It was Reagan’s favorite joke. Worried that their son was too optimistic, the parents of a little boy took him to a psychiatrist. Trying to dampen the boy’s spirits, the psychiatrist showed him into a room piled high with nothing but horse manure. Yet instead of displaying distaste, the little boy clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to all fours, and began digging.
“What do you think you’re doing?” the psychiatrist asked.
“With all this manure,” the little boy replied, beaming, “there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
It’s only January 3, but I’m awarding John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, the 2011 award for unbridled optimism. Looking at the new Congress, some might only see a room piled high with nothing but horse manure. But in an EnergyNow interview, Holdren says he’s ready to dig for that pony:
Well, certainly, the process of educating folks about what we know about climate science, what we know about the options for dealing with climate change, that’s a continuing process. You’re never done with the educational dimension. I think in the new Congress, there will unquestionably be hearings on climate science — I think those hearings are going to end up being educational. I think we’ll probably move the opinions of some of the members of Congress who currently call themselves skeptics, because I think a lot of good scientists are going to come in and explain very clearly what we know and how we know it and what it means, and it’s a very persuasive case.
Sadly, the new leaders of the House of Representatives are not open to persuasion by the facts:
- House GOP leader Boehner on ABC: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical.”
- Global warming debate befuddles GOP: Joe Barton says regulating CO2 could ‘close down the New York and Boston marathons’
- Rep. Shimkus: “Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a flood.” Rep. Barton: “I wish I had another dozen John Shimkuses on the committee.”
- Dana “dinosaur flatulence” Rohrabacher vies for House Science chair to put global warming on trial
- Dawn of the brain-dead House: Politico reports GOP stuffing Energy and Commerce with ‘Climate Zombies’).
Moreover, during House hearings over the next two years, other than the lead panel of administration witnesses, the GOP gets to cram the other panels with deniers and disinformers and confusionists. If the House GOP wasn’t persuaded by congressional hearings where actual climate scientists were in the majority, it is hard to see how they’ll be moved when the anti-science crowd is doing most of the talking.
I’ll just file this under ‘humor’ since I know John is a big kidder.