Although I didn’t watch the entire hearing chaired by Senator Cruz earlier this week, I watched enough to be deeply unimpressed. Almost ‘D’-pressed.
Two people with the microphone did their jobs well–Admiral Titley, with a no-nonsense exposition of the consensus view, and Judith Curry, with a brief recapitulation of the problems that consensus view has yet to address.
Watch it here:
The politicians did not acquit themselves well. Senator Cruz was the calmest of the Senators and would have gotten a passing grade from me if he hadn’t used really wrong statistics in some of his charts. His summing up at the end also left a lot to be desired.
My fellow Democrat, Senator Markey was horrible, sounding ill-informed and authoritarian at the same time. The low point of the entire proceeding was when he insinuated that Judith Curry, author of about 200 peer-review papers on climate change, a well-respected climate scientist, was a climate change ‘denier.’
Clearly, with the exception of Curry, those invited by Senator Cruz arrived with no intention of changing anyone’s mind. John Christy, who I interviewed for Examiner.com and found to be delightful and informative, and William Happer both basically could have phoned in their testimony using material they have been taking from one conference to another for years.
Mark Steyn was his usual inflammatory self, but it didn’t go over as well without the humor that usually makes this acerbic conservative commentator entertaining even to those of us who disagree with his positions.
Former Admiral Titley was unquestionably the star of the show. He’s had a lot of practice talking to the upper echelons of the political establishment and it showed. He was calm and collected and Cruz didn’t really have an answer for him.
In this current zero-sum atmosphere, Titley won the show for the consensus. If Senator Cruz wants to use climate change in his campaign for the Republican nomination, he needs to get educated, coached, schooled–whatever–pretty quickly.
As for Senator Markey, he represented what I have come to consider the worst side of the Democratic establishment, ignorant, not interested in learning, dogmatic and yes, at the end, demagogic. Senator Markey, who has read from ‘The Lorax’ on the Senate floor and whose qualifications for his present august position include driving an ice cream truck for several years, is the antithesis of what I want from my party’s leaders. He showed that he knew next to nothing about climate change during this hearing. He also showed clearly why that no longer matters.
Casting the point of view of the political establishment as equivalent to Galileo is demagoguery. Calling distinguished climate scientists ‘the last redoubt of denial’ is demagoguery. Everyone in the room was stupider at the conclusion of his remarks by the nature of his having made them.
Here is just Markey by himself. It’s shameful.
Where demagoguery fails it is not for lack of demagogues, but their underestimation of those to whom they preach.