Senescence and Anti-Science: Meet the House Subcommittee on the Environment


If it’s true that we get the government we deserve, then Americans must have done something very, very bad, because the Republican majority members of the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Environment are as dreadful a group of anti-science buffoons as you’ll find outside of an astrologers convention. As you review the brief summaries below, keep in mind that this crowd of clowns is in charge of the largest single issue facing the United States today: climate change.

Republican Members, U.S. House Subcommittee on the Environment

Republican Members, U.S. House Subcommittee on the Environment

David Schweikert (R-Arizona), Chairman

Rep. Schweikert has argued that the idea of man-made global warming may be “folklore.”

“Understanding what part of climate change is part of a natural cycle and what part has human components is the first step,” he said as a candidate in 2008. “Our elected officials must be careful to react to facts and not folklore.

In a Facebook post last year, however, Rep. Schweikert seemed to indicate that reducing carbon dioxide emissions might be a good thing — while bashing President Barack Obama’s efforts to do so. He wrote on June 25:

In light of Obama’s ‘climate change’ speech today, I would like to REMIND him that at the time of its expiration, the Kyoto Protocol mandated that developed nations reduce their CO2 output by an average of 5.2%. Though we never ratified the Kyoto protocol, our country was able to REDUCE CO2 through new technology in the private sector, NOT top-down, economic crushing government mandates.

Of course, a significant portion of the reduction in emissions that the U.S. has achieved since then is due to rising consumption of natural gas, which is noted in the very blog post that Schweikert linked to in his post. That, and the recession, not any considered technology effort by, say, the coal industry, led to the decline.

F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wisconsin)

Rep. Sensenbrenner has for many years now seized on the theory de jour opposing climate change. He’s been wrong every time.

“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.”

A master of the non sequitur and straw man fallacies, WC is completely certain that Rep. Sensenbrenner’s massive investments in the oil industry have no effect at all on his climate science denial. Oh, and there is no evidence that the atmosphere of Mars is warming.

Dana Rohrabacher (R-California)

Rep. Rohrabacher doesn’t stop at denying climate change; he thinks (for a given definition of “think”) it’s all part of a plan for global government:

Just so you know, global warming is a total fraud and it is being designed by—what you’ve got is you’ve got liberals who get elected at the local level want state government to do the work and let them make the decisions. Then, at the state level, they want the federal government to do it. And at the federal government, they want to create global government to control all of our lives. That’s what the game plan is. It’s step by step by step, more and bigger control over our lives by higher levels of government. And global warming is that strategy in spades.… Our freedom to make our choices on transportation and everything else? No, that’s gotta be done by a government official who, by the way, probably comes from Nigeria because he’s a UN government official, not a US government official.

Oooh! Giant world conspiracy. Nigerians! WC doesn’t know how long Rep. Rohrabacher has been off his meds, but WC has met diagnosed paranoids who were in better touch with reality than Rep. Rohrabacher.

Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas)

Rep. Neubarger – the congressman with impulse control disorder – doesn’t stop at denying climate change but has a solution to the problem he denies exists:

He introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to pray for fair weather. His resolution resolved that “people in the United States should join together in prayer to humbly seek fair weather conditions, including calm skies in the South and lower Midwest where tornadoes have ravaged homes and uprooted families, and for rain where rain is most needed in the South and Southwest, where devastating drought and dangerous wildfires have destroyed homes, businesses, and lives.”

Why “impulse control disorder”? This is the man who shouted out “baby killer” during the debate on the Affordable Care Act. This is the man who confronted a female U.S. Park Service Ranger as she was preventing non-veteran tourists from entering the temporarily-closed park due to this week’s government shutdown, the shutdown he had voted in favor of. Maybe he should pray more and talk less?

Paul Broun (R-Georgia)

Rep. Broun – who is also the chair of the House Science Committee of which the Subcommittee on the Environment is a part, doesn’t stop at merely denying manmade climate change but goes on to deny evolution and astronomy and geology, as well:

God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.

The Republicans hotly deny that they are the anti-science party, but as WC’s grandmother used to say, “Actions speak louder than words.” The Republicans have chose as Science Committee chair a man who denies the existence of all but 9,000 years of the earth’s 4.6 billion years of existence. Rep. Broun admits only 0.0001957% of reality. It’s not what WC looks for in a Science Committee member.

David Schweikert (R-Arizona)

WC will let Rep. Schweikert speak for himself:

“I don’t see the data. You know, I think I have a reasonably good statistics background. And I have not sat there with pages and pages of data. But when you think about the complexity of a worldwide system and the amount of data you’d have to capture, and how you adjust for a sunspot, and how you adjust for a hurricane and I think it’s incredibly arrogant for the Al Gores of the world to stand up and say the world is coming to an end. Because as I kid I remember on the flip side when they were warning me we were going to go into an ice age. . . . I wish people would make up their mind. It’s the control freaks, the people who want to control my life, want to control my lifestyle.”

WC could devote a full blog post to the logical fallacies in that one paragraph. But it’s interesting, isn’t it, that Rep. Schweikert puts his personal life style ahead of actually looking at the science?

Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma, Vice Chair

From an interview in On the Issues:

Q: Do you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?

A: No. The Earth’s climate has always varied substantially as demonstrated by pre-industrial human records and natural evidence. There is no doubt that human activity can change local conditions, but on a global scale natural processes including variations in solar output and ocean currents control climatic conditions. There is no credible scientific evidence that greenhouse gas atmospheric concentrations, including carbon dioxide, affect global climate. I oppose regulating greenhouse gases. Doing so will significantly increase energy prices and keep more people in poverty.

it would lend the clowns some smidgeon of credibility if they could agree on exactly what Giant Conspiracy lies behind their anti-science claims.

Randy Weber (R-Texas)

It was Rep. Weber who tweeted out that President Obama was a “socialistic dictator” immediately before the State of the Union speech. His campaign site says “America needs to get back to our Constitutional principals.” Bad news, Rep. Weber, the constitutional principals – Madison, Jefferson and their contemporaries – are long dead. It’s hard to find his views on climate change. He opposes government efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. He aspires to be the most conservative member of the U.S. House. Port Arthur, home of one of the largest aggregations of refineries in the U.S., is in his congressional district. And it’s the terminus of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. His views on the science of climate change may be a mystery, but his unrelenting opposition to any form of government regulation is not.

. . . . .

These are the folks that the Republican party have put in charge of the environment. These are the clowns that have the future of the United States and the planet in their hands. It looks pretty bad for America, folks. And the world.

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