Leading climate doomsayer Michael Mann recently downplayed the importance of climate change science, telling Democrats that data and models “increasingly are unnecessary” because the impact is obvious.
“Fundamentally, I’m a climate scientist and have spent much of my career with my head buried in climate-model output and observational climate data trying to tease out the signal of human-caused climate change,” Mr. Mann told the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee at a hearing.
“What is disconcerting to me and so many of my colleagues is that these tools that we’ve spent years developing increasingly are unnecessary because we can see climate change, the impacts of climate change, now, playing out in real time, on our television screens, in the 24-hour news cycle,” he said.
Mr. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, spoke before the committee June 17 in Phoenix.
His comment drew hoots from climate skeptics, including the website Greenie Watch, which posted his comment under the headline, “‘Scientist’ Michael Mann says there is no need for statistics: You can just SEE global warming.”
“Unsurprising. The statistics are pretty doleful for Warmism,” the site said in a Monday post.
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Mr. Mann told the panel that “the signal of climate change is no longer subtle, it is obvious,” citing hurricanes, flooding in Texas and South Carolina, the California drought and “record heat” in Arizona.
Skeptics have hotly challenged the link between rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and “extreme weather” events, noting, for example, that hurricane activity is on the decline.
A nine-year “hurricane drought” of Category 3 storms starting in 2006 beat the previous mark of eight years from 1861-1868, the longest such streak since such recording began in 1851, according to a May 2015 study by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
The platform committee wrapped up its work Friday after a series of hearings to gather input prior to the Democratic National Convention, scheduled for July 25-28 in Philadelphia.
The panel’s draft, which now goes to the full platform committee for approval at a meeting July 8-9 in Orlando, Florida, includes a recommendation to call for a Justice Department investigation into “alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change.”
The recommendation, adopted by unanimous consent, comes on the heels of a campaign by 17 attorneys general — 16 Democrats and one independent — to pursue Exxon Mobil Corp. and its supporters for climate change “fraud.” At least three attorneys general have issued subpoenas to Exxon.
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Exxon is challenging subpoenas issued by the Virgin Islands and Massachusetts attorneys general, denouncing the probe as a fishing expedition that violates the company’s free speech rights.
The platform committee’s 15 members include Bill McKibben, head of the climate change activist group 350.org.
• Valerie Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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