Stupid — or craven?

Mo Brooks  (R-ALABAMA of course)

You decide!

Yesterday, the House Science Committee held a hearing on “Using Technology to Address Climate Change.” The debate quickly ran aground on the question of whether climate change is being caused by increases in greenhouse gas emissions, as climate scientists believe, or whether the entire theory has been falsified by an international scientific cabal in service of a secret agenda to extend government control of the economy, as most Republicans believe.

A normal person would hesitate to engage in a scientific debate on this question with a professionally trained scientist. But since many Republicans believe the entire theory of anthropogenic global warming has been falsified, they assume they can refute it with simple personal observations, such as, “If average global temperatures are rising, why is there snow in February?”

Representative Mo Brooks brought his distinct analytical contribution to the debate by trying to prove to Philip Duffy, Ph.D., President of the Woods Hole Research Center and a former senior adviser in the White House National Science and Technology Council, that the sea-level rise might have causes other than the warming of the ocean and melting land ice caused by warmer temperatures. Brooks began his inquisition by asserting, “Ever since human beings have been on the planet, sea levels have risen.” Duffy explained that sea levels have in fact fluctuated since humans appeared on the planet, and that warmer air was the driver of this change.

Brooks wasn’t buying it. “Let’s assume for a moment that what you’re talking about has some kind of factual, rational basis for it, that ice has melted. Are there other factors?,” he asked. Brooks proceeded to explain that rivers carry dirt into the sea, causing the sea level to rise, leading to this surreal exchange.

Brooks: “Every time you have that soil or rock deposited into the seas, that causes the sea level to rise, because now you’ve got less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up.”

Duffy: “I’m pretty sure that —”

Brooks: “What about the white cliffs of Dover, California, where time and time again you’re having the waves crash against the shorelines, and time and time again, you’re having the cliffs crash into the sea. All that displaces water, which forces it to rise, does it not?”

Duffy: “I’m pretty sure that on human time scale those are minuscule effects.”

2 thoughts on “Stupid — or craven?

  1. Once the fossil fuel industry is forced to admit that burning fossil fuels is the major contributor to global warming the jig is up, their goose is cooked and cars will begin running on everything except gas.

    Until then, the fossil fuel industry will continue to buy politicians like Mo Brooks and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) to lie through their teeth to Americans and to the world about why ice caps melt and the summers are getting hotter and wetter.

    But there is some good news.

    Scott Wallace, the grandson of VP and Progressive Henry Wallace (1941-1945) won his primary in Pennsylvania’s 1st District. Scott often says that it’s time to “make America sane again” in reference to Trump and his base.

    Democrats didn’t show up at the Pennsylvania polls in the numbers that they were expected to.
    It should be kept in mind that we can’t have a “Blue Wave” unless Democrats get out and vote.

    Republicans are the enemy.

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