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Congress and Parliament

Over the weekend, the Guardian had a worried-sounding report about the possibility of there being a Republican-dominated Congress in the USA after the midterm elections.

Republican leaders have begun gathering evidence for sweeping investigations of Barack Obama's environmental agenda, from climate science to the BP oil spill, if as expected, they take control of the House of Representatives in the 2 November mid-term elections, the Guardian has learned.

I'm sure this is right, and it looks as if one of their targets will be the Hockey Team:

Republican leaders have also said they are looking for ways to revisit last year's climate science controversy, sparked by hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia.

There can be little doubt that any Congressional inquiry would be conducted in gory detail, by legislators who are keen to get to the bottom of the affair and who have been thoroughly briefed on the details. This may be a consideration for the Science and Technology Committee as they consider how to respond to the recent hearings.

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Reader Comments (27)

Sounds like people will testify under oath. No slippery Sir Humphreys.

And yet again the Grauniad knows the emails were hacked. Have they told the Norfolk plods who the hacker was?

Nov 1, 2010 at 7:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

They will make a soap opera about this lot one day. It'll be popcorn at the ready for any congressional hearings :)

Nov 1, 2010 at 7:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete

The sunshine will disinfect the Global Warming Industry. Let us have investigations into every single government agency that has been manipulated for political, personal, corporate & NGO profit to the detriment to American citizens.

Nov 1, 2010 at 8:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

Doesn’t anyone see a danger here? It will be billed in the entire mainstream media as a rerun of the McCarthy hearings. If Mann et al emerge unscathed, they win. If they break down and are too ill to appear, they win again.

Nov 1, 2010 at 8:08 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

geoff - I share your fears, but I really don't see how these guys are going to be brought to book except under oath - with all that implies, including, I assume, the right of the Team to avail themselves of the presumption of innocence, with all that entails.

Nov 1, 2010 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterTomFP

I have read elsewhere that Mann has already been seeking legal council! Those at the EPA are also starting to moan. The only problem I have is once again having to listen to Palins whining voice! Ain't payback a *****!

I await Wednesday with some mixed feelings.

Nov 1, 2010 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

"They said they want to keep Lisa Jackson tied up in a chair in front of Congress committees."

Some things are worth waiting for!

Nov 1, 2010 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

For the last year, no one has been prepared to fire the first shot. US EPA relied on Oxburgh to validate UEA CRU, UEA said EPA did it.

Will the House Of Commons Select Committee now be waiting for the US Govt, before reporting their findings, or is there an agreed date already?

Nov 1, 2010 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

There can be little doubt that any Congressional inquiry would be conducted in gory detail, by legislators who are keen to get to the bottom of the affair

I have to disagree on one point. Gory detail yes. Keen to get to the bottom of the affair no. This will be a political assassination. Facts only get in the way.

Nov 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

Latest amusement in the Telegraph: Climate change game launched: An educational computer game in which users have to save the world from climate change offers an interesting solution – decide the problem is overpopulation and design a virus to kill millions. All good clean fun.

Nov 1, 2010 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan


You are right that there is a risk that thsi will be overdone. But if the questioning is fair and reasonable ("Did you contact GRL about McIntyre's paper and if so, what did you say to them") there should be no complaints.

Nov 1, 2010 at 9:52 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Another Red Button moment !!!!

Nov 1, 2010 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnH

It is very difficult for someone like me to understand all the implications of what is proposed,but i do understand the this issue is not about the science. If it were, then i think we would not be in this mess. The E-mails are self explanatory. They contain all the information required to allow a person to understand what these so called scientists have done,but those in authority have chosen to brush them under the carpet. I find this to be very frightening and am at a loss to understand exactly what steps should be taken.
I am fairly certain that we are not threatened by the climate more than we have been in the past in fact it seems to me that an extra degree or so of warming would be beneficial to the vast majority of peoples of the world. There will be winners and losers as always but we are more than capable of adapting to a changing environment. That is what we do.

Nov 1, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Fair as in the whitewashes we have seen in the last few months Bish?

I want to be fair and honest but I want to see someone who knows the subject haul Hanson, Mann etc over the coals with some serious, searching questions. As you say, let them also call S.M. ect and have a level playing field.

I wonder what they will do about the NASA lot? How will NASA react to their AGW leader being questioned about his breaking the law in another country? Will they ask about the satelite data?
So much scope.....Licking my lips!

Nov 1, 2010 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

I have been expecting this ever since Climategate. Regardless of whether it is at the level of a 'witch-hunt' or not, the results will not be pretty.
We might have an oversupply of 'sound' types here able to get away with sir Humphrey styled 'investigations', a hostile Congressional or Senate enquiry is another matter altogether.
I agree with GeoffC that the MSM will pitch it as a McCarthyesque vendetta, but it seems to be the only way to get direct answers to direct questions, and to show clearly and unequivocally that the 'consensus' is a construct, a frame, with no basis whatsoever. Strongly negative findings and their consequences will be very difficult to spin.
Judith Curry made a throwaway reference in a post on the 29th, which few people seem to have picked up. It was as follows -

'I would like to think that my arguments are helping to elevate this issue into importance, but you can never be sure how many people are actually reading the blog (I’ve no idea how to relate individuals to number of blog hits) and who is actually reading the blog other than the people that post comments. Well, at least one person on the “Hill” has been reading the blog, a congressional staffer who contacted me about possibly testifying in a possible hearing (more on that if/when it materializes).'

Nov 1, 2010 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

It may well look like a witch hunt...but at least there is a witch to hunt!

The problem with these hearings is that rarely is there any real thrust to obtain the truth. The purpose of them is to make the inquisitors look good. Having said that, if the inquisitors take the trouble to brief themselves properly.....they can look good and do good in the process.
Do you think Michael Mann will "plead the Fifth?" Oh, per-leeze! If he has taken legal advice, he may just do so, especially with Cucchinelli (spelling?) breathing down his neck as well.
I do not like to gloat, but these will be special circumstances. Michael Mann particularly seems to me to have been especially unpleasant often when there has been absolutely no need for it.
"Be nice to people on your way up. You may meet them again on your way down."

Nov 1, 2010 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Let's not count our chickens. American elections are very unpredictable affairs from what I've seen.
See you all Wednesday.

Nov 1, 2010 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

This may just be the price that has to be paid for the dam awful ‘investigation’ of CRU and Mann were it seemed both public feeling and common sense was badly misjudge by some who’s arrogance got the better their judgement.

Nov 1, 2010 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR


I bet the dems have suddenly found God and are praying for an act of his to save them tomorrow night :)


Nov 1, 2010 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

I think you are all over reacting -- When is the last time they had such meetings? It's going to be the same old same old. Perhaps Mann might get in the hot seat with Issa for a couple days, but nothing much will happen. They will all be too busy running for the next election starting November 3.

Remember that all these politicians get elected to do one thing, and one thing only -- to get re-elected. Nothing is going to get in their way of that goal.

Nov 1, 2010 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

There is an opportunity for them to say ‘we are examining the science, not the institutions or the individuals, climate science needs a rigorous investigation to put rumours and confusion to bed’. That way there’s no witch hunt. The Brit investigations can say ‘we never investigated the science, we just had a chat with the guys and found them to be jolly nice chaps’. The claim could be that good people just got it wrong.

The more restrained and more technical the investigation, the better the result and the more credible those who called for the investigation.

Fingers crossed for a good electoral outcome and and even better investigation.

Nov 1, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

One can only hope they do what they and the investigation is more rigorous than the British whitewash farces.
The Republicans did very little to prevent the AGW scam when they were in power but maybe "climategate" and the EPA rulings will provide the impetus for a thorough look at both the corrupted/inaccurate data and the faulty reasoning behind the AGWH as well as the conflicts of interests that so many its advocates seem to have.
I have been of the opinion for some time that only legal action in the US, with its full disclosures, will we see the demise of this climate nonsense.
WUWT has a good essay by Paul Driessen on the subject.

Nov 1, 2010 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

Any investigation by a conservative congress would be painted by the mainstream media as a witch hunt, no matter how it is conducted.. Though that should be no cause for concern because the rise of alternative media have really finally broken the MSM's virtual monopoly on disseminating information to the public. (See Climategate and the current US election) But before we worry about how an investigation should be conducted, there has to be one. Republicans seem certain to take at least the House, but that alone is not enough.

A congressional subpoena does not, alone, mean witnesses will actually testify under oath to Congress. If a witness fails to show, he can be held in contempt of Congress. But it is the threat of prosecution for being in contempt of Congress that actually compels reluctant witnesses to appear. And the impetus to testify truthfully (for those not normally inclined to do so) comes from fear of being prosecuted for perjury.

The problem is that it is the Obama Justice Department (the most politicized in my lifetime) that will decide whether to enforce congressional subpoenas. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen. So Republican chairmen in the House may well issue subpoenas, but it is far from certain that the Obama administration will enforce them. As on so many other issues, it may take a second election in the US before anything can really be accomplished with respect to investigations.

Nov 1, 2010 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterGaryM

"It's the economy, stupid"

Largesse is totally soooooooo last decade;

Where are the votes in Green issues?

Nov 1, 2010 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Who needs soap operas on TV when we have this, as Pete pointed out?

Nov 1, 2010 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterjameshigham

Bishop, I thought for a moment you were posting about a new sex scandal.

Nov 2, 2010 at 6:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Heyworth

"yet again the Grauniad knows the emails were hacked"

And is still calling us 'deniers'...

Nov 2, 2010 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

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