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Jul 14 2014

What’s a minus sign among friends?

A Kentucky legislator, who just so happens to own a coal mine, said that it was nonsense to argue that coal-based energy sources were leading to global warming and in support of his case produced what he must have thought was a clever argument.

“I won’t get into the debate about climate change,” said Sen. Brandon Smith, a Hazard Republican. “But I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

No, in academia, we don’t all agree on that. In fact, no one agrees with it because the average temperature on Mars is -80oF, and Smith must have not realized that signs matter when it comes to numbers.

Incidentally, Smith’s verbal preamble of “I wont’ get into the debate about climate change” is now the official line of climate-change deniers in the Republican party, that enables them to deny it but then refuse to be drawn into a defense of their position by claiming that they are not scientists and thus not qualified to talk about it.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Kevin Kehres

    I love how these people always use the inclusive “we” when they’re peddling pure nonsense.

    “We in academia”…since when was this guy an academic?

    “We scientists” in any writing is almost sure to be followed by some weapons-grade woo-woo.

  2. 2
    Reginald Selkirk

    In fact, no one agrees with it because the average temperature on Mars is -80oF,…

    This is surprising. I would have thought those Martians would use the metric system.

  3. 3
    richardelguru

    Reginald Selkirk
    They do, but NASA doesn’t.
    Didn’t that cause a little mishap a few years ago?

  4. 4
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    I think this is a garbled version of the old talking point that “Mars is warming too and it doesn’t have humans adding carbon dioxide to its atmosphere!”

  5. 5
    keithb

    richardelguru:
    You are thinking of this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter

    And as far as the OP, he says he mispoke
    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/kentucky-republican-says-mars-climate-refutes-global-warming

    It appears that Mars is in a warming trend, like Earth

  6. 6
    Pierce R. Butler

    … Sen. Brandon Smith, a Hazard Republican.

    I first read that as “a lizard Republican” – and wondered, why the redundancy?

  7. 7
    moarscienceplz

    … Sen. Brandon Smith, a Hazard Republican.

    I first read that as “a lizard Republican” – and wondered, why the redundancy?

    ‘Hazard Republican’ is also a redundancy.
    ;-)

  8. 8
    Robert B

    keithb @#5, Smith’s explanations for his mistake are far more interesting than what MSNBC reports. He has also claimed that he was taken out of context and took to email to rant at people complaining to him that he was so painfully incorrect.

    http://fatlip.leoweekly.com/2014/07/14/sen-brandon-smith-famous-climate-science-academic-is-still-living-on-mars/

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