Conservative author and pundit Mark Steyn will testify before Congress next week in a Senate hearing to dispel myths about global warming that are promoted by environmentalists and liberal politicians.
Steyn will testify on a panel with prominent scientists who dissent from the view that man-made global warming will cause an environmental catastrophe. The hearing is being put on by Texas Republican Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore], who’s also running for president.
Steyn is prepared for Democrat attacks on his credibility and lack of a climate science degree.
“That’s a fair enough question because I’m not a scientist,” Steyn tells The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “If some Democrat on that committee wants to take the hockey stick to me and beat me to a pulp, I don’t mind that.”
“I look at all these people bloviating in Paris. Barack Obama and the Prince of Wales aren’t scientists either,” Steyn says. “Since I’ve been sued by Michael Mann I’ve been spending more time than I thought on the science.”
“Science-wise I can hold my own with ‘climate experts,'” Steyn adds.
Cruz assembled some of the most prominent critics of global warming alarmism to testify at next week’s hearing. Panel participants include scientists John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology and William Happer of Princeton University.
“I think the hearing is interesting,” he says. “The three scientists on the panel are not 100 percent ‘deniers.’ They are eminent people who have made contributions to this field and they deserve to be taken seriously.”
“I may be a total wacky, crazy, freak, nut, but you can’t argue that Curry, Christy and Happer are. Their side of the story deserves to be heard.
“If I say something about the climate, then they’ll say ‘well you’re not a scientist,'” Steyn says. “If Will Happer says something about it they’ll say ‘you’re not a climate scientist.'”
These scientists are heavily criticized by some of their colleagues for questioning global warming orthodoxy — that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are driving the world toward dangerous levels of warming.
Any scientists that disagrees with the global warming narrative is not only attacked by politicians and environmentalists, but also their own colleagues. Climate scientists like Mann of Pennsylvania State University attacked skeptics over Twitter for not toeing the line on warming.
“The last time Judith Curry spoke, he was hashtagging away,” Steyn says, referring to Mann’s attacks on Curry. “He came up with the ‘anti-science‘ hashtag for her. He’s the king of the hashtag. She’s not anti-science.”
“A small group of unrepresentative scientists wedded to a cartoon climatology has done huge damage to the integrity of science,” Steyn says, adding scientists like Mann are “deeply resented by almost all people outside the echelons of the Anglo-American climate elite.”
Steyn, a prominent global warming skeptic author, is locked in a four-year legal battle with Mann, a climate scientist from Pennsylvania State University. Mann is suing Steyn for libel for questioning the validity of his “hockey stick” graph that shows carbon dioxide will cause runaway global warming. Media outlets came out against Mann’s suing of Steyn, citing First Amendment concerns.
Four years down the road, the case is still sitting in the D.C. superior court and Steyn has gone to write a new book “A Disgrace to the Profession” that compiles statements from scientists on how Mann’s “hockey stick” graph damaged climate science.
“He basically puts a guy like me in court for half a decade to tell other people you don’t question the climate orthodoxy,” Steyn says. “When Nate Silver he made the mistake of hiring Roger Pielke Jr. who’s ever-so mildly dissident, Michael Mann and the others said you better get rid of him or we’re going to hang you out to dry.”
Pielke Jr. was eventually forced out of climate research by a Democratic lawmaker pressuring universities to disclose the funding they get to support scientists who disagreed with The White House on global warming.
“What’s important is to tell all the other thousands of people, you cross us and this is what happens to you,” Steyn says of Mann’s lawsuit. “I wrote a book about it and it’s actually outsold Michael Mann’s lousy book.”
Mann, however, has become the go-to climate expert for reporters looking to debunk arguments made by Republicans or skeptics about global warming being overblown. Mann was even brought on the campaign trail by Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to trash his election opponent then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
“Michael Mann is essentially a celebrity figure,” Steyn says. “I noticed the Associated Press when they wanted to fact-check presidential candidates claims they went to Michael Mann.”
Steyn remarkes, “it’s always the same 5 or 6 scientists clogging up the TV, radio and newspaper columns” despite the supposed “97 percent” consensus on global warming.
“Michael Mann is trapped on a melting ice flow of his own making,” Steyn says, referring to the “Climategate” scandal from 2009. “In the end, all the fellows at East Anglia regretted getting mixed up with him. Serious people made the mistake of getting mixed up with it.”
Now, Steyn is getting ready to take on Democrats who are pushing for sweeping regulations to “de-carbonize” the economy. Steyn wants to dispel the notion global warming is a simple issue explainable only by carbon dioxide.
“I don’t have a simple slogan,” Steyn says. “Doomsdayers say the world will be over in 10 years or so. I basically take Judith Curry’s line that the climate is a sophisticated system and the effort to simplify it into this sort of kindergarten version, the scientists who got on board with that have damaged their own reputations, they’ve damaged the reputation of their field.”
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