We should all know we must take action to reduce harmful carbon pollution, which 97% of scientists agree is leading to dangerous climate change that threatens our families.
Ah, the old 97 per cent consensus. To illustrate the point, the Democrats had invited as their witnesses four former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, who all happen to be Republicans and yet who all support the "consensus". They were the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, the Honorable William K Reilly, the Honorable William D Ruckelshaus, and the Honorable Lee M Thomas - a couple of years in the hyper-regulatory bureaucracy apparently sufficing to earn one a prenominal honorific for life.
Still, in the end they turned out to be pretty Honorable. Click the video below, and note the moment 1 minute and 20 seconds in, when Senator Jeff Sessions says:
The President on November 14th 2012 said, 'The temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted, even ten years ago.' And then on May 29th last year he also said - quote - 'We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or ten years ago.' Close quote.
So I would ask each of our former Administrators if any of you agree that that's an accurate statement on the climate. So if you do, raise your hand.
Do stick with the video to see how many of the EPA honchos agreed with the President.
"Thank you," said Senator Sessions. "The record will reflect no one raised their hand."
That's a 100 per cent consensus that the President's words were not an "accurate statement". You can put them up there next to "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan", and there's not a "smidgen" of corruption at the IRS, and that video guy's to blame for Benghazi, and all the other stuff - if there's still any room on the board. I wrote yesterday of the Administration's contempt for the citizenry. One measure of that contempt is the ease with which the President and his taxpayer-funded writers slough off obvious falsehoods in speech after speech.
Of course, the difference between "If you like your plan" and "The climate is warming faster than predicted" is that, whereas the "health" "care" "reformers" always knew the former would prove false, the Big Climate alarmists would dearly like the latter to be true. As the global-warming "hiatus" heads toward the start of its third decade, the sky-is-falling types are desperately hoping something will turn up. This spring they pinned their hopes on a 1997-size El NiĆ±o, but that's proving just another damp squib.
So the big-picture cartoon climatology is going nowhere. That's true not just of the President's careless and inaccurate statements, but also of James Cameron's unwatched climate-celeb save-the-planet yawnfest and of Michael E Mann's "hockey stick" - the original climate cartoon that, more than any other single image, started the bizarre 21st century trend of presidents, princes and prime ministers running around sounding like the apocalyptic loons who used to wander the street with sandwich boards.
What we saw at the Senate this morning is a glimpse of how meaningless that "97 per cent" consensus is when supporters have to endorse full-scale Big Climate alarmism in full view of the world and under oath. When we eventually get to trial in the clogged septic tank of DC Superior Court, I wonder how many of Dr Mann's colleagues will be willing to stick their hands up for him and his stick. Conversely, the number of scientists who regard his work as "scanty", "sloppy" and "sh*tty", not to mention "rubbish", "a disgrace to the profession" and "just bad science" is already huge - and they're all members of the 97 per cent, too.
Big Climate alarmism advances through a game of Climate Whispers - or, if you prefer, what Dr Mann's colleague Keith Briffa called "letting Mike push you (us) beyond where we know is right". But he never stops pushing, until all the nuances and uncertainties have been pushed out, and only the cartoon alarmism is left, pushed out through the activists to the rube celebrities to the Gores and Kerrys until one day the President of the United States is standing up there pushed so far beyond what's right that his statement is completely wrong - and is, in fact, the opposite of what's been happening these last 17 years.
That was a great moment in the Senate hearing that makes me even more eager to get on with the trial. Meanwhile, we're pushing on with witness interviews and other research on both sides of the Atlantic, and I thank you for your continued support for this campaign via the Steyn store. If you have any info you think might be helpful, you can send it along here. The willingness of "the leader of the free world" to spout this kind of ludicrous propaganda is itself a good illustration of why Big Climate alarmism needs to be decisively defeated.