In a House of Representatives where Michele Bachmann is on the House Intelligence Committee and Paul “Evolution is a Lie” Broun and climate change deniers Dana Rohrabacher and Lamar Smith are on the Science Committee, it only makes sense that another climate change denier on the committee, Arizona’s David Schweikert, would be named to head the Science Committee’s environmental subcommittee. It’s really just a matter of balance, after all — if virtually all climate scientists agree that climate change is real, then you want to have laws that give equal balance to the opinions of nonscientists who watch Fox News and the views of engineers and scientists employed by the oil and coal business. That may not be how science works, but it’s certainly how politics does.
We haven’t so far had much reason to say a lot about Rep. Schweikert, beyond noting that he out-tea-partied Ben Quayle back in the 2012 primary. He is one of those people who’s fond of putting “climate change” in scare quotes, calls man-made global warming “folklore,” and when he was running for Congress in 2008 suggested that climate change is largely just part of “a natural cycle.”
He also suggested that international agreements to reduce greenhouse gases — if that’s something we even need to do — are unnecessary, because the Free Market will take care of that for us. In a Faceplace post last year, Schweikert wrote,
In light of Obama’s ‘climate change’ speech today, I would like to REMIND him that at the time of its expiration, the Kyoto Protocol mandated that developed nations reduce their CO2 output by an average of 5.2%. Though we never ratified the Kyoto protocol, our country was able to REDUCE CO2 through new technology in the private sector, NOT top-down, economic crushing government mandates.
In that post, he linked to a Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative blog post that said those greenhouse gas reductions were not so much a sign of the benevolence of the marketplace, but purely an accidental byproduct of the cheap price of natural gas, which produces less CO2 than coal and oil. But the free market did help kinda-sorta, because energy consumption also fell a shitload thanks to the 2008 recession. Want to save the earth? Buy more credit default swaps on subprime mortgages.
Schweikert says he will use his new post to fight all the job-killing environmental regulations that are worse than failing to renew unemployment benefits and that Barack Obama delayed just for political advantage. What else would you expect of the head of the subcommittee on the environment?
Excellent move, House GOP! The War on Science continues. Keep trying, and you may just wipe out its pernicious, anti-American influence altogether.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He keeps his carbon footbrint small by staying chained to his computer.