The Mike Brown of Climate Change

Today’s Washington Post reports, “A new study concludes that rising sea temperatures have been accompanied by a significant global increase in the most destructive hurricanes.”

The authors, from the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, were careful to note that the “relationship between global warming and hurricane behaviour is hotly debated.”

Other scientists are more convinced of a link.

Leave it to the conservative James M. Inhofe, who oddly enough chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, to disregard the scientific debate completely. Inhofe’s spokesman said in reaction to the study, “Policy decisions should be based on sound science, and the notion that Katrina’s intensity is somehow attributable to global warming has been widely dismissed by scientific experts.”

To which “scientific experts” is he referring?

He might mean ideologues like Indur M. Goklany, a current member of the Bush administration, who on Wednesday published a paper arguing among other things that “global warming is unlikely to be the most important environmental problem facing the world, at least for most of the remainder of this century.”


Goklany has “represented the United States at the International Panel on Climate Change and in the negotiations leading to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” Notably, Goklany has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and not climatology, geophysics, meteorology, or oceanography.

Considering Bush hired a former Commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association to run FEMA, it’s not suprising he hired an electricity expert to advise him on climate change.