Days before the President jets to Copenhagen for the international climate conference, his top spokesman dismissed the ongoing controversy over e-mails that have raised questions over the scientific veracity of global warming.
In his first public comment over the controversy known as “climate-gate,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs yesterday dubbed the notion of debate on the science of global warming “silly.”
“I think everybody is clear on the science,” Gibbs said in response to a question about “climate-gate” from CNN’s Ed Henry during the regular White House press briefing yesterday, “I think scienctists are clear on the science. I think many on Capitol Hill are clear on the science.
“I think that this notion that there is some debate, except in the viewpoint [roughly] of Lester [Kinsolving, radio talk show hotst and White House correspondent, who has frequently referred to “alleged global warming], on the science is kind of silly.”
In limiting the skepticism over global warming to Kinsolving, Gibbs, of course, did not include other, better known critics — notably Sen. Jim Inhofe (R.-Okla.), ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, or Lord Christopher Monckton, onetime science advisor to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Both have been highly visible skeptics on global warming and have drawn recent international press attention in the wake of the e-mails that have shown disagreement among scientists on the issue.
Ironically, the briefing in which Gibbs addressed "climate-gate” was held a few hours before President Obama was scheduled to hold a private meeting in the White House with fellow Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore, who has so far refused challenges from Monckton to debate the issue of global warming.