Must-see House hearing on “State of Climate Science” — Holdren and Lubchenco to testify on urgency of impacts, Wednesday, 10 am

Golfer Tiger Woods with his wife Elin Nordegren at the Presidents Cup golf tournament in San Francisco in October

WASHINGTON – With the international climate change talks in Copenhagen fast approaching, there is real urgency to reach diplomatic consensus on a planetary solution. In a hearing this Wednesday, the Select Committee will explore with climate scientists from the Obama administration the urgent, consensus view on our planetary problem: that global warming is real, and the science indicates that it is getting worse.

Well this should be lively, as one can expect the conservatives on Energy Independence and Global Warming to bring up …. hmm, wait, don’t tell me … Tiger Woods?

You can find the webcast here, 10 am ET, Wednesday.  The rest of the news release follows:

At the hearing, Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) will host two of America’s preeminent climate scientists, Dr. John Holdren and Dr. Jane Lubchenco.

Dr. Holdren is the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and was formerly a professor at Harvard University and the director of the acclaimed Woods Hole Research Center.

Dr. Lubchenco is the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States’ leading climate office.

The past decade has been the hottest in recorded history, with all of the years since 2001 being in the top 10 of hottest, according to NASA. This summer, the world’s oceans were the warmest in NOAA’s 130 years of record-keeping. Meanwhile, global heat-trapping pollution continues to rise.

Yes, the photo of Tiger and his wife are a red herring in this post, kind of like the emails are to the state of climate science!

Bonus red herring humor, “Top 10 Tiger Woods jokes on the web“:


Apparently, the only person who can beat Tiger Woods with a golf club is his wife


What’s the difference between a car and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a ball 400 yards


Tiger Woods was injured in a car accident as he pulled out of his driveway early Friday morning.  It was Woods’ shortest drive since an errant tee shot at the US Open.


What was Tiger Woods doing out at 2.30 in the morning? He’d gone clubbing


Tiger Woods crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree. He couldn’t decide between a wood and an iron


Perhaps Tiger should be using a driver?


This is the first time Tiger’s ever failed to drive 300 yards


Apparently, Tiger admitted this crash was the closest shave he’s ever had. So Gillette has dropped his contract.


Tiger Woods wasn’t seriously injured in the crash. He’s still below par though


Tiger Woods is so rich that he owns lots of expensive cars. Now he has a hole in one.


13 Responses to Must-see House hearing on “State of Climate Science” — Holdren and Lubchenco to testify on urgency of impacts, Wednesday, 10 am

  1. mike roddy says:

    It’ll be interesting tomorrow to see if all the recent oil and coal sponsored hatchet jobs will put some fire in their bellies.

  2. Dan B says:

    It will be even more “interesting” to see if the commenters on this website recognize what Joe is saying about how to reach people who don’t “get” the looming crisis.

    The great hurricane that struck Galveston killing more people than Katrina is a case in point. The ocean retreated in front of the immense surge that followed. There was only one route off the barrier island where thousands had gathered. A well intentioned and well informed citizen raced up and down the beach on horseback pleading with people to get off the island before they were swept away.

    He was ignored. Thousands were swept away to their deaths.

    Imagine his despair.

    Now we know how to reach people like this – people with little interest in scientific facts. We’ve learned how the human brain processes information and what types of entreaties actually motivate positive change – change in our own best interest.

    And most of us are ignoring the latest from cognitive science and communication. We still believe that facts and data will change opinion, even behavior.

    Woe to the ignorant.

    Blessings and success to the learned.

    Let’s get with it.

    Read up on Lakoff, Heath, Westen, even Luntz. ….. If you want to save your children.

  3. Stan says:

    These scientists will say (1) there is a consensus, (2) it is based on peer reviewed studies, and (3) the need to act is urgent.

    But what if I no longer trust these scientists, or the peer review process that produced this consensus and sense of urgency? Money and politics have become intertwined with science, with the result that science is starting to look like just another special interest group, seeking money from, and influence with, the government.

  4. Thomas says:

    Dan B (#2)

    Yes – exactly. When it left the lab and interred into the much more muddy waters of politics and the even fierier circus of public perceptions and action you should very much be paying attention to what the other academic areas are trying to tell you about communication. Look at how Senator Graham phrased everything in the press release (there was an article post a day or so about this here) – there was no grand “save the world”. There was no talk of scientific theories. There was, however, a bunch of “This is going to make us a leader”, “This is going to be great for our state”, “This is going to put us on the cutting edge of technology” type talk (not exact quotes). All VERY personal and very much something the public there can relate to and see as being a direct benefit to themselves.

    I worked for Juvenile Probation for 5 years – I can tell you “But the kids” just doesn’t ever go anywhere. We like to talk about it, and you’ll never get anyone to say “we don’t care about the kids” – but you will also never get anyone to fork over much because of them, let alone get off their duff and do something meaningful. It’s a sad reality that in the end we are all for the kids – as long as I don’t have to do a whole lot that’s inconvenient. It is pointless to argue about it, just a fact that needs to be recognized and worked with.

    Remember, you aren’t just playing in the lab any more; you’re playing in the much less clear cut and far less rational area of public perception and motivations…

    On the bright side with or without the cap and trade and carbon offsets and other such complicated international arrangements there are going to be some pretty radical changes in the next couple decades in regards to at least Oil usage. You all should really spend some time over at and get current on world energy reserves and see if you can take a page out of that situation to help show why this “reduce the carbon” push is inevitable anyway, and that saving what we have left so it will last more than the next 50 – 100 years is important as we need it for far more than running our transportation devices…

    Might also give you an idea why many in the public do not view “it’s on a blog” as any reason to think it isn’t good work – they are VERY good at what they do, and they are also very good at data mining, presentation and serious statistical work. It’s part of why the “old media” companies are getting clobbered and papers are going broke – the web has grown a lot in the last decade, and the level of material available on it has far surpassed what is available almost anywhere else.

  5. Jason says:


    it would mean that, at least in your case, the PR campaign against science itself has been successful. And sadly, that is the case with an increasingly larger part of the population – who choose to ignore that virtually every bit of their lives, every product they use, is based on peer-reviewed science. The illegal hacking and release of thousands of private e-mails, a data protection scandal by itself, is a prime example, a case study in how this campaign works: take the correspondence of ONE (of dozens) research unit misrepresent, cite out of context and blow the content, which may or may not be questionable, completely out of proportion, in order to discredit the entire field.

    It would be fascinating if it weren’t so depressing.

  6. Observer says:

    Well, just the ordinary, mud-slinging American politics…

    Quote mining, fabrications, outright lies, misrepresentations, unfounded allegations, distortions of data, burglaries and break-ins. Some of the scientist have been provided police protection due to threatening messages.

    Logical next step: blackmail the scientists into silence. Crimes will not end by polite presentations of facts.

  7. WAG says:

    Tiger’s now had his personal correspondence posted online without his permission:


  8. Sam says:

    After watching the hearings…

    It seems like the real conspiracy lies with the political leaders who refuse to understand basic scientific concepts related to global warming.

    Oh well.

  9. Leif says:

    I was very pleased to see the emphasis that was placed on ocean acidification by Administrator Dr. Lubchenco.
    In some respects I feel that this is a simpler and more direct argument to make to the public than AGW.
    The data stream is much less “polluted” with background “noise” and easier to show within the history of present day man. Cause and effects are “one to one.” The out come just as dire.
    “Creation Care” folks, where are you?

  10. Thomas says:

    Sam (#8)

    Well, you’re starting to see why some of us in the political science area don’t think the 17th Amendment which changed article 1, section 3 of the original Constitution was necessarily such a great move – we were designed to be a Republic (“Representative Democracy”) – not a straight “Democracy” – they had good reasons for worrying about pure Democracy…

    We now have both the House of Representatives (originally there to represent you & me) & the Senate (originally there to represent the states as a whole) both there solely to represent their directly voting constituents current attitudes. The original system had only the representatives taking such in consideration of their legislative actions and the Senate being a bit more removed from that process so as to concentrate more on “what it all means” in the big picture sense and able to vote without a direct repercussion of the action from the public instead of constantly worrying about “what it means to my next election”… Went a long way towards killing the idea of “statesman”, and made them all simply “politicians”.

    Remember, like it or not, they aren’t representing their own ideas nearly as much as those whom they represent (and the public gets rather bent if they stray too far from that in either direction…). Don’t think just because one were to get rid of a Senator or representative that they don’t like it means you are going to get anyone better – might get someone even worse (“better” and “worse” being from one’s view point). The public that voted them in will still have the same underlying attitudes that got them there in the first place – why I think going the political route rather than the reach the people route is full of far larger pot holes then is realized…

    But as this is the house, you should expect there to always be a few “outliers” in the mix. Even the original system wouldn’t fix that, but it lessened the overall impact from it.

    At any rate, better to understand it and figure out how to work in spite of it then give yourself ulcers because if it.

  11. It might be a good idea to avoid the calculated forgetfullness about why the 17th was put in place: Monied interestes (mainly railroads in the day) found it infinitely easier to purchase and pocket federal Senators when all they had to do was bribe State Legislatures. 17 did not happen by accident or in a contextual vaccuum.

  12. Thomas says:


    Nope, it didn’t happen by accident, and there was an underlying issue they thought this would solve. As you see it also invited other problems which are arguably worse in the long run. Just saying to remember, in politics everything is a trade off, and currently that trade off is they can’t afford (career wise) to stray very far from public opinion in their represented areas.
    Thus – get the public’s mind share and get the populous to do the pushing rather than have the politicians doing the pushing (if you know enough to know what you said, you should also be able to see – even in the result of how Senators are put in office, what happens when the public feels “railroaded”).

  13. richard pauli says:

    The live video was not up, and cannot find the demand video

    Is there a video

    [JR: Video worked after 30 minutes. Just bits up now. Come back Thursday.]