Joe Barton: Misleading Congress; Misleading America

Rep. Joe Barton, already implicated in an effort to mislead Congress about the science of climate change, is obviously choosing offence as his best possible defence, renewing his slander of Penn State climate scientist and “Hockey Stick” author Dr. Michael Mann.

As then-co-chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Barton was responsible in 2006 for inviting the increasingly controversial statistician Edward Wegman to prepare a critique of Mann’s iconic hockey-stick-shaped graph illustrating a 1,000-year climate reconstruction. Although Barton has denied that he had a previous relationship with Wegman, implying that the subsequent report and hearing were not a set-up, John Mashey has documented the extensive direction that Barton provided to Wegman through Barton staff member Peter Spencer.

With Wegman and his collaborators in the hockey stick report now under investigation for plagiarism and for inadvertently or intentionally misleading Congress by misrepresenting the actual state of climate science, Mann is (justifiably!) nervous about a renewed Republican witch-hunt should the balance of power shift in the November elections. He wrote an opinion-page piece in the Washington Post (Get the anti-science bent out of politics) to that effect, prompting Barton’s response in a letter to the editor.

Barton dredged up what is becoming an increasingly common line, “Mr. Mann is entitled to make up his own mind, but not his own truth.” It’s perverse, though. Mann’s scientific conclusions have been borne out every time anyone else puts together a climate reconstruction. He has also been exonerated, repeatedly, for the comments he made in the too-famous stolen East Anglia emails. Barton, on the other hand, appears to have his mind firmly set on the position that most favours his oil industry funders - a position that has been repudiated again and again by the scientific community. His opinions appear to be a pointed afront to any reasonably documented set of facts.

An outbreak of Congressional hearings on this issue is, indeed, long overdue. But the record thus far indicates that Barton should be the subject (on charges of misleading the House AND the American people), not the facilitator.


eight standard deviations off yet still used by Mann. Why would he include this in the proxy? just wondering. I also wonder if it showed a decrease would he have used it. Rich, do you see anything wrong in Mann’s work? anything? in other posts you seem ok with the penn st investigation. do you see any conflict? just wondering

Everybody, including Rep. Joe Barton and all of his colleagues in the House and Senate, should read John Mashey’s WaPO comment posted at 10/12/2010 11:01:26 AM. These are very serious charges that appear to have merit.

“I allege that Joe Barton organized an effort to mislead Congress, 18USC1001, 18USC371 in manufacturing the Wegman Report.”

Did Barton use his political office to attempt to undermine science and to mislead Congress and America? If so, did he do so at the behest of the oil and energy industry that are his top two campaign contributors?

WaPost owes its readers a thorough investigation of this potential abuse of power. Likewise, the DOJ should investigate Barton’s connection to the Wegman Report.

“With Wegman and his collaborators in the hockey stick report now under investigation for plagiarism … ”

I had to chuckle today when I saw Raymond Bradley, the accuser in this plagiarism kefluffle, now in a bit of hot water himself.

Can you think of a good reason why poor Raymond would have copied H. C. Fritts work without attribution? I certainly cannot.

Count me as one who is looking forward to a Congressional hearing or three.

If you are too lazy to back up your claims with a link, why should I waste time on a google search that will just bring up some dishonest denialist websites?