Jeff Miller

18 February 2007

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-CA), pictured left, just added his two cents to the global waming debate in Congress. He begins by mentioning how he had to shovel ice off his sidewalk the other day. He never explains why this matters to his argument at all, but the implication is that global warming isn't so bad after all because, hey, there's ice on my car. Anyway, after this inane anecdote, Jeff gives us his opinion.

Debates on global warming are always very passionate with respected scientists on each side of the argument. I believe global warming or climate change to be cyclical in nature and not entirely man-made.
Translation: I'm hearing things from both sides, so these opinions probably have equal weight and I can just pick the one I like better.

I'm all for Congressmen making their own independent judgments on policy matters, but when it comes to making scientific judgments, I'd like to see Congressmen show a little deference to what the scientists are actually saying themselves. This false equivalence drives me crazy. In the past, we had the OTA to tell Congress what science was actually saying, so that Congressmen could make informed decisions. We could apparently use something like the OTA again. Anyway, Jeff goes on to give the science-y explanation for why he thinks greenhouse gases aren't behind our recent warming.
Research shows temperature changes took place long before the Industrial Revolution. We have seen a warming trend since the last Ice Age, which took place some 20,000 years ago, and temperatures peaked in 1998 with El Nino. We are continuously in a state of peaks and valleys, and the next extreme change could be tens of thousands of years from now.
First off, 2005 was the warmest year on record. Second, scientists have already accounted for past temperature cycles (see the Milankovich Cycle). But still they believe that the recent anomalous warming, especially in the past 50 years, has been due to the coinciding spike in greenhouse gases.

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