The Hill News on Barton

The Hill News, described as the newspaper "for and about Congress", says the following:

It is decidedly odd to suggest that Barton, who as Energy Committee chairman is tasked with helping shape the nation’s energy policy, should not have any oversight of the science increasingly used to justify “¢’‚¬? indeed demand “¢’‚¬? a radical change in that very policy. Failure to look into the science would constitute an abnegation of that duty. So Barton is right on the core argument.

The article goes on to say:

Barton has emerged rapidly as one of the toughest chairmen in the House, unafraid of rolling his shoulders and using his elbows when he thinks it is necessary to expand or protect his domain. He is helped in this by an apparent indifference to getting good press and by having seemingly absorbed a version of Machiavelli’s dictum that it is more important for political leaders to be feared than to be liked. The manner in which his office dismissed Boehlert’s demand was instructive. Larry Neal, Barton’s spokesman, told the Post, “Chairman Barton appreciates heated lectures from Reps. Boehlert and [Henry] Waxman [the California Democrat also complained about Barton’s investigation], two men who share a passion for global warming. We regret that our little request for data has given them a chill.” That’s what diplomats call a full and frank exchange of views. Boehlert’s letter was abrupt; Barton’s reply was repayment with interest “¢’‚¬? perhaps sparked by the feeling that an A committee chairman should be free of bothersome demands from C committee counterparts. Turf battles are nothing new on Capitol Hill; they are as old as the committee system itself. It has taken Chairman Barton a remarkably short time to demonstrate that he has a taste for this form of combat.

Most of us were probably unaware that there were "A" and "C" House committees or which committees were which. The full link is here. Also see Answers to House Committee on Cross-Validation Statistics, Title to MBH98 Source Code, MBH98 Source Code: Cross-validation R2 and Cross-Validation R2 Reference.


  1. John A
    Posted Jul 23, 2005 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    This presumeably means that Barton won’t be fazed about asking direct questions and getting direct answers from scientists.

  2. Louis Hissink
    Posted Jul 23, 2005 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    A and C committees? What are B committtees I wonder…….

  3. Doug L
    Posted Jul 24, 2005 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

    “****Barton Investigation Uncovers Key Puzzle Piece In Global Warming Mystery****

    (July 24 2005)

    Howling yelps of protest yipping: “Intimidation”, “Inquisition”, and “Witch Hunt” followed the sending of some letters by Rep. Joe Barton Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to key figures in the Global Warming Mystery.

    Concealed by the volume and hysteria of the biteless bark of protests by promoters of Global Warming Alarmism, was a quiet voice of caution displayed by key figures in the investigation and their most prominent supporters. Carefully hidden in their subdued message was a reluctance to support what once was a major pillar of Global Warming Theory, the claim that …”

    Based on a Steve McIntyre quote from July 20 under MBH98 Source Code: Cross-validation R2

  4. John Hunter
    Posted Jul 24, 2005 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    Steve: I note that Doug L cares little for the "yelps of protest yipping: ‘Intimidation’, ‘Inquisition’, and ‘Witch Hunt’" which have accompanied the Barton Letters. Hopefully, you will be happy to answer a few further brief questions, without complaing that it is an "inquisition". I notice that your published papers bear the following statements:

    E & E, 2003:

    "No funding from any source was sought or received for this research."

    E & E, 2005:

    "Financial support for this research was neither sought nor received. The authors declare they have no competing financial interests."

    GRL, 2005:

    "No funding was sought or received for this work.

    I find it interesting that these statements fall short both of what would generally be regarded as full disclosure (see below), and also the disclosure requirements of the journal, Nature. Taking these in turn:

    Firstly, you have failed to declare that you received NO IN-KIND SUPPORT for your work — this could include the use of office space, computers or Internet access by a company which could gain or loose depending on the way in which governments address the issue of global warming.

    Secondly, the Nature guidelines specifically list, as examples of "competing financial interests":

    "Recent (i.e. while engaged in this research project), present or anticipated employment by any organization that may gain or lose financially through publication of this paper"


    "Stocks or shares in companies that may gain or lose financially through publication; consultation fees or other forms of remuneration from organizations that may gain or lose financially".

    Would you care to comment, and perhaps contemplate a more complete disclosure statement regarding your publications?

    Steve: . The statements were intended to be completely clear and do not contain any subtle nuances. This covers actual, in-kind and/or expected compensation and capital gains.

    I see that Hunter is a Brit who went to the original redbrick university (Cambridge) a little before the time that I went to Oxford. (The “original redbrick” is a snotty Oxford joke). At that time people in England were branded by their accents. At the college I went to, there were both working class Brits and upper class Brits, but they didn’t talk to each other or associate. There were continuing upper class attitudes towards “tradesmen”. I really disliked the class antagonisms. The way that Hunter used the “building contractor” analogy, regardless of his experience with asbestos dust, instantly reminded me of British class distinctions. I suspect that the reason that Hunter won’t even attempt to read any of my statistics because he cannot contemplate the idea that someone who’s been in a “trade” can actually be welcome in an SCR. His entire effort is devoted to showing that I am still a “tradesmen” pretending to be otherwise. It’s more about class distinction than conflict of interest. I say this without knowing which side of the British class divide Hunter fell on – I think that the comments apply to both sides.

    By the way, I have no objection to being paid. I see no reason why public agencies should fund people (Wahl, Ammann, von Storch, Zorita and others) to disprove my work, while I should wear a hair shirt. It’s just that (empirically) I have not obtained an income from this work. Readers who feel this work is worthwhile can send a donation to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Society.

  5. John Hunter
    Posted Jul 24, 2005 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    Steve (#4): I’ll ignore all your suppositions about my background, intent, snobbery etc. — they are just deviations from the question in hand.

    So are you telling me that, during the writing of McIntyre and McKitrick (2003), you NEVER ONCE used paper, the telephone, a computer or the Internet access of the company at which you were a “Strategic Advisor” (CGX Energy Inc.) as an aid to the preparation of that paper? I know this is nitpicking, and I accept that such “conflict of interest” may not be very important — but, alas, this is the tone set by this site.

  6. kim
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    What, by the way, is the heterozygote’s survival advantage in CF?

  7. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    Kim, I think that you might have posted on the wrong blog. You might try the egroup sharktank at yahoogroups which discusses CF.

    My 2-year old grandson has CF, so it has become very much part of our lives.

  8. John G. Bell
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    Try this link for a short answer.

  9. kim
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Thank you, and godspeed. Don’t eat the mashed potatoes.

%d bloggers like this: