If 99.9 per cent of the scientific literature shows that climate change is real and worsened by human action, why do we still need marches like the one that recently flooded the streets of New York City?
It’s an appropriate question, and one that comedian Jon Stewart answers eloquently in a recent Daily Show episode.
As he notes on the show, some members of the White House Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology hold some very strange and unscientific views on the matter. They apparently consider themselves allies of the 0.1% — the 0.1% of scientific research that doesn’t definitively implicate humans as chiefly responsible for an increasingly warmer Earth.
As a result, instead of discussing solutions to climate change or forging agreements to lower greenhouse gas emissions, as they should be doing, the committee spent hours “debating” global warming, even though really, truly, for real, there is no debate in the scientific community:
In his frustration over this topic, Stewart calls out these members of the Science, Space And Technology committee for their absolutely asinine ideas and complete misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the science of climate change.
First up: Representative Larry Bucshon (R-Indiana) says the science on climate change still isn’t clear.
“There’s public comments out there that that question [about whether humans are causing climate change] has been asked and answered saying no.” Representative Bucshon tells Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren.
Just as the comments below a news article aren’t the best place to look for facts, neither are the public comments on climate change the authority on global warming.
Responding to Representative Bucshon, Director Holdren suggests he take a look at the scientific literature instead.
Rather than doing that, however, Representative Bucshon counters by saying: “I could read that,” Representative Bucshon says, “But I don’t believe it.”
His reason? Money. “Climatologists rely on the climate changing,” says Representative Bucshon, “to keep themselves publishing articles.”
Though that’s simply not true, it’s even more ridiculous for Buschon to make this argument, Stewart points out, because his three biggest campaign donors are some of the world’s leading coal industry backers: Murray Energy Corporation (America’s single largest underground coal mining company), Koch Industries (which oversees crude oil refineries that produce more than 600,000 barrels per day) and Peabody Energy (the largest private-sector coal company in the world).
“If scientists could be bought,” says Stewart, “these companies would have already made it rain in nerd town.”
Buschon’s not the only one: During that same congressional meeting Representative Steve Stockman (R-Texas) decided that he could out-science the climatologists with some “facts” that in his mind remain unanswered. The extreme climate changes caused by Earth’s periodic tilts on it’s axis, known as global wobbling, are not being accounted for in the scientists’ models of climate change, Representative Stockman says, so how can they possibly be right?
The problem? The effects of the Earth’s orbit tilting every 22,000 and 100,000 years, is a super slow process, are very tiny in a global warming models’ timescale of 100 years.
Sorry, Representative Stockman. Wobbling doesn’t explain the climate warming over the last few decades, let alone millennia.
Basically, we need to keep talking about it because the deniers are wrong. And sadly, these deniers are in our government and even on the science committees. So, we have to keep protesting, writing, and talking about climate change to make our voices heard.
Watch the whole clip to see Stewart’s hilarious reactions to these utterly uneducated questions from the committee, courtesy of the Daily Show: