Professor John Christy, a climate expert at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said the Obama administration is working to silence those skeptical of dangerous climate change in advance of a new global climate agreement.
Dr. John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, talks about his career and the controversy surrounding his findings and funding sources during an interview in his office at the University of Alabama in Huntsville Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in Huntsville, Ala.(Eric Schultz / firstname.lastname@example.org)
John Christy, a climate expert at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said Tuesday that he has not accepted any funding from the fossil fuel industry.
Christy’s response in an interview with AL.com resulted from an inquiry from an Arizona congressman who has asked about Christy’s funding sources as part of a probe of climate change skeptics.
“My response is that I don’t see anything in this letter that challenges the science we produce,” he said. “So therefore, it should not matter where support came from to produce that science. (The Obama) administration believes that if you don’t agree with them about climate change, you must be being paid to have that opinion.
“In my case, they won’t find anything — 100 percent of my support is state and federal grants. No one is paying me to have my view. I have my view because I’m a climate scientist and that’s what the data shows.”
U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, announced last month he was sending letters to seven climate change skeptics in an effort to determine if their positions were defined because they accepted funding from fossil fuel industries. A group of Republican senators, including Alabama’s Jeff Sessions, have questioned the worthiness of the inquiry.
Christy, the director of the Earth System Science Center at UAH, said he was meeting with the UAH administration on Wednesday to formally respond to Grijalva’s letter. Christy said UAH officials have verified his outside sources of income.
“It’s not going to work as intimidation, which is what it’s designed to do,” Christy said of the letter. “But it does have a backfire aspect to it. It emboldens you when you’ve gotten under somebody’s skin because you know this is what the real world is doing.”
Christy said the Obama administration is working to silence those skeptical of dangerous climate change by December in advance of a new global climate agreement. The Grijalva letter is part of that effort, Christy said.
In an interview with Vice News released Monday, Obama put the onus on Republicans when it comes to climate change policy.
“I guarantee that the Republican Party will have to change its approach to climate change because voters will insist upon it,” Obama said, according to a report by The Hill.
“I think they think this is their signature issue,” Christy said. “And to get that done by December, they’ve got squelch any opposition they can right now. And to say Republicans have to believe a certain thing, that’s a political move, not a scientific move.”
Christy referred to a UAH chart that compared 102 climate models produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with satellite data collected by UAH that reflects that the models are far out of step with the actual data when it comes to climate change. The chart dates from 1975 to 2014.
A chart provided to AL.com by UAH climate expert John Christy that shows the disparity between climate models and research conducted by UAH. The green line is satellite data compiled by UAH while the blue is from weather balloon data compiled by an independent entity, Christy said.
The chart suggests warming is happening at about eight-tenths of a degree in 2014, according to the IPCC data, while the UAH data indicates warming has been about two-tenths of a degree over the same time period.
The IPCC models, according to the UAH chart, estimated global temperatures to be higher than what the actual data revealed in past years.
“These models can’t even predict what happened in the past,” Christy said. “Doesn’t that ring alarm bells in your mind about trusting this as a policy tool?”