A picture says a thousand words but the recent picture tweeted out by the White House needs just two: fear mongering.

In promotion of its website http://toolkit.climate.gov/, the Obama Administration tweeted a picture of a fire about to destroy a community. You can see it here. The fact of the matter is the Administration is still living by the words of President Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

The one tiny problem with that line of thinking is that scientists have yet been unable to find data demonstrating that we’re actually in a climate crisis. Wildfires, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events are immediate crises but the planet is not experiencing more frequent and intense extreme weather events. The latest report on the science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and analysis provided by the Obama Administration’s National Climatic Data Center find no significant trends for floods, droughts, hurricanes, or tornadoes.

The Obama Administration (as well as past Administrations) have proposed and implemented a series of regulations, mandates, and taxpayer-funded subsidies to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The cumulative effect of these government-imposed policies includes higher costs for families and businesses, hundreds of thousands of jobs lost, and trillions lost in gross domestic product.

Instead of fear mongering and moving forward with job-killing regulations, the Administration should take a step back and look at the climate realities. Perhaps the most important contribution to the climate debate is the recent research presented on median equilibrium climate sensitivity. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is how temperatures change from the effect of doubling the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

It may not be as eye-catching as tweeting out pictures of a wildfire, but as Dr. Judith Curry, professor at Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, writes in The Wall Street Journal, her research with Nicolas Lewis is a contribution to the climate debate that’s yet another compelling reason for the federal government to cool off on regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

As Curry writes in The Wall Street Journal: [This op-ed requires a subscription.]

The IPCC’s latest report (published in 2013) concluded that the actual change in 70 years if carbon-dioxide concentrations double, called the transient climate response, is likely in the range of 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius. Most climate models have transient climate response values exceeding 1.8 degrees Celsius. But the IPCC report notes the substantial discrepancy between recent observation-based estimates of climate sensitivity and estimates from climate models.

Nicholas Lewis and I have just published a study in Climate Dynamics that shows the best estimate for transient climate response is 1.33 degrees Celsius with a likely range of 1.05-1.80 degrees Celsius. Using an observation-based energy-balance approach, our calculations used the same data for the effects on the Earth’s energy balance of changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols and other drivers of climate change given by the IPCC’s latest report.

We also estimated what the long-term warming from a doubling of carbon-dioxide concentrations would be, once the deep ocean had warmed up. Our estimates of sensitivity, both over a 70-year time-frame and long term, are far lower than the average values of sensitivity determined from global climate models that are used for warming projections. Also our ranges are narrower, with far lower upper limits than reported by the IPCC’s latest report. Even our upper limits lie below the average values of climate models.

Put simply, Curry and Lewis’s research has found that the earth is significantly less sensitive to carbon dioxide than the IPCC assumes and builds its climate models from to estimate warming. Curry notes that hers is far from the only peer-reviewed paper to make such observations.

The U.S. and places around the world will continue to experience natural disasters in the future that will take a painful toll on communities. Preparation, response, and resilience are important to minimizing those effects and more responsibility should be returned to the states in terms of disaster response and recovery. However, these events shouldn’t be used as an excuse to move forward with a costly, ineffective climate agenda that only stands to hurt more people.