Roger Pielke, Jr. Being Investigated by Representative Grijalva for Presenting Inconvenient Data

Roger Pielke, Jr. is not a skeptic of human-induced global warming, as we all know.  Pielke Jr. is being investigated, however, for the “crime” of presenting data that disagree with alarmists who make bogus claims about weather and weather-related losses.

See Roger’s post I am under “Investigation”, in which he discusses the investigation by US Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.  Pielke, Jr.’s “crime”:

Prof. Roger Pielke, Jr., at CU’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress on climate change and its economic impacts. His 2013 Senate testimony featured the claim, often repeated, that it is “incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.”

Roger notes in his post:

The letter goes on to note that John Holdren, President Obama’s science advisor, “has highlighted what he believes were serious misstatements by Prof. Pielke.” (For background on this see here and here.) My 2013 testimony to the Senate is here and House is here in pdf (Q&A following hearing here and here). The testimony was the basis for my recent book on Disasters & Climate Change.

Remarkably, Pielke, Jr.’s 2013 Senate testimony (here) is basically a data presentation which shows:

  1. Globally, weather-related losses have not increased since 1990 as a proportion of GDP (they have actually decreased by about 25%).
  2. Insured catastrophe losses have not increased as a proportion of GDP since 1960.
  3. Hurricanes have not increased in the US in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900.
  4. There are no significant trends (up or down) in global tropical cyclone landfalls since 1970 (when data allows for a comprehensive perspective), or in the overall number of tropical cyclones.
  5. Floods have not increased in the US in frequency or intensity since at least 1950.
  6. Flood losses as a percentage of US GDP have dropped by about 75% since 1940.
  7. Tornadoes have not increased in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since 1950, and there is some evidence to suggest that they have actually declined.
  8. Drought has “for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century.”

Again, Roger presented graphs of data that support his statements.

Yet, somehow, presenting data that contradict alarmist hype is worthy of an investigation by an elected US representative—an investigation that has so far been a waste of Roger’s time, the time of the President of the University of Colorado Boulder, and, of course, the time of US Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ).

Roger notes how this has also impacted his research and may impact others:

The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”

As Andrew Montford notes in his post Why you can’t trust climatology at BishopHill:

Roger has always struck me as one of the most robust participants in the climate debate. When someone as thick-skinned as he is is forced out then it really does tell you something about the trustworthiness of what climatologists and the IPCC tell us.

The word is “nugatory”, I think.

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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10 Responses to Roger Pielke, Jr. Being Investigated by Representative Grijalva for Presenting Inconvenient Data

  1. Werner Kohl says:

    The climate establishment has recognized that they will lose the climate “war” when using facts and arguments. So they changed the weapons.

    It’s really a shame!

  2. omanuel says:

    Thank you for this post showing how lock-step consensus opinions have destroyed the integrity of science.

    I share many of the environmentalists concerns about society’s dependence on fossil fuels for energy.

    But I know nuclear energy will not be a viable solution to our energy needs unless we are first willing to openly debate and resolve differences of opinion about the inversion in the nuclear structure at ~150 amu and the importance of neutron repulsion in cores of heavier nuclei, stars, galaxies, etc.

    Click to access Solar_Energy_For_Review.pdf

    I.e., lock-step consensus “science” has also destroyed our ability to safely develop nuclear energy to meet future energy needs.

    I would appreciate comments or suggestions on ways to resolve this dilemma.

  3. tomwys1 says:

    The unmistakably clear message is:

    “Be truthful at your peril”

  4. I disagree with the stance of Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. on CO2 being the cause of the global warming that elevated the Earth’s global temperature some 0.5°C from 1975 to 1998.
    But I disagree even more with the stance of Representative Raúl Grijalva investigating Dr. Roger Pielke. His inquisitorial attitude will hamper climate research and US science in general.

  5. omanuel says:

    This Inquisition simply confirms what we skeptics already knew: AGW promoters lost the climate debate!

    Rather than graciously admit defeat, can we expect more abuse of power:

    1. Inquisitions like this?
    2. Inciting religious intolerance?
    3. ? ? ? ?
    4. ? ? ? ?

  6. kuhnkat says:

    I think investigating contentious issues that are a basis of policy and especially enormous expenditures is a necessary evil. The question is whether it will be an impartial investigation or a witch hunt.

    I would point to the investigation of the GISS GAT adjustments as one I fully support IF it is impartial.

  7. Alec aka Daffy Duck says:

    Fyi, I think this is real new:

    The recent slowdown in climate warming is due, at least in part, to natural oscillations in the climate, according to a team of climate scientists, who add that these oscillations represent variability internal to the climate system. They do not signal any slowdown in human-caused global warming.

    “We know that it is important to distinguish between human-caused and natural climatevariability so we can assess the impact of human-caused climate change on a variety of phenomena including drought and weather extremes,” said Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, Penn State. “The North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans appear to be drivers of substantial natural, internal climate variability on timescales of decades.”….

    … Using a wide variety of climate simulations, the researchers found that the AMO and PMO are not significantly correlated; they are not part of the global “stadium wave” oscillation, as some researchers had claimed. What they found was that the Northern Hemisphere was warming more slowly, not because of the AMO—which has been relatively flat—but because of a sharply down-trending PMO.
    The researchers conclude that the down-trending PMO and the unusual slowing of warming over the past decade are tied to heat burial beneath the tropical Pacific and a tendency for sustained La Niña type conditions. While there is paleoclimate data suggesting that this type of response could come from subtle features of climate change itself that climate models do not currently capture, the researchers note that the most likely explanation is the random excursions of the AMO….

  8. Bob Tisdale says:

    Alec aka Daffy Duck, thanks. I suspect that they’ve redefined the AMO and PMO to achieve those results.

  9. Alec aka Daffy Duck says:

    The part I particularly enjoyed was “AMO—which has been relatively flat”

    Flat at peak warm

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