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.