A panel of climate scientists inveighed against the vast majority of the scientific community, telling Congress that human-driven climate change beliefs are “premature” – and driven by politics.

Three of the four scientists told the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on Wednesday that politics was driving the bulk of science, as they fielded questions from politicians like Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the Committee’s Chair.

Those three – Judith Curry, formerly of Georgia Tech, John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado – have all appeared frequently in front of Congress to testify against anthropogenic climate change theory.

From their seats in the Rayburn House Office Building, the trio suggested that science needs to be removed from politics.

“Let’s make scientific debate about climate change great again,” said Curry, echoing the campaign slogan of President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

The three talked about how their scientific views broke from the majority. Curry, who resigned from her Georgia Tech position in January due to “growing disenchantment,” said she realized she had been a victim of Orwellian “groupthink” about a decade ago. Christy presented atmospheric temperature readings in large graphics and concluded, “there’s no clear certainty on what the climate might do in the future.” Pielke explained how he had undergone an investigation from his university due to claims he had received fossil fuel funding in exchange for his work – and then said extreme weather has actually decreased since the year 1900.

A “pathological politicization of science” was skewing the climate change debate, Pielke told the politicians in Congress during the nearly three-hour hearing.

The fourth climate change scientist in attendance was Michael Mann of Penn State University. Mann is known best for his “hockey stick” temperature graphic showing predicted warming in the late 1990s. Mann called the other three a “tiny minority” who reject the consensus reached by 97 percent of the scientific community. But Mann said the imbalance in Congressional testimony is “an inauspicious start for an honest discussion about science.”

The Democrats on the Committee posed most of their questions to Mann, while the Republicans split their questions between the other three. The politicians spoke as much from their own climate stance as they asked specific questions.

Smith, at one point, said Science Magazine and one of its writers were not “objective,” based on a recent piece by Jeffrey Mervis. 

“That is not known as an objective writer or magazine,” said Smith.

“Well, it’s Science Magazine,” said Mann.

One of the toughest questions was posed by Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), known as the “Cajun John Wayne” who started his first term in January. Higgins demanded that Mann provide proof he was not “associated” with the “Union of Concerned Scientists.” Mann referred him to his curriculum vitae.

Smith is an avowed opponent of climate change theory – and has used his position to subpoena agencies and climate change activists. He has called climate change more “science fiction” than science.

Smith has also written multiple opinion pieces for Breitbart, the online news site that assumed national prominence during the victorious presidential campaign of Trump. (Trump’s budget proposals have reportedly proposed drastic cuts for climate science).

Smith’s peers on the Committee have blasted him continually for what they say is abuse of his position for political ends.

A vast majority of scientists believe in human-driven climate change. But the public is more skeptical. A Pew report in October indicated that climate belief is largely determined by political affiliation

Climate change denial contends scientific consensus has not yet been reached proving humanity’s effects on global conditions. Some refer to a conspiracy leading to global governance and massive wealth distribution. No connection between the hundreds of studies and thousands of scientists has yet been established. Many skeptics have predicted that the theory would be debunked within a few years.

The global warming “hiatus” from 1998 to 2013 has been one of the key arguments for skeptics. The most recent NASA research indicates the warming slowed due to the heat-absorbing influence of the world’s oceans over that time.

Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), who holds a doctorate in physics, summed up the hearing as, “a very strange mixture of science and... not.”