The GOP: Anti-Science and Proud Of It

Running for the late Robert Byrd’s Senate seat in West Virginia, GOP nominee John Raese is yet another anti-science far right Republican candidate, spouting pseudo-scientific gobbledegook about volcanoes to argue that he has “zero trust” in human-caused global warming.

Even as he joked that the tea party movement was “a little bit to the left” of his worldview, Raese was decidedly serious about his hardcore conservatism.

He said that he “violently opposed” the federal stimulus funds that Manchin accepted for the state, wanted to abolish the Department of Education (and potentially the Department of Energy), and favored congressional term limits.

Turning back to the coal industry, Raese said that he had “zero” belief in the idea that human activity was contributing to climate change.

“The oceans that surround the world produce 185 billion tons of CO2 per annum. Man per annum only produces six billion tons, so what could possibly be the concern?” Raese said. “One volcano puts out more toxic gases-one volcano-than man makes in a whole year. And when you look at this ‘climate change,’ and when you look at the regular climate change that we all have in the world, we have warm and we have cooling spells.”

The kindest interpretation you can put on this nonsense is that Raese is mistaken. I tend to believe he’s deliberately lying.

Skeptical Science has the truth about these deniers’ talking points: Do volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans?

The burning of fossil fuels results in the emission into the atmosphere of approximately 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year worldwide, according to the EIA. The fossil fuels emissions numbers are about 100 times bigger than even the maximum estimated volcanic CO2 fluxes. Our understanding of volcanic discharges would have to be shown to be very mistaken before volcanic CO2 discharges could be considered anything but a bit player in contributing to the recent changes observed in the concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

(Hat tip: Climate Progress.)

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