Most Hated Senator Shows Why in Denial Circus Hearing
December 9, 2015
Megyn Kelly did not hold back during the premiere of her new show, “The Kelly File,” Monday on Fox News, bluntly kicking off with her first guest Sen. Ted Cruz.
“What’s it like to be the most hated man in America?” Kelly asked the Texas senator.
From the epic compendium of climate denial canards in his opening, to his choice of one of the goofiest panels of hacks and right wing ideologues imaginable, yesterday’s hearing before Ted Cruz’ Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness was an exercise in hallucinatory disconnect from reality, given the unfolding dimensions of not only of a planetary disaster as we head into possibly a third year of record warmth, but a political disaster for climate deniers, as an expanding majority of Americans are now calling for real action on climate science – action that Senator Cruz and his party oppose more fiercely with each passing day.
One senior scientist tells me: “to me, this hearing was a love note to the Koch Brothers from Ted Cruz.
it’s his way of asking them if they would consider going steady w/ him…”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), the climate science-denying presidential candidate who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, convened a December 8 hearing that purported to answer whether the “debate over the magnitude of human impact on earth’s climate” is being driven by “data or dogma.” One of Cruz’s star witnesses is frequent Rush Limbaugh Show guest host Mark Steyn, whose extreme attacks on a climate scientist appear to be the main reason he was invited to participate.
The most obvious explanation for Steyn’s appearance would seem to be that Cruz couldn’t find enough scientists who oppose the 97 percent of climate scientists that say human activities are causing climate change, so he had to turn to a talk radio shock jock instead. But the fact that Steyn is “not a scientist” only scratches the surface of why he is unqualified to testify on global warming.
Steyn has a long history of making extreme and scientifically illiterate claims that could give Cruz a run for his money. For instance, Steyn alleged in 2009 that “[t]here has been no global warming this century.” In 2010, he declared that “environmentalism is fundamentally anti-human.” Most recently, Steyn was seen proclaiming that Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ remarks describing the link between climate change and terrorism were “insane,” and even imagining terrorists “sawing Bernie Sanders’ head off” while Sanders worries about “an emissions trading scheme.” According to Science Blogs’ Greg Laden, Steyn also “recently self published a book made up, apparently, of cherry picked quotes and related material in an effort to discredit top climate scientists.”
Also included on the panel Ned Flanders look-alike and famous-for-being-serially-wrong John Christy, and William Happer, who, in his spare time supports the tobacco industry in selling addictive poison to children.
Check Happer’s epic pre-hearing freak out below.
To be fair, Dr. Happer had kind of a rough day. This morning records of his email conversations were made public, records that show him negotiating financial arrangements with Greenpeace activists, posing as Oil Industry reps, who asked him how much he would charge for one of his “scientific” studies denying climate change.
Posing as representatives of oil and coal companies, reporters from Greenpeace UK asked academics from Princeton and Penn State to write papers promoting the benefits of CO2 and the use of coal in developing countries.
The professors agreed to write the reports and said they did not need to disclose the source of the funding.
Citing industry-funded documents – including testimony to state hearings and newspaper articles – Professor Frank Clemente of Penn State said: “In none of these cases is the sponsor identified. All my work is published as an independent scholar.”
Leading climate-sceptic academic, Professor William Happer, agreed to write a report for a Middle Eastern oil company on the benefits of CO2 and to allow the firm to keep the source of the funding secret.
Happer is due to appear this afternoon as a star witness in Senate hearings called by Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
In emails to reporters he also revealed Peabody Energy paid thousands of dollars for him to testify at a separate state hearing, with the money being paid to a climate-sceptic think tank.
Groups including the Global Warming Policy Foundation and Donors Trust are also alleged to have been complicit in providing “peer review” services for fossil fuel clients and, in the case of Donors Trust, in providing an untraceable route for the fossil fuel payments.
The story comes as Happer is preparing to give evidence to a congressional hearing of the Senate Subcomittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, chaired by Republican and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz. That hearing is scheduled for Tuesday December 8 and also calls fellow “sceptics” Dr John Christy, of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Dr Judith Curry of Georgia Institute of Technology and conservative commentator Mark Steyn.
A DeSmogBlog investigation into Donors Trust and its partner group Donors Capital Fund found that between 2005 and 2012, some $479 million of income to the two groups was untraceable. Of the amounts that were traceable, DeSmog found that $7.65 million had come from the Knowledge and Progress Fund (KPF).
On the KPF board are oil billionaire and major Republican benefactor Charles Koch, his wife Liz and son Charles Chase Koch. Richard Fink, a Koch company director and long-standing aide to Charles Koch, is also a KPF director.
The Greenpeace investigation raises questions about the use of the Donors funds in financing climate science denial groups. Donors Trust, together with oil giant Exxon, have also funded the work of Harvard-Smithsonian affiliated researcher Dr Willie Soon, who claims carbon dioxide cannot change the climate.
Greenpeace also claims that CO2 Coalition board member William O’Keefe, a former Exxon lobbyist, had suggested in an email to Happer that Donors Trust be used as a route to conceal cash from a fictional Middle eastern oil and gas company.
In both cases, the professors discussed ways to obscure the funding for the reports, at the request of the fake companies. In Happer’s case, the CO2 Coalition which was to receive the fee suggested he reach out to a secretive funding channel called Donors Trust, in response to a request from the fake Greenpeace entity to keep the source of funds secret. Not disclosing funding in this way is not unlawful under US law.
Clemente, who was approached by the sham Indonesian firm to produce a report countering findings linking coal to high rates of premature death, said such a project fell within his skill set. He estimated a fee of about $15,000 for an eight-to-10-page paper, according to email correspondence released by Greenpeace. The professor said he charged $6,000 for writing newspaper opinion pieces.
Read the dumbfounding email chain here.