John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist
Texas’s own state climatologist can find no scientific basis in his state’s effort to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger the public. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R-TX) filed paperwork to challenge the EPA endangerment finding yesterday, asserting that the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) cannot be trusted because of “serious misconduct” by a “cadre of activist scientists colluding and scheming.” In an email interview with ThinkProgress’ Wonk Room, Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon dismissed the Climategate conspiracy theories:
Do I think that the EPA based its assessment on sound science? I think, by basing its assessments on the IPCC, USGCRP, and NAS reports, it was basing its assessments on the best available science. I have the expertise to independently evaluate the quality of these reports, and on the whole they constitute in my opinion the most comprehensive, balanced assessments of climate change science presently available.
Although Dr. Nielsen-Gammon expressed concerns with the potential cost of Clean Air Act greenhouse gas emissions controls, and believes that climate science has “a tendency to focus on the risks and bad consequences of global warming” instead of potential benefits, he — and the entire Texas A&M Department of Atmospheric Sciences — finds that “anthropogenic increases of greenhouse gas concentrations clearly present a danger to the public welfare.”