Climate

Know your zombies: Sensenbrenner, picked to lead House attack on climate science, says, “I personally believe that the solar flares are more responsible for climatic cycles than anything that human beings do.”

WI Republican has called for blacklisting climate scientists

The NYT/Climate Wire reported yesterday that House Science chair Ralph Hall wants to investigate “doubts about the quality of the climate science”:

Hall said his vice chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), an outspoken climate skeptic who served as ranking member on the recently disbanded Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, will take the lead on the issue.

Of course, Hall is not aware of multiple vindications of climate science since “The first rule of vindicating climate scientists is you do not talk about vindicating climate scientists.”

While Hall himself is not an outright denier of basic climate science, Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is.   Here’s some background on the Wisconsin Republican, starting with an interview by conservative radio show host Jay Weber:

Asked his “personal stance on man-made global warming,” Sensenbrenner replies

I think that the science is inconclusive on this. What I do say very emphatically with these massive increases in utility costs through the cap and tax scheme, we shouldn’t be doing this as long as the science is inconclusive.

For the record, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences concluded its recent review of climate science, saying it is a “settled fact” that “the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities.”

As an aside, DesmogBlog notes that Weber “starts by once again falsely attributing to MIT the many times debunked estimate of cap and trade costing $3100 per family” and that this interview “is another fine example of the wit and wisdom of the flat earth wing of the Republican party.”

Sensenbrenner continues:

What the science says is that temperatures peaked out globally in 1998. So we’ve gone for 10 plus years where the temperatures have gone down.

That statement in its many guises is, of course, the winner of the The 2010 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award.  In fact, it’s the hottest decade on record and NASA noted last year, The 12-month running mean global temperature has reached a new record in 2010:  “We conclude that global temperature continued to rise rapidly in the past decade” and “there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s.”  See also “Yes, global warming has continued since 1998” and “Comparing all the temperature records.”

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.

Sad, really.  The number of people who believe that solar flares are the primary driver of “climatic cycles” ain’t large.  At least he could have said “the sun” and joined a larger group of widely debunked deniers.  Skeptical Science explains at length that “while there is no credible science indicating that the sun is causing the observed increase in global temperature, it’s the known physical properties of greenhouse gasses that provide us with the only real and measurable explanation of global warming”:

A change in the forcing by the sun simply isn’t a big player in driving recent warming.  As a major 2009 study found (see Another long-debunked denier talking point is debunked again: Changes in the Sun are not causing global warming):

According to this analysis, solar forcing contributed negligible long-term warming in the past 25 years and 10% of the warming in the past 100 years.

And a major 2007 study concluded:

Here we show that over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures.

As for the standard Martian talking point of the deniers, Skeptical Science has a long post on the science, which it summarizes thusly, “Martian climate is primarily driven by dust and albedo and there is little empirical evidence that Mars is showing long term warming.”

But there’s more to Sensenbrenner than his staggering lack of understanding of climate science.  As Climate Science Watch explained in a December 2009 piece, “Sensenbrenner IPCC witch-hunt: Attempt to blacklist climate scientists must be rejected.”

I will end by reposting that piece, which, coupled with Sensenbrenner denial of basic science, makes him a climate zombie unfit to lead any investigation into climate science.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), ranking Republican on the House global warming committee, has sent a letter to Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, calling for scientists whose names appear in the e-mails stolen from the U.K. Climatic Research Unit to be blacklisted from participating as contributors or reviewers of the forthcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

Sensenbrenner is engaged in an outrageous McCarthyist jihad against the climate science community, making it abundantly clear that this controversy is not really about stolen e-mails, which have been misused and misinterpreted.  Rather it is part of an aggressive campaign by the global warming denial machine to bully and intimidate the science community.  Sensenbrenner shows no real interest in meaningful dialogue, nor in an honest examination of climate science findings.  Denialists are throwing up a smokescreen of propaganda in an attempt to legitimize their refusal to come to grips with scientific evidence on global climatic disruption and its implications. This is a power play.

Climate Science Watch calls on the IPCC to rebuff this attack.  We call on the Obama Administration and in particular the President’s science adviser John Holdren to fully support the U.S. climate science community in this matter.  We call on Sensenbrenner’s colleagues in Congress to chastise him for this censorious anti-scientist behavior.  And we call on members of the science community to understand what the denial machine is up to and not allow themselves to be divided by innuendo about and attacks on scientists who have been singled out as immediate targets of a larger predatory attack on the community as a whole. Seeking an IPCC purge is just the next step. This attack, using guilt-by-association and demagogy, will go as far as it can to delegitimize the entire climate science and assessment enterprise if it is not exposed and thwarted.  (See below for the Sensenbrenner letter and press release.)

Letter from Rep. James Sensenbrenner to IPCC Chair Rajendra K. Pachauri
http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/ file-uploads/ 12072009_IPCC_Pachauri_Letter.pdf
(also linked from Sensenbrenner press release on committee Web site)

See our December 8 posts ( http://www.climatesciencewatch.org):
Rep. Sensenbrenner projects ‘fascism’ and ‘fraud’ onto scientists, is rebutted at hearing

FBI investigating death threats against two scientists whose emails were stolen in CRU hacking

Press release posted on the Republican Minority Web site of the House Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming:

December 8, 2009
Sensenbrenner Urges IPCC to Exclude Climategate Scientists

‘It is possible that they succeeded in undermining the entire process’

Washington, D.C.- Climate researchers who authored thousands of e-mails and documents that show an effort to mislead and suppress opposing research should not be allowed to continue work on the latest report of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rep. Sensenbrenner said in a letter to IPCC Chair Dr. Rajendra Pachauri.

“Their behavior has caused grave damage to the public trust in climate science in general, and to the IPCC in particular,” Sensenbrenner wrote.

The letter asks that none of the researchers involved in the controversial e-mails be allowed to participate as contributors, reviewers, or in any other capacity in the preparation of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. The release of these e-mails, dubbed “climategate” by some, showed a pattern where staff and associates of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. tried to prevent publication of opposition research, and in some cases, manipulate data to produce desired results. One e-mail described a “trick” to “hide the decline” in temperature data.

The letter cites an e-mail from Pennsylvania State University researcher Michael Mann that describes efforts to delegitimize a journal called “Climate Research” because it published contrarian scientific studies. “Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal,” Mann wrote.

“The authors of the e-mails understand what you apparently do not: Control of peer-reviewed literature equates to control of the IPCC’s conclusions,” Sensenbrenner wrote to Pachauri. “These bad actors therefore limited the pool of peer-reviewed studies upon which the IPCC could rely and manipulated the results of other studies upon which it did rely. It is possible that they succeeded in undermining the entire process.”

JR:  It is beyond disingenuous for a Congressman whose interview above shows he never believed in the IPCC process or its conclusions or the most basic of climate science facts to claim a bunch of e-mails have “caused grave damage to the public trust in climate science in general.”  It is deniers and disinformers like Sensenbrenner who have damaged the understanding of climate science by those conservatives and conservative-leaning independents who are foolish enough to listen to them.

45 Responses to Know your zombies: Sensenbrenner, picked to lead House attack on climate science, says, “I personally believe that the solar flares are more responsible for climatic cycles than anything that human beings do.”

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    That “I personally believe” statement from Sensenbrenner is beyond stupid, and shows that there is no sense in attempting a conversation with this man. Politicians like Hall and McConnell are no better. The scientific community, the Obama Administration, and what’s left of our country’s intellectually conscious leadership should take serious note of their brain droppings.

    The time for debate is ovah, as Swartzenegger once said. It’s time for not just action, but pushback. People like Sensenbrenner, Koch, and Beck deserve forceful and repeated public humiliation, so the American people can prepare for the fact that it’s time to move on.

  2. paulm says:

    As a responsible representative of the people, it is, Mr. James Sensenbrenner, not what you believe, but what is the right course of action for the people.

    You are here by requested to take advice from the experts.

  3. Esop says:

    Let us apply some popular denier logic to the excellent graph from SC:
    We can see that the peak in global temperature around 1940 is followed by a peak in solar activity around 1960, indicating that solar activity lags global temperature by approx. 20 years. Thus: global temperature controls the solar activity, not the other way around.

  4. Michael Tucker says:

    YES! They will say any stupid thing they want about the science in order to set up THE REAL MESSAGE:

    “I do say very emphatically with these massive increases in utility costs through the cap and tax scheme, we shouldn’t be doing this…”

    In other words, find a different answer, THEY REJECT THE SOLUTION!

    These people DEPEND on a scientifically illiterate electorate; do not expect them to be big on education.

  5. Raul M. says:

    Thanks Joe,
    People do need to know.

  6. John McCormick says:

    Is there time, talent and money out there to start a recall petition on Rep. Senselessbrenner? Someone in Wisconsin start that campaign, please. And tell me where to send the check.

    This is a very serious matter and demands serious action. He is putting America and the world in danger. Serious danger. One might almost say he is breaking a law by being so dangerous.

    John McCormick

  7. dhogaza says:

    Solar flares?

    Solar flares?

    Solar flares?

    (sitting here beating my head against my laptop in rhythm with the stupid I’ve typed above …)

  8. John Mason says:

    There’s a saying around here in mid Wales that may or may not be more widely-used: I have only heard it used here. It is:

    If he had Gunpowder for brains, there wouldn’t be enough to blow the wax out of his ears.

    Cheers – John

  9. Jeffrey Davis says:

    Just as “the object of war is war”, the object of climate debate for people like Sensenbrenner is climate debate. As long as there is breath in their bodies, they will keep mouthing senseless objections because they simply want delay.

    When people embrace the Dark Side, they go all the way.

  10. Dennis says:

    It’s time for prominent scientists, such as those who lead organizations like the National Academies, to come to Capitol Hill, stand up before the cameras and microphones alongside Members of Congress, and read a statement on how dangerous people like Sensenbrenner are.

  11. Mike says:

    Here is something people can do. Below is list a newspapers in or widely read in the congressional districts of Hall, Sensenbrenner and Upton. Write to them. Educate the people how elected these clowns.

    Ralph Hall
    Texarkana Gazette http://www.texarkanagazette.com/
    Dallas Morning News http://www.dallasnews.com/
    The Paris News http://theparisnews.com/
    Denton Record Chronicle http://www.dentonrc.com/

    James Sensenbrenner
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel http://www.jsonline.com/

    Fred Upton
    Kalamazoo Gazette http://www.mlive.com/kzgazette/
    Benton Spirit News http://bentonspiritnews.com/
    Niles Daily Star http://www.nilesstar.com/
    Sturgis Journal http://www.sturgisjournal.com/

  12. Catchblue22 says:

    When I see this happening, I think about Galileo, called before the Inquisition to answer questions about his beliefs that the Earth moved around the Sun. The search for Truth is always a battle, especially when the Truth affects the brokers of power in our society. Make no mistake: the people we are fighting care little for either Democracy or Truth.

  13. Villabolo says:

    Don’t mean to toot my own horn but my article on Skeptical Science shows how much it’s ‘cooled’ in 1998 in context of 31 years of satellite evidence (1979-2010)

    http://skepticalscience.com/Did-global-warming-stop-in-1998-1995-2002-2007-2010.html

    When you take the 1970s into account you notice a pattern of stepwise jumps. First one (Land based instruments)1976; Second one in 1995/1998 (La Nina/El Nino) and the beginnings of a third one in 2010.

  14. Bob Doublin says:

    #8 Hey John, That’s pretty funny.Can you translate that into Welsh?

  15. Leif says:

    At what point does failure to expose yourself to “the science” disqualify you to denounce “the science”?

    The first question out of a reporters mouth should be a science question that any fourth, (3?), (Chinese or Japanese 2nd?), grader should be able to answer. Failure to answer should invalidate all else.

  16. John Mason says:

    Bob #14 – Sure I can, as most of my friends are Welsh-speakers. Give me a day or two….

    Cheers – John

  17. PurpleOzone says:

    Ask Sensenbrunner to sketch a solar flare.

  18. Michael says:

    Sensenbrenner doesn’t even get it right – it isn’t “solar flares” but “solar cycles” (or the trend thereof), which recently isn’t up, especially with some newer reconstructions which show that the 20th century wasn’t anomalous at all and about the same as the 19th century. See the graph at the end of this paper; TSI during the Maunder Minimum was about the same as the recent solar minimum (and all others):

    http://www.leif.org/research/GC31B-0351-F2007.pdf

  19. Peter Sergienko says:

    I’ve thought a lot about a basic dividing line that we don’t really talk about as progressives: good versus evil. Even though we refer to persons like Rep. Sensenbrenner as a denier and a climate zombie, we don’t go there. Perhaps we prefer to use psychological, historic, or clever descriptors from pop culture because they’re not loaded with religious significance. However, “evil” cuts to the chase for lots of folks, religious and non-religious alike. “Evil” is also a favorite of conservaties (Reagan’s “Evil Empire” and Bush’s “Axis of Evil”). Why cede this ground to the right when it’s a perfectly apt description for those persons who hold such a callous disregard for life, human and otherwise?

  20. Colorado Bob says:

    “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

    Winston Churchill

  21. Richard Woods says:

    As a resident of Rep. Sensenbrenner’s district who is _not_ one of his supporters, I assure you that his district is about as “safe” for a Republican as any district can be. (The current Republican majority in the Wisconsin legislature will ensure that it remains that way after redistricting this year.) No recall petition would accomplish anything but might get a small amount of attention. I’d like to see him turned out, but that’s not going to happen unless a much, much larger scandal (in the Republican sense, not the scientific sense) were to occur, or he retires. (* sigh *)

    By all means, do write protest letters to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, though.

  22. David B. Benson says:

    Does that guy have a law degree?

  23. Leif says:

    John Mason @ 16: “Speakers”! How about a recording on you Youtube?

    Perhaps it will go viral…

  24. Mike says:

    @Catchblue22 #12: “Make no mistake: the people we are fighting care little for either Democracy or Truth.”

    I agree. However most of the people we need to convince do care. It is important to expose corruption when you can demonstrate it (I’d love for someone to leak these guys’ email). But assuming nefarious motives without evidence can backfire even if you are correct.

  25. Leif says:

    @Catchblue22 #12: “Make no mistake: the people we are fighting care little for either Democracy or Truth.”

    On the other hand, We Do. That does limit attacks to above the belt. Unfortunately, the Democrats still have the “kid gloves” on and the GOBP have a roll of Nickels in their fists.

  26. BBHY says:

    I still favor my idea that the states need a congressional veto option.

    If a super-majority of the other states deem your state’s senator or representative to be completely unsuitable, then your state has to pull that person out of office and hold an election for a replacement.

    Seriously, we need some sort of check&balances type of remedy for these wackos.

  27. CW says:

    Could this be just one big last hurrah by the polluting industries and their hired political thugs (i.e. Republicans)?

    Because it strikes me that the market has spoken when it comes to energy. The writing really seems to be on the wall. No new coal plants in the U.S. in the past two years, oil demand peaked in developed countries, renewable energy the largest source of new electricity in Europe and the US for two years now, China investing billions in clean tech, hybrids and electric vehicles pretty clearly the chosen direction of major auto manufacturers, solar and wind power prices constantly falling, the price of oil only rising with time … I mean, as the news in “Energy and global warming news for January 7, 2011” shows, Republican governors can’t even overturn renewable energy standards in their states when they want to.

    Yep, it’s tempting to see this as a big temper tantrum. But I know that is an overly simplistic analogy.

    And if only it were that temporary and harmless.

  28. Sou says:

    Sensenbrenner says: “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.”

    I’m surprised that Sensenbrenner believes that the USA has the capability of seeing the moon – I mean Mars, let alone getting readings from Mars rovers, when he doesn’t believe the USA is capable of reading thermometers, compiling observations from satellites and analysing the myriad data relating to climate and its effects.

    Incidentally, the spellchecker here suggests I replace Sensenbrenner with one of the following: Senselessness, Sensibleness, Sensuousness, or Senseless. I guess the first and last are most apt.

  29. Peter M says:

    Sensenbrenner- what will his legacy be? As Evil as David Koch?
    It seems that our Government has been hijacked by fools. Power in the hands of such Fools inevitably leads to disaster. Which is what we will have. Americans sadly, have always learned too late- in this case with AGW- their fate is just about sealed- and learning at this point seems futile if not impossible before the storm engulfs them.

  30. Thanks for the post! Science explains. Sometimes people might think the other way around, who knows, no one knows. Everyone is on the process of still knowing what lies ahead.

  31. fj3 says:

    It does not seem like it will take much more for the northeast United States to start going into climate panic: Just a few more tornados in Brooklyn, a little hotter for a little longer during Summer, one or two more extreme deluges, a tropical cyclone hits landfall in a local major city; similar to how lots of people have not returned to New Orleans after Katrina; something like that.

    The dumb immunity to acknowledgement of the enveloping crisis will morph to a dumb hysteria when acknowledgement becomes unavoidable like the kind of birth trauma of 9/11 and the financial meltdown ongoing; our psychic world will change forever, with a highly diminished resultant amnesia and reality denial in perhaps a psychic survival sense; and hopefully, without the same horrific incompetent quality of leadership and self-serving broad base of public and private corruption.

  32. fj3 says:

    Views Still Differ on Shape of Planet – http://nyti.ms/dU2vWy Zombie lies continue

  33. Tim L. says:

    What is it about right-wing Republicans from Wisconsin and witch hunts? Joe McCarthy intimidated folks with his “Un-American” inquisition of the 1950s because good people feared standing up to him. Good people and good scientists must not fear standing up to the (Non)Sensenbrennerism of today’s anti-science inquisition.

  34. Anne says:

    My uncle Bill — Bill Peterson — spent his life in rural Wisconsin as a forest ranger and fire chief in Whiting, in Portage County. Last year he won an award from the Izaak Walton league for his service. http://www.iwla.org/index.php?ht=d/ContentDetails/i/6361
    Politically, he’s a conservative, has voted Republican most of his life. Every day, he has recorded the weather and made notations about the local ecology. He began noticing changes years ago, changes in the climate, and would call me, worried, wanting to talk about what we were going to do about this in Washington. He is embarrassed to have Jim Sensenbrenner representing Wisconsin (though he doesn’t live in his district.) The climate change community should focus on waging a campaign to vote Senselessbrenner out of office, as a threat to public health and wellbeing.

  35. This is either gross negligence or treason. I want this man and every other Congressperson who denies the risk posed to our critical national infrastructure by global warming – as accepted by the international and U.S. scientific community AND by U.S. Joint Forces Command – impeached immediately. I plan to write Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Representative Mike Michaud (D-ME-2nd) to let them know my opinion on this matter, and to remind them that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has also already made clear its position that climate change is an EXISTING assault on Maine’s critical infrastructure, requiring immediate and comprehensive state and local adaptation, particularly in relation to flooding, sea level rise, and forest pathology. Serious flooding requiring FEMA assistance (e.g. Fort Kent in 2008, Calais last month) is projected to increase in severity, and coastal communities are already redrawing their FEMA 100-year flood plans to account for sea level rise. The consensus understanding that Mainers are being assaulted by anthropogenic feedback effects – feedback effects that will also drive tremendous geopolitical instability and migration pressure (again, accepted as fact by the U.S. intelligence community) at a time when U.S. armed forces are already anticipating considerable downscaling in response to peak oil – makes this an urgent national security issue. Those individuals who oppose regulation to limit these feedback effects are at war against the people of the United States.

    Climate hawks by definition attack climate terrorists and climate turncoats. Sensenbrenner, Upton, and other climate terrorists and turncoats on the Hill are behaving like enemies of the American people. They are disgracing the integrity of our academic, scientific, and national security system and fomenting public distrust in the most basic civil protection capabilities of the U.S. government. They must be impeached. Can anyone direct me to a credible alliance of U.S. scientists and members of Congress who are willing to stand firm that any member who usurps the Floor of our Congress to deny the reality and severity of global warming, at this point in the history of our science, poses a clear and present danger to the people of the United States, and commits a blatantly impeachable offense?

    Senator Collins cosponsored bipartisan climate change legislation with Senator Cantwell. I am not expert enough to say whether Cap and Trade, Cap and Dividend, or Tax and Dividend is the best way for us to proceed. But this much I do know: Senator Collins at least had the guts to stand up for the people of Maine on the reality of global warming. Is there not even a minority of Republican men on the Hill who can hold a candle to this American Patriot? Or must we now count Senator Collins an exception to a rule it pains us to face, but cannot ignore: that Republican stands for Turncoat?

  36. fj3 says:

    #33. Tim L. re: “Good people and good scientists must not fear standing up . . . ”

    And, good presidents!

  37. Joan Savage says:

    Representative Jim Sensenbrenner has been named chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on crime, terrorism, and homeland security. What he thinks is a “fraud” or a “fascist,” or even a basis to determine causality, is likely to affect that subcommittee’s work.

  38. Tim says:

    I personally believe that a tiny little fairy chorus is more responsible for the sounds emanating from my iPod than anything that the electrical engineers at Apple did.

  39. @#37. Further grounds for impeachment.

  40. Peter M says:

    The Congressmen shot in AZ Gabrielle Gifford has been killed.

    I hope all of us give her family condolences.

  41. Peter M says:

    Reports from the AP have been confusing.

    The Congresswoman has an optimistic outlook- following surgery.

  42. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    I agree that Mr Sans-Brainer is a magnificent example of the denialist zombie in politics, but we in the Antipodes have some beauties of our own, and they are growing nastier by the day, as the evidence of climate disruption mounts. If we could organise a professional ‘wrestling’ style ‘smackdown’ between champion climate disruption zombies I’d nominate Senator Barnaby Joyce, to represent the intellectual cream of the local denialist crop. Joyce is currently in Queensland, his home state, the ‘Deep North’ of Australia, and, despite his constituents getting ‘once in a lifetime’ floods fairly regularly, he dismisses anthropogenic climate change having any role, quite indignantly. No, perhaps indignant is wrong here-it sorts of implies ‘dignity’ or ‘dignitas’ if only tangentially. Let’s say quite ‘robustly’.
    If I might quote the good Senator, ‘If you really want to piss people off at the moment, start talking about climate change’ Joyce says. ‘This is just nature. It’s just how it works. There is nothing more infuriating than someone on an inner-suburban kick to start pontificating about an area they’ve never been and know little about’.
    This is pretty standard Joycean fare. He rose to media notoriety initially on the basis of his slightly preposterous name, and his facility for red-neck, you guessed it, pontificating. He is, in my opinion, the perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger phenomenon in politics, making up for transparent ignorance and mental insufficiency with bombast and bluster. He has a nice gift for incoherent verbiage delivered at break-neck speed, which goes down well with the red-necks-they think it indicates cleverness. The late, unlamented, Premier of Queensland, Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, was so verbally incontinent and indecipherable that it was a national joke for years, but his idolators, recognising one of their own, returned him election after election. Needless to say, Senator Joyce is a big fan of his.
    The denialists, as I say, are getting nastier as the evidence mounts. These floods, according to the narrative now being constructed on the Right, with vociferous support from the Murdoch pathocracy, are all the fault of evil ‘Green extremists’. You see, the evil ‘Green extremists’ stopped us building any dams, because they ‘worship nature and hate people’. If these blessed barrages had just been in place, the floods would have been mitigated. It’s rubbish, brain-dead rubbish, of course, but it gives the denialist red-necks another excuse to hate environmentalists. Dams have not been built primarily because every proposal has been rejected by the bean-counters on economic grounds, by the hydrologists etc on environmental grounds and by local people, mostly the same red-necks, who do not wish their land inundated. Surprisingly, these latter were often vociferously supported by the very same Rightwing politicians now blaming the evil ‘Green extremists’ for dams not being built. But, believe me, cynical hypocrisy is meat and milk to these creatures.

  43. David B. Benson says:

    Still don’t know whether he has a law degree.

  44. its johnny mac says:

    Using his own words and logic, Sensenbrenner should not be allowed to participate (i.e., blacklisted) in climate change policy because his “behavior has caused grave damage to the public trust in climate science in general… .”

    Enough said.

  45. M says:

    Wait – since when do the Mars rovers have anything to do with Mars temperature change estimates???