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Dumbass Quote of the Day

Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma is staking a strong claim to join the Republican Crazy Caucus with this utterly moronic and hypocritical declaration on the House floor, falsely claiming that the federal government spends 30 times more on climate change research than on weather prediction — and that Obama should apologize for that.

“Even climate change alarmists admit the number of hurricanes hitting the U.S. and the number of tornado touchdowns have been on a slow decline for over 100 years,” Bridenstine said on the House floor Tuesday, according to Raw Story. “But here is what we absolutely know. We know that Oklahoma will have tornadoes when the cold jet stream meets the warm Gulf air, and we also know that this President spends 30 times as much money on global warming research as he does on weather forecasting and warning. For this gross misallocation, the people of Oklahoma are ready to accept the President’s apology and I intend to submit legislation to fix this.”

Really, congressman? Obama spends that money? Gee, I thought Congress held the purse strings. In fact, I’m sure I read somewhere that the budget was set by Congress and that all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, the body that you serve in and that your party controls. Where did I read that? Oh yeah…in the Constitution you claim to revere but have never read. And guess what? The Republican-controlled House has proposed deep budget cuts to NOAA, which includes the National Weather Service — 28% in 2011 alone.

By the way, the full NWS budget is just under a billion dollars. And that same year, Obama proposed an increase in federal funding for global warming research — all the way to $2.6 billion. That’s a far cry from 30 times, unless they have a different kind of math in Oklahoma.

Comments

  1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Wow, that really is a dumbass statement in so many ways.

  2. says

    I work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. We have been facing budget cuts for years, including salary freezes for 2 out of the last 3 years. Bridenstine’s statement is… counter-factual.

  3. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Including :

    .. the people of Oklahoma are ready to accept the President’s apology and I intend to submit legislation to fix this.”

    What so you mean you;ll fix it so they’re NOT ready to accept the Presidents apology – which he won’t and should not have to offer even if that were true which it ain’t?

  4. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @2. Squiddhartha : If you and your colleagues are among the climatologists being deluged with hatred and death threats for doing your jobs – please know and please could you tell your colleagues from me that a lot of people also do appreciate their and your work and wish you the best and want you to ignore the scumbags and keep trying to understand our climate issues and system as best possible. Your work is appreciated and respected by a whole lot of people – I am just one of them – who think you’re doing great and deserve much better than the vitriol and bile spewed from a handful of whackjobs and those poor fools they’ve misled and whipped into a frenzy.

    Oh & you also do deserve a hell of a lot more money and funding than you’re getting in my view. It Climate and global Overheating should be one of our priorities.

    Thanks for your good work – please keep it up and ignore the assholes who think attacking the messenger can make reality other than what it is. And thanks in advance for telling your fellow climatologists this too.

    I hope the occassional (or more oft?) supportive and positive comments about your work help at least a little.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Oklahoma already has the nation’s dumbest Senatorial delegation with Tom Coburn and James Inhofe; obviously their House reps feel a need to catch up.

    With Louie Gohmert directly to the south and Steve King two states to the north, the Sooners will have a tough time breaking through to even a regional championship – but you gotta give ‘em credit for a major effort from their rookie bench!

  6. Nemo says

    So, is any part of that true? The hundred-year decline? It’s certainly not the impression I’ve been getting, but am I being too naive in assuming he didn’t just pull it completely from his ass?

  7. JasonTD says

    Studying trends in tornadoes and hurricanes going back 100 years is complicated by the fact that, now, we catch basically every tornado in the U.S. and all tropical storms and hurricanes worldwide using satellites. This was certainly not the case 100 years ago. I don’t know what the actual trends over this time period are (quick google searches didn’t return much in the way of quality articles), but I’m pretty sure that Brindstone pulled that one out of his ass, as Nemo @8 suggested.

  8. machintelligence says

    If you squint just right at the tornado data for 1954 – 2012 ( I am too lazy to run a regression analysis this morning) you might detect a slight downward trend. This is probably more than offset by the increase in population, which provides a larger target for destruction.

  9. says

    StevoR and slc1, thank you for your support! I’m in the computing lab myself, but next time I’m talking to a climatologist I’ll relay your sentiments. Every little bit helps!

  10. says

    It’s a waste of money, and Oklahomaites won’t stand for it any more. Think about it: every $2.6B Obama spends on so-called “global” so-called “warming” is $2.6B that isn’t available as subsidies for oil companies.

  11. Reginald Selkirk says

    One of the few conspiracy theories I am willing to propagate is that Bush/Cheney’s “Manned Mission to Mars” program was a cynical (and mostly successful) attempt to squeeze NASA funding for other programs, including climate studies of Earth that would have added to the evidence for climate change.

  12. raven says

    Bridenstine the idiot:

    “Even climate change alarmists admit the number of hurricanes hitting the U.S. and the number of tornado touchdowns have been on a slow decline for over 100 years,” Bridenstine said on the House floor Tuesday,

    With 30 seconds on Google, it turns out Bridenstine is both wrong and unable to use the internet or a search engine.

    The number of hurricanes in the Atlantic has doubled in the last century.

    NOAA:

    Indeed, this is exactly what some studies have done. For example, one paper15 showed a strong relationship between Atlantic Ocean temperatures and Atlantic basin tropical storm and hurricane counts from 1871 to present.

    When the waters were cooler, fewer storms occurred; and when the waters were warmer, more.

    Of particular note was the huge trend in number of tropical storms and hurricanes, going from 6-8 per year in the 1870s to 14-16 per year in the 2000s.

    The authors concluded that “this record [of Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane counts] Â… shows a strong, long-term relationship with tropical Atlantic August-October sea surface temperature (SST)Â…The underlying factor appears to be the influence of (primarily anthropogenic [manmade]) forced large-scale warming.”

    Another study16 looked the same data and came to the same conclusions: “Overall, there appears to have been a substantial 100-year trend leading to related increases of over 0.78C [~1.5F] in SST and over 100% in tropical cyclone and hurricane numbers. It is concluded that the overall trend in SSTs, and tropical cyclone and hurricane numbers is substantially influenced by greenhouse warming.”

  13. raven says

    Re the number of tornadoes hitting the USA over time and global warming. I just read a long article on this.

    1. The tornado base line isn’t well established. The data from the mid 20th century on in terms of numbers of tornados just isn’t very good.

    2. The effect of global warming on tornado frequency and strength also isn’t too well known. There are two effects expected from modeling. They are opposite in expected effects. We don’t really know yet which will predominate. They might just cancel each other out.

  14. slc1 says

    Re Squiddhartha @ #12

    I don’t know how often Squiddhartha visits this blog but there is a AGW denier calling himself Lancifer, who I refer to as Sir Lancelot, who shows up most times that the subject comes up. Since Squiddhartha works in the subject area, we would appreciate it if he/she would watch for Sir Lancelot and comment in response to his comments.

  15. slc1 says

    Re raven @ #15

    According to Chris Mooney in Storm World, if global warming leads to more frequent and stronger El Ninos, the frequency of hurricanes in the Atlantic may actually decrease; however, their intensity may increase. This is because an El Nino tends to depress the formation of low pressure systems over the Sahara Desert, which are the birthplace of hurricanes in the Atlantic. However, those that do form will, on average, be more intense because of a larger temperature gradient between the Atlantic and the Stratosphere.

  16. Johnny Vector says

    Not to mention that the NWS funding is less than half what we spend on weather forecasting and reporting. The budget for the GOES satellite program is separate from NWS, and is over a billion dollars a year. The NWS has been known to use GOES data from time to time, since that’s what the satellites are, y’know, for. So it’s more like the proposed climate study budget is about equal to the actual current forecasting and reporting budget.

  17. MrFancyPants says

    slc1 @ 17:
    Squiddhartha mentioned that (s)he works in the computing lab, and is not a climatologist. Which makes sense, given the comment about budget cuts over a period of years. Many (most? all?) of the climate scientists at NCAR are there for shortish stints, with only the support staff there on a permanent basis, if I recall correctly.

  18. says

    This is the International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones (a program of the WMO) statement on tropical cyclones and climate change.

  19. Michael Heath says

    When you consider the threat as understood and confidently held by the climate science community, we’re spending virtually nothing to mitigate that threat. So yes, denialist arguments are idiotic, dishonest, and outright insane given that consensus position coupled to the confidence with which it’s held when we compare that threat to the cost of mitigation, and the benefit of such as well. But the Democratic position with those who have power reveals cowardice on this matter.

    The Republican party’s position does require far more cowardice to hold given it demands they deny reality itself, especially the threat described relative to the confidence it’s held by the scientific community. It’s insane even if this science was less than 50% confident of what’s in store for us rather than 90+%. GOP denialism requires either the denial that any hedges are ever worthwhile or an ability to avoid suffering from cognitive dissonance by practicing denialism that had them weighing the benefits of a hedge against AGW vs. the hedges even they take on other threats and risks.

  20. chilidog99 says

    Frankly its a distinction without a difference.

    Weather Is Climate is Weather.

  21. says

    “I work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.”

    If you would like to shift your studies over to the study of hard vacuums you could set up shop in most any GOPster’s skull.

  22. Michael Heath says

    democommie writes:

    If you would like to shift your studies over to the study of hard vacuums you could set up shop in most any GOPster’s skull.

    Well, they got an amygdala and they sure use it.

  23. says

    I’ve followed Ed’s blog for years, but have had less time for the comments recently; Ed’s been too good at recruiting all these other FreeThoughtBloggers to distract me! I’ll do what I can to keep an eye open on climate topics, though. I’m a computer guy (yes, guy) by trade but I do have science degrees.

    chilidog99, there’s a lot of truth in the old saw, “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.” They’re intertwined but not identical. NCAR has groups focusing on each.

    MrFancyPants, there’s a certain amount of flux in NCAR’s science divisions, but also a number of folks with distinguished and lengthy careers, for instance in the Climate and Global Dynamics division. We have groups providing facilities and support, groups doing basic research, and groups that work on research applications. What we generally don’t do is operational weather prediction — that’s the realm of the NWS.

  24. left0ver1under says

    As always, it’s easier to tell the lie than it is to refute it.

    Especially when there are stooges (e.g. teabaggers) willing to believe and repeat the lie without checking the facts.

  25. llewelly says

    Jeff Masters has written some excellent layman-oriented articles about trends in tornadoes and climate change. These articles have extensive references into the peer-reviewed literature, and are a reasonable entry point for the dedicated amateur.

    If you put site:www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/ tornado trends in the google search box, you’ll get 3 of the better articles right near the top.

    I tried to submit direct links, but they are presently in moderation.

  26. says

    @30:

    I think that links on comments work like the animals on Noah’s Ark of several millennia ago; two per comment is the limit to avoid moderation.

  27. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    More than 2 animals on the Ark caused “moderation”? I didn’t know how that worked.

    The problem with these idiotic statements is that they will be passed in the conservative blogosphere as if they were self-evidently true, and will pass unquestioned into what they consider reality. Teahadists will take it on faith that the money is wasted, that the research is fraudulent, and that the researchers are getting wealthy off of it. And it takes time and money to set them right, neither of which most of have enough of.

    Whenever I talk to a denialist, my track is to turn it on them. I always ask, not where they get their info from, but who paid for that info. I ask them how they explain why the theoretical expectation of global warming with increased greenhouse gases should not align with reality. I point out, when I can, how they’ve been lied to, who does the lying, and why. I point out the history of our knowledge of climate change, both on geological time scales and on recent scales, and that there is no reason to expect that we’re completely wrong about it. I surely point out that it’s absurd and unethical to suggest that professional researchers, whose job is to get it right rather than to toe to a party line, and in fact could get far more notoriety and funding if they overturn conventional wisdom, are highly unlikely to intentionally make mistakes, and that the peer review process usually helps even more. And I point out that it’s the denialists, usually politicians and pundits, who are paid to lie, and that that has often been proven.

    Of course, that rarely gives immediate results, but (a) often shuts them up, and (b) often results in a look of doubt on their faces that suggests to me that, maybe, we can make a difference one person at a time…

    Ed, “Dumbass Quote of the Day” – you are truly a heroic individual. There are so many to choose from!

  28. slc1 says

    Re Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Actually, folks like Jim Hansen and Michael Mann could make far more money pimping for the Koch brothers then they currently make.

  29. says

    “More than 2 animals on the Ark caused “moderation”? I didn’t know how that worked.”

    Only a pair of each animal were allowed on the ark, per Skydaddy’s instructions to Noah. It was something that Noah, per Bill Cosby’s early (and hilarious) bit about him, had to keep reminding the rabbits about, “Two, ONLY two!”.

    “Whenever I talk to a denialist, my track is to turn it on them. I always ask, not where they get their info from, but who paid for that info. I ask them how they explain why the theoretical expectation of global warming with increased greenhouse gases should not align with reality. I point out, when I can, how they’ve been lied to, who does the lying, and why. I point out the history of our knowledge of climate change, both on geological time scales and on recent scales, and that there is no reason to expect that we’re completely wrong about it. I surely point out that it’s absurd and unethical to suggest that professional researchers, whose job is to get it right rather than to toe to a party line, and in fact could get far more notoriety and funding if they overturn conventional wisdom, are highly unlikely to intentionally make mistakes, and that the peer review process usually helps even more. And I point out that it’s the denialists, usually politicians and pundits, who are paid to lie, and that that has often been proven.”

    As Gary Larson demonstrated in a cartoon about what dogs and cats hear when we talk to them, I’m guessing what the denialists hear is:

    “Blah,blah,blah,blah, I HATE JESUS!, blah,blah,blah,blah,I WANNA GIVE ALL OF YOUR CHURCH’S MONEY TO SOCIALIST SCIENTISTS!…’

    and so on.

    It is kind of you to not just tell them to fuck themselves–I probably do enough of that for both of us.

  30. vhutchison says

    We in Oklahoma already suffered the worst Congressional delegation of any state, led in ignorance by Sen. Inhofe. The recent election of Bridenstein made it even worse.

  31. dingojack says

    Maybe satan sends the tornados; it’s god who figures it’s easier to corrupt, so he fixes the elections.
    ;) Dingo

  32. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    slc1
    Re Gvlgeologist, FCD
    Actually, folks like Jim Hansen and Michael Mann could make far more money pimping for the Koch brothers then they currently make.

    That’s precisely the point that I was making.

    democommie:
    As Gary Larson demonstrated in a cartoon about what dogs and cats hear when we talk to them, I’m guessing what the denialists hear is:
    “Blah,blah,blah,blah, I HATE JESUS!, blah,blah,blah,blah,I WANNA GIVE ALL OF YOUR CHURCH’S MONEY TO SOCIALIST SCIENTISTS!…’
    and so on.
    It is kind of you to not just tell them to fuck themselves–I probably do enough of that for both of us.

    Actually, it’s often not bible thumpers that I talk to about it. It’s Faux Noise listeners as often as not (not much better, granted…) who are surprised that they aren’t getting the whole truth. I also pull out the “A lie can go around the world before the truth can get its boots on” (attributed variously, to antiquity, Shakespeare, Twain, and Churchill, at least) and point out to them that they’ve been lied to. Usually annoys people, that…

    As far as telling them to fuck themselves. I’m nasty. I like to see the confusion on their faces instead.

  33. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    Oh, and I remember that particular comic. Loved it, and I miss Larson.

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