The Science, Space and Technology Committee is run by dull stupid clowns

You must have heard about the gaggle of stupid Republicans who had a meeting to deny climate change and tell a climate scientist their favorite pet hypotheses to excuse humanity from any responsibility, right? It was reported in Science magazine. These rich twits really did that.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said he was bothered that established climate science has not been questioned more by the committee, which has accused federal climate scientists of fraudulently manipulating climate data and subpoenaed their records.

“I’m a little bit disturbed by, No. 1, over and over again, I hear, ‘Don’t ever talk about whether mankind is the main cause of the temperature changing and the climate changing,'” he said. “That’s a little disturbing to hear constantly beaten into our heads in a Science Committee meeting, when basically we should all be open to different points of view.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the committee, entered into the record an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal yesterday that claimed sea levels are not rising because of climate change, a view that rejects thousands of scientific studies. The piece was written by Fred Singer, who is affiliated with the Heartland Institute in Chicago, Illinois, which promotes the rejection of mainstream climate science.

“To solve climate change challenges, we first need to acknowledge the uncertainties that exist,” Smith said in his opening remarks. “Then we can have confidence that innovations and technology will enable us to mitigate any adverse consequences of climate change.”

At one point, Smith showed a slide of two charts that he said demonstrated how the rate of sea-level rise does not equal the sharp spike in the consumption of fossil fuels. When Smith pointed out that rates of sea-level rise have only increased slightly compared with the rate of fossil fuel use, Duffy pointed out that his chart was from a single tide gauge station, near San Francisco, and that sea levels rise at different rates around the world. Smith did not show rising atmospheric CO2 levels or temperatures, both of which have climbed steadily in recent decades as emissions have increased.

The champion, though, was this bozo.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) questioned Duffy on the factors that contribute to sea-level rise, pointing out that land subsidence plays a role, as well as human activity.

Brooks then said that erosion plays a significant role in sea-level rise, which is not an idea embraced by mainstream climate researchers. He said the California coastline and the White Cliffs of Dover tumble into the sea every year, and that contributes to sea-level rise. He also said that silt washing into the ocean from the world’s major rivers, including the Mississippi, the Amazon and the Nile, is contributing to sea-level rise.

“Every time you have that soil or rock or whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise, because now you have less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up,” Brooks said.

I’m just going to sit back and let Rebecca channel my rage. She does it so well!


  1. chigau (違う) says

    and Kīlauea is God™’s way of recycling the dirt back to land.

  2. microraptor says

    The thing that steams me the most is that even if climate change and sea level increase were 100% natural and were completely unaffected by human activity, it still wouldn’t mean that they were harmless or could be safely ignored. Earthquakes occur naturally all the time and yet nobody’s arguing that we don’t need to take that into account in building codes in California.

  3. says

    “First, we have to state we don’t know anything. Second, technology will solve everything. But only in dealing with consequences because third we can’t stop it.”

  4. unclefrogy says

    I have heard it again and it is enough.
    humanity is probably not going to extinct and all life on earth is probably not going to die OK.
    Empires will crumble, civilizations will collapse, famine, war and disease will probably kill millions whole ecosystems will turn upside down. Texas oil tycoons will vanish, oi rich sheikhs will burn in their desert their majical cities in the desert coast will drown. humanity will still be around on the edges scratching out a living on what ever is available.
    It is the global order and global civilization that is at the greatest risk and will go first, forget your pension plans and real-estate portfolio.
    it wont take a 2 hrs like a Hollywood movie and wont stop on a dine even if we start today to do everything we can a lot is baked in already it will make the Titanic look like a Roadrunner cartoon
    ps you can always depend on Rohrabacher to say something completely asinine
    uncle frogy

  5. blf says

    Earthquakes occur naturally all the time and yet nobody’s arguing that we don’t need to take that into account in building codes in California.

    One would think so. But there is broadly analogous precedent: In 2009(?), the then-governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, claimed the $140 million for something called ‘volcano monitoring’ was wasteful spending.

    About a month later, Alaska’s Mount Redoubt erupted.

  6. jrkrideau says

    @ 7 blf
    But Alaska is far away and in another country. Lousiana has never had a volcano erupt in living memory.

  7. chrislawson says

    The problem isn’t that anti-scientific idiots exist…that’s always been true. The problem is that moneyed interests have figured out that they can get the average citizen for vote for these bozos forever just so long as there’s some some trivial tax cut on offer or some minority to demonise.

  8. raaak says


    The coming nuclear war with North Korea or whoever is not going to be pleasant but some humans will survive. But no one will survive because of the temperature increase.

    What a horrible thing to say. What does she mean by “not going to be pleasant”? Why even make the comparison? What is the point? That it is okay to bring about nuclear Armageddon as long as it helps battling rising temperatures?

    I really don’t know what to say. This is almost as wrong and as bad as the claims she is rejecting.

  9. raaak says


    Actually no. Then there is nothing. If you want to address the criticism I made, you are more than welcome to do so.

  10. unclefrogy says

    I disagree with the idea that climate change will kill all life.
    A thermonuclear war with Korea (12 bombs?)maybe not worse than one in which we exchange all ours with all of Russia’s, (1000’s) and that would be pretty indescribable.
    A run away green house effect would probably wipe out all of terrestrial life, the extremophiles in the deep rock, the thermal vents and the deep sea rifts how ever may not even notice anything. life has plenty of time we however.
    civilization will have collapsed long before that occurs pretty hard to keep everything going when we have major crop failures and with that collapse will go global trade and global communication, without that there will not be much high tech
    now supper tankers full of oil, no huge container ships, now international jet travel no air freight coal you say but what would the exchange be.
    uncle frogy

  11. blf says

    Rocks or climate change? HIV or HPV? Take our Big Republican Science Quiz!:

    Take our quiz and see if you know more about political faux pas than some politicians seem to know about science
    ● Which group did George W Bush say humans can “coexist peacefully” with?
      ○ Martians
      ○ Robots
      ○ Fish
      ○ Foreigners

    ● What fundamental change did Ben Carson say happens to humans when they’re incarcerated?
      ○ They go into prison straight and come out gay.
      ○ They go into prison skinny and come out fat because of all the delicious food.
      ○ They go into prison skinny and come out with enormous muscles from working out so much.

    ● In 2012, what did Donald Trump say “environment friendly” light bulbs can cause?
      ○ Cancer
      ○ Fires
      ○ Thomas Edison to come back from the dead

    ● Why doesn’t Michelle Bachman believe we should aim to reduce greenhouse gases?
      ○ Because “most Americans don’t have greenhouses”.
      ○ Because “natural gas has been powering the American home for 100 years”.
      ○ Because “carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas; it is a harmless gas”.

    ● Which important scientific question is rarely asked, according to George W Bush?
      ○ Is our children learning?
      ○ Is the world flat?
      ○ Is nepotism detrimental to democracy?

  12. lotharloo says

    Goddamn it. I couldn’t watch the video past the 30 seconds. Those four examples of Republican stupidity was enough for one day. Fucking idiots.

  13. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    The Rethug position: We don’t need no science. Technology will save us.

  14. Holms says

    “To solve climate change challenges, we first need to acknowledge the uncertainties that exist,” Smith said in his opening remarks.

    But in his next breath he places absolute certainty in technology to mitigate anything that arises. Okay then.

  15. blf says

    We don’t need no science. Technology will save us.

    It worked in the stone age. Added benefit (at least according to some stereotypes of the stone age), MRAs get their near-ideal world, albeit the real dinosaurs will be worried.

    (Yes, yes, I know, real dinosaurs were extinct for many tens of millions of years before there were any people.)

  16. robro says

    I have confidence that innovation, technology, and science can help us solve these problems if we invest in the necessary research and development of the solutions. What these idiots are actually arguing for and doing is gutting the budget for this work because it might inconvenience their patrons.