Nov 09 2012

Republicans are anti-science: SST committee edition

Now that the current chairman of the House committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Ralph Hall, is retiring, there are three Republicans up for his office. They're all climate change denialists.

The first is the congressman that represents Orange County, CA, Dana Rohrbacher. Phil Plait has a ... let's just say strange quote from him uttered while questioning US Special Envoy Todd Stern:

Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rainforests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases? … Or would people be supportive of cutting down older trees in order to plant younger trees as a means to prevent this disaster from happening?

He followed this up by digging in his heels: "I do not believe that CO2 is a cause of global warming, nor have I ever advocated the reduction of CO2 through the clearing of rainforests or cutting down older trees to prevent global warming." Ok, then, thanks for clearing that up?

Rohrbacher's official congressional site is a smorgasbord of climate change denialism. He takes at face value the ludicrous letter signed by "over 17,000 scientists" that climate change is not settled science, a claim which has been thoroughly debunked. He refers to climate science as "emotional junk science". Enough said.

The 2nd candidate for the chairmanship is Jim Sensenbrenner. Here's a quote:

I personally believe that the solar flares are more responsible for climatic cycles than anything that human beings do and our lunar, our rovers on Mars have indicated that there has been a slight warming in the atmosphere of Mars and that certainly was not caused by the internal combustion engine.

Sensenbrenner also believes that climate change is an international conspiracy among climate scientists, an idea that surprisingly is not as reviled as trutherism and birtherism. He opines that climate science is "a bunch of people with a political agenda that’s cooked the books."

Finally, we have Lamar Smith. Smith is less vocal in general about climate change, but he is still a denialist. He believes in "Climategate". saying that "we now know that prominent scientists were so determined to advance the idea of human-made global warming that they worked together to hide contradictory temperature data.", a claim which is totally untrue. He voted to block the EPA from regulating CO2 emissions and to reject adding CO2 to the Clean Air Act.

Isn't it great that Democrat voters didn't show up for the 2010 midterms?