David Titley: I Was a Climate Skeptic

December 11, 2015

More of Admiral David Titley from this week’s hearing.  Admiral Titley, now retired, is former Chief Oceanographer and Navigator of the US Navy, and a PhD meteorologist.  He is currently teaching at Penn State.


As per congressional ground rules, the minority Democrats were allowed to invite one witness. The Democrats chose David Titley, a retired rear admiral and former oceanographer for the Navy who is now a professor at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. It’s a cliché to say that one person was the voice of reason in an otherwise chaotic setting. But Titley performed that role, to the point of bailing out Markey by explaining that global temperatures are affected by natural and internal variability, over which people have no control, as well as by human activity. “And I think that the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and many other bodies agree that the human-caused forcing is very, very significant,” he said.

Cruz has not translated his views into any proposed legislation. That’s not surprising: His icy relations with his Republican colleagues in the Senate, much less with Democrats, have essentially blocked him from the dealmaking needed to implement any of his ideas.

But legislating is not his goal; rather, Cruz prefers a debate in which he can win political points. Yesterday’s hearing fit that mold: He ended it by listing seven “facts” to which Democrats have offered “no effective response.”

Those facts include his belief in the benefits of CO2 and the additional greenery covering the planet, and his disdain for the staggering amount of evidence on how rising carbon emissions have affected air and ocean temperatures, ocean acidity, the polar regions, inland glaciers, and sea levels. Cruz also brushes aside how those emissions have disrupted what Titley called “the climate stability” that has allowed modern civilization to flourish.

Titley talked about his evolving position on climate science at a Pentagon TED talk in 2010.


2 Responses to “David Titley: I Was a Climate Skeptic”

  1. Titley needs to just say yes “Yes” Science and Climate science in specific have advanced since the 1970’s to shut these clowns up rather then engaging in discussion with them. Jesus, why are people so civil to the ones that would have us be blind in this world?

  2. Lionel Smith Says:

    I can empathise with David Titley when in the early part of his TED talk he mentions how he loved the fact that being in the navy gave him a real sense of purpose by forcing allot of responsibility one one at a young age. Working in an environment where your everyday actions can lead to death or injury, or worse death or injury of others, makes one grow up quick. I have been there and done it myself.

    I think that a scientific ‘boot camp’ for some of these congress critters and other contrarians both ‘turned’ scientists and blow-hards in the media to spend time at the front of climate science research starting in the Arctic and then the Antarctic to discover the differences. They could also go in Lonnie Thompsons wake to study mid-latitude glaciers.

    On a historical note the ship 842 Titley mentions is quite likely the USS Fiske DD-842 a Gearing Class destroyer of 1945, the Gearing class being of WW2 vintage.

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