Who wouldn't like a nice warm planet? It's cozy.

Good news, America! The House Science Committee is going to help solve global warming and other problems by cutting the funding to study them! If you don’t have a bunch of scientists getting rich off climate studies, there won’t be a lot of scary data to worry about, and America will be richer and happier. Strangely, they haven’t proposed curing cancer by this simple expedient…yet.

House Republicans offered their visionary solution to our problems in their proposal to reauthorize funding for several research agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Energy (DOE). Science Insider notes that the NSF reauthorization comes in at about $126 million less than what President Obama requested, and shifts a lot of funding around, slashing $165 million from geosciences, which is where all that pesky global warming information comes from, and $140 million — about half the current funding — from social and behavioral sciences, which just wastes money looking at stupid stuff anyway. Another $100 million gets cut from education.

But some of that money will at least go to some useful stuff, like computing, biology, engineering, math, and physical sciences, which are real manly sciences and won’t go around trying to tell you what kind of car you can drive or how much coal you can dig out of the ground.

Cutting social science funding is especially important to Republicans, because who needs that nonsense anyway? For one thing, some of those studies are politically inconvenient, like an NSF study that found that fewer American households owned guns, but that among those that did, they were buying more of them. Or, as the Boston Globe details, it’s always a good game to find anything that might sound silly — whatever the actual merits of the research — slap a supposed price tag on it, and then mock it as a ridiculous waste of John Q. Taxpayer’s precious money. Why on earth would we want to look at how changes to Medicare affect seniors’ political views? Or know anything about textiles used by the Vikings?

“We have to question spending nearly $700,000 of taxpayer dollars to fund a climate change musical or over $220,000 to study animal photos in National Geographic,” said US Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, in a statement to the Globe. “It’s the role of Congress to make sure we’re using limited federal funds for the highest priority research.”

Of course, what Congress insists is stupid and wasteful may not actually be either. Remember the infamous $3 million shrimp treadmill, a device made out of spare parts that actually cost less than 50 bucks, and was never a study about exercising crustaceans? Instead, it was really studying how pollution was affecting sea life, and putting the shrimp on the teensy treadmills was how the researchers compared healthy marine organisms to those from polluted waters. Which, given the size of the seafood industry, might just be pretty goddamned important.

Democrats will of course try to fight to save some funding where it’s possible, probably with lame appeals to “knowledge” and “scientific independence.” Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, one of the rare pro-science members of the science committee, asked if maybe it might not be a bad precedent to let partisan concerns determine science priorities:

“For a committee that is supposed to be advancing science, we seem to be doing an awfully good job of advancing selective science … It’s been frustrating, particularly of late.”

Kennedy called a Republican bill that would require the NSF to publicly justify all its grants an “opportunistic approach to defunding or attacking certain areas of science that you either don’t agree with or that you don’t want to see what the results might actually be.”

Well don’t you worry, Rep. Kennedy. There’s a lot of good science that can still be done, and corporate campaign funders will let the House Science Committee know what it is that America needs to study. What could possibly go wrong?

[Boston Globe / Science Insider via RawStory]

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  • Steverino247

    There are two ways to look at global warming:

    The Good News–Global warming is caused by human activities. This is good because we can do something about it.

    The Bad News–Global warming is NOT caused by human activities. This is bad because we can’t do a damned thing about it.

    The anti-science bullshit that goes on in this country is going to kill us all. How the rest of the world puts up with us, I don’t know.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      The Bad News could still be good news if we figure out ways to deal with bad stuff that isn’t caused by human activities through applying, oh, I dunno, science, maybe? Unfortunately, the GOTP is turning The Good News into bad news by applying bribes and prayer to bad stuff that is caused by human activities. It’s a lose-lose situation.

  • stankbait

    An ostrich with its head in the sand won’t get a sunburned face, but
    that elevated and exposed butthole is going to hurt…

    • onedollarjuana

      At least global warming will result in even more sand to hide their fat heads in.

  • Lizzietish81
    • Good_Gawd_Yall


    • JustPixelz

      You have a video clip for every situation! It’s like having our own private Daily Show.

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …geez, don’t you guys know that ignoring an addiction is the best way to make it go away?!?!?

    • ShriekinViolet

      No kidding – the same tactic worked so well when they cut sex ed funding. Lalalala, I can’t hear you/reason, abstinence only forever – and, voilà, no more STDs or accidental babbies. Huge success.

      Wait, those wouldn’t be the same guys behind the current climate denialism, would it?

      • Blank Ron

        Surprise, surprise, surprise!

  • freakishlystrong

    How does one “agree or disagree” with Science? Our Klown Kongress really must be the envy of the world.

  • Politics_Nerd

    What an embarrassment. We WILL look back on these times as a moment in history where humanity CHOSE to fuck itself so royally it just staggers the mind.

  • That shrimp treadmill powered the lights for many a dim bulb.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Re: the above pic… “Past warmings were beneficial.” Yea, I’m sure the dinosaurs were thrilled by those “past warmings.”

    • Lizzietish81

      Please, you want to talk about fun warmings, look at the Permien.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Not to mention Fred Flintstone’s disappointment at losing his ride.

    • FauxAntocles

      Life is a gas on Venus!

      • Rabbit_Rebozo

        96.5% carbon dioxide, to be precise.

        • mtn_philosoph

          Surface temp of 462ºC (864ºF). Like Texas on a summer day..

          • Rabbit_Rebozo

            True. All other things being equal, I’d rather vacation on Venus.

    • SuspectedDemocrat

      Reptiles and insects love it. Mammals, not so much.

      • Msgr_Moment

        Even educated fleas?

        • mtn_philosoph

          Yes, but only after someone buys them dinner first.

      • Hardly Ideal

        If memory serves, the warmer climate saw the advent of plants as we know them, spiders the size of dogs, centipedes that could stand and stare a man in the eyes, and sea levels >100ft higher than they are today.

        Paradise if you’re a paleobiologist!

        • Lizzietish81

          That was specifically oxygen rich climate, brought on by the explosion of plant life before land animals got big enough to control it.

  • Mehmeisterjr

    We should fund a study to find out why it’s been frustrating, particularly of late. Oh wait, I think I know why.

  • Lizzietish81
  • Good_Gawd_Yall

    I have said this before: it’s as if these people think there’s another planet that they can flee to once they’ve destroyed this one.

    • elviouslyqueer

      Kolob LIBEL!

    • JohnBull

      They could go to Venus. Because global warming doesn’t exist there either.

    • Blank Ron

      Scoff if you like, but I’ve run into a few people (primarily at SF cons) who actually think this way.
      What’s even more hilarious is that they think they’ll be the ones who get to go.

      • mtn_philosoph

        Like, say, Elon Musk?

    • Zyxomma

      Yes, I’ve been saying it for decades: There is no Planet B.

  • Me not sure

    In other news, Halliburton gets contract to build huge Netherlands-style Floridyke.

    • Blank Ron

      Will they build her a giant Subaru to drive as well?

      • Me not sure

        After the very large Nikes.

  • SuspectedDemocrat

    Because a “skeptic” is someone who doesn’t want to know.


  • JohnBull

    “It’s been frustrating, particularly of late.”

    Especially now that Senator Inhofe has run out of snowballs he’s been keeping in his freezer.

  • orygoon

    How odd that they do not adopt my own prescription, which is to put everyone on a rice and beans diet (plus veggies such as they can grow or trade from their neighbors) and take their cars away, to be replaced with bus passes and bicycles (including electric-assisted bikes for people not in the peak of good health). I just don’t understand it.

  • beatbort

    Is there a single adult in the Republican Party who can sit his/her colleagues down and tell them they are behaving like children?

    • Weldon Thomas

      Reanimated Dwight Eisenhower?

      • Villago Delenda Est

        About the only way it will happen. Ike had some interesting things to say about offal like the Hunt brothers, and would have interesting things to say about offal like the Koch brothers, for example.

        • Weldon Thomas

          Ike would certainly have taken them to task over their willful ignorance re climate change and their craven subservience to the billionaires.

      • Rabbit_Rebozo

        Ike would be burned at the stake.

    • chicken thief

      I love your sense of humor!!!1!!

    • MrBlobfish

      You’re new around here, huh?

    • Ellis_Weiner

      They’re not behaving like children. They’re behaving like adult ignoramuses and corrupt servants of corporate interests. That’s much worse.

    • doktorzoom

      When the grownups have shown up, they’ve been primaried to death.

      See also Inglis, Robert

    • mtn_philosoph

      “Bob Dole would set ’em straight.” says Bob Dole.

  • Callyson

    Judging by the comments below, it looks like our dear moderator has been busy this morning. Can’t wait to see this week’s deleted commenters…

    • Hardly Ideal

      I’m just a little bummed I couldn’t see one of the comments before the banhammer smashed ’em. All I have to go on now are the taunting replies written in the leftover dust.

      • Rabbit_Rebozo

        I know, right? Sometimes having a job sucks!

        Or at least having a job that requires you to, you know, actually do work.

      • Lizzietish81

        It was pretty choice word salad I have to say.

      • doktorzoom

        Don’t worry, if there was anything especially worth mocking, I’ll sweep it up from the deleted comments queue Sunday.

        Edit, after a visit to the queue: Oy. Yeah, they’ll be in there on Sunday.

  • Msgr_Moment

    More brilliant out-of-the-box thinking from the Know Nothing Party.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    I do not trust sacks of fetid horseshit like the “Honorable” Lamar Smith to make these sort of judgements, seeing as their heads are filled with extra-fetid horseshit.

  • JustPixelz

    “It’s the role of Congress to make sure we’re using limited federal funds for the highest priority research.”

    There you go again, picking winners and losers.

  • JustPixelz

    Except for all the dead people from flooding, food disruption, disease vectors and economic collapse, their plan is shear elegance in its simplicity.

    • david green

      But those deceased peoples will all be the poors, so no fault, no foul.

  • Poly_Ester

    You know what is a waste of John Q. Taxpayer’s money? Congress, let’s demand performance based pay. In other words, starve the monkey.

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Here here. While we’re at it, make it illegal to receive any other money from any company, job, position, book deal, consulting gig etc and then step back as they all retire in 20 seconds.

      Edit: any other money while on the job that is. Afterwards they can Fox all they want

      • doktorzoom

        Ah, but the problem is that this is how it already works. Legislate for a few years, get reelected with corporate money, get to know the system, then go to work as a lobbyist for your former donors, where you’ll be especially well-compensated because you know how to game the system.

        • mtn_philosoph

          Plus as a former colleague you automatically have an “in” with key legislators because the two of you had previously worked together on some bill or you had sided with them during a critical vote. Makes it much easier to get face time and return phone calls.

  • AnOuthouse

    More public money needs to be spent on advanced fracking techniques, naturally.

  • chascates

    Tell me again how much money we spend on ‘defense’? 640 billion (2015) you say?

  • Msgr_Moment

    The Armageddon that dare not speak its name.

  • TheBidenator

    It’s no surprise that they’re cutting social science funding, wingnuts have been at war with social science going back to the Halcyon days of segregation when social science disproved the notion of ‘separate but equal’. Nowadays there’s all these pesky impact studies demonstrating that increasing the inequality of income, education, health care are actually bad policy making social science a vanguard of the wingnut jihad against reality. Social science also had the temerity to scoff at the studies of right wing idiots like Charles Murray and John Lott who were merely advancing the “real science” of intellectual racism and preposterous gun nuttery…so yes, not a surprise at all.

    Stupid old man flatulence reeking dick weasels….

  • Rabbit_Rebozo

    Another $100 million gets cut from education

    Thank Jeebus! We’re getting too smart.

    • dshwa

      IT’s about time we gave the rest of the world a chance to catch up to us in Math and Science.

      Wait, what?

  • Bill Slider

    Please, NASA, discover oil on another planet, or at least the moon.

  • Guest

    There are several entire schools of developmentally disadvantaged kids that will be glad to contract for the House Science Committee, should they decide to out source. It will cost less than maintaining the current raft of elected grafters, and will be much less annoying. Also, the kids will probably be more rational.

  • DahBoner

    won’t go around trying to tell you what kind of car you can drive

    Actually, a lot of Car and Driver reviews are written by Mechanical Engineers who hate Priuses and love turbocharged muscle cars because they love pulling into the gas station more often and giving money to terrorists…

  • Zyxomma

    I’d like funding for a very important study on exactly how many bags of salted rat dicks it takes to gag a Republican member of the House Science Committee. For science, of course.

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