Travesty–Rep. Inslee’s behavior at Energy & Commerce hearing

by Marlo Lewis on February 12, 2009

in Blog

I just watched the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee hearing on “The Climate Crisis: National Security, Public Health, and Economic Threats.”

Committee rules allow the minority one-third of the witnesses. Originally, there were to be four majority witnesses, which works out to only one minority witness, or one-fourth (because two witnesses would equal two-fifths–slightly more than one-third). However, when Chairman Markey learned that Dr. Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute was to be the minority witness, he added a 5th majority witness, Prof. Daniel Schragg of Harvard University. So the decks were stacked against Michaels 5 to 1.

However, even that was not enough to satisfy Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA). He attacked Michaels personally, accusing him of not being “forthright” with the Committee, trying to “pull a fast one,” and treating the Members like “chumps.” Inslee demanded to know why it was even necessary to have witnesses like Michaels on the panel, when it’s so obvious that global warming is bad and nothing could be more costly than inaction on climate change.

Michaels’s oral testimony may be summarized as follows: (1) Forecasts of the impacts of climate change on national security, public health, and the economy cannot be better than the temperature projections on which they are based; (2) the 21 models used in the IPCC’s mid-range greenhouse gas emissions scenario project a constant, not accelerating rate of global warming through the 21st century; (3) the observed rate of temperature change over the past 20 years has been remarkably constant; (4) however, the observed rate is at or below the low-end of the range forecast by the models; (5) therefore, the models are too sensitive and likely over-predict future warming; (6) hence, also, impact assessments based on those model projections are unlikely to be correct.

In his fulmination, Inslee claimed (a) that Michaels compared apples (observed temperatures) to oranges (model projections of future warming), and (b) that global warming is accelerating. He is wrong on both counts. Michaels compared observed temperatures with model projections over the same period. Finding a poor fit, he drew the only reasonable conclusion: Model projections of future warming are also likely to be erroneous. Also, global warming is not accelerating. Since 1976, the observed rate has been about 0.17 degrees Celsius per decade. So, on the basis of two falsehoods, Inslee essentially called Michaels a liar.

Then, instead of letting Michaels respond, Inslee asked for commentary by Prof. Schragg. This left Michaels exactly 15 second to respond to 4-plus minutes of verbiage from Inslee and Schragg.

The contrast between Dr. Michaels’s calm, clear, patient exposition of scientific basics and Inslee’s rude, arrogant, intolerance of dissenting views could not have been clearer. Global warming zealotry is poisoning the atmosphere of public discourse–that is probably the main conclusion Web viewers draw from this hearing.

Matt P February 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm

I just wish one of these elected officials would walk the walk if they truly believe in the dire consequences of the phenomena they so freely talk about. Come on you slobbering jerks, walk to work, take public transportation. Set the example and then your rhetoric may be more believable.

Bob Clark February 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

This is no surprise to any of us out here in his Congressional District: Jay is functionally insane as far as most of us are concerned. He has been a crackpot who does not listen to anyone in the District and in fact is only being re-elected because of governement employee unions and unions in general. They routinely redraw his district to make sure he can still be re-elected.

One thing for sure: he believes in COMMUNISM and I understand he has a photo of Lenin in his home office.

Jeremy O'Brien February 13, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I viewed the sessions and agree that Rep. Inslee's behavior was embarrassing and insulting. It appears that the democrats have bought the theory of anthropogenic global warming and its catastrophic impacts hook line and sinker.

Carbonicus February 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Remember, this is the administration that is supposed to "return science to its rightful place". And he's going to do that with Dr. John Holdren.

For any of you smart enough to now buy into this "global warming" b.s., and in particular those of you who despise the fearmongering and hyperbole spewed by the new generation of "environmentalists", do yourself a favor and do a web search on Holdren and Paul Ehrlich, Holdren predictions, Holdren de-industrialization, Holdren population control.

Dangerous watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside). Help Carbonicus shine a light on these people as they are a danger to freedom, quality of life, and quality of the very environment and downtrodden they purport to represent.

Chuck February 13, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Inslee used to represent the citizens of the far more conservative-and often outright libertarian-eastern WA. He had to run to the west side of the Cascade curtain with his tail between his legs after voting for the Clinton era "assault weapons" ban which passed by a whopping two votes. His vote was cast in favor of that ban in spite of a call ration to his office of 3 to 1 against, by his own admission. Perhaps we all would've voted differently had we known his wife was on the "Cease Fire WA" grop, but that was kept neatly under wraps during his campaign.

The point is that Inslee's arrogance and unwillingness to listen to the people in his own district, let alone facts, is visible, palpable, and vile.

Rubicon February 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Perhaps most disconcerting when it comes to politicians who "seize" comments during a Congressional hearing, is that when they block the voices of others, even dissenters, they suppress freedom of speech. In the 'war of ideas' there should be many opinions & we should be able to cherry pick from those we feel will best serve us, the people. By creating the situation that limits response & by attacking response rather than listening, the "representative " (sic) does disservice to his constituents & the public at large.

Many Global Warming/Climate Change "theories" are coming under scrutiny by extremely qualified scientists & their questions are not only relevant, they show that much of the GW/CC agenda is more political & mercenary, than interest in the well being of this planet or its inhabitants.

The agenda is falling apart as more & more info exposes the fallacies we have been told are indisputable. Not only are many of them disputable, they are patently false & may have been deliberately contrived to produce specific results to accommodate a partisan political agenda!

Shame on them & the "representative (sic)."

Bob R Geologist February 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I am not surprised at the treatment of one supporter of CO2 as a valuable atmospheric gas against 5 proponents of an environmental pipe dream. A dream concocted to bring about a ban of all carbon based fuels as soon as possible and damn the consequences to a power deprived world. There exists more than enough basic science to blow AGW out of the water. That it has survived this long is the product of enough money, I understand at least at least $600 million in research grants, to buy the services of hungry climate scientists to develop a model that will reliably predict the weather. With the complexity and number of variables controlling our weather, this becomes very unlikely. Over 32,000 US scientists, 10,000 with PhD's, are on record via a petition to our Senate that says CO2 is not a problem and I am one of them.

Steve Kramer February 15, 2009 at 7:50 am

Thank goodness that intellignet people (including the commenters above) are starting to be heard. Global warming has only political consensus, not scientific consensus. Many good sources for the opposition voice are surfacing including this blog,,

A recent study by the Pew Research Center ( shows public concerns about global warming have plummeted, while concerns about the economy, jobs and energy rank high. Global warming ranked last out of 20 issues of concern to the public, with only 30% of Americans calling it a top priority.

Let's share these resources freely to help our fellow scientists and skeptics bring the voice of scientific analysis and reason to this discussion.

Dll March 14, 2009 at 4:20 am

He has been a crackpot who does not listen to anyone in the District and in fact is only being re-elected because of governement employee unions and unions in general. They routinely redraw his district to make sure he can still be re-elected.

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