Climate change 101 with Ernest Moniz: “Count.”

Climate change 101 with Ernest Moniz: “Count.”


Basic math.

For the sake of any slow ones in the room, how can we be so sure that humans are responsible for climate change?

Basic mathematics is a good place to start.

That’s how Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz explained his confidence that humanity is to blame for climate distruption. He was addressing Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), a climate skeptic, during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Thursday. McKinley was questioning whether humans or natural cycles were “primarily” responsible for climate change.

“The rise in CO2 emissions in the last half century is clearly tracked to our global increased energy use,” Moniz replied. “I know how to count. I can count how many CO2 molecules have gone out from fossil fuel combustion and I know how many additional CO2 molecules are in the atmosphere.”

Counting, hey? Radical stuff. It sounds suspiciously like science — something that climate skeptics aren’t much into. But McKinley decided to share his views on how science should work nonetheless, deriding the consensus among scientists on anthropogenic global warming.

“I think consensus has a place in politics, but consensus doesn’t have a place in science,” McKinley said.

“My judgment is based on numbers,” Moniz replied, “on data, and not on the consensus.”

Here is video of Moniz’s remarks:

John Upton is a science fan and green news boffin who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants:

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Climate change 101 with Ernest Moniz: “Count.”

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