House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Chairman – Lamar Smith (R-TX).
Hearing subject – Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method.
Panel of Witnesses: Dr. Judith Curry, Dr. John Christy, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., and Michael Mann.
Guest essay by Leo Goldstein
Democratic members of the Committee did everything they could to remain alarmist and keep the Republicans confused.
Michael Mann repeated all the expected lies, called his hockey stick an iconic result, and was caught in two new lies: he denied his affiliation with the Climate Accountability Institute and he denied calling Dr. Curry a “denier.” When shown a transcript in which he called her that name in the same session, he went into a diatribe about the supposed difference between “climate change denier” and “climate science denier.” It appeared to me that questions the Democrats on the Committee asked Mann and the answers he gave had been scripted.
My impressions from the hearing were not positive. Mann spoke for almost half of the time and boldly asserted the most extreme alarmist positions and factoids (quoting from my own notes): “devoted his life to science [about himself]”, “few individuals who represent tiny minority [about other three witnesses]”, “scientists continuously challenge each other [implying he is a scientist]”, “extremely broad agreement on the basic facts,” 97%, “climate change is real, human caused, and has heavy impact”, “fingerprints of human-caused climate change on extreme events”, “anti-science forces launched a series of attack on scientists”, “time for republicans to put away doubts and focus on solutions”, “discourage investigations of climate scientists,” and “support by multiple national academic societies.”
The last statement is true, unfortunately. He also mentioned recent example of silencing of Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. by the Center for American Progress and Tom Steyer as another victory for his “climate science.”
Without acting even half as forceful as Mann had, the other three witnesses firmly rejected alarmist conclusions and revealed the subversion of the scientific method in the climate debate. Democrats easily extracted from Dr. Curry an admission that they deal with an extremely complex problem, and from Dr. Pielke Jr. that there are fundamental risks. If it had been my first time hearing about this subject I would have concluded that the climate alarmists were right.
There are at least two obstacles that prevent Republican statesmen from understanding that climate alarmism is completely wrong on natural sciences.
The big obstacle: managing bodies of the NAS, formerly respected academic societies, and foreign national academies adopted statements that either outright support or do not contradict climatist pseudo-science. This is an important fact. Of course, there are two causes for that: internal corruption that has been happening over decades and pressure from the Obama administration and its counterparts in other Western countries. Democrat Congresspersons might congratulate themselves for their contribution to shutting up opposition views. But it is hard to convince Republicans that this happened in front of their eyes and under the watch of many of them.
The problem with the academia extends beyond the climate debate. My thoughts are that sometimes things are too broken for repair, and can be only replaced. A replacement should be built before the old thing is discarded.
Lawmakers should be aware that they might need to rebuild American scientific enterprise and academia almost from scratch: create new universities and national labs, extricate competent departments, teams, and individuals from the corrupt institutions, and let them to grow organically in the atmosphere free from the interference from the Leftist and hostile foreign bodies. This is where the federal research and education budgets should go, rather than on continuing support of morally, intellectually, and soon financially bankrupt institutions.
The small obstacle, limited to this panel, was a problematic panel of witnesses. From the outside, it seemed to consist of three skeptics and one “consensus scientist.” In fact, it consisted of Michael Mann, two lukewarmers, and respected Dr. John Christy who, nevertheless, shook hands with Michael Mann in front of my eyes. Thus, the climate alarmism was represented by its most extreme representative, while opposition to climate alarmism was hardly represented at all.
If I were to testify, I would say that
Lawmakers shall not believe Michael Mann, the UCS, the AAAS, and other cons, when they claim to be scientists or to speak on behalf of science. Doctors, attorneys, and many other professionals must be licensed but anybody can call him or herself a scientist. Neither affiliation with a formerly prestigious university nor a Ph.D. in a scientifically sounding field is proof of one being a scientist. Apologies to the readers who might be hurt by these facts – I am only a messenger.
Neither the number of publications nor peer reviews by Michael Mann’s peers are indications that someone is a scientist. Even the National Academy of Sciences is compromised.
(Side note: Science and scientists are not at fault for what Michael Mann, his peers, and the Democrat party have done. Unfortunately, it became very hard for the public to recognize a scientist in a crowd of fake scientists.)
Since academic and government institutions cannot be trusted today, how can one distinguish a scientist from a non-scientist? This answer can’t be generalized, but I can provide examples for lawmakers. If he or she does exploration work for an oil company, he or she is likely to be a scientist. If this person also has a Ph.D. in geophysics or similar field, he or she is almost certainly a scientist. The majority of people are non-scientists, of course, and do not claim to be scientists. This rule of thumb to any Democrat high flyer: if you and your high-ranking party comrades have never considered suing or otherwise oppressing a man, his employer, or his industry – he is probably not a scientist. Example of using this rule of thumb: an employee of a nuclear power, chemical, or pharmaceutical company, claiming to be a scientist, is likely to be a scientist. An employee of Sierra Club or a broadcast network, claiming to be a scientist, is likely to be a fraud.
The climate-related sciences are quite certain that the climate change agenda is wrong. Today, almost 40 years after the ambiguous Charney report, the real science is quite certain that carbon dioxide release is not harmful, but beneficial.
Much of the remaining scientific uncertainty comes from attempts to measure or to calculate the changes, which are too small to measure. One is example is the attempts to measure the so-called “global temperature” with the precision below 0.1 degree, the so-called “global sea level” with precision below 0.1 inch, and so on. Obviously, changes so small that are hard to measure for decades with precise scientific instruments have practically no impact on anything of public interest. Scientific uncertainties shouldn’t be confused with public hysteria. History has taught us that public hysterias can make societies believe in “witches” or see “enemies of the people” all around.
Lawmakers do not have to understand science but they must understand politics. The politics promoted by the climate alarmist organization require unilateral reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide and other infrared active gases, allowing China and the rest of the world to increase theirs. Even if climate pseudo-science were correct and these emissions were dangerous, proposed politics do nothing to decrease the putative danger. Their only effect is damage to the American industry and society. Cui bono? Even Democrat Congresspersons should think about how they would explain this contradiction. The “climate leadership” is not a better explanation than “suicides leadership.”
Some physical effects are significant while some are insignificant. For example, when UN’s Ban Ki-moon talks, the motion of his tongue influences the motion of tectonic plates and weather worldwide through the force of gravity. The mass of a human tongue is small and it does not move far or fast in one’s mouth, so the impact is small. Nevertheless, the impact exists. Sometimes small forces cause large effects, like in the proverbial “butterfly effect.” Thus, one might say that Ban Ki-moon’s speech contributes to floods in Bangladesh and earthquakes in California, without saying it causes these events. The contribution can be either positive or negative. When warmunists and government delegations fly in big jets to their COP meetings, they generate millions of times stronger gravitational forces, which are still insignificant. Global warming at the average annual rate of 0.01-0.02 degrees, which stopped 19 years ago, was also insignificant, and it were not a mistake to ignore it.
Finally, Michael Mann shall not testify before any congressional committee.
a) In my opinion, Mann is not only a fraud but also a pseudo-scientist. Even his career looks like a hockey stick. He was nobody until he hopped on the climate alarmism bandwagon in 1997 or earlier. He became Ph.D. only after that, in 1998, the same when he co-authored a paper containing infamous hockey stick and then became one of the Lead Authors of IPCC (allegedly the body of the world’s top scientists). Even a person far from science would recognize this as impossible – a freshly minted PhD falls on top of the allegedly top scientific body!
b) Mann is well known a serial liar and perjurer, and has nothing to lose by perjuring himself one more time.
c) Climategate emails have multiple references to official proceedings in Congress and White House show much more. They reveal Mann’s actions toward the Climate Research journal, its editor Chris de Freitas, and the real scientists that published in it. These actions, which have been committed repeated against other persons as well, can be summarized as: “knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person … with intent to cause or induce any person to withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding,” and even to “alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding.” These are quotes from 18 U.S. Code § 1512(b), which also says the convicted offender “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.” Michael Mann and his accomplices are desperate.
Many Democrats might resist climate realism just out of shame to recognize they were duped by somebody like Mann.