The moral of this particular story is: don’t send somebody up against a Senate Judiciary subcommittee unless he’s prepared to answer the simplest of questions.

Short version: [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] asked the simplest of questions, and Sierra Club President Aaron Mair couldn’t answer it. In fairness, it’s a very awkward question – What about the satellite data? – and, as I understand it, Mr.* Mair’s testimony boiled down to 97% of scientists say that it’s not an issue. Which would have been a better answer if Sen*. Cruz hadn’t been more familiar with the origin of that particular (false) talking point, or indeed everything else involving the entire topic of global warming / climate change / [insert buzzphrase here].  Seriously, it looks bad when the head of your organization has to keep getting fed lines by his staff.

I’ll just finish up here by also noting that it looks worse when your inevitable Democratic rescuer swoops in and essentially explains that your witness can’t even be expected to give a proper opinion on even the most basic controversies and arguments over global warming.  Honestly: in that exchange Ted Cruz showed more respect to Aaron Mair than Chris Coons did. Cruz treated Mair like a hostile witness; Coons treated Mair like a witless one. You tell me which was the ruder response.

Moe Lane

*Bachelors in History and Sociology; some doctoral work in Political Science.

*BA, Princeton University; JD, Harvard Law; clerked for the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court; Solicitor General of Texas.