Smith’s intimidation tactics offensive, dangerous

Please read the story in the San Antonio paper, here. Do leave them a comment about how good the editorial is, and how bad Lamar Smith is.

26 responses to “Smith’s intimidation tactics offensive, dangerous

  1. Comments there may be voted up or down — such as mine:

    “Many thanks for your thoughtful, important editorial. Texas has been kind and considerate to Mr Smith, but now the world moves to face an emergency situation.. Americans know how to form a bucket brigade, we know how to rescue flood victims, we know how protect neighbors and fellow citizens and humans in general. I have been to disaster situations, the first thing done is to remove people who are in the way. Nothing personal, just stand aside while we get to work. Time for Mr Smith to stand aside. Thank you for pointing that out.”

  2. From the article:

    He has focused on an NOAA study that found the rate of global warming hasn’t slowed between 1998 and 2012, a finding that runs counter to other studies.

    (my emphasis added)

    But not other *reputable* studies, i.e. ones that look at sufficient data to overcome short term natural variability, and use appropriate statistical methods. Like you do, tamino. Or the recently published paper by Lewandowsky et. al. that is the current topic of discussion over at

    So, while the general thrust of the article was good, I though that unfortunate choice of wording muddied the already muddy waters somewhat for the intended audience, Joe Public.

  3. Has Lamar Smith considered writing a Technical Comment on the Karl &al. article and submitting it to Science? (Okay, you know I’m joking.)

  4. I’ll requote Bratisla from earlier today on HotWhopper:

    No faux Climategate to derail the negociations, 2015 ended the pause meme, hockey stick pseudocontroversy was beaten to death. Nothing much more in the purse than the cult idiocy.

    I’m glad NOAA saw through Lamar’s game and refused to recreate a Climategate 2. Enough with that nonsense.

    I wonder if this wasn’t in fact a last-ditch attempt to obtain tens of thousands of NOAA emails to trawl through in hopes of finding something that could be misquoted before Paris.

    • It’s very possible. I was looking for another shoe to drop, but all I’m seeing is a whole bunch of ‘climate change is a scam, so there!’ stuff on news-sites. (And since I mostly watch CBC, that’s mixed with liberal generous copious amounts of vitriol for newly-elected PM Justin Trudeau.)

  5. You have to make an account with this newspaper from San Antonio. Normally I do not like to do this, but I made an exception. The electorate of the Congressional district of Lamer Smith TX21 needs to be informed about his political abuse of government power to silence politically inconvenient science.

    Smith wants to run again in 2016, which will be a tough race for him because it is combined with presidential elections. One of the Democrat candidates has made the anti-science stand of Lamer Smith the main point of his campaign. I do not know him, but I like his priority. His introduction starts:

    My name is Tom Wakely and I am a candidate for Congress – Texas District 21. I am running to unseat Chair of the Committee on Science, Space & Technology – Congressman Lamar Smith, our country’s leading climate change denier because among other things he is putting our national security at risk.

  6. Isn’t it time to stop writing “90% (or 99%) of scientists believe that climate warming is real” and to start writing “Scientists have proven that climate warming is real and caused by humans”?

    We’re speaking about science, not about beliefs.

  7. I think the word is avoided because proof is a legalistic standard out here in layman’s land: as long as the jury can be convinced then a thing is true. Denial thrives in this realm of linguistic persuasiveness over knowledge and understanding, they end up being very dogmatic when insisting it is all a hoax or nothing to worry about. The 90 something percent meme counters this be expressing epistemic humility and hoping people can tell the difference.

  8. Lamar Smith–and all the Rethugs for that matter–will continue to deny and lie about the science (and scientists) until it becomes a political embarrassment for them. Only when people in his own district look down at their feet and avert their gaze when he spews such lies will he stop. And his constituents aren’t just dumb, they’re Texas-dumb.

    [Response: Don’t underestimate Texas.]

    • Xavier Onnasis

      YMMV…but I always try to remember that it was a bunch of Texans that elected Eddie Bernice Johnson (can’t say I always succeed…but I really do always try)

  9. I was wondering if to sign up, so thanks to Victor Venema for providing the argument. As to coverage, I really liked this one, a few days back:
    “Federal Eye
    “Standoff over government climate study provokes national uproar by scientists”
    (many comments there are a study in horrid, so I stuck with the material)

    • TokoDave,

      Thanks for posting that. Below is a link to his Washington Times editorial (print version, the Op-Ed article was filled with clutter) discussed in the WP article. He’s getting sicker by the day.

      The Post article is good but I see now you can’t appreciate Smith till you read him in his own words. From the Op-Ed:

      “Atmospheric satellite data, considered by many to be the most objective, has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades. This fact is well documented, but has been embarrassing for an administration determined to push through costly environmental regulations.”

      “Instead, NOAA focused its study on surface temperature monitoring that is often flawed because these sites measure thousands of independent temperature readings and utilize a hodgepodge of different methods that have changed over time. For example, measurements from land-based stations can be skewed because of their location and proximity to surrounding heat-holding asphalt in urban areas.”

      “Satellite data, on the other hand, is highly calibrated and provides complete global coverage. For decades, satellites have been used to monitor the earth and collect information. Satellites measure something extremely important — the deep atmosphere. The temperature readings collected by satellites often differ from ground monitoring stations and have consistently shown much smaller rates of warming. Yet NOAA refuses to incorporate satellite data into its monthly projections that are released to the public. Why?”

      How hopeless does have to get before we hit rock bottom with this guy?

    • Hmm. I don’t think it’s going to be hard for NOAA or any of its allies (Nature, Science, AAAS) to eviscerate Smith’s latest cherry-pick claim. Indeed, a NOAA spokesperson has fired off the first rebuttal; I’m sure more will follow. And this just keeps making Smith look worse and worse, and increasingly desperate.

      Relatedly, I popped by WUWT to see what they’d offer the world at the beginning of COP21. Fred Singer, Richard Carter, Craig Idso … and Tim Ball.

      That’s it. That’s the best they’ve got. Oh, plus the comments. Heh.

      • Charles Scott,
        “Hmm. I don’t think it’s going to be hard for NOAA or any of its allies (Nature, Science, AAAS) to eviscerate Smith’s latest cherry-pick claim.”

        Absolutely! This would seem like a great opportunity for NOAA to destroy everything this guy is trying to do, That Op-Ed shows he is incompetent to make any decisions pertaining to climate science and should be removed as the Chairman of the Oversight Committee. And they should not give materials to an incompetent like him as it is clear he is unable to make a sound judgement about anything he might receive.

    • He really is an idiot, isn’t he? He even had to fumble his way, slowly and painfully, to the ‘sat data is good data’ meme.

      • Hey Doc,
        Do you think that’s all it is? I hope you are right. To me he seems like a person in the midst of a massive breakdown. But yes it was painful and sickening to read that.

  10. Xavier Onnasis

    there’s really some astounding stuff in the comments section

    “His conclusion: that if you look at the raw data, as opposed to NASA’s revisions, you’ll find that since 1940 the planet has been cooling, not warming.”

    anybody that bases his/her conclusions on the raw data is a fool. (perhaps you’ve heard of a concept called “calibration”? you know, that simple process that translates raw data into reliable, physically meaningful measurements?)

    sounds like we got a Texas-sized argument brewing, eh?

    (standard disclaimer: most everything I know about Texas comes from listening to Jon Wayne — — and most of the responses to this editorial only reinforce that that hard-won learning ;^D)

  11. The following are links to letters from Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, to Committee Chair Lamar Smith. They’ve been linked from other blogs but maybe worth reposting here for those who perhaps haven’t seen them yet. The letters are detailed and well documented:

    Oct 23:

    Nov 19:


  12. By the way, lately the site indexing seems to be working differently; used to be that clicking on a new comment took you right to that comment. Now it just takes you to the post, which is less than useful, especially with the sub-threading (which I like.)

    Haven’t found a reason for it in my browser settings so far (though that is of limited probative value, I’m afraid), so I ask: is this just me, or has something changed on the site?

  13. Doc,
    It seems to happen intermitently with me too. Sometimes it stays stuck at the post header then jumps down to the comment after a delay, Seems to occur when the page shows it is loading something else (don’t know what) while executing the command to go to the desired comment. Most times works OK though.

    • Thanks. That’s not how it’s been for me; it’s 100% not working. As I recall, you used to see comment #s in the URL, but now it’s only the post URL. So somehow my browser isn’t getting the date/comment info in the URL. Works OK on my phone…

      • …And seems OK in Firefox, too. May just have to use that in the future for OM, as I don’t think there are updates to help out my version of Safari. They probably want me incentivized to buy a new Mac…

  14. Another opinion on Lamar Smith in the San Antonio Express.

    Putting the big chill on climate change research

    Do leave comments and respond to misinformation in comments. The electorate of Smith’s district needs to know the truth.