The Skywriter

Defending climate science on Capitol Hill


Defending climate science on Capitol Hill


Climate science was the subject of a congressional hearing yesterday in what might have been the last reasonable discussions on climate science on Capitol Hill for quite awhile. Some used the day to lash out against those who question the science. Case in point: outgoing representative Bob Inglis (R-SC 4th District). His statements at yesterday’s House Science and Technology subcommittee hearings on climate science were a revelation:

To my free enterprise colleagues, whether you think it's all a bunch of hooey, what we talk about in this committee -- the Chinese don't, and they plan on eating our lunch in the next century, working on these problems. We may press the pause button for a few years, but China is pressing the fast-forward button.

We just wish this sentiment would have been expressed more a year ago when climate deniers escalated their ill-informed attacks on climate science. Inglis also imparted some advice to climate scientists: 

I encourage the scientists that are listening out there to get ready for the hearings that are coming up in the next Congress. Those will be difficult hearings for climate scientists. But I would encourage you to welcome those as fabulous opportunities to teach. Don't come here defensively. Say, 'I'm glad to have an opportunity to explain the science.'

These aren’t just sour grapes from a candidate who lost an election, but comments from a man who firmly believes in "preponderance of scientific evidence" for climate science, as he told NPR back in October. It still puzzles me why he voted against the ACES bill in 2009, though. His comments against cap-and-trade during that bill’s vote were most likely party-line comments. What he said in yesterday’s hearings broke ranks and we applaud his effort to defend climate science.  Let’s hope more leaders will be brave enough to create more "reasonable discussions" around climate science and not debase a conversation to a series of talking points from dirty energy backers. 

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