Rep. Lamar Smith, Who Criticized ‘The Idea Of Human-Made Global Warming,’ Set To Chair House Science Panel

Climate advocates celebrated after winning nearly every Congressional race they targeted during the national elections, including four of the “Flat Earth Five” climate deniers in the House of Representatives. But with the balance of power essentially the same in Washington, many rightly worried that little would change moving into the 113th Congress.

Case in point: yesterday’s nomination of Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) to chair the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology — a body with jurisdiction over many laboratories, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the National Weather Service.

Smith is a climate skeptic who has taken to the House floor to rant against scientists and journalists “determined to advance the idea of human-made global warming.” Here’s Smith in a 2009 speech after scientists’ emails were hacked from a server at the University of East Anglia:

“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. But for two weeks, none of the networks gave the scandal any coverage on their evening news programs. And when they finally did cover it, their reporting was largely slanted in favor of global warming alarmists. The networks have shown a steady pattern of bias on climate change. During a six-month period, four out of five network news reports failed to acknowledge any dissenting opinions about global warming, according to a Business and Media Institute study. The networks should tell Americans the truth, rather than hide the facts.

In fact, independent reviews found that climate scientists neither hid nor tampered with data.

Compared to the outgoing chair of the committee — Texas Republican Ralph Hall — Smith has been a bit more “moderate” in his skepticism of climate change. Last year, Hall said he doesn’t “think we can control what God controls” and explained that he wasn’t concerned about global warming because he’s “really more fearful of freezing,” even though “I don’t have any science to prove that.”

Smith acknowledges on his website that the climate is changing; however, he does not mention the overwhelming consensus within the scientific community that humans are responsible.

Over his political career, Smith has received $500,000 from oil and gas. And just last year, he received $10,000 from Koch industries.

20 Responses to Rep. Lamar Smith, Who Criticized ‘The Idea Of Human-Made Global Warming,’ Set To Chair House Science Panel

  1. Zimzone says:

    It appears the Koch Bros. and big oil scored at least 5 ‘leadership’, (an oxymoron, at best), positions in the House.

    If you can’t win elections, buy yourself a congresscritter!

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    Congress is a bad dream. The oil companies don’t even need a Republican majority, since Blue Dog Democrats will back any drilling or mining that comes up.

    As for legal remedies, that stops at the Supreme Court.

    Obama would need to act aggressively, using administrative orders and EPA rules. Oops, I forgot: Obama is a borderline Blue Dog himself, considering his many dalliances with the fossil fuel boys.

    What to do? We will need 70% firm popular support, which will be tough, but doable.

  3. SecularAnimist says:

    Stephen Lacey wrote: “Smith is a climate skeptic …”

    Please STOP referring to people like Lamar Smith as “skeptics”.

    Lamar Smith is not a “skeptic”. He is a bought-and-paid-for stooge for the fossil fuel corporations (as the final sentence of your article makes clear). He denies the reality of anthropogenic global warming — and engages in vicious attacks on climate scientists — because that’s what he is paid to do.

  4. MarkF says:

    yes, do not use weak language in relation to global warming.

  5. David Moore says:

    The “Democrats” won very little in the election as the above comments point out. Republicans maintain House leadership so can veto climate improvement attempt. Tar sands imports and fracked oil (N. Dakota) are full speed ahead and Boeing is roaring forward. India and China increasing CO2 at breakneck speed. Be real.

  6. BillD says:

    But, imagine a scenario where the GOP won both the Senate and the Whitehouse. It really could be a lot worse for climate change action and even for status quo environmental protection.

  7. David Kronner says:

    Rep Smith is exactly what I would expect the teapublicans to chair a Science committee. Their objective is to destroy govt. from the inside. So they chair the most incompetent. Hence kill government, privatize everything ie “The Wrecking Crew” by Thomas Frank 2007. President Obama needs to implement every executive power he can to conteract this and all the other incompetent committees.

  8. Pickwick says:

    Lamar Smith doesn’t know enough about science even to criticize the texture of a soft boiled egg. When a Republican opens its mouth these days, more often than not I hear Groucho singing “Whatever It Is, I’m Against It!”

  9. M Tucker says:

    What Stephen Lacey got right:
    “But with the balance of power essentially the same in Washington, many rightly worried that little would change moving into the 113th Congress.”

    What Stephen Lacey got wrong:
    “Smith is a climate skeptic”

    That is an insult to true skeptics. True skeptics have a web site and they do not deny science or global warming.

    Republicans pander to their base, like the farmers who will not accept AGW, or to their liege lords, the fossil fuel industry. They are transparent, predictable, diabolical people that plenty of Americans are willing to keep sending to congress.

  10. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    They come cheap don’t they. Time to get names on the record, force the filibuster do not be afraid of it.

  11. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    ‘Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself’. Mark Twain.

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Skeptics are intelligent, have inquisitive, questioning, minds and are after the truth. Denialists are the precise antithesis of skeptics. ‘Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can’. Mark Twain.

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s the ‘Blue Dogs’ that are the Bosses’ wild card. The DINO-saurs.

  14. AlC says:

    Unfortunately, the other two likely candidates to head this committee are also denialists. Rohrabacher was trying to head this committee.

  15. Tom P says:

    This guy is such bad news, a retrograde Neanderthal who believes in religion over science, business over people, patriotism over democracy, men over women, and white is always right.

    Lamar Smith’s record shows that he’s PRO management, death penalty, prisons and more prison time, school prayer, drill-baby-drill, oil subsidies, Big Oil, Big Timber, Big Agriculture, guns (NRA rating A+), even greenhouse gases (good for the economy).

    He’s ANTI gay, abortion, Fairness Doctrine, NPR, immigration, seniors, CAFÉ standards, and AMTRAK.

    And he’s a Christian Scientist, which ostensibly means that he’s anti-medicine. The body shall heal itself with the help of God’s Hand.

    Good choice, Republicans. This guy’s sure to keep the U.S. in the forefront of global technology . . . as he tries to haul us back to the stone age.

  16. trickydonut says:

    Look at the bright side – it could have been Rohrabacher or Sensenbrenner. Maybe Boehner is actually a closet believe in addressing climate change?

  17. Anne M says:

    Yes, and whatever you say about climate change say it again and again and again. Drown denial and silence with talk.

  18. Has he taken positions against any other science fields; like evolution or the age of the earth?


  19. todd says:

    heard a great way to explain what this means in TV terms.
    its like getting Sheldon’s mom from Big Bang Theory to chair the House Science Panel.