So Now They Call in the Scientists?

fred upton

So this is interesting.

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce–chaired by Fred Upton of Michigan, pictured here–will hold a hearing (though the Subcommittee on Energy and Power) on “Climate Science and EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulations.” It looks like it is going to be, basically, a science fight. Several scientists, like Christopher Field of Stanford and Richard Somerville of Scripps, are testifying who are sure to affirm the mainstream scientific consensus view of global warming. But there are also more “skeptical” scientists, like John Christy of the University of Alabama-Huntsville, on the docket.

Christy does acknowledge that humans are causing some degree of global warming, but questions whether it will be a “catastrophe.” Another scientist set to testify, Roger Pielke, Sr., also accepts that humans impact the climate but does not agree with the IPCC that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is probably caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

In other words, we can expect both of these scientists to challenge how bad the problem is, not that there is a problem at all.

What’s odd about this is that the committee’s Republican leadership already seemed to have made up its mind that the science of climate was bunk—as James Inhofe told them last month–and that the EPA must be blocked in its scientific determination that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare and so should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

In a hearing last month on this very topic. Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois, a Democrat in the minority of the committee, commented, “Don’t you find it strange that this hearing is being conducted with no scientists at all?” And indeed, hearing from scientists is what committee Democrats very much seemed to want. In truth, they want even more scientific testimony than this

My view is that it’s certainly better to hear from scientists than not to hear from them—but “science fight” hearings are rarely very enlightening. Some members of the media, the Congress, and the public are able to parse the flurry of claims and counterclaims. But most walk away with the impression that there’s a big “debate” and a lot of “uncertainty.”

So I guess my conclusion is, “two cheers” for the latest hearing. With so much climate skepticism and denial in the current Congress, it’s probably the best you are going to get.


That ex-CIA operative Kent Clizbe—the guy who tried and faile to get other teachers to denounce Dr. Michael Mann— recently trashed the scientist Christopher Field who will be testifying in the Committee on Energy and Commerce .

Do you think that Kent Clizbe attacked Dr. Christopher Field because Dr. Field is scheduled to testify in Congress? Do you think Kent Clizbe is an operative for politicians or fossil fuel interests who gets paid to trash scientists? Maybe Dr. Field will be the next scientist the denialists try to ruin with their smear tactics.

Kent Clizbe talks on his blog about “due diligence” as if he is a detective or a legal researcher, but he is a really ignorant detective who uses a lot of crude language.

Kent Clizbe (2-22-11) states on his blog post:

“An initial review of Field’s background and snout in the trough seems identical to any number of “climate scientists” (Field’s scientific background is Biological Sciences. His PhD research was on Leaf Aging in a California Shrub) sucking off the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, NOAA, and other government teats.”

Using expressions like “snout in the trough” and “sucking off the…government teats” is not evidence. It is just smears.

Kent Clizbe seems to be implying that Dr. Field doesn’t have the credentials to be a “climate scientist,” but scientists who study climate change come from many different fields.

Good CIA officers check their facts. The former spy Kent Clizbe doesn’t even manage to ferret out the fact that the National Academy of Sciences is not a federal agency. It is a federally-chartered corporation that advises federal agencies. The NAS site notes that it is a non-profit corporation that was signed into being in 1863 by President Lincoln. The scientist Dr. Christopher Field is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Kent Clizbe doesn’t understand at all how scientific organizations advise the government.

I know some people who were in the CIA, and they don’t sound like ignorant bloggers. They usually appreciate the expertise of scientists and other specialists.

Kent Clizbe says he is writing a book about people who collaborated the KGB. Perhaps he should read the CIA report called “Operation Infektion.” The KGB got some of their ideas for their AIDS propaganda campaign from Western onspiracists, acording to the CIA report.

There are Russian government/Gazprom influence activities in this denialist campaign, too.

Virginia’s Attorney General Cuccinelli, who persecutes the climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, cites a news article from the Kremlin’s official press agency RIA Novosti in his attack on the EPA. Novosti is not science. It’s the press agency of the Russian government.

The Russian article on which that Novosti report was based appeared in Kommersant, the business daily owned by the billionaire Gazprom operative Alisher Usmanov. Cucinelli cites the Gazprom operative’s propaganda but he doesn’t consider the perspective of one of Russia’s greatest scientists, the independent-minded Roald Sagdeev, the first Soviet scientist to be a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

When Dr. Sagdeev lived in the former U.S.S.R., he published a 1987 letter in Izvestia that distanced the Soviet Academy of Sciences from the KGB’s campaign to spread the lie that the U.S. Army made AIDS to kill blacks.

Acording to The New York Times (11-7-87):

“Soviet scientists have disavowed charges in the Soviet-sponsored press that the AIDS virus was artificially cultivated at a secret American military base.

The scientists, Roald Sagdeyev and Vitali Goldansky, publicly distanced the Soviet Academy of Sciences from the accusations about American responsibility for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. They said they had protested the appearance of Soviet articles that repeated those contentions.

The disavowal was contained in Izvestia, the Soviet government newspaper…”

Dr. Sagdeev is one of my heroes because he spoke on behalf of less powerful Soviet scientists who probably were afraid to challenge the KGB propaganda about AIDS. Dr. Sagdeev defended reason and science instead of pseudo-scientific propaganda that served the regime’s political agenda instead of scientific progress. Indeed, the Soviet regime’s official ideology, Marxism-Leninism, was a pseudo-scientific ideology that masqueraded as science.

In 1992, KGB chief Yevgeni Primakov finally admitted that the KGB had spread this propaganda:

The Russian newspaper Izvestiya (3-19-92) reported on March 19, 1992:

“[Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists’ ‘crafty’ plots were fabricated in KGB offices.”

Dr. Sagdeev has signed the open letter from members of the Academy of Sciences defending climate science. If people want to quote Russian scientists, they might look at what Dr. Sagdeev says instead of Kremlin/Gazprom mouthpieces.

Gazprom’s Kommersant cited a Russian economist, Andrei Illarionov, who worked for Putin and for Chernomyrdin who ran the Soviet Gas Ministry and it’s post-Soviet reincarnation Gazprom. This is really where Cuccinelli’s stupid campaign is coming from.

Now Andrei Illarionov is associated with the Libertarian Cato Institute. Do they get money from Koch? Didn’t Koch build the Russian oil refineries for Stalin?

People like Cuccinelli and Kent Clizbe trash America’s government agencies, but they hire Putin and Chernomyrdin’s Andrei Illarionov.

Maybe Kent Clizbe should put that in his book.

Kent Clizbe, the ex-CIA operative who tried to get scientists to denounce Dr. Michael Mann has written an article trashing Obama’s Intelligence Czar John Brennan.

Clizbe sounds really bitter. He claims that CIA analysts are jealous of the clandestine operatives (like himself).

He claims that John Brennan is incompetent because he was only an analyst at the CIA.

Actually, I think CIA people sometimes move around. Brennan was a CIA analyst, an administrator, and a spy. He must have been a spy because he was the Chief of Station in Saudi Arabia.

More here.