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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

March 26, 2013 at 4:52 PM

State Senate committee hosts climate change skeptic


OLYMPIA — The Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee hosted a global warming skeptic on Tuesday who testified for more than an hour that it’s a bunch of hooey.

Don Easterbrook, an emeritus geology professor from Western Washington University, told lawmakers that there is no global warming, that the Antarctic ice sheet is not melting, sea levels are not rising and severe storms are not increasing in frequency.

And one more: “CO2 cannot possibly cause global warming. The reason is because there is so little of it. It is a trace gas,” Easterbrook said. “If you double nothing you still have nothing.”

Easterbrook was invited by the panel’s chairman, GOP Sen. Doug Ericksen, of Ferndale, who has said he has doubts about climate change himself.

Ericksen’s committee recently stripped language out of a bill, requested by Gov. Jay Inslee, that asserted the state was experiencing a series of problems because of climate change. Inslee has testifed that there’s no debate about the science and that Washington should become a leader in dealing with climate change.

Democrats on the committee questioned Easterbrook’s statements.

“I understand that last November was the globe’s 333rd month of above average global temperatures,” Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island said, referring to studies he’d read. “What’s your opinion of the data I have which seems contrary to what you are putting forward?”

Easterbrook’s response was that government agencies had changed the data Ranker was using to make it look like the climate has warmed. “I don’t doubt it’s contrary … what you are looking at is the data that has been tampered with by NOAA and NASA,” Easterbrook said,

Ranker also questioned the professor’s assertions that the media refused to cover the truth.

Easterbrook said, “How many headlines have you seen that say we have unprecedented global warming and how many headlines have you seen that say gee folks the climate is cooling? … The answer from my own personal experience is none.”

TVW covered the Senate hearing. You can watch the video here.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: climate change, Don Easterbrook, doug ericksen


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