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Obama Science Adviser: 'No Single Episode Can Either Prove or Disprove Global Climate Change'


White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett tweeted out a video on Wednesday defending the administration’s position on why the current cold snap, otherwise known as the “polar vortex”, is still a result of climate change or man-made global-warming. 

“You don’t want to miss this: President Obama’s Science Advisor explains the #PolarVortex,” Jarrett said.

In the video, Obama’s Science Adviser Dr. John Holdren explains:

 “If you’ve been hearing that extreme cold spells like the one we’re having in the United States right now disprove global warming, don’t believe it. The fact is no single episode can either prove or disprove global climate change. Climate is the pattern of weather that we observe geographically and over the seasons and its described in terms of averages, variations, and probabilities. But a growing body of evidence suggests that the extreme cold being experienced by the United States as we speak is a pattern we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues. And the reason is this. In the warming world we’re experiencing, the far north, the arctic is warming roughly twice as rapidly as the mid latitudes, such as the United States. That means that the temperature difference between the arctic and the mid latitudes is shrinking. And that temperature difference is what drives what is called the circumpolar vortex, which is the great counter-clockwise swirling mass of cold air that hovers over the arctic.

 As the temperature difference declines in the arctic and mid latitudes declines, the polar vortex weakens and it becomes wavier. The waviness means that there can be increased larger excursions of cold air southward, that is into the mid-latitudes and in the other phase of the wave of increased excursions of relatively warmer mid-latitude air into the far north. Computer models tell us there are many different factors influencing these patterns and as in all science, there will be continuing debate about what exactly is happening. But I believe the odds are we can expect as a result of global warming, to see more of this pattern of extreme cold in the mid-latitudes and some extreme warm in the far north.”

Interestingly, global warming alarmist, former Vice President Al Gore, has blamed several instances on global warming, including Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, and melting ice glaciers. In his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth,  explains why man-made global warming is over-heating the earth. His argument appears vastly different than Holdren’s.

Gore explains man-made global warming:

“The sun’s radiation comes in the form of light waves and that heats up the earth and then some of the radiation that is absorbed and warms the earth is re-radiated back into space in the form of infrared radiation. And some of the outgoing infrared radiation is trapped by this layer of atmosphere and held inside the atmosphere. And that’s a good thing, because it keeps the temperature of the earth within certain boundaries and it’s relatively constant and live-able but this thin layer of atmosphere is being thickened by global warming pollution that’s being put up there. And what that does is it thickens that layer of atmosphere and more of the outgoing infrared is trapped. And so the atmosphere is heats up worldwide. That’s global warming.” 

In April of 2009, members of congress questioned the former VP about his assertions regarding global warming, which led to a failed carbon cap and trade bill on the hill. Rep. Steve Scalise (R – LA) reminded Gore that in 1997 the now convicted Enron chief Kenneth Lay met with the then Vice President to discuss devising a way to set up a cap and trade policy. Gore and Scalise also argue over whether the issue of global warming is still a debatable matter. Below is the video and transcript of the back and forth between the two. 

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
As we debate what I agree is a very important piece of legislation, a piece of legislation, in my opinion, and many others, that would have very detrimental effects on our economy if it was implemented the way it’s been drafted.

We’ve been trying to get a quantifiable grasp on the cost of this bill — how much it would actually cost American families; how many jobs would be created and lost? And we’ve — number one, on the science side, we’ve had very divergent views. We’ve had dozens of experts come, over the last few days, and testify, giving very different opinions on the science.

On the economics of it, we have not had the same kind of divergence. In fact, most economists and experts that have testified on the cost acknowledge — in fact, I’ll refer to President Obama’s own budget that was just passed two weeks ago. If you go to page 119 often President’s budget, he’s anticipating generating $646 billion in new tax revenue from this bill. So, clearly, the president expects this bill to generate $646 billion in new taxes that even his own budget director has said would be passed on to consumers…

And then, Senator Gore, talk to the numbers that this Congressional Budget Office — and now the president’s budget director, gave to your bill, and how that would relate to this bill in terms of the cost to American families of implementing a cap-and-trade energy tax…

MR. GORE: Congressman, you began by denying that there is a consensus on the science. There is a consensus on the science.

REP. SCALISE: Well, you must not have been listening to our testimony that we’ve had for the last few days, with dozens of experts that have come in, who have given completely different views.

MR. GORE: Well, there –

REP. SCALISE: So, I would — I would encourage you to go back and look at the testimony that this committee’s heard.

MR. GORE: There are people who still believe that the moon landing was staged on a movie lot in Arizona. But –

REP. SCALISE: And neither of us are one of those. And I know you like giving those cute anecdotes. This is not a cutsie issue. We’re talking about –

MR. GORE: No, that’s, that’s –

(Cross talk.)

REP. SCALISE: — that could export millions of jobs out of our economy, out of our country. And testimony’s been given just to those numbers.

And so we’re talking about a serious consequence that there would be on this country, and the carbon leakage that would occur, where the carbon would be emitted but it would be emitted in China and India, and the jobs would go to China and India. And that’s been testified before this committee in the last few days as well.

MR. GORE: Man –

REP. SCALISE: So testify about the actual costs. Do you want to –

MR. GORE: Man –

REP. SCALISE: — talk about the costs?

MR. GORE: — man-made — global warming pollution causes global warming.

That’s not a cutsie issue. It’s not an open issue –

REP. SCALISE: It’s your — and it’s your opinion, obviously. You’ve stated it many times.

MR. GORE: It’s the — it’s the –

REP. SCALISE: But, would you talk to the cost?

MR. GORE: — it’s the opinion of global scientific community. And, more importantly –

REP. SCALISE: They’re not in unanimity. There are others on the other side.

MR. GORE: — more importantly, more importantly, Congressman, that opinion is the opinion of the scientific studies conducted by the largest corporate carbon polluters 14 years ago, who have lied to you and who have lied to the American people for 14 years –

REP. SCALISE: And you talk about carbon — and I’ve got to — I’m running out of time, we talk about carbon polluters. You talk about them. It’s my understanding that back in 1997, when you were vice president, Enron’s CEO, Ken Lay, was involved in discussions with you at the White House, about helping develop this type of policy, this trading scheme. Is that accurate? Is it inaccurate? It’s been reported.

MR. GORE: I don’t know. But I met with Ken Lay, as lots of people did, before anybody knew that he was a crook.

REP. SCALISE: Right. And clearly you can see why so many of us are concerned about this type of cap-and-trade energy tax that would be literally turning over this country’s energy economy.

MR. GORE: I didn’t know him well enough to call him quot;Kenny boy.quot;

REP. SCALISE: Well, you — but you knew him well enough to help devise this trading scheme. And, obviously, we know what Enron and these big guys on Wall Street, like Goldman Sachs — and I know you’ve got interests with Goldman Sachs.


REP. SCALISE: These people — well, that’s been reported. If — is that not accurate?

MR. GORE: No. I wish I did, but I don’t –

REP. SCALISE: With executives from — you’re partnered in companies with executives from Goldman Sachs. Well, if you’re not, either way, Enron clearly had an interest in doing this when they were around, and we saw what they did.

And when you see the types of people involved in wanting to set up this kind of scheme, you can see why so many of us are concerned about –

MR. GORE: Are you –

REP. SCALISE: — turning our energy economy over to a scheme that was devised by companies like Enron and some of these Wall Street firms that –

MR. GORE: Well, that –

REP. SCALISE: — have wrecked our financial economy.

MR. GORE: — I don’t really know if you want me to respond to that. I guess what you’re trying to say — you’re trying to –

REP. SCALISE: I mean, clearly, there would be –

(Cross talk.)

REP. SCALISE: — big winners and big losers.

MR. GORE: — you’re trying to say — there’s some kind of guilt by association? Is that your –

REP. SCALISE: Not association. I’m saying that there are going to be big winners and big losers in this bill. And that’s been discussed by everybody talking — big winners and big losers.

But, some of the big winners are some of the very financial experts that helped destroy our financial marketplace. And I think that should be noted, that companies like Enron helped come up with this trading scheme that was invoked –

MR. GORE: Enron didn’t –

REP. SCALISE: — in cap-and-trade.

MR. GORE: — Enron didn’t create this proposal in any way, shape or form –

REP. SCALISE: Well, the details are not in this bill –

MR. GORE: — that’s a false accusation.

REP. SCALISE: — the details are not in this bill, and I would suggest that they are.

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