Today the House "Science" Committee, led by the (bought-and-sold?) Lamar Smith of Texas, had a hearing in DC, titled "Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method."
Here's the video, 2 hours 36 minutes long.
As Republicans are wont to do, the hearing was stacked against the accepted science. Testifying were Judith Curry, John Christy, Michael Mann and Roger Pielke Jr. (How about some fresh voices already?)
So that's 3-1 against the consensus. Maybe 2.5-1.5, on account of enigmatic Roger.
I was tweeting during the hearing; my tweets are here.
I'm not going to do a journalistic summary here -- many news articles have already appeared. Some thoughts:
Michael Mann is the Jake LaMotta of climate science -- he goes in swinging and doesn't ever back down. He directly called out all three other panel members for mistakes, inconsistencies, and their insults, and he zinged committee chair Lamar Smith, too.
Mann cited an article on the recent Heartland Institute conference that appeared in Science magazine, written by Jeffrey Mervis. Mann implied that Smith wasn't interested in the science. (The exchange is reproduced here.)
Hard uppercut to the chin, and Lamar Smith was clearly caught off guard; all he could reply with was
That is not known as an objective writer or magazine.which is laughably ridiculous, including the fact that Lamar Smith is the least objective person on the planet regarding climate change. This tweet linked to Smith's campaign funding.
This, and Mann using the word "denier," made Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) very, very angry, but the livestream stopped just then, so I would go back and watch the video, if I thought Rohrbacher had anything useful to say about climate change.
But he did say dissenters are "brutalized into silence," apparently without noting the irony that the panel was stacked 3-1 in their favor.
There were punches and counterpunches (RPielkeJr suggested that everyone watch today's video for examples of Mann's attacks).
John Christy clearly tried hard to stay above the fray. Though at one point, early on, he seemed to imply that manmade greenhouse gases weren't needed to explain modern warming. And again he put up his misleading graph.
Judith Curry didn't add much, IMO. She meandered around and didn't seem to have any definite position, except that if the consensus was for it, she was against it. Mostly.
Roger Pielke Jr did say one important thing that I gave his kudos for
If I were writing a story about this hearing, I would have put this right up front.PielkeJr: "scientific uncertainty is not going to be eliminated on this topic before we must act." Kudos.#HouseScience— David Appell (@davidappell) March 29, 2017
So props to Roger for this. Props to Mann for streetfighting for the consensus like no one else could. Props to Christy for staying above the fray.
I can't think of anything to give Judith Curry props for, unless it was for being exactly what Lamar Smith was looking for.
And it should be pointed out that Michael Mann cited more science, including very recent science, than the rest of the panel combined.
This was good theatre, but as a hearing on the science it was a waste of time. The Republican representatives struck me as particularly uniformed, looking only to score points. It was made only to be a showcase for Lamar Smith's denialism -- instead, to his surprise I'm sure, he came out of it looking like a fool.
But then, that's what he's paid for.