Surprised that the Republicans apparently got to pick several witnesses.
Having Marc Morano on this list is like waving a red cape before a bull. True to form, Marc has prepared an extremely hard-hitting report for his written testimony, which was sent to me (and others) via email. Excerpts from Morano’s testimony are provided below:
While I have read Morano’s recent book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change (I recommend this book), I was unaware that Morano had been following the species extinction issue so closely.
Witnesses selected by the minority party (at present the Republicans), typically have a week at best to prepare written testimony. So it is clear that Morano’s materials must have been collected and examined over a period of time.
Without having read all the sources linked to by Morano, what he states is generally consistent with my more limited understanding of this issue (although there are many relevant issues not covered in his testimony).
And of course I haven’t read the full Biodiversity Report, since it is not yet available. I am appalled that they published the relatively short Summary for Policy Makers well in advance of publishing the full report (I haven’t even seen a publication date for the main report). This fact in itself supports Morano’s contention that the intention of this Report is propaganda. They got their headline regarding ‘1 million species at risk from extinction’ without providing the documentation that apparently can’t be very convincing.
It is very difficult to rebut Morano’s points without the full Report and its documentation.
The biodiversity and species extinction issue is associated with substantially much more uncertainty than say the IPCC WGI report on the physical basis for climate change. The species issue is potentially uncertain by orders of magnitude, with the sign of some this even being uncertain.
And the irony of all this is that the biodiversity narrative rather gets in the way of the climate catastrophe narrative. The climate issue is at best a minor issue in any biodiversity challenge. At the same time, climate change ‘solutions’ are arguably a much bigger threat to species and biodiversity than climate change itself.
That said, the Report raises some serious issues and we can and should do better at reducing our impact on habitats and species. But any sensible policies in this regard would undoubtedly get drowned out in climate change alarmism, and criticism of the Report.
Notes from the Hearing
I am watching the live hearing now (I tuned in a bit late). I thought that the oral testimonies of Shin, Moore, and Watson were very effective. Both Shin and Watson highlighted ocean issues, mainly overfishing and coastal habitats, which are of substantial concern. I don’t always agree with Moore’s statements about climate change, but with regards to biodiversity this topic is squarely in his domain of expertise. Morano’s oral statements were a bit over the top and confrontational, and the Committee Chair is being rather hostile towards Morano.
The Ranking Member (Republican) is seeking common ground, and it appears that the ocean related issues of the Report are having an impact.
Watson agrees that monoculture biofuel production is not good for biodiversity. Watson clearly coupled the biodiversity and climate change issues, stressing the importance of dealing with both together (makes sense especially if this causes reconsideration of biofuels and wind power)
In the questioning, Moore is challenging whether CO2 influences climate, CO2 is overall beneficial.
Interesting comment by one of the Members: We are no longer seeing climate denial from the Republicans in Congress, but rather we are seeing climate avoidance, in terms of doing anything meaningful about it.
Morano was asked a question about ‘97% of scientists agree.’ Morano nailed it. Moore effectively chimed in on this issue also.
Hard hitting remarks from one of the members about the fact that full Report has not yet been published, only the Executive Summary.
Moore is effectively communicating the ‘global greening’ seen by satellite.
Member Bishop raises concern about scientific integrity, in context of the Report not being released.
The Chairman in his 5 minutes is attacking Morano and the Republicans for inviting him. Also criticizing ‘junior varsity think tanks.’
Watson admits CO2 contributes to greening. He then hypes extreme weather, including drying as problems associated with CO2. He started talking about economics and policy, and the Chair pulled him back to the science.
Shin brought that particular conversation back to ocean acidification.
The Chair criticized Republicans for inviting a political person (Morano) to testify. But then Watson clearly wanted to talk about these issues also.
Moore hits hard on the ‘extrapolation’ issue, and the large number of the estimated 8 million species that haven’t been identified.
Moore raises the valid point about differences between biodiversity (species number) and species mass. He understands that ocean biomass is decreasing, but is unaware of any actual species loss.
The Chair is now going after Moore. Entering into the Congressional Record a statement from Greenpeace about Patrick Moore.
Watson can’t let go of the CO2/climate change issue regarding biodiversity.
Hearing is over.