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GOP leadership cool to hearings into "scientific fraud" underlying global warming

By Greg Sargent

Last week there was widespread speculation that the GOP is planning to hold high profile hearings next year into the "scientific fraud" behind global warming. The news touched off a round of anxious commentary among liberals about the coming rash of GOP investigations and fake scandals.

The only problem is that it may not be true.

A spokesman for the leading Republican on the committee that would undertake such hearings tells me that isn't the plan. And a senior GOP leadership aide says the leadership is cool to the idea.

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas (the same dude who apologized to BP) is in line to be the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. A committee spokesman, Larry Neal, emails that global warming science won't be the focus of upcoming hearings. Rather, Barton wants to hold hearings to try to get the Environmental Protection Agency to study the impact action on global warming will have on jobs.

At issue is the EPA's recent "endangerment finding," which determined that greeenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. According to Barton's office, EPA chief Lisa Jackson said at some point that studying the impact on the economy of scientific action in response to the greenhouse gas problem would have "limited utility."

"Our committee will finally get to inquire" why Jackson "proudly refuses to analyze her agency's actions to determine either the potential job losses they will cause or the pressure they will put on U.S. companies to relocate overseas," Neal emails. "Congressman Barton is very interested."

Separately, the GOP leadership is apparently aware what a circus hearings into the allegedly fraudulent science underlying global warming would be -- and how it would play into Dem efforts to paint Republicans as hostage to extremists.

"It's just not the best strategy," a senior GOP aide says. "The most effective way to fight the national energy tax is to talk about the economic effect and jobs."

So you're certainly going to see Republicans use the machinery of government to push the case that action on the environment is devastating to the economy. And no doubt there will be bit of grandstanding at these hearings from select GOPers about global warming perhaps being a hoax. But no hearings as of yet are being planned that would focus specifically on the science underlying global warming.

What a relief!

By Greg Sargent  | November 8, 2010; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  Climate change, House GOPers  
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If climate change legislation is already DOA, why would hearings proving "scientific fraud" underlying global warming be necessary?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 8, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Hearings should be held on the East Anglia emails - and whether US funds were misused as part of a FRAUD

There needs to be a full investigation.

The US Congress has oversight jurisdiction because US taxpayer money was used for grants towards these projects.


Apparenlty, the "scientists" have been altering the temperature data to make "adjustments" - however they will not let anyone review what they have done. ALL their charts are highly suspect.


Posted by: BeautifulBeginning | November 8, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Because the EPA is going to start regulating CO2 emissions.

Posted by: mschol17 | November 8, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The Republican plan to get America off of Arab oil (Persian too) and reduce overall consumption could be to start bombing Iran and not stop until gas is over $15/gal and the Strait of Hormuz is plugged with scuttled ships.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 8, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "EPA chief Lisa Jackson said at some point that studying the impact on the economy of scientific action in response to the greenhouse gas problem would have "limited utility."

What's the back-story on that? When did she say this? And why wouldn't that be a legitimate avenue for investigation?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 8, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse


The economic transition to alternative energy is around $7 - 8 per gallon.

At that point, alternative energy begins to get less expensive - and economical.

Posted by: BeautifulBeginning | November 8, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News

Jason Garrett is now the Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys, the 8th person to hold that position.

Can you name the others?

Posted by: BeautifulBeginning | November 8, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Eventually science will win.

It's the same mentality that claimed the earth was flat. Same folks claiming dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans, etc.

OT but anyone play the new pacman game?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 8, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Its inevitable there would be an affect on jobs and the economy A) over time and B) to be offset by green energy jobs.

I wonder how much emphasis there will be in those hearings on renewable resource/energy jobs as part of that equation?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 8, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Eventually science will win.

EXACTLY - I agree, but science requires evidence.

Not faked evidence and altered temperature records.

New York and Chicago used to be under a quarter-mile of ICE - all that melted without one SUV. It was a natural process. What caused that natural process?

The truth is the "scientists" do not have an answer to that question.

They don't know what caused warming then - and they really don't know what is happening now, if anything.

The temperature records are too unclear.

The Earth has had 63 warmings and 63 coolings - all with UNEXPLAINED causes.

They don't know what they are talking about.

Posted by: BeautifulBeginning | November 8, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Green jobs would be great if they were sustainable without government subsidies.

So what the liberal plan is this:

- throw 8 people out of work

- hire three people to work in "green" jobs which would be uneconomical without heavy government subsidies.

So the taxpayers are really paying the salaries for the "green" jobs -

AND more people are still out of work in the end.

AND energy is more expensive, even with the heavy government subsidies.

It is probably better to burn cash and heat your house that way.


Posted by: BeautifulBeginning | November 8, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, then de-fund the EPA. I agree with the GOP leadership that these hearings are low priority (if needed at all).

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 8, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

These hearings could be educational as well. EPA can show data from California on how many jobs coping with greenhouse gases actually creates. And EPA and NOAA can show from their studies and modeling how many jobs will be lost from drought,
depletion of water resources, changes in cropping patterns, rising temperatures and sea levels etc.

Posted by: Mimikatz | November 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"...renewable resource/energy jobs..."

Our plan is to leave all that up to China.

All that science stuff is really complicated and the "clean" coal and oil industry ads say all that green renewable stuff is far away, just like they said so in the 80s, far, far away.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Of course they aren't going to look into their make believe, "Scientific Fraud Underlying Global Warming." They would have a much harder time pretending global climate change is fictional if their own panel said it was real.

Besides, I'd bet a lot of the wingnut politicians that yell about it all being a conspiracy between scientist and space aliens (or whatever ludicrous silliness they are claiming) actually know that climate change is for real and are just trying to placate the less educated, dittohead, tea-baggers that voted them into office.

Besides, if they admitted it were real, or by setting up a panel inadvertently exposed it as real to the tea-baggers, Rush Limbaugh would get mad at them. If you are a wingnut politician the last thing you want is Rush Limbaugh mad at you. Limbaugh OWNS their base, going against him will kill a wingnut's political career.

Posted by: nisleib | November 8, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I wonder if the GOP can't but *help* and look into Global Warming/Climate change given that 74% of the Tea Party think its "not a problem at all or not too serious". After all, if the GOP wants to keep the wolves at bay, they better start heeding their Right flank :

But, hey, with numbers like that, they'll probably just ask Barton to drop it, right? Rove said, "Climate is over".

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 8, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful beginning: It is true that polar oscillations were sufficient to cause ice ages OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, that is, millenia. Were it not for the amount of greenhouse gases we are spewing into the air, especially over the last 40 years, we would indeed be in a cooling trend. But we are, so we are in a warming trend instead, and a pretty rapid one at that.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution there was about 280 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, and now there is nearly 390 ppm. There was at one time 1000 ppm, from ice cores and other evidence, but at that time global temperatures were over 10 degrees hotter, there were alligators in Alaska and sea levels were 50 feet or more higher than they are now. The balance between atmospheric and ocean/terrestrial CO2 can right itself if given enough time, but time is the key.

The problem is that our civilization evolved under a fairly tight set of conditions. With temperatures 10 degrees higher, you won't have the same crops as now because of changes in monsoons and plant infertility at high temperature. And hundreds of millions of people live close to the coasts. Right now at current CO2 levels scientists are forecasting as much as 6 feet in sea level rise by 2090, but if we continue discharging CO2, we are looking at meter a decade increases in the next century and thereafter. How does a population cope with that?

There will be such chaos with global warming that governments will have to step in as the only institution that can mediate the resource wars that will occur. This seems like a pretty big risk for conservatives to take.

And in fact the costs of change have been way overblown. The real costs to oil companies might initially be high (which is why they are hedging their bets), but look at what we could save in health care costs, defense costs etc if we reduce atmospheric pollution and excess CO2 and get on clean energy. And green jobs are already a major factor in California. Those states that are mired in denial will be left behind as the green economy grows. Why would you want that for your state? Why would you want to take the risks entailed in doing nothing?

Posted by: Mimikatz | November 8, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

All, House GOP leadership has hit on solution: Tea Party Rep may be joining leadership:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 8, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Andc one n=more thing, Beautifulk beginning:

The past climate swings aren;t "unexplained" at all. Scientistys understand the processes pretty well, which is how they forecast what will happen under similar CO2 concentratiuosn now. Just google something like "what caused the ice ages?" or "what caused past climate changes?" and you will be directed to science sites with answers.

Personally I like
You may also like

Posted by: Mimikatz | November 8, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2: "why would hearings proving 'scientific fraud' underlying global warming be necessary?"

Red meat for certain single issue voters, or an attempt to deconstruct the idea entirely, to make it harder for it to come back.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 8, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I really admire the true believers. Faith is a wonderful thing. But faith misplaced can do enormous damage too.

I'd love to believe that some sort of "green" economy is out there waiting for us. But the evidence that such a nirvannah exists is pretty slim. It is kinda hard to get past Spain when one thinks of green economic disasters.

Another true believer is convinced that science will win. Uh, no it won't. Science cannot function without money and money comes from the industry of motivated people. The history of "science" isn't all that pristine and nothing exemplifies this better than the global warming scam.

True believers routinely complain that oil companies pay "shills" with PHD's to produce claims counter to the claims made by the shills with phd's employed by the environmental fund raising industry. Scientists need money and they will do what it takes to get it. There is no reason to believe that the guys at East Anglia were any more or less financially motivated than the guys working for , gasp!, exxon.

Here's a historical example. At the turn of the 19th century European physicians believed, truly, that human health and behavior was controlled by humors. So to have a financially successful medical practice in those days a doc had to toe the humors line. A doc saying something other than the conventional wisdom wasn't likely to get a lot of patients.

there's really not a lot of difference between that and the enviro stuff today. Supporting the tenuous claims of the global alarmists is a way to get money. Casting doubt on these claims is a way to get notoriety, but perhaps less money. The choice being made is clear. Scientists are going where the money is just like that famous bank robber willie sutton did.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 8, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Re energy independence. I had dinner with a professional gas trader over the weekend and he was saying that the innovations in horizontal drilling are coming fast and furious.

His prediction shocked me.

He thinks in the next 10 years, the improvements in horizontal drilling will make the US a net energy exporter. I can't vouch for the veracity of his claims, but he is someone who follows the US energy markets for a living.

Interesting theory, with all sorts of ramifications, both economically and politically.

Posted by: sold2u | November 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Global warming is happening. It's indisputable.

Indeed, it's recently been 600° and higher in several parts of the country. Now, if that doesn't prove Global Warming is real, I don't know what will.


Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 8, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It is probably better to burn cash and heat your house that way.

Feel free to. IT suits your kind of logic beautifully.

:"The Earth has had 63 warmings and 63 coolings - all with UNEXPLAINED causes."

It might be good to add a link so that we don't just dismiss such a both silly and blanket statement out of hand...

Posted by: srw3 | November 8, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Luckily for us the scientists aren't just going to sit there and take it anymore. Anyone advocating we just take a backseat to the rest of the world in renewables and green technology is simply blinded by their own lack of imagination or mired in fossil fuel money. There is a lot of talk right now in many states that veered Republican to take back the advances their state's have made in emission and pollution standards, one major result of the partisanship that divides our country.


"Reporting from Washington —
Faced with rising political attacks, hundreds of climate scientists are joining a broad campaign to push back against congressional conservatives who have threatened prominent researchers with investigations and vowed to kill regulations to rein in man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

The still-evolving efforts reveal a shift among climate scientists, many of whom have traditionally stayed out of politics and avoided the news media. Many now say they are willing to go toe-to-toe with their critics, some of whom gained new power after the Republicans won control of the House in Tuesday's election.

On Monday, the American Geophysical Union, the country's largest association of climate scientists, plans to announce that 700 climate scientists have agreed to speak out as experts on questions about global warming and the role of man-made air pollution. ",0,545056.story

Posted by: lmsinca | November 8, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry my last post wasn't properly proofread.

Skipsailing: It is not "science" that will prevail but the laws of nature. With or without science the earth will warm if CO2 levels continue rising. That is not a matter of politics or science but of the laws of physics. And even if science is defunded by the GOP in this country, the rest of the world will carry on. But why you would want the US to fall behind is something you will have to explain.

Just this year 18 countries reported new record high temps. Just scroll down here and you will find it.

Greenland has warmed 4.5 degrees F since 1990, accelerating the melting of the ice sheets.

We are on track to a pretty ugly future. Checkhere: and some of his other posts. He's a pretty balanced commentator, not an alarmist.

Posted by: Mimikatz | November 8, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse


There are more important issues (if we get all of those solved, then by all means have some oversight hearings into U.S. funding of junk science ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 8, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse


"New York and Chicago used to be under a quarter-mile of ICE - all that melted without one SUV. It was a natural process. What caused that natural process?

The truth is the "scientists" do not have an answer to that question."
Milankovitch cycles. This is why the GOP is not going to be questioning the science of global warming. It is solid and they know it. The last thing they want is their legions of Tea Party zombies to suddenly wake up to the fact that Anthropogenic Global Warming is real because then they might demand a solution.

Posted by: klautsack | November 8, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I am REALLY hoping they do an investigation on climate change.

That is exactly what we need in this country.

We need non-partisan career scientists to go up to the House committee chamber and laugh at the neoconfederates in their faces.

Of course, given that that is the likely outcome, we won't get any hearings on this topic. That is, unless the Tea rabble demand it.

So cmon Tea Party! Get pissed off at the Giant Government Conspiracy to make you change your light bulbs! They're stealing your freedomsszzz!!11111!!! Demand hearings on climate change fraud!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 8, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News

Jason Garrett is now the Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys, the 8th person to hold that position.

Can you name the others?

Posted by: BeautifulBeginning | November 8, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Landry, Johnson, Switzer, Parcells, Campo, Gailey, Phillips. (Not in that exact order)

Posted by: Observer691 | November 8, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse


After that, they need to investigate Obama's birth certificate. And then introduce a bill to return us to the gold standard. Then they can have a hearing on whether George Soros caused the financial collapse of 2008. Let's get all the crazy conspiracy theories over and done with. Yes.We.Can.

Posted by: klautsack | November 8, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The "laws of physics" do not support global warming

In fact, they tested CO2 in vaccuum tubes - and CO2 did not have the properties claimed by the "scientists."

In fact, physics actually disproves global warming.


Posted by: BeautifulBeginning | November 8, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse


"In fact, they tested CO2 in vaccuum tubes - and CO2 did not have the properties claimed by the "scientists.""

'They' did, did 'they'? Well, then it looks like Merck is going to have to publish a correction to the IR-absorbance of CO2 published in their chemical handbook. Did 'they' also test CH4, N20, water vapor, and CFCs? Just curious.

Posted by: klautsack | November 8, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Folks, if you want the facts about global-warming that algore won't tell you about, watch this video:

Posted by: caerbannog | November 8, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, Einstein, Marie Curie, Aristotle, Newton, Darwin, Kepler, Heisenberg, Hubble, Feynman, Linnaeus, Oppenheimer, Archimedes ............Gore? YES Gore, and his political lab coat consultants, promising to lower the seas with taxes and make the weather colder with MY personal sacrifice? WHAT CENTURY IS THIS?
Why were CO2 levels STILL going up while we Human monkeys where emitting less thanks to years of the “less productive” “WORLD economy? And do you ever wonder why there were thousands and thousands and thousands more consensus scientists than there were protesters? Why didn’t these all knowing scientists march too? And wouldn’t they as saintly scientists have declared a planetary emergency and started marching en mass to the UN? We didn’t even know these peoples names but that was good enough to condemn our very own children to death by CO2?
How many climate scientists does it take to change a light bulb? None. But they DO have consensus that it WILL change. All kidding aside, sort of, the theory they agreed upon was that the effects could be nothing or deadly. I smell a free pass here folks. And a lot of them agreed with this PREDICTION and of course those who didn’t agree were just evil, neocon, pollution lovers. Now that’s funny! Meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 24 years of climate control instead of population control. Nice Job!
Climate scientists were to science, politics and journalism what abusive priests are to religion. THIS was another Bernie Madoff. This was another WMD. This was another Iraq War of lies and fear mongering and climate WMD’s. Scientists not only polluted the planet with their chemicals, they also produced cruise missiles, cancer causing chemicals, land mine technology, nuclear weapons, germ warfare, strip mining technology, deep sea drilling technology and now climate change. I can't do this anymore. I’m liberal. I’m a progressive and a Green Climate Change Denier.

Posted by: paulmerrifield | November 9, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

In case there are hearings by the US Congress, I have started a list of questions for them to ask.....

1) What is the empirical evidence that increasing atmospheric water vapour is a positive forcing for temperature?

2) What is the scientific basis for the selection of 2 degrees centigrade as a measure of merit/concern/import for global temperature rise by IPCC and its masters?

3) What is the empirical evidence that there is the tropical tropospheric hot spot? And what is the implication for the skill of the IPCC ensemble of GCM models if the hot spot cannot be found?

4) Since 25% of all human emissions of CO2 throughout history have occurred in the past 12 years, why have global temperatures, such as HADCRUT, SST and UAH Satellite, been generally falling in that period?

Feel free to continue the list................

Posted by: orkneygal | November 10, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

As someone in the environmental field and with a Master's in environmental studies, I find Lisa Jackson to be one of the more responsible and logical leaders in the Obama administration. Talk of conspiracy is to be expected. The science is being attacked in order to protect the interest of the wealthy.

I've seen not a single published study which could come close to overturning AGW theory. Most "evidence" provided to me by deniers are links leading to long, rambling websites with incredibly disjointed information and altered graphs / data. If there is any science to challenge AGW, I have yet to see it.

If the Republicans are backing off, it's because they know the science is growing indestructably stronger. Expect a change in tactic soon which focuses on the economy and tries to detract from the science.

Posted by: elliesparrow | November 13, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

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