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House Science Chair’s First Action Is To Hold A Climate Change Denier Hearing

By Rebecca Leber  

"House Science Chair’s First Action Is To Hold A Climate Change Denier Hearing"

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Coming off of the hottest year in U.S. history and 333 months of higher-than-average global temperatures, Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) first move as the new chair of the House Science and Technology Committee includes a hearing on climate science, according to Dallas News.

For Smith, who criticized “the idea of human-made global warming,” the hearing will be an opportunity to give a platform to the committee’s climate zombies:

I believe climate change is due to a combination of factors, including natural cycles, sun spots, and human activity. But scientists still don’t know for certain how much each of these factors contributes to the overall climate change that the Earth is experiencing. It is the role of the Science Committee to create a forum for discussion so Congress and the American people can hear from experts and draw reasoned conclusions. During this process, we should focus on the facts rather than on a partisan agenda.

Smith has blasted the media as “lap dogs” for not devoting enough airtime to climate deniers and implored networks to not “hide the facts.” Unsurprisingly, he has taken $500,000 from oil and gas over his political career and $10,000 from Koch industries last year.

GOP members of the committee “keep science at farthest arm’s length” with its long list of climate deniers. “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” House Science Subcommittee Chair Paul Broun (R-GA) said. But the list also includes former Chair Ralph Hall (R-TX), Vice Chairman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and subcommittee chairs Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN).

If climate-denying Republicans want the facts and not “a partisan agenda,” they can just read the new draft National Climate Assessment, which dives into the consequences of a hotter, drier, disaster-prone climate.

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59 Responses to House Science Chair’s First Action Is To Hold A Climate Change Denier Hearing

  1. Gayle Morrow says:

    Best way to let citizens know what our “government” is thinking is to appoint Lamar Smith as chair to anything. He is such a joke and always has been!

  2. caerbannog666 (@caerbannog666) says:


    f climate-denying Republicans want the facts and not “a partisan agenda,” they can just read the new draft National Climate Assessment…

    Republican Science Committee members reading the National Climate Assessment? That would be like hogs looking at a wristwatch!

  3. Marie says:

    Science and technology committee in the House of Representatives is populated by troglodytes, ignoramuses, and otherwise willfully ignorant persons.

  4. M Tucker says:

    It is obvious what is going on. The minions of the fossil fuel industry want to give the deniers some official recognition. The Republicans in the House want denier opinions and pseudo-science and conspiracy nonsense written into the Congressional record.

    They are playing games with the time and money of the American people. I wish they could be charged with dereliction of duty or perhaps crimes against the health and welfare of the American people.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      It’s about time to get some lawyers to draw up drafts of laws for the prosecution of crimes against humanity by the deliberate destruction of the planet’s habitability for our species. They could be ready to go when, and if, a sane regime comes to power anywhere in the world. No statute of limitations and universal jurisdiction, as with other crimes against humanity. It might help to concentrate the minds of the big ecological criminals.

      • Merrelyn Emery says:

        Isn’t the UN supposed to be working on that? ME

        • mapaiko says:

          No need to get clever, simple common law negligence will do – duty, breach, proximate cause, damage. Do the actors (here congress critters, industry, etc.) have a duty? Sure can be argued Congress has one, and industry certainly has a duty to conduct their business safely. Was there a breach of that duty? Well, by denying instead of investigating I think you can make the case Congress has breached its duty and certainly by conducting their business in a manner that is unsafe industry certainly has breached their duty. Is the breach of the duty the proximate cause of damages. Well we have some damages that can be directly linked to a changing climate, now was the action or inaction of congress/industry the cause? Gonna need actual science here that can pass the Daubert test in Federal Court…I don’t think the deniers will make it out of such a hearing and those that have studied the problem should be allowed to testify. So, where do we file this – NY, NJ, NOLA, I’m game…

          • Mike Roddy says:

            Thanks, Mapaiko, we need you. Please do your best to bust these monsters, and be prepared to take it all the way to The Hague if necessary. I can’t answer your specific questions, but if you look around, you will find plenty of allies.

          • Marie says:

            I think a solid case can be made for the dereliction of duty by these Congressmen who deny the evidence in front of their own eyes and do nothing to mitigate the effects of such evidence.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            Excellent, but I still think that these creatures’ and their controllers’, crimes go far beyond dereliction of duty.

        • Hel says:

          I just heard today about someone drawing up legislation called “Ecocide”

  5. Jim says:

    I’ve been reading Joe’s blog every day since 2009. I thought I was so over being astonished.

    Turns out I’m not.

  6. bear it all says:

    the good news? human caused climate change is inarguable. the bad news? the depth of human ignorance is unfathomable.

  7. Sasparilla says:

    It will be a great day when the GOP looses control of the House to the Dems.

    Frankly I’m glad this stuff is written into the congressional record – it will be obvious which party blocked action on climate change and caused immense amounts of destruction and hardship in the future.

    • John McCormick says:

      Sasparilla, how do you think that is going to happen. Does the DNC have the will to launch a firestorm of challenging candidates with huge amounts of money from the wealthy? I don’t see it and I’ve tried to light some fires. No feedback.

      You and I are pawns in the political process. We think our elected leaders and DNC leaders are bold, visionary and determined to run the baggers out of town. I see no evidence there is any more passion to turn the rethugs out than your comment.

      Where are our green leaders? Do we wait until Summer 2014 to get started. I suppose so. That is BAU in the D party.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        As Chomsky said, paraphrasing him atrociously, the USA is a one-party state run by the pro-business party which has two wings which pretend to be in competition. And, in any case, competitive adversarialism is probably the very worst method to arrive at utilitarian results. It is really designed to produce ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, promotes utterly destructive oppositionalism and negativity and is precisely not the sort of system required in the planetary emergency.

    • Superman1 says:

      “It will be a great day when the GOP looses control of the House to the Dems.”

      Well, they lost the Legislature and Presidency in 2008. Not exactly overwhelmed by the climate-protecing legislation that followed. Why would it be different next time?

      • BBHY says:

        The result was far less than acceptable but we have to give them credit for actually passing a cap and trade bill in the House.

        Unfortunately it died in the Senate where the silent filibuster gives the majority effectively the power to completely stop all progress. I fault the Dems for not fixing the filibuster. If the T-pubs ever get control you can bet that the filibuster will be gone in a millisecond.

  8. SecularAnimist says:

    Rep. Lamar Smith is knowingly perpetrating a deliberate, calculated fraud against the American people, because he has been paid to do so — which is to say, BRIBED to do so — by Koch Industries and other fossil fuel corporations.

    It’s blatant, sneering, in-your-face, naked corruption and criminality, nothing more and nothing less.

    • Superman1 says:

      Right. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Texas has a large number of fossil fuel workers and businesses that profit from fossil fuel, and they would throw him out of office the day he wavers ever so slightly on pushing fossil fuel to the limit.

  9. Russell in Glendale says:

    Unfortunately, these ‘troglodytes, ignoramuses, and otherwise willfully ignorant persons’ are not alone. The same thoughts and actions are likely to be driving the next Australian government. Even worse the existing mitigation programs in this country will be dismantaled as the book burning begins.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The book burning already began, when the morons rioted against the ‘Murray-Darling Report’ and set fire to copies, while leaping, capering and gibbering.

      • Merrelyn Emery says:

        Either of you two seen recent opinion polls? The trend is inexorable and the rapidly deteriorating climate is barracking for the PM, ME

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          Ever the optimist, Merrelyn. I’m a pessimist by nature and experience. Abbott won’t be gone until a silver stake soaked in Holy Water and garlic extract is driven through his spleen, then they’ll find someone worse. And the alternative, Gillard is…….unspeakable. Her one asset, in my jaundiced opinion, is that she is not Abbott.

  10. fj says:

    He should be removed immediately.

    • Superman1 says:

      He is not the major problem. The people who are too apathetic to do whatever it takes to turn the situation around, and I emphasize whatever it takes, are the real problem. Especially those in the younger demographic, who stand the most to lose from climate change.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Surgically?

  11. Mike Roddy says:

    We’re kind of used to these clowns, but I would like to see this post sent to media companies around the world. Maybe if people from other countries find out that America has cracked up, they could shame us into acting.

    There are opportunities for activists like 350.org here, too. Pickets outside Congressional office buildings handing out literature skewering Smith and friends would be a good start. We won’t see MSM call these guys out, but somebody has to.

    • Superman1 says:

      There are about 65 million Americans in the 15-30 age demographic. They are the ones who will be seriously impacted by climate change. They need to do whatever is necessary to turn the situation around, and making their presence known to Smith in whatever way is required is a good first step.

    • quokka says:

      “Maybe if people from other countries find out that America has cracked up”

      They already know.

    • Timothy Hughbanks says:

      You can’t shame people who are shameless. It is pretty clear that the fossil fuel prostitutes in Congress are just getting themselves tarted up for their sugar daddies and they couldn’t care less how disgusting their display of of idiocy is.

  12. Pangolin says:

    So around July or August when dust storms are blowing through drought stricken Texas this clown isn’t going to be asking for Federal government aid right? Not a chance.

  13. “Failure to warn” In the field of product liability – any private sector industry can face it. Why not media and Congress? If the carbon fuels industry is subsidizing denial and corrupting Congress – all to enable this failure to warn – well, they must put lots of effort into covering their tracks in that conspiracy, What a crime. Beyond treason.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      How about causing death by reckless indifference, for a start, for the dumber ones?

      • fj says:

        Surgiically would not only be much more expedient, it would much more consistent with the level of sophistication that the house is expected to have to goverrn effectively a society heavily dependent on science and technology.

        He either does not have the necesssary skills and or is attemping to subvert the rational intent of thisgoverning body.

        What a waste to have a lot of discussion
        s. . .

  14. Kelly Anspaugh says:

    Why stop there? Why doesn’t Smith call for a hearing on Galileo’s assertion that the earth is not the center of the universe, that the sun does not revolve around it but vice-versa? Doesn’t the public have the right to hear from both sides in this controversy and then be permitted to draw its own conclusions about what is the truth?

  15. Jet Tramel says:

    It must be the only way to get on this Committee is to not know anything about science.

  16. Joan Savage says:

    He’s just as stuck in his litigation paradigm as an elephant in a tar pit.

  17. prokaryotes says:

    So the greatest danger to our habitable lands -civilisation- and you get this. Also i read about this guy failed attempt from last year to censor the internet. And now he is here, because of “gerrymandering”? Great, exactly the opposite of what we require.

    • Superman1 says:

      I’ve come to the conclusion that 0.8 C is over the line, and make my argument on the latest Open Thread. We’ve been misled as to what is safe, and how much time is left. Given that we’re doing nothing to reverse the situation, we’ve basically conceded the game. I suspect Inhofe and Obama realize this, and are just running out the clock.

  18. caerbannog says:

    Folks who haven’t already seen this, and who have strong stomachs, may (or may not) want to watch Dr. Richard Alley try to teach some science to perhaps the dumbest member of Congress ever to sit on a “Science” committee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2m9SNzxJJA

    • Ray Kondrasuk says:

      caerbannog, thanks for mentioning Alley’s testimony. He is brilliant in his simple yet profound 30-second analogy. Listen closely in the background for the whooshing sound as it goes completely over the head of Vice Chairman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).

  19. What makes the corruption of these clowns even sadder is that even though the consequences of their quasi-psychotic self-deceptions are so dire, the media still treat them like reasonable, respectable, responsible adults. The public continue to believe the media are objective and that our elected officials are looking out for our interests.

  20. Ozonator says:

    The circular firing squad that is the extreme GOP appears to be trying to make up “contributions” lost in upcoming the debt ceiling hostage taking. Tanking the world economy and torching the planetary ecosystem is more protection for a select group of baby-boomers who know little else. The stories that our parents used to tell us about the rest of the world so that we would do better have been adopted as the maximums the extreme GOP is capable of understanding.

  21. PeterM says:

    In many ways the Media is as guilty as politicians like Smith. They continue to deny the scientific facts and the dire threats we now face.

    The society in which we live has become so corrupt and ethically compromised around profits and greed that perhaps the only way we can expect massive change to save what is left of our civilization is for the apocalyptic outcomes scientists have been warning us about to take place.

    • Superman1 says:

      “the only way we can expect massive change to save what is left of our civilization is for the apocalyptic outcomes scientists have been warning us about to take place.”

      These outcomes will take place sooner than later, but by that time, it will be far too late to save any part of our civilization.

      • PeterM says:

        Super, I agree- at less then 1 degree above the PI level we are beginning to have our hands full. Add to that what is in the pipeline- another half a degree or more-

        remember this also- we have a few years left to peak our emissions- after 2017 we will have locked in place the infrastructure for 450ppm and 2 degrees above the PI level.

        so at this point for all practical purposes are fate is already sealed.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      There is another option here, Peter: mount a full blown attack on mainstream media’s coverage (and non coverage) of climate science. For some reason, this idea of mine has not gained the traction I thought it would.

  22. Bob h says:

    Astonishingly, this yahoo is a graduate of Yale University.

  23. BillD says:

    Pretty amazing! Still I think that the hearing could do some good. There must be a limit to how strongly they can stack a science hearing with anti-science, denialist types. There must also be a limit to the effectiveness of denialists saying: “I don’t agree with the science.” Let’s hope that there is some cost to pronouncements against evolution, embryology and big bang theory.

  24. BillD says:

    Actually, much of the statement that Smith gives is hard to disagree with. One can only fault the notion that “scientists should tell us exactly and with certainty how much of warming is caused by human activities. Here’s the answer that people need to hear: “Although scientists can never be 100% sure, their best estimate is that 100% or more of the recent warming is due to humans, mainly through the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.” The possibility of “more than 100%” is based on the likelihood of a modest cooling trend if greenhouse gases were not increasing.

  25. Dave says:

    Why do we make such a big deal over what is speeding up climate change and avoid answering the important questions like what are we going to do to slow it down or what will we do to prepare future generations for a volatile environment?