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Climate Science Denier Leads House Science Subcommittee

By Rebecca Leber on March 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm

"Climate Science Denier Leads House Science Subcommittee"

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The House Science, Space and Technology Committee has named a climate science denier congressman as the new chairman of the subcommittee responsible for climate change issues. With Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) as subcommittee chair, House Science has no shortage of climate deniers making science their prime target.

Stewart uses familiar Republican tactics to argue against cutting our greenhouse gas pollution: He told Mother Jones he is unconvinced anthropogenic global warming is “based upon sound science” — despite 97 percent of climate scientists saying otherwise — “before we make any long-lasting policy decisions that could negatively affect our economy.”

Stewart also told The Salt Lake Tribune:

“I’m not as convinced as a lot of people are that man-made climate change is the threat they think it is. I think it is probably not as immediate as some people do.” [...]

“What is the real threat? What are the economic impacts of those threats? And what are the economic impacts of those remedies?” he asked, explaining his approach. “Some of the remedies are more expensive to our economy than the threat may turn out to be.”

For more context of Stewart’s views, just look at where he is directing the subcommittee’s attention. At a hearing Wednesday, Stewart knocked the EPA’s extensive review of rules that protect the air and lamented that industry-funded research play too small a role at the agency. Not surprisingly, oil and gas was a top player in funding Stewart’s election to Congress.

Weeks ago, House Science attempted to hold a hearing stacked with climate deniers as witnesses (only to be foiled by bad weather that same day).

Back in Stewart’s home state, The Salt Lake Tribune has urged Utah leaders to take the opposite action. In a strong editorial, the paper pointed fingers at lawmakers for their ignorance, “blind or willful,” that has “transformed climate change into a political issue rather than the global threat it clearly is proving to be.”

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40 Responses to Climate Science Denier Leads House Science Subcommittee

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    OMG, is this a joke or what? I hope our friends in Europe don’t hear about this appointment.

    • Geoff Offermann says:

      Not a joke. Very sad. And sadder still is that Paul Broun (R-GA) iss still on the committee after saying that evolution, the big bang, and embryology are “all lies straight from the pit of hell”.

    • Debbie Ryan says:

      Mike, they’ll just laugh at us like they always do, because we make such stupid decisions!!!!!

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Don’t worry, Mike. In the UK, Poland and a number of other countries dominated by the ‘Atlanticist’ Right, denialism is firmly entrenched amongst the ruling elites, as it is here in Australia.

    • PJ says:

      We have now.

  2. M Tucker says:

    What a surprise! The Republican controlled House appoints a science denier. Wow! That is news! And the Republicans have been talking about how they need to change the party. Talking about how they need to shed the notion they are the party of stupid. Well, YOU CAN’T CHANGE STUPID! You can change your job, you can change your wife or husband, you can change your looks, you can change your cloths, but you can’t change stupid. The Republicans are stuck with stupid and so is the rest of America.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The answer, of course, is to make everybody else as stupid as possible, then the mountain comes to Mohammed. Sabotage public education, ban discussion of climate destabilisation as in the UK, extirpate critical thinking and replace it with rote learning (sufficient for the burger-flippers of the future)have the entertainment industry produce mostly mindless, violent, propagandistic pap, let the advertising Moloch loose on people’s psyches from as early an age as possible, inculcating the habits of greedy materialism, envy and self-dissatisfaction, reduce TV news to emotionally manipulative imbecilities and suppress all the bad news of reality, keep the junk-food flowing (diabetic and metabolically deranged minds function rather poorly) etc. My God-I must see if the Republicans are interested in my blueprint for the future! I might get to meet Karl Rove!

      • Dennis Tomlinson says:

        Republicans have no detectable sense of humor Mulga. It’d be a pretty lonely for you..

    • Dano2112a says:

      A wise man once said, “Stupid is as stupid does”.

    • kermit says:

      “You can’t fix stupid, but duct tape will muffle it quite a bit.”
      – Uncle Zeb

  3. The Thinker1958 says:

    I have a small suggestion: anybody leading any subcommittee should pass an IQ test. If someone is an idiot he should be flush out.

  4. Paul Magnus says:

    “I’m not as convinced as a lot of people are that man-made climate change is the threat they think it is.”

    How do people convince themselves to become morons?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Some people are born moronic. Some people achieve moronism. And some have moronism thrust upon them. And some sip from all three wells of unknowing.

    • kermit says:

      Probably much like the Creationists I grew up with.

      1. Tribal identity plays a major role. (“We’re not hippies!”)

      2. A simple world, predictable and controllable is emotionally required by rigid minds made anxious by uncertainty. Unfortunately, the zeitgeist this tribe creates maps poorly to reality. This leads to disastrous decisions, and the resultant consequences – unexpected and undesirable – are blamed on us, the reality-based culture. It also leads to much cognitive dissonance.

      3. If you’re a politician or talking head, there is also money to be made. I’d wager the fossil fuel industry has made major contributions to Stewart’s campaigns.

  5. Martin Gisser says:

    Mind boggling. Is there anybody over there being aware of this grotesque shame? Yuck. You crazy folks once made it to the Moon, or did you?

    If possible I suggest to just scrap that subcommitte. Better than continuing to pose as world leader in stupid and mental corruption.

  6. Terry L Hanger says:

    Government same old,same old. We have a president who is suppose to have a yearly budget, and that hasn’t happened either.

    • Moonshine Fox says:

      Actually, Congress does the budget. The President just makes suggestions for what he thinks is a good budget, and he’s done that. Guess who has shot down every budget and has had their people flat out say they want to default the government to make Obama look bad. They run Congress. *dun dun DUNNNNN!!!!*

  7. Enough commentary on these prostitutes, already!

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Steady on, Phil. That’s rather insulting to the ‘ladies of the night’, don’t you think? Better to rent your body by the hour, than sell your soul, forever, for thirty pieces of silver.

  8. Joe Maki says:

    We are doomed by another flat-earther. Any negative economic impact is short term, more than balanced by increased energy efficiency. The environmental impact, if he is wrong, is long term devastation. The ROI on believing in climate change trumps any short term savings. It just makes economic sense.

  9. Im Liberal says:

    The Republican Party and Tea Party have gone so far out of their way to destroy this government that I cannot believe they aren’t in jail.

    Facts don’t matter to these people. Only money matters.

    What’s next? Michele Bachmann on the Intelligence Committee?

    Oh, wait….

  10. Joan Savage says:

    Stewart’s statements contradict scientists in Utah.

    Utah State University 2007 publication “Climate Change and Utah: The Scientific Consensus”

    Excerpt:
    Trends that are likely to emerge as the climate warms during the 21st century include:

    A reduction in natural snowpack and snowfall in the early and late winter for the winter recreation industry, particularly in lower-to-mid elevation mountain areas (trends in high elevation areas are unclear).

    An earlier and less intense average spring runoff for reservoir recharge.

    Increased demand for agricultural and residential irrigation due to more rapid drying of soils.

    Warming of lakes and rivers with associated changes on aquatic life, including increased algal abundance and upstream shifts of fish habitat.
    Future water supplies are strongly dependent on long-term trends in precipitation. If average precipitation remains similar to that of the 20th century, the changes noted above will result in a declining water supply.
    (End excerpt)

    Link to press release and its embedded link to full report:
    http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/news_article.php?id=48

    Don’t be dismayed that the report’s pdf is mislabeled as “Determining the tropopause…”
    http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/news/111708Sec-A-1_SCIENCE_REPORT.pdf

  11. Ashley says:

    If you’re as sick climate change deniers running the show in D.C. as I am, please consider signing & sharing my White House petition here: http://wh.gov/srYW — to remind President Obama about his promise to act on climate change, and pass the EPA’s carbon pollution standards for new power plants.

  12. If your position is worse than Big Oil’s there is something wrong.

    This is Exxon’s corporate stance from their website:
    “Rising greenhouse-gas emissions pose significant risks to society and ecosystems. Since most of these emissions are energy-related, any integrated approach to meeting the world’s growing energy needs over the coming decades must incorporate strategies to address the risk of climate change.”

    It’s like a woman in labor denying she’s even pregnant.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      It’s just cynical greenwash. Perhaps they anticipate future trials for crimes against humanity and posterity through causing climate destabilisation, and they are working on their alibis.

  13. Lionel A says:

    Those who take up appointments such as this must be forced to visit the places where climate change is already very real. They then must attend lessons such as that excellent series by David Archer and pass a test paper to ensure that they have understood the science that tells how we know humans are having an impact on climate.

    Continued ignorance, real or feigned, is not an option for such a responsible post.

    It would also help if the likes of Lindzen, Michaels and Christy are put in front of academic panels and challenged about the arguments that they present to lay public and also at Congressional Hearings.

    Also David Rose of The Mail on Sunday needs high profile exposure as seller of snake-oil that he is.

  14. dave says:

    Absurd ,but not unexpected coming from the republican party currently.They have become the party of greed, fire them in 2014

  15. BillD says:

    The Republicans say that they want to change their party to attract a wider base, especially among young people. As a science educator, I get to point out to young adults that many politicians, almost entirely in the GOP, take absurd anti-science positions that are very costly to our present and future welfare. Young people don’t always embrace science, but they are open to it and can see how cynical these antiscience positions are.

  16. Joan Savage says:

    Stewart’s posture is all about costs.
    His unit of cost should be gallons of water instead of dollars.

    Does he expect that Utah could BUY its irrigation and drinking water with income from the Utah tar sands and oil shale, although extraction itself would need massive amounts of water?

  17. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Not stupid, just an excellent demonstration of the potential for corruption in representative democracy. Create a career politician and watch the brown paper bags change hands, ME

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      I’ve heard it said that Oscar Wilde suggested sending an anonymous note to all Members of Parliament, in Westminster, saying, simply and anonymously, something like ‘We are undone. All is exposed’. Then sit back and watch the rush for the cross-Channel steamer.

  18. Paul howard says:

    The strangest thing about the GOP is that they are playing front man in a lost cause. We are not running out of time on climate change, we have run out of time, period. The oil industry knows this and is pulling all the stops to squeeze every last ounce of wealth and power they can get before the door closes in their faces. But for some reason, the GOP just doesn’t understand the game and plays unwitting interference for them. We won’t get to November,2014 without this becoming appearant to most people. By 2016 the water supplies and agriculture in the US will be in serious trouble and everybody will be terrified by what they see at the supermarkets. None of the gas powered cars rolling off the lots today will make it to the end of their predicted lifespans. What do you think will happen when people realize this in a few years? Some mighty big heads will roll before this decade is over. Good-bye, GOP. It’s been real.

  19. rdale says:

    Not only is he a climate science denier, he’s the author of a series of rapture books called the Great and Terrible series (the title comes from the Book of Mormon). Go see the Wonkette take on this, it’s funny/scary:

    End Times Fetishist Congressman To Chair Climate Committee, Murder All Your Animals For Freedom

    Read more at http://wonkette.com/507427/end-times-fetishist-congressman-to-chair-climate-committee-murder-all-your-animals-for-freedom#62ayFw9bxudsdSbV.99

    • Calamity Jean says:

      In the classic movie starring Judy Garland, didn’t the Wizard of Oz describe himself as “the Great and the Terrible”?

  20. fj says:

    Have a hard time understanding why he is not being hammered by the president, secretary of state, Elizabeth Warren, . . . ?

  21. al adrian says:

    Great! Another zombie oil troll drudging around the soiled and decrepid halls of our so called democracy. This makes me sick! Can you think of a better example of oxymoron?

  22. Robco1 says:

    “Fossil Fuel Lobby Puppet Leads House Science Subcommittee”

    There, I fixed your headline for you.

    –Chris Stewart is the CEO of the Shipley Group, which consults government agencies on navigating through government regulations in the energy sector. Shipley received $35,000 in stimulus funds.

    Though Chris Stewart does not believe there is sufficient science linking greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, his consulting business, Shipley Group, trained government workers on climate change science and impacts.–

    Oh, and he received the max. donations allowable from ExxonMobile and Koch Industries, totaling $61,000.

    http://www.polluterwatch.com/chris-stewart

    But wait, there’s more…

    –His brother, Tim Stewart is a lobbyist for American Capitol Group, a washington DC lobbying firm. American capitol Group lobbies for fossil Fuel interests, like the Western Energy Alliance, a group mainly comprised of fracking and oil companies. Tim Stewart also lobbied for EnergyNorthAmerica, a company he cofounded to lobby for the Fossil Fuel Industry. –

    http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2013/03/20/16313/