Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) repeatedly grilled Sierra Club President Aaron Mair Tuesday, asking whether his organization would issue a formal retraction if evidence contrary to his global warming testimony were provided to the environmental group.
Mair had testified during a Senate hearing that "our planet is cooking and heating up and warming."
Cruz, who said that recent satellite data did not show a warming trend, asked Mair whether he would retract his statement if the data were given to him.
"Is it the Sierra Club's position as you just testified, that the Earth is cooking up and heating and warming right now? Is that the Sierra Club's position?" Cruz asked.
"Global temperatures are on the rise sir," Mair replied.
"And I assume that the Sierra Club would issue a public retraction if confronted with the facts?" Cruz asked. "That the data are precisely as I described. That over the last 18 years there has been no significant warming. And indeed that is why global alarmists invented the term 'the pause' to explain what they call the pause in global arming because the data demonstrate what you just said that the Earth is cooking and warming is not backed up by the data."
"We are concurring with 97 percent of the scientists that say the exact opposite, sir," Mair replied.
Cruz wasn't satisfied.
"So if the data are contrary to your testimony, would the Sierra Club issue a retraction?" the Texas senator asked.
"Sir, we concur with the 97 percent scientific consensus with regards to global warming," Mair answered.
"I'd like to repeat the question and get an answer," Cruz quipped back. "If the data are contrary to your testimony, would the Sierra Club issue a retraction?"
Mair still did not answer the question.
"We concur with 97 percent of the scientists that believe the anthropogenic impact of mankind with regards to global warming are true," the Sierra Club president said.
"So does that mean you are not willing to answer the question?" Cruz asked.
"We concur with the preponderance of the evidence — you're asking me if we'll take 3 percent over the 97 percent? Of course not," Mair said.
Cruz continued to battle with Mair who repeated his answer again. Cruz then offered his thoughts on Muir's testimony.
"You know, Mr. Mair, I find it striking that for a policy organization that purports to focus exclusively on environmental issues, that you are not willing to tell this committee that you would issue a retraction if your testimony is objectively false under scientific data," Cruz said. "That undermines the credibility of any organization."
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