Earlier this year AEMC began looking into possible effects climate change and federal climate change policy might have on the state and its environmental policies. Mullen said and Birmingham Weekly has confirmed that in June, Glenn provided the commission with several statements and reports from atmospheric scientist Dr. Fred Singer, who denies (PDF) that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels affect climate, and Alabama climatologist Dr. John Christy, who argues (PDF) that ground-level temperature readings in data used to substantiate climate change are higher not because of a warming trend but due to increased urbanization. Buildings, road and other structures retain heat, Christy says, and when this heat dissipates at night it affects temperature readings. Also included among the documents was an old report (PDF) from the National Association of Manufacturers on the economic effects Alabama might see under the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which died in the Senate in 2008. The report was written while that bill was being considered by the Senate.
Glenn also provided the commission with the Alabama Policy Institute’s “Alabama Citizen’s Guide to the Environment,” which states (PDF) that natural causes are responsible for 99.5% of the warming that has occurred since 1880.
Several documents supporting climate change science were part of Glenn’s correspondence as well, but Mullen notes that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 report (PDF), the most comprehensive report supporting climate change, was absent.
Commissioner Sam Wainwright seemed taken by Glenn’s climate change deniers. “I urge you, Commissioners, if you would please read this material that’s been given to us, particularly the statement in here regarding the impact, economic impact, that the — that this will have on the State of Alabama,” Wainwright said at the June AEMC meeting (PDF, see page 16). “There’s also a statement from Dr. Christy, who is the state meteorologist, and also a paper by Dr. Fred Singer regarding this issue. So please take time and read this material.”
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