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Climate Change

As climate change grows in importance as a societal and environmental issue affecting the nation and the world, FYI is committed to covering climate research policy and funding. FYI tracks policy developments that have implications for the conduct of climate science and congressional oversight of federally funded climate science.

14 May 2003

Last week, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) brought S. 14, the National Energy Policy Act of 2003, to the Senate floor. All indications point to the legislation being there until September. One of the major reasons for this protracted consideration will be what the federal government should do about the control of greenhouse gases.

9 Sep 2004

On August 25, the Bush Administration submitted to Congress its annual report on the science supported by the federal government to better understand climate change. The report, "Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program [CCSP] for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005," summarizes the government's strategic plan for climate change science, highlights some recent research results, and lays out future plans for accomplishing the program's research goals. It does not offer any policy recommendations.

6 Apr 2004

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics has endorsed a position statement on climate change adopted by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Council in December 2003. AGU is one of ten Member Societies of the American Institute of Physics. The statement follows:

"Human Impacts on Climate

3 Oct 2005

Last week's hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee provided fresh evidence of the wide disagreement there is about whether the Earth's climate is changing, and the extent to which human activity is responsible for this change.

22 Sep 2005

On Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee had a second hearing on climate change, centering on the economic consequences and effectiveness of several proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also offered an opportunity to gain further insight about the positions of various senators on this committee. Given the prevailing mood of the House leadership and many of its Members about legislation to control these emissions, it is generally felt that any action will occur first in the Senate.

26 Jul 2005

Climate change has long been a staple of congressional hearings, with the discussion following generally well-established lines. A Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing last week indicates that a new approach may be forming, with some key senators not arguing about whether the Earth is warming, but rather seeking effective and affordable solutions to global climate change. The significance of this hearing is better understood when viewed with earlier debate on the Senate floor about what action the United States should take on global climate change.

25 Jul 2005

"Unprecedented" is the best word to describe what has happened during the last month on Capitol Hill regarding climate change research. While debate about whether or not the Earth is warming and the role that greenhouse gases may play in such warming has been a constant on Capitol Hill, this issue has taken on an entirely new profile.

8 Dec 2006

Room 406 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building will be the setting for one of the most dramatic changes that will occur on Capitol Hill when the new Congress convenes in January. This is the hearing room of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired for four years by James Inhofe (R-OK), who has characterized global warming as the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

11 Oct 2006

There has been considerable activity in Washington during the last month regarding climate change.

6 Oct 2006

"Scientists have to engage."So said House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) at the recent Climate Institute's Washington Summit on Climate Stabilization. Boehlert, who will be retiring at the end of this session of Congress, has long been known for his straight talk on a variety of subjects. His speech offered an unusually clear review of the political outlook in Washington and the states, and the role that scientists should play. Selections of his address follow; paragraphs have been combined in the interest of space.