Bill Moyers takes on radical-right Republicans for denying the science behind evolution and climate change, showing a video clip of Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), chairman of oversight and investigations for the Science, Space and Technology Committee of the US House of Representatives, who says evolution is a lie “straight from the pit of hell” and climate change, a hoax.
Well, that didn’t take long. Recently, Nate Silver’s new media venture FiveThirtyEight hired one of the most notorious “climate skeptics,” Roger Pielke Jr., as their science writer. Today, Silver is apologizing for Pielke, after Pielke’s very first article was severely criticized by climate scientists and he responded by sending them emails threatening possible legal action: FiveThirtyEight Apologizes on Behalf of Controversial Climate Science Writer.
NEW YORK — Two prominent climate scientists say Roger Pielke Jr., a controversial writer at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, sent emails threatening possible legal action in response to their criticism of his findings for the data-driven news site.
Pielke says it’s “ridiculous” to characterize the emails as threats against Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Dr. Kevin Trenberth, a distinguished senior climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. FiveThirtyEight, however, apologized to both men.
“Roger is a freelance contributor and his private communications do not represent FiveThirtyEight,” Silver said in a statement to HuffPost. “We had candid conversations with Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth. We made clear that Roger’s conversations with them did not reflect FiveThirtyEight’s editorial values.”
Revelations of the private correspondence are particularly poorly timed for FiveThirtyEight, which has been dogged online throughout most of its 11-day existence by the climate change dispute. The controversy was given increased exposure Thursday night on “The Daily Show.”
Utah state Rep. Jerry Anderson, who is a Republican of course, and a former science teacher believe it or not, has introduced a bill that would allow industries to pump as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as they want, because he feels there isn’t enough CO2 yet. He’d like to see us return to the days of the dinosaurs.
You can’t make up stuff like this; nobody would believe it. The Salt Lake Tribune reports: Utah Lawmaker: Our Atmosphere Needs More Carbon Dioxide.
HB229 narrows the definition of the term “air contaminants,” clarifying that “natural components of the atmosphere,” including nitrogen, oxygen and other stable, or noble gases, are not pollution.
Anderson’s bill would prevent the establishment of state standards for carbon dioxide below atmospheric concentrations of 500 parts per million. This is a level far above what is currently in the atmosphere, already padded with carbon thanks to two centuries of fossil-fuel burning.
“We are short of carbon dioxide for the needs of the plants,” Anderson, a retired science teacher, told the committee overseeing environmental programs in the the state on Tuesday. “Concentrations reached 600 parts per million at the time of the dinosaurs and they did quite well. I think we could double the carbon dioxide and not have any adverse effects.”
These people are dangerously insane.
(h/t: Taegan Goddard.)
The good thing about Bill Nye debating these right wing demagogues is that people get to see how completely deranged and disconnected from reality they are. In this clip from Meet the Press, Tennessee GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn is our case in point, as she actually insists increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a good thing. Nearly everything Blackburn says here is a lie or a distortion, including her false claim that there’s no scientific consensus humans are causing climate change.
Marsha Blackburn is the face of the Republican Party’s anti-science, willfully ignorant, smug denialism. These truly horrible people are playing stupid games with the future of the human race.
In the same vein as the previous post by Gus about the ludicrous GOP Texas Lt. Governor candidate debates, we turn to South Carolina, where the Tea Party candidates for Senate are also having what they’re optimistically calling a debate. On Planet Tea, however, they basically agree on everything (they have to or they wouldn’t live on Planet Tea), so “debate” means demonstrating their far right extremist creds instead, and boy, do they ever.
It’s an appalling look at the state of the anti-science, fanatically religious nuts who are driving the Republican Party into ditches across the nation. Right Wing Watch reports: South Carolina’s Tea Party Senate Debate: Climate Change ‘Gobbledygook,’ Impeaching Obama, and Revising MLK.
We put together a highlight reel of [candidate Bill] Connor’s commentary during the debate, including his assertions that the Europeans he fought alongside in Afghanistan were less hard-working and ingenious than American soldiers because “Europe had gone socialist” and “post-Christian”; that Congress should impeach President Obama over his executive order implementing part of the DREAM Act; that the separation of church and state has led “atheism to be our national religion”; and that Congress should disband federal appeals courts that enforce church-state separation because “if you’re being biblical, you’re doing your job as a judge.”
Another memorable moment was when the moderator asked all four candidates to react to Sen. Graham’s former support for legislation to combat climate change.
The first candidate, businesswoman Nancy Mace, claimed that a recent freeze disproved the fact that climate change exists. Bright contended that climate change was a “scam” concocted by people out to make money. Another candidate, Richard Cash - who owns a “fleet of neighborhood ice cream trucks” —was “open to the idea that there’s possibly global warming,” but claimed that there’s not “enough evidence” yet to create policy. Connor, for his part, called climate change “gobbledygook,” a point he illustrated by asking everybody in the audience to take a deep breath and breathe it out, then telling them, “you’re putting carbon deposits in the air and you’re causing global warming.”