House Science hearing “Rational Discussion of Climate Change” with Lindzen, Michaels, and Curry

The 10:30 am DC hearing will be webcast here, I’m told.

Science’s Eli Kintisch will be live blogging it with “rolling, real-time transcript” and “color commentary” from NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt at ScienceInsider.

I may excerpt from them and offer my commentary as well.  I’d love to hear from you all.

There are many witnesses for this hearing who are worth hearing, notwithstanding the last-minute addition of fully discredited disinformers Lindzen and Michaels.  Here’s the full list with links to their testimony:

Panel I

Panel II

Panel III

I want to get this post up now, but I’ll be adding to it quickly.

I discussed Curry here:  “Judith Curry abandons science.”

Lindzen could not be more discredited:

Patrick Michaels is an equally discredited disinformer (see “Patrick Michaels and Cato keep repeating an egregious falsehood about Michael Mann and the stolen emails” who “is connected to no less than 11 think tanks and associations that have received money from oil-giant ExxonMobil to sow doubt about the realities of human-induced global warming.”

16 Responses to House Science hearing “Rational Discussion of Climate Change” with Lindzen, Michaels, and Curry

  1. Deborah Stark says:

    Oh god.


  2. Alan Frederick says:

    Tried to read Lindzen’s statement. Didn’t finish the second paragraph – as expected, head exploded.

  3. Wes Rolley says:

    There are 3 members of the House with a science related PhD (Vernon Ehlers – R from MI, Russ Holt – D from NJ and Jerry McNerney – D from CA). None of them are on this committee.

    Ain’t that a shame.

  4. Jonah says:

    Stream is broken. (asx file contains no HREF for the stream, so pretty much game over…)

  5. Jonah says:

    Stream working now. (sorry for the noise!)

  6. Dion says:

    C-SPAN 3 has the live feed.

  7. Jay Alt says:

    #3 Wes writes:
    There are 3 members of the House with a science related PhD . . . None of them are on this committee.

    That’s a deliberate strategy, both now and then. When the committee first formed, ~ 2007, several GOP Reps interested in science and climate asked to serve. But Boehner told them all no. It was more important to add people who held a differing view. He appointed James Sensenbrenner senior member, someone that lobbyists have called the ‘Inhofe of the House.’

  8. Ian Forrester says:

    Is Judith Curry going to become the “Wicked Witch” of Climate Science? She uses the term “wicked” 11 times in her written (8 page) presentation.

  9. MightyDrunken says:

    I had a quick skim read of most of the written testimonies.

    A few are fairly standard primers to global warming though I particular like Benjamin D. Santer piece talking about fingerprints in the data and therefore why we attribute most of the warming to man. He also has what I think is an important part about how the IPCC has looked at other view points.

    I only read the first few pages of Dr. Richard Lindzen’s piece, it seems very similar to a talk I’ve heard before. So I skipped it, I don’t rate Dr. Richard Lindzen opinion.

    Dr. Judith Curry piece was confusing as I wasn’t sure what her piece was really about. She is beginning to remind me of our favourite skeptical environmentalist.

  10. Ugh!

    Lindzen WRT a letter in Science Spring 2010 and its 250 signatories:

    ‘Most signers had no background whatever in climate sciences. Many were the ‘usual suspects.’ (ie, Paul Ehrlich, the late Steve Schneider,….’

    Ah, and Stephen Schneider cannot now defend himself against the real suspects such as you Lindzen. I hope his ghost pays you a visit this Christmas and one of the things that he should tell you is that Steve is to be used by friends and not back stabbers who should stick with the full title.

    BTW Richard, you should quit smoking too, that is another bad value judgement on your part.

  11. Chris Winter says:

    I read through the written testimony of Drs Curry, Michaels and Lindzen (8-, 15- and 48-page PDFs). They all seemed to run true to form. I may have something more detailed to contribute later.

  12. Bob Doublin says:

    Does it make you SICK with fear that the Boner-head from Ohio will probably be second in line for the presidency starting in Jan 2011???Wow!!

  13. Rob Honeycutt says:

    MightyDrunken… You know, I just finished reading Curry’s testimony and I had exactly the same reaction. She’s kind of all over the map.

    Also read Richard Alley’s testimony. He’s an ace!

  14. Chris Winter says:

    From Chairman Brian Baird’s opening statement:

    “We simply must, if we are to have any credibility at all, insist that our witnesses adhere to the highest standards of scientific integrity. Simultaneously, we members of Congress must hold ourselves and this committee as an institution to that standard in our study of the issues and in our conduct today and in the future.”

    I read, in that order, the testimony by Judith Curry, Patrick Michaels, and Richard Lindzen. (8, 15 and 48 page PDFs) They fall short of that standard.

    I’ll put my comments on Michaels in a separate post, because of length.


    Curry typically emphasizes uncertainty and implies that this invalidates the IPCC conclusion that climate change is “irreducibly global.” I take this as an attempt to minimize “alarmism,” since she claims that unspecified regions may benefit from warming. At the end, she notes that the blogosphere has identified her as a “heretic.” (“Sauce for the goose, Mr. Saavik.”) There’s so much wrong with all of this that only a paragraph-by-paragraph dissection can properly address it. But I’m not motivated to undertake the efort, because such detailed dissections of her work have already been done, and go unrefuted.


    Rather than dissect Lindzen’s 48-page document, I’ll simply quote his introductory statement:

    “The written testimony is, of course, far more detailed than my oral summary will be. In the summary, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak—and commonly acknowledged as such.”

    Commonly acknowledged as such by Denialists. Fixed that for you, R.L.

    Move along now, nothing new to see here.

  15. Chris Winter says:


    Michaels gives four objectives for his testimony (here paraphrased):

    1. To show that the IPCC overstates the rate of warming;
    2. To demonstrate the dubiousness of the EPA’s Finding of Endangerment for greenhouse gases;
    3. To reveal “certain biases” that “substantially devalue” the efforts of the IPCC and
    the U.S. Program on Climate Change;
    4. To demonstrate substantial disagreement with these programs and with policies passed by
    the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Translation: Michaels remains true to form.

    An excerpt from Michaels:

    “For decades, scientists have attempted to model the behavior of our atmosphere as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are added above the base levels established before human prehistory. The results are interesting but are highly dependent upon the amount of carbon dioxide that resides in the atmosphere, something that is very difficult to predict long into the future with any confidence. It is safe to say that no one—no matter whether he or she works for the government, for industry, or in education—can tell what our technology will be 100 years from now. We can only say that if history is to be any guide, it will be radically different from what we use today and that therefore projecting greenhouse gas emissions so far into the future is, to choose a word carefully, useless.”

    Translation: “Hah! You thought the pea was under the center cup. No, it’s under the one in my right hand!” IOW, it’s intellectual sleight-of-hand: because we can’t say what fantastic technology we will have in 100 years, any scientific projection of CO2 concentration and its effects made today is unreliable. This is blatant misdirection.

    Turning to his four points &mdash Point 1:

    The various models just produce different quasi-constant rates. Divining future warming then becomes rather easy. Do we have a constant rate of warming? And if so, then we know the future rate, unless the functional form of all of these models is wrong. And if this is wrong, scientists are so ignorant of this problem, that you are wasting your time in soliciting our expertise.”

    First, I think only Michaels claims constant rates. Second, this assumes feedbacks will have no effect. Third, if Michaels includes himself in the ranks of scientists, then his expertise too is suspect.

    Point 2: He throws up some plots of “Annual global average temperature history from 1950 to 2009” which appear to conflate land-surface and sea-surface measurements, and to introduce some dubious adjustments.

    Point 3: He actually bases this on the recent, discredited Scientific American poll. He also cites over 100 articles published in Nature and Science over 13 months to claim they are biased toward “worst-case” outcomes. He does not mention the possibility that there might be some justification for this difference.

    Point 4: He again cites the Scientific American poll to claim that cap and trade is unpopular. He knows as well as anyone that poll is the electronic equivalent of an unguarded ballot box which was stuffed by one side.

    I’m sure the folks at RealClimate will do a better job of debunking these three witnesses.

  16. Some European says:

    Joe, you forgot to warn for exploding heads.
    I left my vise in the kitchen before reading Lindzen.
    You’ll be hearing from my lawyer…

    [JR: I could make a fortune on head vises — and cerebral crazy glue.]