Wednesday, February 02, 2011 

( – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson has again evaded answering a question about whether she agrees with one of the world's most prominent climate scientists that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995.

On Capitol Hill today, asked Jackson, “Do you agree with Phil Jones of East Anglia University that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995?”

Jackson said, “I agree with the scientists who have reviewed and re-reviewed the e-mails and data and made a determination--several well-respected bodies, including the national academies, including independent groups--[and] put together that the information that came to be known as Climate Gate has not changed the fact that man-made emissions are changing and degrading our atmosphere, piling up carbon in our atmosphere, and if left unaddressed leaves us--endangers public health and welfare--and puts us, once again, behind the ball in trying to deal with, in trying to move into the clean energy economy.”
When tried to tell Jackson that Jones was one of those scientists she claimed to support, her press attaché interjected, announcing that the impromptu appearance was over and asking if any other reporters had questions.

“Last question, someone who hasn’t asked a question,” she said.

Phil Jones, who heads the East Anglia University Climate Research Unit and was one of the scientists at the center of the Climate Gate controversy, told the BBC in February 2010 that there had been no statistically significant warming since 1995.

“Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?” the BBC asked Jones on Feb. 13, 2010.

Lisa Jackson, EPA
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (AP Photo)

“Yes, but only just,” said Jones. “I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”

This was not the first time Jackson has dodged the question. correspondent Karen Schuberg asked Jackson about Jones’s statement to the BBC on Feb. 23, 2010.

“Do you agree with Dr. Phil Jones, the former head of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995?” asked Jackson.

“I believe all the new information we have doesn’t lead to any different conclusion than what we reached in the Endangerment Finding,” said Jackson.  “And that is that climate is changing and that mankind is responsible in part for that change, and that we need to move aggressively.”

“We need to move clean energy legislation,” Jackson added at the time. “We need to move to addressing carbon and putting a price on carbon emissions.”

Statistical significance is the measurement scientists use to determine the likelihood that their findings could not have occurred at random. If a measurement, such as the change in global temperature, is found to be statistically significant, then scientists can say that it is unlikely to have been a random occurrence.
Administrator Jackson’s office did not respond to requests to clarify her response at press time.