Op-ed: Credible climate scientists need to boycott biased congressional hearings

Global temperature difference from average during February. (Image credit/NASA)

David W. Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, professor of practice in the department of meteorology, and professor in the School of International Affairs, authored an article on The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang blog about current congressional climate science hearings.  Here’s an excerpt:

David Titley

“Unless you’ve been living under a (melting) ice shelf recently, you know by now the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science Space and Technology is holding a climate science hearing Wednesday to probe the ‘assumptions, policy implications and scientific method.’

“This hearing, whose witnesses consist of one mainstream climate scientist and three other witnesses whose views are very much in the minority, is remarkably similar in structure and scope to the climate hearing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) conducted in December 2015 titled ‘Data or Dogma’? So similar that two of the five witnesses from the Cruz hearing will also testify on Wednesday.

“In the past, the science community has participated in these hearings, even though questioning the basics of climate change is akin to holding a hearing to examine whether Earth orbits the sun.


“For years, these hearings have been designed not to provide new information or different perspectives to members of Congress but, rather, to perpetuate the myth that there is a substantive and serious debate within the science community regarding the fundamental causes or existence of human-caused climate change.

“We should no longer be duped into playing along with this strategy.”

Read the full article at www.WashingtonPost.com.


I’m a scientist who has gotten death threats. I fear what may happen under Trump.

Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State, recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post. Here’s an excerpt:

“My Penn State colleagues looked with horror at the police tape across my office door.

Michael Mann

Michael Mann

“I had been opening mail at my desk that afternoon in August 2010 when a dusting of white powder fell from the folds of a letter. I dropped the letter, held my breath and slipped out the door as swiftly as I could, shutting it behind me. First I went to the bathroom to scrub my hands. Then I called the police.

“It turned out to be cornstarch, not anthrax. And it was just one in a long series of threats I’ve received since the late 1990s, when my research illustrated the unprecedented nature of global warming, producing an upward-trending temperature curve whose shape has been likened to a hockey stick.

“I’ve faced hostile investigations by politicians, demands for me to be fired from my job, threats against my life and even threats against my family. Those threats have diminished in recent years, as man-made climate change has become recognized as the overwhelming scientific consensus and as climate science has received the support of the federal government. But with the coming Trump administration, my colleagues and I are steeling ourselves for a renewed onslaught of intimidation, from inside and outside government. It would be bad for our work and bad for our planet.”

Read the full op-ed at WashingtonPost.com.

McCourtney Institute for Democracy researchers discuss election aftermath

Michael Berkman, director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, and Christopher Beem, managing director of the McCourtney Institute, sat down recently to discuss the aftermath of Election Day and things they’ll be watching as the presidency transitions to President-elect Trump.

Election 216: What happened?


The GOP is now in control: What do Democrats do?


Looking ahead to the next presidency: What are we watching?

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