Michael Mann vs. the House “science” committee.
At a congressional hearing on climate science Wednesday, Michael Mann lamented that he was the only witness representing the overwhelming scientific consensus that manmade global warming poses a major threat.
“We find ourselves at this hearing today, with three individuals who represent that tiny minority that reject this consensus or downplay its significance, and only one—myself—who is in the mainstream,” he said in his opening testimony.
Sitting on either side of Mann were the other three witnesses: Judith Curry, John Christy, and Roger Pielke, Jr.—scientists who have clashed with Mann in the past and are frequently sought after by Republican politicians who reject mainstream climate science. Curry recently defended EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s statement that scientists don’t know whether human activity is “a primary contributor” to global warming. Christy claims that climate models overstate the role of human activity. Pielke accepts the role greenhouse gasses play in warming but has drawn criticismfor arguing that links between extreme weather and climate change have been overstated.
Sitting on the dais across from Mann was House science committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), a climate change denier who has made headlines in recent years by using his committee to investigate scientists and accuse them of rigging climate data. Last week, at the Heartland Institute’s annual DC conference for climate change deniers, Smith boasted of his record of issuing dozens of subpoenas to government researchers, environmental groups, and Democratic attorneys general investigating ExxonMobil. He also previewed Wednesday’s hearing, predicting that it was “going to be so much fun.” He slow-rolled the names of the witnesses as conference attendees cheered—but he warned them they might want to hold their applause until he finished reading name of the final witness, which was Mann.
Smith summarized his own views of global warming in his opening statement Wednesday: “Alarmist predictions amount to nothing more than wild guesses. The ability to project far in to the future is impossible…All too often, scientists ignore the basic tenets of science in order to justify their claims. Their ultimate goal appears to be to promote a personal agenda even if the evidence doesn’t support it.”