Congressman Raul Grijalva’s Witch Hunt

Update: I now learn via Judith Curry’s blog that Pielke is not the only scientist being pursued. In addition to Pielke and Curry herself, David Legates, John Christy, Richard Lindzen, Robert Balling, Steven Hayward.

This is scary.
I am a registered Democrat most recently living in Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco. I am more than a Democrat–I am a liberal progressive who supported Barack Obama (and who thinks he has done a very good job as president).

Some years ago I wrote an open letter to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli regarding his investigation of Michael Mann. I told him it was a witch hunt and that absent prima facie evidence of wrongdoing he had no business going after Mann, who is someone I have criticized for getting on for a decade.

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva is also a Democrat. Anything else we share is a mystery to me.

Witch Hunt

People get burned in modern times for being witches. McCarthyism is not such a distant memory. Persecuting scientists because you don’t like their science is not that old either–just ask about Lysenkoism, something that happened within living memory.

Grijalva is investigating 7 scientists including Roger Pielke Jr. to ascertain if they are receiving funding from sources Grijalva does not like. This is in the wake of the recent controversy over Willie Soon’s funding.

Apparently Grijalva has a particular dislike of scientists receiving funding from the Koch brothers. I assume physicist Richard Muller of BEST had best get his papers in order.

Pielke has already disclosed his funding to Congress. He receives no funding from fossil fuel interests. Even if he had received such funding, it is clear that he is being harassed because the data he presents to Congress is not welcome politically.

Pielke has researched the effects, incidence and impacts of large scale climate events. He has found consistently that, although he accepts the science of climate change, it is impossible to impute it as a cause for more or stronger weather disasters. And he is correct. Even the IPCC has said that extreme weather events would not start impacting our planet until 2030 in some cases and even later in others.

The fact that the data he presents to Congress is accurate seems not to matter. Pielke has blogged that he intends to drop all research related to climate issues.

Grijalva’s investigation is resulting in a defeat for science. It is a wicked act and a shame, not just for Democrats such as myself but for the country I love.

When Republican Cuccinelli did this I felt a little smug–my party would never stoop so low. Congressman Raul Grijalva is proving me wrong–Democrats can be as stupid, short-sighted and dirty as any other party.

This is a witch hunt. Representative Grijalva, call off your dogs. You make me ashamed of my political party.

11 responses to “Congressman Raul Grijalva’s Witch Hunt

  1. We need a Constitutional Amendment to stop gerrymandering. It’s what causes so much polarization and extremism, which in turn is reflected in the increasing number of nutty characters in Congress. I don’t have much hope for such a fix. I like to read a diversity of sources, and I noticed there’s a lot of triumphalism in blogs such as Eli Rabbet’s about Dr Soon’s persecution.

    Meanwhile, I observe the same mindless propaganda on TV here in Europe. nobody seems to wish to discuss things openly and honestly. So I guess we just have to watch everything go to hell and laugh.

  2. Fernando,
    I doubt if we will laugh very much longer.

  3. Mr. Fuller, repeating what I said on WUWT this week, a constant theme of the Progressive Left is that the fundamental reason why America is not taking effective action on climate change is that action is being blocked by right-wing politicians in the US Congress and in numerous state governments who are being funded by fossil fuel interests to oppose anti-carbon legislation.

    Representative Grijalva’s investigation of the Skeptical Seven is reflective of this theme; i.e., that right-wing politicians and their fellow travelers among the ranks of denialist political conservatives are conspiring to keep America from playing its proper role in the fight against climate change.

    However, there remains the fact that the EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon pollution, written under the authority of the Clean Air Act, has been upheld by the US Supreme Court. The 2009 finding enables the EPA to pursue aggressive action against carbon emissions, if the EPA chooses to do so.

    The Executive Branch and the EPA now have full and unquestioned legal authority to regulate carbon emissions to the maximum extent possible under the Clean Air Act, and to do so without needing another word of new legislation from the US Congress.

    President Obama has said that climate change represents a greater threat to America’s national security than does terrorism. An yet, the Obama Administration has not gone nearly as far as it legally could go in taking strong regulatory action against carbon emissions.

    The Obama Administration’s existing climate action plan greatly favors natural gas at the expense of alternative energy resources such as wind, solar, and nuclear. Obama’s current plan guarantees that America will eventually be covered with fracking wells from one end of the country to the other.

    The only practical way to reduce America’s carbon emissions to the extent that the Progressive Left claims is necessary is to artificially raise the price of all carbon fuels to levels which will make them uncompetitive in the energy marketplace.

    Here in America, this can be done without a legislated carbon tax through an integrated combination of two major anti-carbon measures administered by the EPA. The first measure would be to directly constrain emissions of carbon pollution through a specified series of local, state, regional, and national emission targets. The second measure would be to impose a corresponding framework of stiff carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated carbon tax.

    As long as the EPA properly follows its existing and well-tested regulatory rule-making processes and procedures; and as long as the anti-carbon regulations are themselves fair and impartial in their application, then this two-prong regulatory attack on carbon emissions can be made absolutely bulletproof against the threat of lawsuits.

    What it all boils down to is this …. there exists today a clear and unambiguous legal pathway towards decarbonizing America’s economy, if the Progressive Left wants to pursue it.

    Nothing that right-wing politicians could do short of repealing the Clean Air Act could stop the EPA from legally decarbonizing America’s economy, if the EPA were to be given instructions by the Obama Administration to use its full legal authority in pursuing that objective.

    So the question naturally arises, why aren’t the most prominent leaders of America’s progressive left — Robert Kennedy Jr., Al Gore, Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown, etc. etc. etc. — why aren’t they all publicly demanding that President Obama and the EPA use the full legal authority the Executive Branch already has in its hands to largely decarbonize America’s economy?

    • Because you forget that they are corrupt and greedy before they are ideologues. Cleptocrats always follow the money.

    • Beta Blocker, I’m of the progressive left. I don’t make that argument. Indeed, I believe Americans are taking effective action on climate change. You could do more (I’m writing from Taiwan), but the EPA actions, CAFE standards, subsidies for green energy–they’re working.

      It’s a happy coincidence that the rush for gas is providing wind at our backs, and probably doing more than the pure green efforts, but hey–you gotta get lucky once in a while.

      • Tom,
        Serious question: What do you mean when you use the term “cliamte change”? It seems to be a moveable feast of rationalizations.

  4. Pingback: Explaining The Witch Hunt–It Has To Be Now | The Lukewarmer's Way

  5. Maybe because the economic impact of high intensity decarbonization would cause a crisis and lead to the end of the Democratic Party? Or maybe they realize unilateral USA action is meaningless?

    • In their hearts they know they are lying about the CO2 and the climate, and they are greedily enjoying the money flowing from big oil and natural gas.

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