For now, the party of science knows it has to back off on its Green New Deal.
The 57-0 drubbing it took in a Senate vote in late March — with 43 abstentions from Democrats trying to elude an obvious electoral trap — makes “progress” impossible at this point.
But the Democrats will be back. Because although the vote may demonstrate where the public stands on the issue now, the input they get from other sources on this subject never seems to change. Indeed, an entire closed eco-system of feedback on global warming continues to pervade the party and everything it does.
They get the same answers because they ask the same questions of the same people who provide the same responses regardless of the evidence.
Take for instance a hearing entitled “Climate Change, Part 1: The History of a Consensus and the Causes of Inaction” on April 9 before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Environment.
The hearing featured four witnesses. One was Tim Wirth, the former senator from Colorado who has worked closely with Al Gore on global warming issues. Another was Nicolas Loris of the Heritage Foundation, who talked hopefully in his opening statement about how a clean environment and a prosperous, energy-rich economy were not at all mutually exclusive.
Another was Jeffrey Sachs, a professor at Columbia University, who touted threats of catastrophic increases in sea level, even though the rate of sea level rise is lower for the 2000s than it was in the 1900s.
The fourth was Michael Oppenheimer, who has made his career on global warming activism. He is a professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at Princeton and director of its Science, Technology and Environmental Policy program.
Oppenheimer worked for more than two decades at the Environmental Defense Fund, a non-governmental, environmental organization that specializes in environmental advocacy. In other words, basically a hired activist whose specialty is attempting to silence dissenting views.
He told the panel “the clear message scientists are trying to deliver has been obfuscated by a noxious miasma of contrarianism” and sketched the difference between “rational skeptics, those conversant with the scientific literature who can be convinced by evidence” and “the obdurate, uninformed skeptics whose ideas about climate change never or rarely are found on the pages of a peer-reviewed journal.”
He was a co-founder of the Climate Action Network, a far-left group of 1,100 organizations that represented the anti-dissent movement to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, from which President Trump withdrew the United States in 2017.
He has co-authored three papers with Naomi Oreskes, a professor of the history of science whose claim to fame is a book that accused oil companies of mounting disinformation campaigns and insisted all dissent from the global warming oligarchy be quashed.
He has appeared in a documentary with Bill McKibben and other climate extremists. He fought sensible infrastructure improvements, such as the Keystone XL pipeline. He even opposed the naming of a Democrat, former Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, to a congressional energy panel because he judged her too close to the industry.
He also has it in for ExxonMobil. He is part of the group that joined with the Union of Concerned Scientists — a membership organization anyone can join by paying the fee, regardless of scientific education or training — and 100 other “scientists” who urged the attorney general of New York to investigate whether energy companies “knew” that burning fossil fuels caused climate change “and that impacts will intensify until emissions are reduced.”
“New Yorkers deserve to know what role ExxonMobil and other firms played in misleading investors, policymakers and the public about the facts,” he says in the press release.
This is raw intimidation, a gotcha campaign against a successful company precisely because that company spent the money to do the research to determine to what extent global warming was a problem.
The research on global warming shows that temperatures have risen about 1.2 degrees F since 1880(and basically none in the last 22 years), that the decade of the 1930s is the hottest since record-keeping began, that carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere is not a reliable indicator of heat and that extreme weather events — hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, blizzards, etc. — are no more frequent or severe now than at any time since weather records have been even remotely reliable.
Oppenheimer talks about “the facts.” The facts are he is an attack dog whose insults are not backed by the research. He is defending people who predicted there would be no ice on the poles by now and that New York City would be under water by 2000 and Miami by 2015.
The question is how can someone who makes his living fearmongering about energy end up testifying before a congressional committee. And the answer is that no one in the majority wants the real answers either.