Just a day after I posted my thoughts on the failure of politics, I came across a most perfect illustration of the point I was trying to make in it.
I suffered through the full two hours and forty-three minutes of a US Senate hearing on climate science chaired by Senator Ted Cruz.
Calling it disappointing does not come close to describing it. Two groups of people talking past each other without ever meeting on a single point. No engagement, no exchanges, no attempt to actually communicate.
If you read my posts on the subject (What do I know – What will it take to convince me – The politics of Global warming) you know where I stand. Where any person in the hearing stood on the issue was also beyond any doubt.
The chair of the hearing was Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, procedurally overshadowed by obnoxious Democrats (Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, Senator Tom Udall, Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Senator Ed Markey of Massechusets) who had a press conference before the hearing to protest its very existence. The only republican present (for a short while) was Senator Steve Danes of Montana,
At the witness table there was Dr. John Christy, Judith Curry, William Happer, Mark Steyn, on the sceptic side and Dr. David Titley on the warmist side.
That makes one and a bit republicans vs four and a bit Democrats drilling four sceptics versus one warmist. The democrat bullies asking questions from the sceptics could have been interesting, but that never happened. They were denigrating and insulting them in their comments but never asked a question from them. All questions from the democrats were directed to the single warmist on the panel.
The sceptical scientists could have been wallflowers.
There is no point in discussing the actual subject (all you masochists can listen to it yourselves), but I wish to share my favorite point with you. It happens at 2:36:15. Senator Peters asking Dr. Titley to respond to Dr. Happer’s point about the benefits of increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere. His answer:
“…..the plants, certainly, the plants are doing better, but so do the weeds….” and his comment goes downhill from there.
The point of my disappointment was the fact that the other side was not much better either. None of the spectacular stupidities said by the senators and Dr. Titley were challenged effectively. Maybe there was no other way. As Mark Steyn put it in his excellent account of the hearing:
“Unfortunately, the “decorum of the Senate” means that there are never any debates and only performance art, procedurally rigged to the advantage of the posturing preening senator.”
Just another example of politics as usual winning over politics as it should be.