Yesterday on the House floor, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) launched into a nonsensical tirade against legislation aimed at addressing global warming by reducing carbon emissions. Akin demonstrated his lack of understanding of climate issues by erroneously celebrating the seasonal change from winter to spring as “good climate change” and confused “weather” with “climate.” He dismissed the threat of global warming as a “comedy” and wondered who would “want to put politicians in charge of the weather anyways.”
Akin also twice implied that his fellow climate change-denying GOP congressmen are more knowledgeable than Democrats because they have “passed high school science”:
AKIN: This whole thing strikes me if it weren’t so serious as being a comedy you know. I mean, we just went from winter to spring. In Missouri when we go from winter to spring, that’s a good climate change. I don’t want to stop that climate change you know. Who in the world want to put politicians in charge of the weather anyways? What a dumb idea. [...]
Some of the models said that we’re going to have surf at the front steps of the Capitol pretty soon. I was really looking forward to that. [...]
We’ve been joined by another doctor, a medical doctor but also a guy who graduated from high school science as well, from Georgia, my good friend, Congressman Gingrey. … So to have actually a guy who’s passed high school science is tremendously helpful. And Dr. Fleming from Louisiana.
While Akin may be excited at the prospect of being able to “surf at the front steps of the Capitol,” the reality of climate change and the resulting increase in sea levels is far more serious. A study published by Science expects sea level rise of 0.8 to 2 meters (2.6 to 6.6 feet) by 2100; as Joe Romm writes, “Needless to say, a sea level rise of one meter by 2100 would be an unmitigated catastrophe for the planet, even if sea levels didn’t keep rising several inches a decade for centuries, which they inevitably would.”
In Akin’s own state of Missouri, climate change has already caused growing conditions to shift and several species of birds common to the state have migrated northward. If global warming persists, climatologists have predicted that Missouri can expect “warmer temperatures, shorter winters, and an overall increase in rain and flooding.” Indeed, unusually harsh storms and flooding caused a state of emergency in Missouri last month.