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Retired WWU climate scientist to offer skeptical view on global warming at Senate work session Tuesday

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on March 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm | No Comments »
March 25, 2013 6:52 pm
Sen. Doug Ericksen
Sen. Doug Ericksen

Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate-change study bill passed the House Monday and is on its way to his desk for signing. Meanwhile, skeptics of the science Inslee relies upon may want to turn to the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday for some reassurance.

That’s when Dr. Don Easterbrook, retired geology professor emeritus from Western Washington University and a climate-change skeptic, is scheduled to give an hour-long presentation at the Capitol Campus. Easterbrook has done research into climate change around the world and authored a book, “Evidence-Based Science,” which disputes that carbon-dioxide emissions are causing global warming trends.

Sen. Doug Ericksen, the Ferndale Republican who chairs the committee, said he invited Easterbrook because he wants “an open and fair committee” where opposite views can be shared.

“Dr. Easterbrook … has a different view than Gov. Inslee with regards to climate change. And I think he’s going to express that. I just think it’s important to have an open and transparent process so we can bring all the views (forward) and give everybody a chance to come and express them,” Ericksen said. “We’ve got quite a few people sharing on one side of that issue. Now it’s time to give some other folks a chance.”

Inslee’s measure, Senate Bill 5802, was passed by the Senate two weeks ago and by the House on Monday. Once signed by the governor, it will set up a process for the Legislature and Inslee to map a path forward so Washington can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 – a goal in state law that is not likely to be met without action.

Ericksen said that he doesn’t think “the bill we passed out and what Dr. Easterbrook will be talking about are contradictory. The bill allows us to take a real look at what is happening and make some informed decisions.”

Ericksen’s staff said Easterbrook is expected to address claims about climate change including that greenhouse gases are the principal cause of climate change, sea levels are rising faster, snowpack is decreasing and that Washington marine waters are growing more acidic.

NASA scientists hold that there is a consensus among 97 percent of climate scientists about human causes behind the the rise in global temperatures over the past century.

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