is two Fahrenheit degrees warmer than in
2000. That may not happen for at least a century.
We have been adapting to natural variations in climate
throughout the history of humankind. Adaptation is a practical,
affordable natural response to natural climate change. In the
Middle Ages, it was warmer worldwide than today. Then global
cooling set in. Our ancestors adapted. The Vikings abandoned
their settlements in Greenland. Their graveyard in Hvalsey is
under permafrost. It was frost free when they were buried.
In Europe we adapted too. We moved to the valleys as the
glaciers advanced, burying mountain roads, silver mines, and
forests. Only now are all of these emerging once again.
Adaptation therefore is at present unnecessary. Mitigation is
always unnecessary. It is also disproportionately expensive as
Dr. Beisner has rightly pointed out.
In particular, the impoverishing regressive poll tax that
is cap-and-trade has an ignominious past and no future. It has
collapsed twice in Europe and once in New Zealand. If the
United States adopts cap-and-trade, she may find herself doing
so alone. Cap-and-trade will create green jobs by the thousands
while destroying real jobs by the million at a cost of
trillions. It is senseless. Green jobs are the new euphemism
for mass unemployment.
Cap-and-trade will perversely increase the global emissions
it is intended to diminish. You will transfer your jobs,
industries, and wealth to India and China. Their emissions per
unit of production are far greater than your own. Protectionist
tariffs, to try to prevent that, are the last resort of the
economically illiterate and the politically desperate. Tariffs
always damage those nations who impose them and they also flout
your nation's obligations to the World Trade Organization. They
are ultra vires.
For proof of the economic damage caused by unilateral but
futile attempts at influencing climate, see the galloping
exodus from California. Everyone with any get-up-and-go is
getting up and going. And unlike their robotic governor, they
won't be back.
Or see the food riots in a dozen of the world's poorest
regions after the biofuels scam that arose directly from the
global warming scare doubled food prices in 18 months. A third
of your farmland no longer grows food for people who need it.
It grows fuel for automobiles that don't.
For us, dearer food is inconvenient. For starving millions
worldwide, as Dr. Beisner has pointed out, it is death. Next
In Haiti, the biofuel driven doubling of world food prices
has forced the poorest to eat mud pies made with real mud.
There is serious starvation going on around the world now, and
this is directly--not as a result of global warming. There
hasn't been any for 14 years--but as a result of policies
intended to mitigate what does not need to be mitigated. You
must apply the precautionary principle also to the precautions.
And finally--next slide please--King Canute reminds his
courtiers of the limitations of earthly power when the waves
disobeyed his command not to wet the royal feet. You can no
more command the forces of nature than could King Canute. For
the sake of your taxpayers and the poor, whom their taxes
support and defend, please don't try.
[The prepared statement of Lord Monckton follows:]
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Mr. Markey. Good show, Lord Monckton. Very good show. Our
next witness is Mr. David Waskow. Mr. Waskow is the climate
change program director at Oxfam America. Before joining Oxfam,
he worked for Friends of the Earth where he focused on a range
of international, environmental, and development issues. We
welcome you, sir.
STATEMENT OF DAVID WASKOW
Mr. Waskow. Good morning. Thank you. Oxfam is an
international development and humanitarian organization that
works in more than 120 countries, including the United States,
and I am here today because our staff and partners are already
responding to the serious impacts of climate change, including
heat waves, severe storms, sea level rise, and reduced water
Both in the United States and abroad, we believe it has
become essential to develop innovative and effective adaptation
strategies for vulnerable communities. And, as I will note in a
moment, we also believe these strategies are an opportunity for
economic growth, both at home and abroad.
We witnessed the reality of climate impacts firsthand in
our operations in the Gulf Coast, responding to the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina. And although a particular weather-related
event like Katrina cannot be specifically attributed to climate
change, its impacts do stand as a tragic warning sign of the
consequences if we fail to develop robust adaptation
And let me just note for a moment here that I think our
approach to climate change in general should be a proactive
one, not reactive. And that is the case both in terms of
reducing our emissions and also in doing adaptation, which is a
matter of promoting resilience in a proactive manner.
In the United States, low income and other vulnerable
populations will be disproportionately affected by climate
change, as has been noted earlier. According to the recent
findings of the Federal U.S. Climate Change Science Program,
many of the expected health effects are likely to fall heaviest
on the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the uninsured.
Health waves and extreme weather events are but two examples of
climate impacts that will disproportionately affect the low
income and other vulnerable populations.
As a first step to addressing these challenges in our
country, the federal government should establish a national
climate adaptation strategy, coordinate actions across
agencies, and provide capacity building assistance to state and
local governments. All of these climate adaptation strategies
should prioritize and include the participation of vulnerable
communities, including improving the management of emergency
response strategies for those who are most vulnerable.
Internationally, the capacity of vulnerable communities in
developing countries is even more limited and is being
stretched even further that is the case here in the United
States. Agricultural practices, water systems, disaster
preparedness, and health systems will all need to be
strengthened and improved in order to be more climate
In these countries, the consequences of climate change
reach significantly beyond direct impacts of course. Stability
and security will be undermined by climate change, and recently
retired U.S. admirals and generals recommended that the U.S.
take serious action to build climate resilience in those
Climate resilience, however, is not only a necessity both
in the United States and around the world. It is also smart
economically. Taking preventive action now will pay for itself
many times over, and studies have shown that reducing disaster
risk saves $4 for every dollar spent on disaster preparedness.
Adaptation strategies are also a key economic opportunity
that we should seize. Innovative solutions can be an integral
part of a global transition to a clean and climate-resilient
economy. From developing climate resilient buildings to
buttresses sustainable transport systems to improving water
systems and agricultural practices around the world, we can
find substantial economic benefits from adaptation strategies.
In the Gulf Coast, we have been involved with a promising
example of climate resilient economic development building
green, climate resilient housing. And we are seeing the
development of new markets at home and abroad for technologies
and services to help communities build resilience. Water pumps,
infiltration devices, irrigation equipment, early warning
systems for weather events, and weather index microinsurance.
U.S. companies and workers are well poised to partner with
communities at home and abroad in deploying these technologies
and services. For example, Pent Air, a Minnesota-based company,
manufactures pumps and filters for the entire water cycle and
recently installed and maintained filtration systems in rural
communities in India and Honduras.
The development of new, clean energy technologies to
support climate adaptation and resilience, both here and in
developing countries, is another economic opportunity. And I
would just take a moment to note that in many cases, off-grid
renewable energy technologies are, in fact, the most cost
effective, best way to provide energy sources to the poor in
Out of necessity, a wave of innovation is possible if we
seize this opportunity to tackle climate adaptation and
resilience that stands before us. So I encourage you to seize
that opportunity. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Waskow follows:]
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Mr. Markey. Thank you so much, sir. And our final witness
is Bishop Callon Holloway who was recently elected to his third
term as bishop of the Southern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America. Prior to that, he served as
assistant to the bishop of the Southern Ohio Synod and pastor
of the Western Lutheran Church in Dayton. Please begin whenever
you feel comfortable, Bishop.
STATEMENT OF BISHOP CALLON HOLLOWAY
Bishop Holloway. Thank you very much. Good morning,
Chairman Markey and Congressman Upton and members of the
committee. I thank you for the opportunity to testify today,
and I am with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and
also representing the National Counsel of Churches. Between
them, the five million members of the ELCA and 45 million in
the National Counsel of Churches, I speak in their behalf.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak from the
perspective of those of us involved in the faith community as
we are called and to speak with you about global climate
change, particularly our concern for those who are living in
poverty around the world and here who are already facing the
impacts of this climatic change.
For many people of faith, the call to be good stewards of
the earth is grounded in God's command in Genesis to keep and
to till the earth. Christians look to Christ's example and heed
the call to seek justice, care for our neighbor, and provide
for those who are living in poverty or are otherwise
suppressed. And our response to climate change must reflect the
principles of stewardship and justice. Particularly for those
who are living in poverty around the world, they are the ones
who are least responsible for the changes taking place and most
likely to suffer from its impact.
The diverse coalition of faith communities including
Catholics, Protestants, evangelicals, and our inter-faith
partners have endorsed the climate fairness agenda, which
unites our communities behind the goal of working to ensure
that the United States government aggressively reduces
greenhouse and gas emissions while providing for the most
vulnerable here in our own country and around the world.
And I would like to submit to you for the record a document
``Climate Fairness Agenda: A Religious Call to Address Global
Climate Change and Poverty.''
Mr. Markey. We will include that in the record without
Bishop Holloway. Thank you very much, sir. In its 2007
assessment reports, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, the IPCC, paints a pretty bleak picture of God's
creation and those already struggling with hunger and disease.
The report details how climate change will increase insecurity
in places where food is already scarce while reversing progress
made to fight against hunger in other regions. Rising
temperatures will increase water scarcity and some areas and
spread of disease, such as malaria, fever, West Nile virus.
More severe natural disasters and longer-term drought will
lead to increased migration. I have seen this with my own eyes
and worked with those who are working with the people who are
most affected by this. I have been privileged to see this in my
own church and our response to global climate change, through
my own synod's companionships in Tanzania, Brazil, and also in
Kazakhstan most recently.
And I have met with farmers who are struggling with extreme
weather pattern changes and unpredictable rainfalls, and our
people are working hard, fast, furiously, and in partnership
with great numbers and diversity of other people and
organizations to provide basic water supply, cleanliness, and
opportunities to eat.
For us, we are blessed in our country with waking in the
morning and deciding what color tie to wear or what color iPod
to have having from our sides while most people around the
world deciding if they are going to eat that day. Although
churches and other NGOs are already working to assist
communities adapting to climate change, the reality is that the
changes are far too great for us to manage alone. We cannot do
that alone. We are not structured for it. It is not our primary
A number of proposed bills in the House during the 110th
Session including, Chairman Markey, your recommendations with
the iCAP bill and Counselman Doggett's Climate MATTERS bill and
the Boxer/Warner/Lieberman bill in the Senate include an
international adaptation assistance language and funding.
There are several items I would like to get to in this
report. That funds should be appropriately targeted in terms of
recipient countries by 10 percent. Local communities must be
engaged in a participatory process through transparent
mechanisms, and funds should be provided to fund the current
levels of official development assistance. The funds should be
targeted for climate impact, and legislation should enhance
developing country efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. must acknowledge its role, both claimed and
granted, in the responsibility for this global crisis and
should commit to providing substantial financial support
reaching between $7 and $21.5 billion a year by 2030.
Some will say we cannot afford to make this sort of
investment at a time of global economic turmoil. I counter that
if we do not do it, we cannot afford that either. I thank you
very much as we look to protect creation and God's people.
[The prepared statement of Bishop Holloway follows:]
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Mr. Markey. Thank you, Bishop Holloway and to the other six
witnesses. Watching you go one minute over, I went to religious
school every day from age 6 to 26, 20 years in a row, and I
don't have it within me to tell anyone wearing a collar when to
stop. Okay, so I am disciplined that way. So I apologize to the
other witnesses, but I was gripped by the admonitions of those
20 years every day, religious school. The gentleman from Texas.
Mr. Burgess. Mr. Chairman, would you yield for a question?
Mr. Markey. I will be glad to yield.
Mr. Burgess. May I inquire as to whether or not this
hearing is being covered on one of the C-SPAN channels?
Mr. Markey. You mean one of the internal House channels.
Mr. Burgess. No, one of the broadcast channels so people
could--we have an incredible panel of witnesses and----
Mr. Markey. It is not being covered, but that is not our
decision. That is a decision that is made by C-SPAN or by the
Mr. Burgess. But none of your gripping hearings have been
covered on any broadcast television. I think that is a mistake,
just to watch the body language of Lord Monckton while Mr.
Waskow was testifying, and vice versa, I think would have been
worth the price of admission for our C-SPAN audience. And I
regret that my constituents aren't able to tune in.
Mr. Markey. I am with you. We don't have to go to
Piccadilly. Piccadilly comes to us, you know, and I am very,
you know, honored that we have all these people. But again it
is not within our control, okay. The cameras are there. They
are working if anyone wants to pick it up, it is their
decision, not our decision at all. And I--for my purpose, we
are better off having this full discussion. I would have wanted
everyone to have just heard Bishop Holloway tell us what our
moral obligations our, but it is not my decision.
Mr. Burgess. Well, just for the record, Mr. Chairman, you
are infinitely more interesting than a budgetary hearing. And I
will yield back.
Mr. Markey. I thank the gentleman, I think. The chair will
recognize himself for a round of questions. I am going to go to
you, Dr. Karl, and relate back to Lord Monckton. Can you tell
me based upon 150 years of data from the World Meteorological
Association and extensive analysis of public data by
governments around the world, including the United States
government, is the Earth cooling in the long term, or is it
warming as a result of human activity?
Mr. Karl. I can make this answer very short, Chairman.
There is no question the Earth is warming. Out of the last 14
years, 13 of them have been the warmest in our recorded history
in terms of----
Mr. Markey. Can you say that again please?
Mr. Karl. Of the last 14 years, 13 have been the warmest on
record in our observed climate record case.
Mr. Markey. So when Lord Monckton goes back to 1998 and he
says since then we have been on a cooling trend, is it a little
bit like saying well, you know, Babe Ruth, you know, when he
started hitting his home runs, there had never been any more
than 20, and when he hit 60 in 1927, there was a decline after
that? Looking, of course, at Hank Greenburg's 58, Hack Wilson's
56, Jimmy Fox's 58, so it was kind of a downward trend because
no one could quite match Babe Ruth. On the other hand, Babe
Ruth had just completely eclipsed anything that had existed
before that? Isn't that a little bit like what Lord Monckton is
doing here in saying there has been a decline from 1998,
without reflecting upon the fact that, as you pointed out, can
you give me that number again?
Mr. Karl. Of the last 14 years, 13 have been the warmest on
record going back on----
Mr. Markey. The warmest on record. Thank you. So there is a
little bit of disengenuineness in Lord Monckton's testimony,
and I think that the incompleteness historically in his
testimony is something that doesn't serve the committee really
that well because it is these longer-term trends that are at
much higher levels by a significant amount in terms of their
warming impact that is of great concern and why the United
Nations put together that group of 3,000 scientists, to reflect
upon that and to make recommendations to the world and to the
Mr. Schweiger, could you reflect upon what Mr. Karl just
Mr. Schweiger. One of the ways to think about this is to
think about what is happening to the Earth. And if you look at
what is going on in the Arctic Region, the melt of the Arctic
is setting all sorts of new records. The thing that concerns me
most is this carbon storage that we find in the Arctic Region
is now being given off at, I think, quite significant rates.
The leakage of methane, the Boreal Forest in Canada, for
example, are going to be giving off more carbon in the next 10
years than they are going to be storing. Nine of the next 10
years are going to be net producers of carbon. So as the Earth
warms, it begins to behave in ways that are very troubling.
So I would suggest to us that we are in a second phase of
global warming, that phase where humans are not only
contributing, but we are now seeing nature giving back some of
its carbon stores. And I would ask the committee to pay close
attention to that.
Mr. Markey. Thank you, Mr. Schweiger, very much. Dr. Karl,
the legislation I introduced last year, it established the
national climate service. Does the administrator of NOAA
support a climate service? And could you distinguish between
what a weather service and a climate service would provide in
terms of information for ourselves and for the rest of the
Mr. Karl. Yes, in fact, Administrator Lojanko has made it
clear during her testimony for her confirmation hearing that
she does support the development of a national climate service,
similar scope as compared to a national weather service. The
differences between a climate service and a weather service is
that a climate service would be focusing on aspects of climate
change mitigation and adaptation, as we are discussing here
today, delivering products and services in that respect.
I have often been asked the question about well, would the
weather service and climate service, would there be a
demarcation between what time scale a weather service addresses
and a climate services addresses? And I think the way to think
about this is that obviously a weather is going to continue to
protect us, get us out of harm's way, protect life and
property, forecasting the kind of weather events that occur in
a real-time basis. But as Congressman Baldwin pointed out, when
we have floods like we had last year, we want to be able to
better understand whether there are anthropogenic influences
that may be causing such floods. And so a climate service would
want to be there helping to explain those conditions, intense
and severe hurricane seasons are the contributions that humans
may be adding to those kinds of events. So that is the best I
could do in terms of helping to describe the differences.
Mr. Markey. Thank you, Dr. Karl, very much. Chair
recognizes the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Upton.
Mr. Upton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think Lord Monckton
wanted to have a say in that first question you posed. So Lord
Mr. Monckton. Certainly, sir. Yes, I do. If you want it put
in perspective, let us put it in perspective. Let us go back
600 million years to the Cambrian Era. Yes, I remember it well.
Mr. Upton. Just for the record, that, I think is when the
Chicago Cubs last won the title. I don't know if you know
baseball as well, sir.
Mr. Monckton. I will ride with that. Certainly 600 million
years ago, there was about 20 times as much carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere as there is today, and global temperature was
about 12.5 Fahrenheit degrees warmer than today. That is how
much extra carbon dioxide you have to put in the atmosphere to
get that kind of increase. And for most of the last 600 million
years, it has been around 12.5 degrees warmer than today
However, if we come more recently to the last 10,000 years
since the end of the last Ice Age, for most of the last 10,000
years, it has been around 4 or 5 Fahrenheit degrees warmer than
today. Most recently in the Minoin and Roman and Medieval warm
periods, it was warmer than today.
There was then a period of considerable cooling. Indeed the
sun, between 1645 and 1715 was at its lowest level of activity
in 10,000 years according to sunspot records. Now, thereafter
the sun's activity gradually increased until, in the last 70
years of the 20th Century, it reached, what is known to solar
physicists, as a solar grand maximum. That coincided with a
considerable period of warming.
However, the warming period of 1975 to 1998 when it
stopped, there was no greater warming rate then than there was
between 1860 and 1880 and again between 1910 and 1940. There is
therefore no anthropogenic signal whatsoever in the temperature
record so far. The IPCC has predicted global warming, and yet
for the last seven years, there has been global cooling. Now,
that global cooling is, of course, a consequence of natural
variability just as very nearly all of the global warming of
the 300 years that preceded it is, on any view, also
attributable to natural climate variability. There is,
therefore, nothing in the temperature record that should give
us any cause of concern to day.
Mr. Upton. Thank you. Mr. Karl, I regret that I didn't
bring this publication, but I read a story just this week it
was made public. The Chinese apparently had indicated that they
had not--they didn't have any more recent data than, I believe,
1994 in terms of specific emissions within their country. And I
think South America or was it Brazil was close to the same. How
do we actually monitor what other nations are doing?
One of the concerns that a good number of us have is if we
imposed a cap-and-trade scheme that particularly countries like
China and India would welcome that because they would see that
job growth be exported from the U.S. to those countries. And as
we have seen with China building a new coal plant literally two
every single week, how is it that we are going to actually
monitor the emissions from those nations when, in fact, they
are at least, as we saw this week, putting up their hands and
saying it is not any of your business? What type of tools do we
Mr. Karl. Yeah, right now, NOAA has something called a
carbon tracker program. You can actually go on the web and take
a look at our best estimates as to how carbon is being moved
around the world. And this is actually into the atmosphere. We
actually have observatories in the North Pole, Barro, and
several other locations. We have a global monitoring network.
We collect flask samples from across the world to try and
measure atmospheric concentrations.
This kind of information is used in models, and there are
some technical methods that are used to try and go back to the
sources. And we actually measure the amount of carbon in the
atmosphere so we can better understand where they are actually
being emitted and being absorbed.
It is an area in which NOAA is very interested and continue
to improve our capabilities here, and we have actually put
forth a number of proposals.
Mr. Upton. Did you see the report that was put out this
week by the Chinese?
Mr. Karl. No, I have not.
Mr. Upton. We will get it, and I would like you to maybe
comment in writing. We will get it to you and do that. I see my
time has expired. I yield back.
Mr. Markey. The gentleman's time has expired. The chair
recognizes the gentlelady from--I am sorry. The chair
recognizes the gentleman from Michigan. I have an obstructed
view seat here. The chair recognizes the gentleman from
Michigan, Mr. Dingell. Mr. Dingell, if you could--okay, thank
Mr. Dingell. Last year, Mr. Boucher and I introduced or
rather released a draft which we addressed the question of
using some of the resources generated by the cap-and-trade to
see to it that we could use these allowances for safeguarding
wildlife natural resources from the effects of climate change.
We also have the intention of seeing to it that we would
preserve wetlands, marshes, mountains, forests, grasslands and
things of that kind. Have you seen that draft?
Mr. Schweiger. Yes, I have, sir, and I wanted to thank both
of you for that sponsorship.
Mr. Dingell. Do you support that?
Mr. Schweiger. We do support that.
Mr. Dingell. Natural wildlife does?
Mr. Schweiger. And a number of other organizations that are
signed on to our statement also support that effort. We believe
that it is important to take some of the revenues that are
generated from a cap and invest program and apply them to
protect these vital resources. The number that was in the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last year is a
good number, I think, to start with for our efforts going
forward. But we clearly think the wildlife need funding, that
adaptation needs to be implemented. There are plans that are
beginning to be developed. Much more needs to be done across
the entire country in fact.
Mr. Dingell. Would you equate this with adaptation, the
language that Mr. Boucher and I have released? Would you equate
that with adaptation in a good form?
Mr. Schweiger. Absolutely.
Mr. Dingell. Very good. Given the extensive conservation
investments that we have made in the Congress, going back to
Pip and Robertson, Dingell, Johnson, and all of the other
programs of this kind, how much risk is there that these
investments could be squandered if we fail to invest now in
natural resource adaptation?
Mr. Schweiger. One example of the risk that we face, there
was a recent assessment of the National Wildlife refugees, and
over 60 percent of those refugees that were studied will be out
of their biome if we continue to--on the course that we are on
today. So what that means is the natural diversity that existed
on those refugees will no longer be able to survive in the
warming climate in those locations. So there is a great urgency
to help in that transition.
Mr. Dingell. Thank you. Now, going across, starting with
you, Bishop Holloway, if you please. Do you support the idea of
Bishop Holloway. Absolutely.
Mr. Dingell. Next witness, do you? Yes or no?
Mr. Waskow. Yes.
Mr. Dingell. Next witness please.
Mr. Monckton. Sir, if you must do anything, then adapt.
That is what we have been doing since we were created. I am
sure we will continue just fine, and we probably don't need
Congress to help us.
Mr. Dingell. Thank you. Sir?
Mr. Beisner. Yes, adaptation is the natural human action
and response to all changes around us. We have done that for
thousands of years, and I think we will continue to do that
very well with or without central planning.
Mr. Dingell. Does that mean yes or no?
Mr. Beisner. Yes.
Mr. Dingell. Mr. Schweiger, I believe you've already been.
Mr. Stephenson. Yes.
Mr. Dingell. Final witness, sir?
Mr. Karl. Yes, and if I could just add, if I may, one of
the real challenges for adaptation will be for us to be able to
provide the kinds of climate-related information that will be
necessary because the climate will be constantly evolving and
changing. And developing those information transfers between
what we understand the science and the engineering practices
that are so important to put in place for adaptation, there
will be a key linkage that I think we will have to ensure that
we do a better job in developing.
Mr. Dingell. Thank you. Now, I have another question here
for you, sir. I am curious, and I want you with your expertise
as a member of the GAO, how are we--we are going to generate
enormous sums of money from the sale of these allowances.
How are we going to keep those sales honest? We are
obviously going to have to have lots of inspector generals. We
are obviously going to have lots and lots of responsibilities
imposed upon these people. We are obviously going to have to
have questions with regard to how we handle the accounting. Can
you give me a quick and dirty answer as to how we are going to
address this problem of keeping honest men, or maybe somewhat
dishonest men, honest given the huge temptations we are going
to lay before them?
Mr. Stephenson. Well, this is part of the details of a cap-
and-trade program, and whether or not you use offsets or not as
a cost containment mechanism. Both of those features require
emissions, not certainty but certainly good estimating
techniques and verification techniques to ensure that the
baseline emissions are correct. Then we are proponents of an
auction rather than allocation of the allowances to make sure
that the price of carbon is set correctly.
We think carbon offsets is a form of cost containment, but
it too has a lot of problems in verifying that the additional
carbon offsets you would get would be additional. That means it
would not have occurred anyway. So the devil is in the details
for all of this legislation. There is much to do to determine
what techniques should be used to estimate allowances, to
verify allowances, and to manage a cap-and-trade program if
that is the way we go.
Mr. Dingell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You are very
Mr. Inslee. [presiding]. Mr. Barton from Texas.
Mr. Barton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again I want to thank
all of our witnesses. I really appreciate you all being here. I
am going to focus on two of our witnesses, Mr. Karl and Lord
Monckton, on some of the science.
Mr. Karl, you are a climatologist. Is that not correct?
Mr. Karl. That is correct.
Mr. Barton. And you are part of the scientific panel of the
Mr. Karl. I was lead author and convening lead author on
the first three IPCC reports and review editor on the last.
Mr. Barton. So we could consider you an expert. You
wouldn't disallow that descriptive?
Mr. Karl. You could consider me anything you would like,
Mr. Barton. Well, I think you are an expert. Now, Lord
Monckton presented the committee three charts. One is a chart
from the Hadley and NCDC monthly terrestrial global temperature
data set and the RSS and UAH satellite lower-troposphere data
sets that shows a global cooling over the last seven years of
about, if I read it correctly, equivalent to 3.5 degrees
Fahrenheit a century. Is he lying to us?
Mr. Karl. Well, that is a very unusual way of presenting
data that has never, in the IPCC, been combined in that way.
Let me give you an example why.
Mr. Barton. But I mean is the data that he presents it
Mr. Karl. I can't attest to the figure you showed on the
figure so quickly. I looked at it for----
Mr. Barton. Well, will do you that? Will you research it
and send a report to the committee whether he is lying to us or
telling us the truth?
Mr. Karl. I certainly will. I can tell you that when IPCC
does detection attribution studies, one of the key issues that
we look at is the change in the rate of temperature throughout
the atmosphere, and that figure--actually average temperatures
at the surface with temperatures throughout the troposphere,
which is not the way we go about doing fingerprint
attributions. So that was quite unusual, and I noticed that
Mr. Barton. Okay, but it is theoretically possible he is
telling the truth or this chart is factually correct?
Mr. Karl. I will reserve judgment. When you send it to me,
we will take a look at it.
Mr. Barton. And give us an honest assessment?
Mr. Karl. Best we can do.
Mr. Barton. Now, his other chart shows that--the headline
is ``The UN exaggerates the greenhouse effect by sevenfold.''
Are you familiar with that graph, and is that another case of
creative graphing, or is that the truth?
Mr. Karl. If I remember, this is the figure that was
showing the rates of carbon emissions? Is that----
Mr. Barton. Fourteen years of model-predicted (black) and
ERBE satellite-observed (red)----
Mr. Karl. Okay.
Mr. Barton [continuing]. Change in outgoing long-wave
radiation from the earth's surface.
Mr. Karl. Yeah, in fact, last week, Chairman Mullhan's
committee had a hearing on climate data records, and that
graph--one of the important aspects of when you show earth
radiation budget data, you have to take into account the fact
that these measurements are made from satellites that change
their orbit over time and from different satellites. And one
has to stitch together the climate record from those
Mr. Barton. Can you look at this one also?
Mr. Karl. Yeah, it is incorrect. I can tell you off--right
Mr. Barton. You just say this one is wrong?
Mr. Karl. I can--because I saw that immediately. That is
incorrect because it has----
Mr. Barton. And what about his last chart that shows
CO2 concentrations are rising below their
prediction, that the IPCC keeps saying these huge increases are
going to--in CO2 and it just doesn't appear that
factually that can be verified by actual data collection. What
is the story about that?
Mr. Karl. Yeah, I was quite surprised to see that graph
because right now, there is a unified synthesis product the
Climate Change Science Program has put together, and it has
just gone through its second round of public review comments.
And we hope to have it cleared through the agencies, the
Climate Change Science Program agencies in the next few months.
But if you look at that document today, there is actually a
graph in there showing the rates of the missions over the past
15 years. If you look around, compare it to IPCC scenarios----
Mr. Barton. I am about to run out of time, and I want to
give Dr. Monckton--Lord Monckton a chance to----
Mr. Karl. The bottom line is what our concern is the rates
of global emissions are faster than what some of the IPCC
emission scenarios suggest today.
Mr. Barton. Lord Monckton, he basically says you are a
liar. What is your----
Mr. Monckton. If you concentrate on emissions, then he is
right. Emissions are rising faster than the IPCC predicted
because they didn't expect China to do what China said she
would do and continued to build power stations at a rate of one
a week burning coal. However, concentration remaining in the
atmosphere has indeed fallen, and the reason why is--it hasn't
fallen, but it has gone up much slower than the emissions have
and much below what is forecast. And the reason why that is is
that, as the UN itself admits in its documents, it is incapable
of adding up what is called the carbon budget in and out of the
atmosphere to within a factor of two of the right answer.
Mr. Barton. Well, Lord, just as I have asked Mr. Karl to
try to verify what he said for the committee's consideration,
could you also attempt to give some supporting documentation to
prove that your charts, sir, are accurate and factual?
Mr. Monckton. Certainly. I would be happy to supply a paper
which is currently out for peer review, which explains exactly
how these two graphs are compiled. The third graph is from a
scientific paper, one of a series that has appeared in the
literature on this question of the outgoing long-wave radiation
not diminishing as fast as the UN's models predicted it would.
And I will give you the references to various papers on that
Mr. Barton. Thank you, sir. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Mr.
Mr. Inslee. The lady from California, Ms. Matsui.
Ms. Matsui. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to shift
a while here to get to--from a global level to so-called ground
level in my community.
Millions of people in my state depend upon levees to
protect them, and climate change will increase the state's
flood risk by causing a shift toward more intense winter
storms, which could produce higher peat flows. Flood systems
throughout the state must be upgraded and managed to
accommodate the higher variability of flood flows to protect
public safety, the economy, and ecosystems. And this is not
In 2007, Sacramento property owners voted to assess
themselves almost $300 million for their local match to help
achieve 200-year flood protection in the Sacramento area.
Shortly thereafter, the state legislature passed legislation
authorizing the state to participate in the 200-year flood
protection program and contribute 70 percent of the non-federal
cost of the program.
In 2008, our flood control agency established a development
fee program to add to local funding available for the 200-year
program. Now, Mr. Schweiger, as you can see, my community has
taken it upon themselves to be leaders in adaptation and water
management. However, Sacramento's risk of flooding remains
high, and we need additional help. In your testimony, you
reference a lot of communities and their efforts to adapt. What
are other communities doing to help prevent flooding and how
are they raising the necessary funding?
Mr. Schweiger. A number of groups are working, and I will
give you one example. In coastal Louisiana, to reestablish some
of the damaged wetland systems in the North Orleans areas,
because we believe that by building back this natural
resistance, we will reduce the storm surges, and we will also
provide protection for nearby communities. So we think that
there is an important investment in that area.
I would also suggest that the Army Corps of Engineers needs
to change the way they do their planning and look forward and
not look backwards. You know we have been designing structures
to look at the last hundred years, and I think it is important
that Congress give the Corps direction to look forward and
understand the modeling and how it might impact communities.
I think that there are many community risks involved in
climate change, and there are also enormous wildlife risk. Some
of your fishery resources, for example, in California are being
lost as coastal areas are being lost due to sea level rise and
port wetland systems are disappearing.
Ms. Matsui. And in your opinion, what percentage should the
federal government contribute to adaptation versus states and
communities? And, you know, we are looking for financing. What
are the types of financing we should look to in tough economic
Mr. Schweiger. The Senate Environment Public Works
Committee last year had identified a $7 billion annual average
funding for the first two decades for the climate adaptation
funding for wildlife. And if you look at that, that is about 1
percent of the economic benefits from outdoor recreation forest
and wetland conservations.
So we think that is a reasonable starting point for those
kinds of investments, and I should say that there is also a
number of other important community investments that need to be
made. And some of those are, in fact, overlapping because what
benefits humans also benefit wildlife in certain cases.
Ms. Matsui. Okay, thank you. Mr. Stephenson, I understand
the GAO is still analyzing adaptation efforts as you complete
your study this year. Based on what you have uncovered, have
you seen examples of adaptation efforts relating to flood
Mr. Stephenson. Yeah, the one I mentioned in Maryland. We
just visited the state of Maryland and are looking at their
efforts to address sea level rise. And at this point, it is
more one of providing information to counties subject to sea
level rise and advising what they can do in their laws and
their land management use plans to address those problems. They
are going to have to make economic decisions in the future as
to what kind of adaptive measures they may want to take.
Ms. Matsui. What is the federal government doing to better
understand the flood risk and hydrologic impacts of a changing
Mr. Stephenson. Well, there are many research efforts both
by the federal government and others, both in the U.S. and
throughout the world on this issue. What we are suggesting is
that there needs to be more regional and localized information
so that individual communities and governments can make
decisions on what they should or shouldn't do. We don't think
the information is specific enough to the local level to be
able to make those decisions.
Ms. Matsui. And what should Congress specifically do to
finance flood control efforts as they relate to climate change?
Mr. Stephenson. Well, we haven't really looked at that
issue. We did look at the national federal flood insurance
program, and we think it is interesting that there have been no
portfolio adjustments on the federal government's part for the
insurance industry, similar to what Swissree and some of the
big reinsurers of the world have already done. They have
already looked at climate change projections and adjusted their
portfolios to minimize their risk. And we are suggesting that
the federal government should do the same thing, both for crop
insurance and flood insurance.
Ms. Matsui. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Mr. Pitts, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Pitts. Lord Monckton, you say the European try at cap-
and-trade has failed. Would you elaborate? And why do you
suggest the U.S. may go it alone?
Mr. Monckton. Certainly. You go it alone, I think, to
answer that question first, because those who have tried cap-
and-trade have found it doesn't work. Those who are thinking of
trying it are, in the light of that, beginning to revise their
opinions on whether they should. There are many problems with
cap-and-trade, but to answer your question about the European
experience in particular, the European Union, which is governed
by effectively a bureaucratic centralist dictatorship in
Brussels, decided to allocate to each member state a right to
emit without payment, which exceeded each states total
Not surprisingly, therefore, the price of the rights to
emit carbon per ton fell to the market clearing level of zero
on the artificial carbon trading hot air markets--called the
trading in hot air on the London market in recognition of its
So it failed, and they therefore decided they would issue
an edict that each country was not allowed to give away as many
free permits as before. However, the economic collapse then
supervened, and when you have a declining economy, then what
happens is whatever price you try to set for carbon will
promptly fall on the open market and we are now once again
trading carbon permits at dangerously close to zero. So for the
second time, the European system has failed in much the same
way as the New Zealand has also failed. And in Australia where
they had been contemplating carbon trading, the Senate, much as
here, has decided that it doesn't like the idea.
So if you do impose carbon trading, then you could be
shooting yourselves uniquely in the foot because most other
countries in the world are at present disinclined to follow
Mr. Pitts. And whom do you believe will be most affected by
cap-and-trade or a carbon tax or any other method of increasing
Mr. Monckton. That is an extremely good question, and the
answer is unfortunately horrifyingly clear. It is the low-
income families. It is the poor. Why? Because a larger
proportion of their income is devoted to spending on energy
than any other sector. Now, of course, there may or will indeed
be elaborate attempts to make transfer payments to the poor to
try to cushion them to some extent or even fully from the
effects of this misguided type of taxation.
But unfortunately, that then leaves the cost of it falling
disproportionately on the middle class because, as you may
know, President Obama has recently given strong indications to
the other people who are most heavily affected by cap-and-
trade--that is very big, heavily emitting industries, of
course, electricity generation, steel, concrete, construction,
so forth. They would have suffered very badly by this, and
President Obama has said that he is going to look favorably on
exempting them to some degree.
If he does that, then the entire cost of a tax, which is
supposed to bring in very nearly the equivalent of the entire
federal budget on average for the last five years, and it will
bring it in every year for the next eight years, $2 trillion a
year. That is going to fall entirely on small businesses who
are already disproportionately affected by the existing
If that happens, there will be bankruptcies all round, and
it is even possible that this scheme, as at present conceived--
and I must make this point very clear to you--could bankrupt
the United States government itself.
Mr. Pitts. Dr. Beisner, you criticize the promotion of
solar panels and renewable energy in the developing world. Why
do you believe this is not in the best interest of the poor?
Mr. Beisner. Well, the developed world managed to do a
great deal of its economic growth on the basis of the very
inexpensive energy that was available to us by the development
of grids and the like. Just recently, Abbot E. Shlaze's book,
``The Forgotten Man'' was published on the history of the Great
She discusses the competition between the idea that there
should be small, local generating plants, indeed even possibly
generators at every home, versus the idea of grids. And
essentially what we are being asked to do when we say let us
have the small alternative energy things for people's huts and
so on in Africa is to choose what they figured out, even at the
time of the 1920s and 1930s was not going to work here. It is a
short-term, really elusory solution that has long-term costs by
directing capital investment away from the types of generation
and distribution of electricity that can reach the lowest cost
per kilowatt-hour delivered in the longer term.
And so what we are actually doing is asking the poor to
adapt fairly expensive short-term solutions in exchange for
much cheaper long-term solutions for their energy needs.
Mr. Pitts. So what do we do? What is the best approach to
help developing nations to help the world's poor and
Mr. Beisner. Well, as Bjorn Longbourg and the Copenhagen
Consensus have pointed out, certainly one of the most important
things that we can do is to promote the Doha Round and world
trade generally because general world trade is the most
important thing for raising income levels. And as income levels
rise, those can generate enough capital investment to support
the provision of large-scale energy systems to electrify the
homes of the roughly 2.6 billion people around the world who
don't have them.
Rather than highly centralized governmental solutions, I
think the market solutions are the best, and that is what we
learn from the history of economics.
Mr. Pitts. My time is up. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Ms. Capps, California.
Ms. Capps. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank all of
our witnesses. I agree with my colleague who said this is quite
a stellar panel and very interesting. I thank all the
witnesses, and I want to thank especially and associate myself
with the remarks of Bishop Holloway, since you represent my
And I feel I must make a brief disclaimer to you, Lord
Monckton. I am privileged to represent a congressional district
in California which stretches a bit over 200 miles of
coastline, and I want to reassure you that my neighbors and I
have no intention of packing up and leaving anytime soon.
Mr. Monckton. I am delighted.
Ms. Capps. Thank you. Mr. Schweiger, as I mentioned, my
congressional district lies entirely within California's
coastal zone. We must plan for sea rise, and then in that
regard, I suppose I could represent any community along the
coastal areas of our nation and perhaps indeed of the world. It
has been said in my area if we bury our heads in the sand on
the issue of sea rising, we may drown.
Could you give some specific strategies that managers
federally, locally, and other kinds of interveners could manage
to help our communities to be more resilient in the face of
climate change? How might we or should we change some of our
approaches to the management of coastal areas?
Mr. Schweiger. Well, thank you for the opportunity to
respond. I think the first thing we need to do is actually to
cap pollution because the most important thing we can do is
quit feeding the beast that is raising the sea levels and
warming our planet. Secondly, I think it is important for us to
do really good downscaling of the models that are currently
being used to assess the condition of our planet. And I would
say the greater granularity we can get into those models, the
more we can know exactly what we are dealing with locally.
And I think it is important, as we plan those futures, that
we anticipate the range of sea level rise, and that goes for
water supplies, sewage and storm water management. I think it
also speaks to the design of culverts and all the other things
that we do in a community. We need to understand that we are
going to have more vigorous rainstorms. Coastal flooding is
going to be more intense in many places.
But I think it is so important to get that downscaling
right so that we know precisely the kind of choices we need to
make for both humans and nature.
Ms. Capps. Thank you. And, Mr. Karl, this is what your
agency does. I don't have time to ask you, but I am certainly
very interested in working with NOAA as we design this
granularity to be specific to our communities. And you have
people in my district that I am very grateful for, and I look
forward to that partnership.
I want to turn the rest of my time to the comments that
were made by Mr. Waskow and Bishop Holloway. You made the
statement, Mr. Waskow, that it probably will cost upwards of
$50 billion to address adaptation needs. And it has been
alluded to that, like the wildlife and the marine life, whose
creatures are most impacted by a climate change and are not
really responsible for it nor in the position to really adapt a
lot. The poorest of the poor, as the bishop described, are
often living in coastal areas. Again didn't contribute very
much to this and will certainly be at the mercy.
And there is a moral compulsion, which I hope each of you
will address. But there is also a piece of it that I want to
get on the record. That it would be in our interest. It is an
investment really that could be made to assist these
communities in adaptation to climate change because it can
provide their self-empowerment and their ability to decrease
their dependency and to increase their self-sufficiency.
And I don't have much time, but maybe if each of you could
say a word to this.
Mr. Waskow. Absolutely, and I would fundamentally agree
that it is in our national interest to address adaptation needs
around the world for several reasons. One is the security
dimension that has been alluded to already. The second has to
do with costs that we would face from responding to disasters.
So for example, helping provide irrigation equipment, improve
agricultural practices, drought, and water resistant seeds.
Those kind of things help in reducing the risk of famine or
other food crises.
Similarly, helping communities improve and strengthen their
infrastructure, their roads, their bridges, their schools,
their clinics, helps in reducing potential disaster response
costs down the road. And----
Ms. Capps. I know you could say more, but I want to ask the
chairman's indulgence if I could ask my bishop to make one word
Mr. Inslee. Go ahead.
Ms. Capps. Thank you.
Bishop Holloway. I look at this in a three-tiered way. That
in our work of dealing with the issues and problems of many
different people around the world, I see that one pillar must
be emergency and immediate aid. That is incumbent upon us. The
other is where we can to work in an accompaniment model. Rather
than telling folks what to do, we work with them to see what we
can jointly discover as the best way to build capacity, the
capacity that might lead toward self-sufficiency.
And the third thing is advocacy for those who do not have a
voice but who have just as much at stake in the quality of life
as anyone else. So these are the three areas, I think, that we
are most effective, and look for legislation here since we are
the, for lack of a better term, the biggest dog in the pounds.
Ms. Capps. Thank you very much.
Bishop Holloway. So we have a higher responsibility since
we have higher resource.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you.
Ms. Capps. Thank you.
Mr. Inslee. Mr. Shimkus of Illinois.
Mr. Shimkus. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Great to have the
panel. I apologize for being in and out. That is kind of our
line of work. Let me ask a question. When we have had these
debates in the previous year, we used to talk about the off
ramp. It is not being talked about very much now, and the basic
premise was if China and India do nothing, all our pain and
agony is for no results.
Should there be an off ramp in the legislation on climate
change? And just say kind of yes or no, maybe a little phrase
so I can get my time in. Bishop Holloway.
Bishop Holloway. I don't believe so, sir.
Mr. Shimkus. Okay.
Bishop Holloway. And----
Mr. Shimkus. If it can be quickly.
Bishop Holloway. Okay, yes. That is impossible.
Mr. Shimkus. Why is it impossible?
Bishop Holloway. Because ministers cannot speak briefly.
Mr. Shimkus. I thought it was impossible because China and
India will never agree to any cap on carbon, and so to assume
that China and India will be involved in any regime to control
climate, that is the impossibility. Mr. Waskow.
Mr. Waskow. We have the greatest historical responsibility
for emissions. We have to take the lead, and I think that by
taking the lead, we will be most able to bring others like
China and India along.
Mr. Shimkus. Okay. Lord Monckton.
Mr. Monckton. None of the disasters imagined by this
committee will happen. Sea level, in particular, is not about
to rise by more than around eight inches to a foot this
century. Even the UN says only 1.5 foot, maximum 2. That is not
going to do any damage except in places where the land is
subsiding from non-climate change reasons.
Mr. Shimkus. Okay.
Mr. Monckton. The Chinese and the Indians are perfectly
aware of this. They have declared over and over again that----
Mr. Shimkus. All right.
Mr. Monckton [continuing]. And rightly that they are not
going to do this. And therefore, you should indeed have an off
ramp. Thank you.
Mr. Shimkus. Thank you. Dr. Beisner.
Mr. Beisner. Yes, we should have an off ramp for precisely
that sort of reason, but also simply because the assumption
behind all of this is that the climate change that we are
seeing has been human driven. Climate change and human driven
climate change are not the same thing. And the increasing
tendency of the most recent scientific publications has been to
magnify the apparent natural contribution and minimize the----
Mr. Shimkus. Quicker please. Mr. Schweiger.
Mr. Schweiger. I believe that the Himalayas are at great
risk. The Chinese and Indian governments are well aware of
those risks, and I----
Mr. Shimkus. Should there be an off ramp?
Mr. Schweiger. I believe what we ought to do is work
closely with China particularly to find common ground to make
Mr. Shimkus. Should there be an off ramp?
Mr. Schweiger. I do not believe that we should back away
from our responsibilities.
Mr. Shimkus. Should there be an off ramp?
Mr. Schweiger. No.
Mr. Shimkus. Thank you. Mr. Stephenson.
Mr. Stephenson. We can't control what China does. We have
to take action irregardless of what they do. So there should
not be an off ramp.
Mr. Shimkus. Thank you. Mr. Karl.
Mr. Karl. Our agency works to provide the science to help
Mr. Shimkus. You are right. Very good. We had testimony
here--I want to talk to the impact on the middle class and the
poor. My district represents 30 counties in rural southern
Illinois, stretching from the state capital of Springfield down
to the Paducah, Kentucky, Indiana line. This is a mine, as I
said in opening statement. 1,200 miners lost their jobs.
I now know through additional research further mines closed
primarily because of the Clean Air Act amendments. The economy
of southern Illinois has been devastated through the mine
closures. The Coal Association of Ohio testified just last week
36,000 mine workers lost their jobs.
This is an incredible impact on the livelihood, and it does
fall disproportionately on the poor. They will pay the burden
of this through job loss, through long distances, through
Lord Monckton, talk to me about this debate on are we a
Mr. Monckton. Well, Will Happer testified--he is from
Princeton--testified in front of the Senate committee with Dr.
Patrari on this recently. In Will Happer's view yes, we are
carbon-starved. If we go back to the Cambrian Era, 7,000 parts
per million to compare with less than 400 parts per million
today. Go back to the Triassic Era, 175 million years ago. At
the time when the Aragonite corals, the most fragile of all the
corals, came into being by algosymbiosis for the first time.
Again around 6,500 to 7,000 parts per million of carbon
Carbon dioxide is a plant food. It is necessary.
Mr. Shimkus. Say that again. Carbon dioxide is what?
Mr. Monckton. Is plant food.
Mr. Shimkus. It is plant food?
Mr. Monckton. Yeah, without it, all plant life and
therefore all life that depends on plant life----
Mr. Shimkus. So if we were to decrease the use of carbon
dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere?
Mr. Monckton. Yes, indeed you are. The U.S. Forest Service
has very good figures, showing the enormous growth in the
Mr. Shimkus. So all our good intentions could be for vain?
In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people
who want to save the world are saying?
Mr. Monckton. You could indeed. You are quite right.
Mr. Shimkus. The basic finish with this comment is the
earth will not be destroyed by a flood. And I yield back my
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. We have, I believe four, maybe five
more members. We could go with a lightning round of 2 minutes
apiece and vote, or we could continue and then come back. The
chair would suggest we do a lightning round of 2 minutes
apiece, and I just wonder if anyone would have objections to
that. Vote is going to start just briefly. I would suggest--the
Chair is sacrificing his time in order to move forward. If
there is no objection to that, let me suggest that we do that.
Mr. Shimkus. I would object and just make that decision
once the time comes for the call of vote.
Mr. Inslee. We will always respect Mr. Shimkus's views, at
least on this very small issue. Mr. McNerney.
Mr. McNerney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank the
panel for coming here. I think--good call--your testimony is
excellent, and I want to congratulate Chairman Markey for
pulling together this hearing.
You know when we discuss adaptation, I can't help thinking
about my home district in California for two reasons. One is by
analogy to climate change, and the other by an already in
progress impact of climate change.
The first that I want to discuss is earthquakes. California
is earthquake country, and we have learned a lot about how to
adapt to earthquakes. We build our buildings better, and the
results are pretty dramatic; although we still have a lot to
learn and a lot to do to make our city safer.
The second is water. You know many glaciers are receding
around the world, and California depends on its snow packs. So
we are deeply engaged in planning and preparing for this, and I
think that is an adaptation to global warming. So building
buildings better and more resilient and building better
waterways is good sense. The threat of global warming just adds
urgency to this whole issue.
So, Mr. Monckton, I have a question. Do you think we should
stop planning for earthquakes and stop adapting for water
changes, or what should we do in this case?
Mr. Monckton. Sir, as far as earthquakes are concerned,
there is no connection between earthquakes and global warming.
Mr. McNerney. No, but it is adapting to----
Mr. Monckton. Yes, of course, you should always adapt to
Mr. McNerney. So should we adapt to water coming down from
Mr. Monckton. If, as California is a very heavy user of
water, you will need to make sure there are continuing water
Mr. McNerney. So adapting----
Mr. Monckton. However----
Mr. McNerney [continuing]. To change in progress is a good
Mr. Monckton. So of course adaptation to natural changes
that occur is very sensible.
Mr. McNerney. Thank you.
Mr. Monckton. If there were any----
Mr. McNerney. Mr. Karl. May I ask you, Mr. Karl, could you
just give me a little bit of detail about some of the models of
the resolution that you have, the accuracy that you have? I am
a scientist, a mathematician, and I did spend my career in
modeling, so I am interested technically in where we are with
Mr. Karl. Yeah, one of the things we can tell you is that
the models today are good enough to be able to identify some of
the causes for some of the water issues out west with respect
to changes in the snow melt season. Snow melt, from the
observations we already see, it is melting earlier, more
frequently, that runoff occurs more earlier. It means there is
less water available later in the summer for use. That kind of
an activity--that kind of process is expected to continue and
accelerate as global warming continues on into the future. So
that is one example from the point of water.
Another one has to do with changes in heavy precipitation
events. We are seeing a change in the frequency of heavy
Mr. McNerney. So you have confidence in the resolution of
these models and the accuracy of these models?
Mr. Karl. Yes.
Mr. McNerney. In sort of an average sense?
Mr. Karl. In a broad sense, yes.
Mr. McNerney. Okay, we will have to talk more about that at
a different time. I am going to yield back to my courteous, to
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. I appreciate that. Mr. Burgess.
Mr. Burgess. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Karl, in a way,
your federal agency is an adaptation, is it not? Isaac Klein,
the famed meteorologist in Galveston with the storm that Gene
Green mentioned of 106 or 107 years ago. I mean your federal
agency came into existence as a consequence of the troubles
that Mr. Klein encountered at that point with not being able to
predict what was fixing to happen to them. And, of course, the
large loss of life that then ensued.
So in many ways, what we are seeing today with your federal
agency is an adaptation to the fact that if you develop coastal
areas from time to time, you will be visited by hurricanes. Is
that not correct?
Mr. Karl. There is no question.
Mr. Burgess. Now, on the issue of hurricanes--I apologize
for not having the data in front of me, but it seems like in a
newspaper report from just a few days ago, we are--we have
entered into a period of a relative lull in hurricanes. Am I
correct in that?
Mr. Karl. All I can tell you is that we have, over the past
several decades, seen an increase in hurricane activity. And in
fact, the most recent paper, looking at the--all the global
oceans have identified fairly conclusively that since the early
'80s, the intensity of the strongest storms has actually
Now, one has to recognize when we get down to smaller and
smaller scales, because we have fewer hurricanes, it is more
difficult to say, for example, yes we are seeing a change in
intensity of storms----
Mr. Burgess. Well----
Mr. Karl [continuing]. Affecting a particular part of the
Mr. Burgess. And I don't mean to be disrespectful, but the
chairman has limited my time. We see cycles. We are in a bad
recession right now. We are told that it is equivalent to the
Great Depression of the 1930s, but we don't have the adverse
weather phenomena that they encountered in the 1930s in the
form of the Dust Bowl.
But having moved to the state of Texas as a very, very
young child back in the early '50s, I remember very well the
seven years that it didn't rain. As I recall, the newspapers
attributed that to the fact that the Russians were testing
nuclear weapons in the atmosphere and it was the Russian
fallout that was responsible for no rain. I guess our fallout
But nevertheless, there always seems to be a reason that we
will look for when we encounter these odd weather cycles. So
how do we know, as we are sitting here and we are going to make
policy, significant policy that is going to affect the next
three generations of Americans, how do we know that we are just
simply sitting here observing what our naturally occurring
cycles in our climate, what would be the fingerprint? What
would be the signature for evidence that this is a manmade
Mr. Karl. That is an excellent question, and I can tell you
what NOAA is doing is what we actually do is go back in time
and actually simulate in our computers the kinds of conditions
that have occurred that actually led to various intensities and
frequencies of hurricanes each season. And one of the things I
can say with the American Recovery Act, we actually now will
have access to supercomputing pedaflops that our computers will
be running these models in much higher resolution mode to be
able to pinpoint with greater accuracy and greater
Mr. Burgess. So right now, we just simply do not know. We
don't have the data that we are required to have.
Mr. Karl. We want now. Right now, our----
Mr. Burgess. And I don't disagree, and I don't mean to be
disrespectful. I only have a limited amount of time and Lord
Mr. Karl. All I can tell you is that the projections in the
future of the models show more intense hurricanes. Right now,
the linkage in terms of a specific attribution between what we
have seen and intense hurricanes still awaits more scientific
Mr. Burgess. Lord Monckton, you were wanting to tell me
Mr. Monckton. Yes, sir. You wanted to know what the current
state of play is about hurricanes. Over the last 30 years,
satellites have been monitoring the frequency and intensity of
hurricanes and accumulated cyclone energy index is compiled,
which is a two-year running sum of the frequency and intensity
of all hurricanes, tropical storms around the equator, and the
current value of that accumulated cyclone energy index is the
lowest it has been in the 30 years globally that has been
recorded. So you are quite right.
Mr. Burgess. So you will make that data available to Mr.
Karl to plug into the supercomputer?
Mr. Monckton. I will give him the graph. It has been
Mr. Burgess. Wonderful. Look forward to that. Mr. Chairman,
I am going to yield back in the interest of time.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Appreciate that. Mr. Welch.
Mr. Welch. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Karl, you are
having this debate here about CO2 concentrations in
the atmosphere, a lot of evidence that they are actually
rising, and whether they are doing so in line with the
projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
My question is, is the level of CO2 in the
atmosphere easily determined? I mean is that really a
scientific debate about whether we can measure it? And is it
not the case that the level, in fact, is higher than in the
past IPCC projections?
Mr. Karl. To answer your question, it is probably the most
confident measurement we can make, and that is the level of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And indeed it is increasing,
and it is due to human causes.
In relation to comparison to IPCC, again what IPCC uses are
scenarios, and there are a number of scenarios they use in
terms of how carbon dioxide concentrations would change in the
future without any policy options but with considerations of
economic growth, technology intervention. And if you look at
those scenarios, the current levels of carbon dioxide
concentration are very consistent with those models, in some
respects, might even be a little bit low.
Mr. Welch. Thank you. I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. At this time, the committee will be
in recess. I think about 12:30. Can the panel all stay with us?
Is that acceptable? Thank you for your courtesy. Mr. Schweiger
may not be able to, but we appreciate it, and we will be back
by about 12:30. Thank you.
Mr. Inslee. The hearing will convene, and we will hear from
Mr. Stearns--excuse me, Mr. Scalise.
Mr. Scalise. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Looks like Mr. Schweiger
has left. Is this gentleman Mr. Kostyack? Can you answer
questions on--there was part of Mr. Schweiger's written
testimony that I have a big issue with is in relation to his
claim that the deaths attributed to Hurricane Katrina are--well
the deaths from Hurricane Katrina are attributed to global
warming. He actually attributes 1,800 deaths from Katrina to
global warming, and I understand that he has left. I am sorry
that he has left because I represent a district that includes
many of those areas that were hit by Hurricane Katrina and in
fact incurred some of those deaths. And I take strong issue
with the fact that he would attribute those deaths to global
warming when, in fact, there is substantial record of
documentation that both points out that global warming had
nothing to do with Katrina's deaths but, in fact, it was the
failure of federal levees as well as the problems caused from
Now, what documentation, if you can speak for Mr.
Schweiger, what documentation did he base his assertion on?
Mr. Kostyack. I would be happy to speak for Mr. Schweiger.
We didn't, in our testimony, state that global warming was
directly responsible for that particular----
Mr. Scalise. In written testimony--it is in his written
testimony that he submitted right here on page 9.
Mr. Kostyack. There is certainly, and we made the link in
the testimony between global warming and that storm because of
the fact that there is extensive scientific data showing a
linkage between the intensification of coastal storms and
global warming. And so, although you can never pinpoint one
particular storm in saying that storm was caused by global
warming, you could certainly say, as we did in the testimony,
that a storm of that nature is becoming more prevalent in this
era of warming. And I would defer to my colleague from NOAA to
give you the citations to the papers. But there is extensive
literature in this area.
Mr. Scalise. And I will read his quote. ``Increases in
weather-related disasters associated with global warming carry
more than an economic cost. The perils of weather-related
disasters are exemplified by Hurricane Katrina, which caused
one million evacuees to flee and more than 1,800 deaths.''
Now, I would urge you to go and read the report by the Army
Corps of Engineers who acknowledges that the failure of federal
levees is what lead to the deaths from Hurricane Katrina as
well as the increased damage done by storms over the years due
to coastal erosion, which at the state level, the state is
working on restoring the coast, which is a very important issue
for blocking future storms.
But I would just urge you to spread that word back to Mr.
Schweiger that I think it diminishes his credibility when he
makes statements attributing deaths from Katrina to global
warming to try to further his cause because that had nothing to
do with it. And if he has some proof that carbon emissions had
anything to do with the failure of those levees, tell him to
get that information to the Corps of Engineers because no one
has ever asserted that up until this point.
I see Lord Monckton nodding. If you had anything you wanted
to add to that, Lord Monckton.
Mr. Monckton. Certainly, sir, with pleasure. Mr. Justice
Burton in the high court considered this matter because, of
course, Al Gore has also in his sci-fi comedy horror movie
attributed the Hurricane Katrina to global warming. And Mr.
Justice Burton, after hearing very careful evidence from both
sides, including our own meteorological office, which tends to
share the views of your NOAA over here, came to the very firm
conclusion that that link cannot be established.
And it is also worth recording that Hurricane Katrina was
only a category three at the point where it made landfall. And
as you have rightly said, sir, the real failure here was the
failure of the local administration--I cannot for the moment
remember which party it is--to make sure that the levees were
Mr. Scalise. The Army Corps of Engineers, which actually
issued a report acknowledging that those levees failed in a way
that they should not have failed for a category three.
Following up on a point you made about Al Gore, because Al
Gore has said on record that the UN is wrong and sea levels may
rise upwards of 20 feet by the end of the 20th Century. Do you
prescribe to that view that Al Gore has----
Mr. Monckton. I have recently consulted the world's
foremost expert on sea level, Professor Neals Axcel Murner, who
has written 520 papers on the subject. He tells me that sea
level in the last century rose eight inches compared with an
average centennial rate of rise over the past 10,000 years of
four feet per century. And his best estimate is that it will be
another eight inches. Now, the UN says perhaps 1.5 as its
central estimate in the whole of the next century.
Mr. Scalise. And I am about to run out of time. One last
question, Lord Monckton. Over the past decade or so, have
temperature observations verified the model predictions that we
keep hearing about?
Mr. Monckton. No.
Mr. Scalise. Thank you. I yield back.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Chair will recognize myself. Mr.
Karl, the Right Honorable Lord Third Viscount Monckton of
Brenchley had told us that the earth is cooling, which is an
extraordinary statement giving the unprecedented amount of
scientific consensus to the contrary.
I want to refer you to a slide showing five-year averages.
The NIS GISS data and CRU Hadley data. You have to look behind
you to see it. I am sorry, Mr. Karl. It is over to your right.
These are five-year averages that basically show temperature in
five-year periods. Is it helpful to look at five-year averages
when we are looking at climate trends?
Mr. Karl. It is certainly helpful to average over longer
periods than a few years. And in fact, I just want to point out
that in the IPCC report, the reference to linkage between human
contributions to changes in atmosphere composition and global
warming was over the last 50 years. And there is a lot of
danger in taking that record and looking at year-to-year
variations and talking about cooling or warming.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. And my next chart, if we can put the
next chart up, I think shows the wisdom of that, that basically
shows annual temperatures which does show the temperatures in
'08 somewhat less than '04. But the trends are obviously
disturbing. And I would trust the 2000 IPCC scientists.
The next slide please showing observed monthly carbon
dioxide trends as measured at Mauna Loa since 1973 compared
with the emissions scenarios of the IPCC. Will show that in
fact the emissions, actually the concentrations in the last
several years have been higher actually than even the models.
Is that correct?
Mr. Karl. Yes.
Mr. Inslee. Okay, next slide please. You can help me. The
other slide, it was the first slide of Lord Viscount Monckton.
Yes, I was looking at this. I was intrigued by your testimony,
Lord Monckton, and I was just wondering what this graph was.
Mr. Monckton. That is merely the header sheet so I know
that the slides are up there. In fact, it is the view from my
library in Renneck.
Mr. Inslee. Is this a coat of arms? Is that what they call
this in England or----
Mr. Monckton. No, sir, that is the four colors, which is
the symbol of the House of Lords, and superimpressed upon it is
the Visacomital Coronet.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. I appreciate that. Lord Monckton,
how much have the seas acidified since industrial times? By
what percentage are there higher concentrations of the ions
contributing to acidic oceans compared to pre-industrial times?
I will just take a number if you can give it to me.
Mr. Monckton. Certainly. There has been no satisfactory
measurement to establish it, but modeling suggests--and I don't
know how reliable the modeling is--that the pH has reduced by
Mr. Inslee. And what percentage increase in ions--the
scientists tell me that is a 30 percent increase in the ions
concentration compared to pre-industrial times. And I am a
little stunned by your statement that there is no evidence in
this. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence from multiple
sources that our oceans are becoming more acidic. Most recently
off the coast of Washington State and Tatoosh Island, which
showed the acidification caused by anthropomorphic, meaning us
putting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, going into solution
and then making the oceans more acidic is actually accelerating
even beyond the models that it clearly is at extraordinarily
high levels compared to pre-industrial times.
Now, do you think that given the value set that you bring
to this testimony, considering that that can adversely impact
living creatures including coral and phytoplankton at certain
levels, that that is something that we should make an effort to
Mr. Monckton. No, sir, I don't think you need to because if
we go back a little bit further than the period you are looking
at, and we go back to the Triassic Era where the most fragile
of the corals first evolved, they were the Aragonite corals, at
that time there 6,500 parts per million of CO2 in
the atmosphere. One can presume therefore that there would be
more CO2 in the oceans at that time as well. And the
corals did just find. Indeed, that is when they evolved. So we
know from these geological records that the fears over ocean
acidification have been much exaggerated.
Mr. Inslee. Well, your testimony is in stark contrast with
the entire rest of the biological and botanical testimony
because you are talking about corals that were adapted to those
conditions. We are talking about corals that are adapted to our
conditions of acidity in the ocean. They are entirely different
In fact, it is shown by new research, so when you go back
home, you can notify them in your country of what we found in
this country, which is acidification at certain levels, which
we will approach in this century, retards the calcification and
the deposition of calcium carbonate. That is a message from
America just so you will know, and we have lots of literature
about this I would be happy to provide you. Thank you.
Mr. Monckton. Without objection, sir, may I introduce into
the record a recent book on the subject by Dr. Craig Itso,
which is a comprehensive review of literature on precisely this
subject? And I think you will find that it does show a rather
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. We enjoyed----
Mr. Monckton. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Inslee. Sure, we will insert that in the record. Mr.
Karl, do you have any comments on ocean acidification, what
NOAA's findings have been?
Mr. Karl. It is a very important issue that our agency is
looking at, and I am happy to report that we have some leading
researchers in the world. Dr. Richard Feely, who just recently
published a paper pointing out some of the observations that
indicate that the oceans indeed are acidifying and the
projections with continued increase in carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere are for those increases to have gone up about a
tenth in pH, another--not a tenth, a tenth of a unit. Another
one-tenth to two-tenths of a units with the kinds of
concentrations as projected by IPCC.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Well, I turn to Mr. Stearns of
Mr. Stearns. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Lord Monckton, let me
just give you a hypothetical question here that you might help
me with. In mitigation that is the elimination of
CO2, let us say, for example, the United States
adopted cap-and-trade as well as all the other methods to
totally eliminate energy-producing components that have
CO2 emissions in this country. We totally eliminate
it. How long would it take theoretically to bring back the
level of CO2 that we have in this country today if
we were successful in eliminating it? Is there any studies, or
anybody that has done state-by-state in the United States, for
example, my home state? Or is there any way to evaluate what
the repercussions would be?
Mr. Monckton. Let me start state by state. Yes, sir. The
Science and Public Policy Institute publishes state-by-state
surveys of what would happen to global temperatures if that
state were to close down its emissions all together and go back
to the Stone Age without even the right to light a fire in your
caves. And the effect on temperatures is fair to say on an
individual state-by-state basis is negligible.
If you were to close down the entire United States economy
and go back to the Stone Age, then what would happen is that is
going to take you a certain amount of time to do. As you reduce
your production here, since your citizens will still require
much the same in the way of goods and services they had before,
they will have to get them from overseas, from places like
China and India where, alas, the emissions per unit of
production are considerable higher, in some cases three or four
times higher, than they are here.
And therefore the net effect of the United States shutting
down her economy would be to increase carbon emissions
worldwide, achieving the very reverse of the objective which
was however piously intended.
Mr. Stearns. Are there any timeframes you could say this
study was done on so you could say theoretically if we shut
down like say over the next seven years before we would see the
CO2 emissions come up to what they are?
Mr. Monckton. You would see virtually no decline at all
because so quickly would other countries take up the production
that you forego. If you transfer your jobs and your industries
and your wealth to other countries and get them to do the work
that was once done here, then the uptake, and therefore the
increase in CO2 emissions, will be more or less
All you will be doing is shooting yourselves economically
in the foot. Not only for no climatic benefit whatsoever, but
actually you would end up making things worse. And you would
end up making things worse more or less immediately.
Mr. Stearns. You have used that term shooting ourselves in
the foot. I think I will use one of your assistance, sort of
call this kneecap-and-tax which would be shooting ourselves in
the kneecap and then coming back in taxes and putting us in
Mr. Waskow, I have an article here that says ``Biofuels
pushing up food prices and poverty'' Oxfam that indicates. And
so, you know, we had these well-intended mandates from ethanol.
They were enacted supposedly to help the environment, and yet
there seems to be consequences reading this article. Shouldn't
we be cautious in implementing any new policy which would have
far-reaching effects, such as a policy that would change the
entire energy base of our country like kneecap-and-tax.
Mr. Waskow. Well, I would say that it is absolutely the
case that we need to be careful in designing a policy of this
magnitude. I think that the consequences of climate charge are
so grave, particularly for poor people around the world and
also in this country, that a lot of the care that must go into
it is, in fact, making sure that emissions do not continue
rising in a way that is going to lead to even greater harm down
And in the near term, since this hearing is focused on
adaptation, I would just note that part of the care that we
must take in designing climate policy is, in fact, to make sure
that those who are being affected now by the current impacts of
climate change are, in fact, having their needs met and that
the adaptation responses and resilience responses that are
necessary are, in fact, being put in place.
Mr. Stearns. Would you state then that you think that we
should scrap all biofuel targets in the world?
Mr. Waskow. Well, I mean if the question goes to whether to
entirely remove any policy supporting any kind of biofuels,
that would not be our position. However, we do think that in
the case of biofuels, because of the food consequences, that
targets need to be looked at very closely in terms of how they
may affect food supplies.
And so corn ethanol is an excellent example where we have
serious concerns about what it means to ramp up production of
that because of the food consequences worldwide.
Mr. Stearns. Do you have any percentages that you could use
it ramped it up by? In other words, you talk about these
biofuel mandates. Have they increased global food prices by any
Mr. Waskow. I am not aware that we have a specific number
that one can attribute to the increase but----
Mr. Stearns. The article says biofuels are responsible for
30 percent of the increase in global food prices, pushing 30
million people worldwide into poverty, the aid agency Oxfam
said in a report Wednesday.
Mr. Waskow. Yeah, I believe that that is--I will check and
happy to get back to you in writing. I believe that that data
reflects World Bank analysis of--in their annual economic
report last year.
Mr. Stearns. All right. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Mr. Walden of Oregon.
Mr. Walden. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Kostyack, your
predecessor at the hearing, Mr. Schweiger, made a comment that
the Boreal Forests are either now or soon to be giving off more
carbon than they are sequestering. And I wonder if you could
speak to why that is.
Mr. Kostyack. We are currently seeing a die-off of forests
all around the globe, and it is due to the increased stress,
rising of average surface temperatures around the globe.
Mr. Walden. And would part of the effect of that be then
additional drought conditions and stress on the trees
Mr. Kostyack. That is correct.
Mr. Walden. And so what is the proper intervention, if you
are a forester, to help ameliorate that problem?
Mr. Kostyack. Well, a number of ideas have been suggested.
There is no easy answer. Much more research will be needed to
manage our way through this problem. Obviously the first step
is we need to cut global carbon emissions because we are not
going to be able to adapt our way out of this problem.
Mr. Walden. So you don't think managing the forests back to
a more balanced system is an answer?
Mr. Kostyack. No, that is where I was heading next. My
Mr. Walden. I am sorry.
Mr. Kostyack [continuing]. That forest management by itself
will not solve this problem. That the first step will be to cut
carbon emissions. We will not be able to address massive die-
offs of forests we are seeing around the globe, unless we start
The second will be to look at natural resources adaptation
efforts, and that involves more scientific research. It
involves storing as much ground water as possible. It means
forest management to reduce some of the fuel load to avoid
unnecessary catastrophic fires.
Mr. Walden. I appreciate especially that last point. I
represent a district of 70,000 square miles, 10 or 11 national
forests. We have forests there that are completely overstressed
right now today. 500 of the Wynema National Forest. There is
about 500 square miles the bugs have been eating away at for a
decade. It is ready to explode, and yet there are many
organizations who care passionately about global climate change
and CO2 emission reductions that consistently,
repeatedly, and aggressively appeal every proposal to go in and
do thinning operations on these forests to get them back into
balance with nature frankly because they--you can let them get
back in balance a couple ways.
You can let catastrophic fire just wipe out the stand. Or
we can go in and using--and I think there is a pretty good
basis of scientific knowledge on the number of trees per acre
that would be historically correct. And yet the same
organizations are opposing it. So I guess my question is--and,
Mr. Monckton, maybe you want to--Lord Monckton, I am sorry.
Maybe you want to speak to this as well.
I know we sort of have this existing exchange policy in the
world where we don't manage our federal forests in America. We
would rather rape and pillage forests around the globe for our
wood. And I am not exaggerating here. I mean 60 percent, I
think, of Oregon's forest land is federal, and it represents 6
percent of the trees that are actually harvested.
I have counties that are at 19.7 percent unemployment.
These folks--I was just out there. They don't understand why
the forests are allowed to burn up around them, and they can't
even cut burned dead trees while they still have value.
And what they further don't understand is that their
heating bills are going to go up dramatically under cap-and-
trade. And the one manufacturer that is kind of left in eastern
Oregon makes cement, the Ashcome Cement Plant, and they figure
they will probably have to close. Now, I don't know how this
helps people in poverty.
Mr. Monckton. Sir, I sympathize with you entirely. The one
thing you don't want to do in the present economic
circumstances is start closing down the few industries that
still remain in the name of the Chimera of global warming,
which visibly hasn't been happening for the last seven years,
though it has been happening for the last 300. During at least
270, we could not have had anything to do about it.
As for the management of trees, you are quite right. It is
essential that proper fire breaks be cleared and maintained so
as to prevent forest fires. Forest fires are not new. They are
not a consequence of global warming. They occur naturally. They
are, in fact, a part of the natural process by which forest
manage themselves. But if one wishes to minimize that, you must
have fire breaks. And that is what we do in the U.K.
Mr. Walden. Plus we are finding that even the old growth
trees now are getting stressed because some years of drought.
When they get stressed, then they bugs come in, and they kill
the old growth trees, which many people would like to preserve.
So it really is a problem.
Let me shift gears because I only have 30 seconds left. My
district also is home to some of the most active wind energy
development out there, and our grid in the Northwest will soon
have more wind on it than any other grid by percentage in the
The question has recently come up by some groups that--and
I thought this had been resolved--that wind energy and the wind
turbines are killing raptors and birds. And so I would go to
the Wildlife Federation. Is that the view of your organization
that the wind energy we are putting in is--I thought they had
designed around this problem.
Mr. Kostyack. There are some negative impacts on wildlife
from wind energy development. That being said, these problems
can be worked out. There are technical solutions. I mean let us
recognize, first of all, just installing the wind power by
itself will take out some habitat. And then there are some
collisions we would need to address both with birds and bats.
We are very much supportive of building out a massive wind
Mr. Walden. That is what I thought.
Mr. Kostyack. And it is fundamental to the solution of
global warming. This goes through our overall message here
today. We are going to need to have a major investment in
natural resources adaptation. And that means a lot of public
outreach for people to understand some of these tradeoffs.
There is no free energy source, and so we are going to have to
find ways to minimize wind impacts. There are ways to place
these renewable energy systems in the most degraded areas or
areas where there is also essentially a human footprint and
trying to protect those pristine areas.
But at the same time, we have to get this wind energy
Mr. Walden. But at the end of the day, you kind of have to
put it where the wind is.
Mr. Kostyack. That is one of the key factors to look at,
Mr. Walden. Yeah, all right. Thank you. My time has run
out, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all. I appreciate your testimony
from all of you.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. With unanimous consent, the chair
will put into the record a letter dated March 24, 2009 from the
Outdoor Industry Association and another one from a group of
organizations including the League of Women Voters, dated March
[The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
I would extend an opportunity to any of you who feel a
burning passion to make another one-minute statement on
anything you didn't have a chance to say. We want to make sure
the witnesses have a chance to respond to any of the questions
you asked. If any of you would like to take a minute to extend
your comments, feel free to do so. Mr. Karl, if you would like
to. Don't feel compelled by the way.
Mr. Karl. No, I don't. I just want to----
Mr. Shimkus. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question?
Mr. Inslee. Certainly.
Mr. Shimkus. Does that mean we get a chance for a 1-minute
response to their 1-minute question?
Mr. Inslee. If Mr. Shimkus would like, I would certainly--
Mr. Shimkus. I mean I am just trying to find out the rules
Mr. Inslee. I would be happy to extend a minute to Mr.
Shimkus for sure if that is so ordered by the two consensus
builders of Shimkus and Inslee. Mr. Karl.
Mr. Karl. Yeah, I just wanted to thank the committee for
addressing this extremely important issue and note that there
is enormous amount of climate change science that is available
today. The major challenge for our agency, which we hope to be
able to address in the short few years ahead is to take that
science and be--make it available to help make decisions,
practical decisions, that are required from a local scale all
the way up to national and international scales. Thanks.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Mr. Stephenson.
Mr. Stephenson. I would parrot that, but I think we have an
information shortage here, especially at the local level such
that we are not prepared to make economic decisions yet. We
need the data first before we can do the cost/benefit tradeoffs
on what is going to be worth the investment and what is not.
And the same is true with the cap-and-trade bill, from the
way you design it, how expensive or not it is going to be and
whether the benefits are worth the cost. So I just don't think
we are there yet. I think we need to negotiate the specific
details of any legislation and see what that means before we
can say universally that it is going to cost jobs and tank the
Mr. Inslee. Mr. Waskow.
Mr. Kostyack. Mr. Inslee, thank you, Chairman, for the
opportunity. Very much want to associate myself with my
colleague's remarks about the need for more additional
scientific research. If you look at the overall agenda for
natural resources adaptation, we have to recognize, first of
all, we are playing major catch-up on the scientific research
There have been a lot of investment on the mitigation side.
We are really just getting going on adaptation. That being
said, there are many, many things that the scientists already
agree on that are essentially no-regrets strategies for making
our natural systems more resilient to harmful impacts of
climate change. And we have heard some of them today, whether
it is buffering people and wildlife from coastal storms by
rebuilding wetlands complex, we should be doing those now. The
longer we wait, the more difficult and expensive it gets.
And so when we came here today and advocated for a very
substantial large-scale investment in natural resources
adaptation as part of climate change, this is something we can
demonstrate today has far greater economic benefits than the
cost. And there is no reason to hesitate.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Dr. Beisner.
Mr. Beisner. I would just simply ask the members of the
committee to study very carefully the results of the findings
of the Copenhagen consensus, which attempts to rank a variety
of different responses to climate change, assuming the IPCC's
scenarios to be accurate, ranks the variety of different
responses, and responses to other problems pressing upon
We don't have infinite resources. There are opportunity
costs, and I think there are things that need to take much
higher priority than anything we can do in either mitigation or
adaptation in response to climate.
Mr. Inslee. Lord Monckton.
Mr. Monckton. Thank you, sir. Don't do cap-and-trade.
Remember the poor. Remember your taxpayers. Beware rent
seekers, particularly from the scientific community. Remember
the warning of Eisenhower against the technocrats who would
eventually take over and try to push you in various directions.
Pay no attention. Keep your spending down as a state and as a
nation, and God bless you all.
Mr. Inslee. Mr. Waskow.
Mr. Waskow. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to
address two things quickly. First of all on the Katrina issue.
I would agree that there was a massive failure of the levees.
There was also a failure of the emergency response system, but
I think the lesson that we should draw from this is what is
necessary in the context of increasing risk from climate
change. And as we have increasing risk on the one hand, we also
have to have resilience and adaptive strategies on the other
hand going together.
And so dealing with the levees is not--or our emergency
response system is not something separate and apart from
addressing climate change. It should be integrated and should
be integrated as well with a dramatic reduction in emissions.
The second thing I just wanted to quickly address is the
question of renewable energy in developing countries. And
without getting into detail, just to say that our view is that
renewable energy does, in fact, have many benefits in the
development context. And often, in fact, renewable energy is
what is going to be necessary for the poorest around the world
to be able to have access to modern energy sources.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Bishop.
Bishop Holloway. Thank you very much. I thought it was very
aptly put earlier by Mr. Shimkus that God has no intention of
destroying what He has created. He has placed upon us, in
addition to that, a covenant that we must honor with Him, but
also with one another in the care of the earth. This is part of
our responsibility as good stewards.
It is also part of our responsibility to care for one
another as we do this. There are others who are affected by
what is going on with the changes in the climate and have no
way of dealing with it in a way that is life sustaining or
We are committed to do that and continuing that work and
call upon Congress at this time, not only to carry out its
traditional responsibilities as well as it has in the past, but
also to take leadership in thinking for those of us and to
advocate for those of us who cannot speak for ourselves. Thank
you very much.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Mr. Shimkus, would you like to make
Mr. Shimkus. Yeah. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You know to
assume that man can control the world's climate is a very
dangerous and a very arrogant position. It reminds me of the
biblical story of the Tower of Babel when man thought they
could build a tower to reach God. It was in their arrogance
that they thought they could do things that only God can do.
What hasn't been talked about a lot--I think the impact on
the poor has been talked about, the rural areas, the job
dislocation. I think we have ferreted that out. What I would
ask you all to look at is especially the climate cap-and-trade,
cap and tax, this trading floor. Numerous times, my colleagues
on the other side have attacked the New York Mercantile
Exchange. Farmers have always attacked the Chicago Board of
Trade because big money interests go into these, and it is an
area for big money to make big money by setting the price for
carbon on a trading floor. They will be held accountable when
they attack the trading floor venue, as they always do, in this
failed policy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. Mr. Scalise, would you like to make
Mr. Scalise. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would point out
that the National Hurricane Center actually tracks hurricanes
over the last 150 or so years, and you might not be able to see
this where you are sitting, but there have actually been
periods going back over 100 years where there were higher
numbers of hurricanes and bigger hurricanes than Hurricane
Katrina. But clearly the devastation that was caused from
Katrina and the deaths related to it were caused by, number
one, failure of federal levees, but also the erosion of the
coast, none of which has anything to do with changing and
And clearly I think the science on global change is not
settled. One thing that is settled is the cost, the cost to
this country. Peter Orszag, President Obama's own budget
director stated before this committee that this type of policy,
cap-and-trade policy and energy tax, would actually cost every
American family over $1,300 a year in increased energy costs
that they would be paying.
For those people that think people making below $250,000 a
year won't pay a dime, you give them that $1,300 bill, you are
going to have a hard time explaining it to them. That one area
is settled as a result of this policy that we should defeat,
and I yield back.
Mr. Inslee. Thank you. I just would like to point out we
have one of our witnesses from the Cornwall Alliance for the
Stewardship of Creation, and I would just suggest that
fulfilling our stewardship responsibility does not involve
destroying all creatures great and small, the Lord God made
them all. And in fact, that is what is going on right now.
And I don't think we can help the polar bear adopt. They
are gone unless something changes in our climate policy. I
don't think the people of Shishmaref are going to have a
problem there. Their city in Alaska is melting in the sea. We
can't just tell them they are just going to have to pick up and
move to Florida. It is just not their cup of tea, and it is not
all right to make them move.
And I would suggest that we appreciate wisdom from all over
the country, but the Englishman I will be listening to is Sir
Isaac Newton, whose physical laws are quite well accepted as is
the science on everything we have been talking about here
today. Thank you very much.
Mr. Monckton. Until Einstein.
[Whereupon, at 1:10 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
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