Sliver of Light in a Dark Time

December 5, 2017

Rep. Lamar Smith, one of congress’ leading climate deniers, and Chair of the purported “Science” committee in the US House, has announced he is retiring. 
We don’t have the genitalia photos, yet.

I, for one, can wait.

In the meantime, Derrick Crowe is running for the seat. He’s well versed on climate science, and how climate deniers have sought to destroy our ability to perceive truth.
He’s warning us that our hopes of preserving what’s left of a livable planet hinge very much on what kind of Congress we elect in 2018.
If you’re pressed for time, try catch the last 4 minutes or so.

Below, long piece on Lamar Smith’s legacy, excerpted from Inside Climate News.

Inside Climate News:

In June 2015, Smith and his team targeted research published by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The paper in the peer-reviewed journal Science undercut a key talking point of climate science deniers: It found that there had been no pause in global warming over the past two decades.

In response to Smith’s subpoenas and letters, NOAA provided the science committee with its raw data and methodology, and its scientists gave briefings on their research for committee staff. But Smith wanted the researchers’ emails.

He said an agency whistleblower had alleged that the paper had been rushed to publication despite the concerns and objections of a number of agency employees. The purported whistleblower, a NOAA scientist named John Bates, later said his complaint had been mischaracterized; he disagreed with how the scientists stored and archived their climate data, but he did not dispute the study’s findings or allege data manipulation. “I knew people would misuse this,” he told Science magazine’s website.

Eddie Bernice Johnson fired back at her committee’s chairman in a letter: “The only thing you accused NOAA of doing is engaging in climate science—i.e., doing their jobs.”

Smith’s NOAA investigation provoked an unusual rebuke from the American Association for the Advancement of Scienceand six other major scientific groups, who accused him of chilling scientific inquiry.

Since the NOAA paper’s publication, several studies as well as a reanalysis of the original NOAA work have affirmed the finding that there has been no hiatus in global warming.

But Smith continued to accuse the scientists of wrongdoing. In a March hearing, Smith reiterated that the committee heard from whistleblowers that NOAA employees “put their ‘thumb on the scale’ during the analysis of data.” And in an April speech at an annual conference of climate deniers sponsored by the Heartland Institute, Smith said both NOAA and EPA during the Obama administration had been “complicit in furthering a one-sided partisan agenda focused on climate change.”

MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel believes he gained insight into Smith and his approach after an exchange a couple of years ago. It began with a discussion on a topic on which they agreed—how the U.S. had fallen behind Europe in numerical weather prediction. Emanuel took the opportunity to give Smith a copy of a primer he had written for non-scientists on climate science and risk.

A few days later, Emanuel got a call from Smith, who wanted to talk about the book. “He struck me as a very astute man,” Emanuel said. “Clearly he had read the book very thoroughly or had been thoroughly briefed on it.

“He proceeded politely to ask sharp questions. Could this be wrong? Could it be not as bad? A lot of the questions were about uncertainty,” Emanuel recalled. At first the scientist felt he was making headway with the congressman, a hope that was quashed the next time he heard Smith publicly dismissing climate science. “In hindsight, I think I was unwittingly a coach, helping him armor himself against reasonable arguments.”

“There’s nothing stupid about Lamar Smith,” said Emanuel. “He’s not uniformly anti-science. It’s not that he doesn’t understand the science. He struck me as a lawyer for the defense, who knows his defendant is guilty, but is bound by law or honor or legal code to defend.”

Subpoena Power Unleashed

Smith’s tactics to defend fossil fuel energy created legal worries for the EPA, which was battling the industry in court. Officials feared that the constant document requests by Smith would help industry lawyers obtain otherwise confidential material that could be used against the agency in court.

In one instance, Smith acted with a like-minded Republican committee chairman, Jason Chaffetz of House Oversight, to demand internal documents on one of the Obama administration’s most contentious regulations, intended to protect thousands of waterways and marshlands. After Chaffetz obtained memos showing an interagency dispute over the rule, he released them. EPA’s foes, including the oil industry, which would not normally have had access to the records, sought to introduce them in a court challenge to the new clean water regulation. “Once documents have been disclosed and widely disseminated, an agency has waived any deliberative process or other privilege that may have applied,” argued North Dakota’s attorney general, the lead litigant.

 

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9 Responses to “Sliver of Light in a Dark Time”

  1. realthog Says:

    So good to see the back of this corrupt bozo.


  2. We don’t have the genitalia photos, yet.

    Well then, here ya go: A Lamar Smith dick pic:

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Aaargh my eyes!!


      • You are right — that pic is really gross.

        I should have test-clicked that link before posting my comment. (I viewed only the reduced-size image that was returned by a Google image search.)

        I blundered by failing to preview the full-size image before after I posted that link.

        Apologies to all for that really nasty pic, especially to those who lost their lunches after seeing it.

        • Lionel Smith Says:

          That pic’ is more disturbing than those nude statues of the Donald that appeared about a week before the election, and that is saying something.

          But the facial tics of Smith as he points at Bob Murray and says, ‘Yes’ at the start of this clip are revealing of the nature of the creature.

  3. J4Zonian Says:

    It’s so fantastic to hear a politician (even one not elected yet) on the national level who gets it, citing Kevin Anderson! Naomi Klein! Pointing out the built-in cheating of most projections! Wow!

    Of course even he doesn’t fully tell the truth, and I’m sure he knows it and holds back to keep from scaring even the 350 activists into despair. (For one thing, 350 is way too high; it’s probably not going to safe above 280 and we may need to go below that temporarily after the overshoot.) But you can’t do that without the essential other aspect of the talk–interactive dealing with the emotions the truth brings up. If we’re not doing that, either ourselves if we’re trained or with someone who is, then we’re not doing everything we can to move people to act.

  4. Roger Walker Says:

    Peter Sinclair, I love you!

    Crowe sums up in 30 mins everything I’ve been trying to say, and he gives it all a coherent structure.

    OK, in that meeting he’s preaching to the converted. So he speaks much too fast, his graphics are not up to scratch and he fails to develop points that need clarification.

    But I’m going to chop that talk into three or four digestible chunks, translate it into French and present it to local associations here in the west of France, hoping that I just might touch a handful of the unconverted.

    Mille fois merci!


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