"Today's hearing will focus on climate change and the serious threat it poses to our nation. The body of evidence is overwhelming, the world's leading scientists agree, and predictions of the impact of climate change are coming true before our eyes. This issue has been a priority for me since I became Chairman of this Committee, because climate change puts our environment and public health at great risk. Scientists and other experts have testified before this Committee in the past, and they spoke many times about the severe impact of climate change. Let me share just a few of these experts' predictions with you:
- "It is very likely that hot extremes [and] heat waves . . . will continue to become more frequent." (Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth in 2008)
- "It is likely that tropical storms and hurricanes will become more intense and with much heavier rainfalls, and thus risk of flooding." (Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth in 2008)
- "With climate change, an increase in the severity, duration, and frequency of extreme heat waves is expected in the United States." (Dr. Howard Frumkin in 2009)
- "On the most basic level, climate change has the potential to create sustained natural and humanitarian disasters on a scale and at a frequency far beyond those we see today." (Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn in 2009)
"In 2012, Superstorm Sandy resulted in the loss of life, wiped out entire communities, and caused approximately $65 billion of damage. And the impacts of climate change are being felt throughout our nation. The Arctic has lost more than a third of total sea ice volume over the last decade -- making Alaskan native villages increasingly vulnerable to erosion and storms. We have seen large wildfires break out earlier in the season in California, and recently 19 brave firefighters in Arizona tragically lost their lives. In 2012, New Mexico experienced the largest wildfire in state history, Colorado suffered the second largest wildfire in state history, and Oregon had its largest wildfire since the 1860s. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), over the past two years there have been 25 weather and climate disasters - each one costing more than $1 billion. Climate change is real, human activities are the primary cause, and the warming planet poses a significant risk to people and the environment. . ."
Senator Inhofe said, "Most meteorologists agree. A recent study by George Mason University reported that 63% of weathercasters believe that any global warming that occurs is the result of 'natural variation' and not 'human activities.' That is a significant two-to-one majority. . . And just this past week, Harvard and the Forest Service came out with a study that shows trees are growing faster and using less water with higher atmospheric concentrations of CO2. This is the opposite of what scientists expected before, but the alarmists can't talk about it because they've received their instructions from the President.
Senator Inhofe cited Richard Lindzen, "the world renowned atmospheric physicist at MIT" who said that regulating carbon is a "bureaucrat's dream," because "if you control carbon, you control life." Sen. Inhofe said, "When you zoom out and consider this from a distance, it is the core tenant of liberalism and the President political philosophy. He believes that government can make better decisions than the people, and regulating carbon dioxide will give him all he needs to make nearly every decision for the American people."