Climate Dogma Tests

Article Six of the US Constitution says:

No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

In that context, what do we make of questions being put to federal government appointees at their confirmation hearings?

Mike Pampeo, CIA Director nominee at the Senate Intelligence Committee

California Senator, Kamala Harris
In the past you have questioned the scientific consensus on change. Nevertheless, according to NASA, multiple studies published in peer reviewed scientific journals, showed 97% or more of actively published, um, climate scientists agree that climate warning trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. Do you have any reason to doubt NASA’s findings?

CIA Director Nominee, Mike Pompeo:
Senator, I’ve actually spoken to this in my political life some. My commentary, most all has been directed to ensuring the policies that America put in place, uh, actually achieve the objective of ensuring we didn’t have catastrophic harm that resulted from changing climate. I continue to hold that view.

Senator Harris
Do you believe that NASA’s findings are debatable?

Nominee Pompeo:
I have not looked at NASA’s findings in particular. I can’t give you any judgment on that today.

Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State nominee at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Senator Bob Corker, Committee Chair:
Would you state your personal position as it relates to climate change?

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson:
I came to the position over about 20 years as an engineer and a scientist. I came to the conclusion a few years ago that the risk of climate change does exist and the consequences could be large enough that action should be taken.

Senator Corker:
Do you believe that human activity, based on your belief in science, is contributing to climate change?

Nominee Tillerson:
The increase in the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are having an effect. Our ability to predict that effect is very limited.

Senator Tim Kaine:
Exxon-Mobil had a history of funding and promoting climate science denial, despite its internal awareness of the reality of climate change, during your tenure with the company, true or false?

Nominee Tillerson:
Since I am no longer with Exxon-Mobil, I am in no position to speak on their behalf. The question would have to be put to them.

Senator Kaine:
The allegations are about Exxon’s knowledge of climate science and decision to fund and promote a view contrary to its awareness of the science, are those allegations true or false?

Nominee Tillerson: That question will have to be put to Exxon.

Senator Kaine: Do you lack the knowledge to answer my question, or do you refuse to answer?

Nominee Tillerson: A little of both.

Senator Jeff Merkley:
Do you agree with the viewpoint that the odds of dramatic events occurring, whether more forest fires, or more hurricanes with more power, is a rational observation from the scientific literature?

Nominee Tillerson:
As you indicated, there is some literature out there that suggests that. Other literature says that it is inconclusive.

Senator Jeff Merkley: I am sorry to hear that viewpoint. Overwhelmingly, the scales are on one side of this argument.

Senator Tom Udall: Do you plan or would you support any efforts to persecute, sideline, or otherwise retaliate against career state department employees who have worked on climate change in the past?

Nominee Tillerson: No sir, that would be a pretty unhelpful way to get started.


The climate dogma is captured in a famous tweet:
Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made and dangerous. Barack Obama

Since that is not what the scientists said, nor what say many other scientists (who were not asked), this is clearly a creed of some kind of religion, call it climatism.

Asking nominees whether they subscribe to a creed or not violates Article Six of the Constitution. Inquisitors can claim there’s no formal religious organization, but they are still looking to disqualify based on dissent in a matter of belief.


  1. Bob Greene · January 14, 2017

    Good article on the dogma test. What Pompeo believes or ascribes to the dogma is of little import unless we think the government is going to continue with climate being the driver of all our actions. Tillerson was a bit more interesting since he would be the chief negotiator and has a history with ExxonMobil saying dimate-friendly stuff. Were these perfunctory markers or are they warming up for Pruitt.

    The real test will be Pruitt’s confirmation and whether the Trump administration and the Republicans have the guts to undo some of the economic damage done by the Obama administration. My fear is that eggs are very difficult to unbreak.


  2. oiltranslator · January 14, 2017

    Brilliant reporting. We are back in 1939 with Christian National Socialist Eugenicists declaring all other socialists fakes. As then the cognscenti went from Peace Pledge to Collective Security to United front to Popular Front, and nonbelligerency appeasement, so lately devout altruists of the looter persuasion go from Nuclear Freeze to preemptive surrender to horror at the fall of the Soviet Union, then Global Warming and now suddenly a Herbert Hoover Moratorium on Climate Change. Satirizing science into a confrontation between unintelligent Creation Science (prohibitionism) and Climate Science (communo-fascist socialism) can only benefit advocates of coercing first and asking questions later–under torture.


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