The chair of the House Science Committee convened a controversial hearing this week to establish the committee’s legal authority to issue subpoenas relating to state fraud investigations of ExxonMobil. At the hearing, Republican committee members and sympathetic legal scholars outlined a broad authority based on the committee’s right to gather information relevant to its jurisdiction over federal science and technology policy.
In two recent rulings against the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, federal judges have expanded the reach of critics of the mainstream scientific consensus on climate change into government records.
Last month the U.S. signed an ambitious but non-binding global climate change agreement which Secretary of State John Kerry and other international leaders negotiated under the auspices of the U.N. in Paris last December. The deal leans on the “best available science” as a guidepost for nations’ future greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
In his final State of the Union address, President Obama provided an upbeat vision for the nation’s future that prominently includes American scientific discovery and leadership, also a strong theme of Obama’s past addresses.
With numerous charts on hand, Senator Cruz hosts a heated hearing in which he dismisses the conclusions of mainstream climate science as the product of politically-motivated dogma and provides a platform for skeptics to air their views.
Citing the confidentiality of deliberative scientific discussions, NOAA is refusing repeated requests from the chairman of the House Science Committee for all internal staff communications related to a major climate science study published this summer that called into question the so-called global warming hiatus and suggested the pace of Earth’s warming is now as swift as ever.
With the approaching meeting in Paris of the Conference of Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the U.S. and China announced on Friday substantial bilateral progress in their nations’ growing cooperation to address global climate change.
“We know that human activity is changing the climate. That is beyond dispute. Everything else is politics if people are denying the facts of climate change. We can have a legitimate debate about how we are going to address this problem; we cannot deny the science. We also know the devastating consequences if the current trend lines continue. That is not deniable.” – President Barack Obama