Friday, August 11, 2017

Lamar Smith (R-TX) Uses His Perch In Congress To Wreck The Planet-- And He's Paul Ryan's Creature


Last night we talked a little about the Trumpanzee Regime's role in exacerbating the planet's Climate problems. Ultimately Trump will probably turn on his odious EPA head, Scott Pruitt and blame the whole thing on him. In reality, every single person who works for the Regime is responsible for something likely to be far more catastrophic for the planet than a "mere" nuclear conflagration in North Korea. And, not just the Trump Regime-- every congressional Republican who does't speak out forcefully-- basically, every congressional Republican. As we've been saying for several years, no one is more to blame than Austin/San Antonio Congressman Lamar Smith, the oily ($727,647 in bribes from the Oil and Gas industry) head of the House Science Committee. He repays the financing of his sleazy political career by claiming Global Warming might be a good thing. And this week he went publicly crazy again. Trump's favorite Texan after the NY Times leaked the federal scientific report about the dangers of Global Warming:
"The alarmist climate media is at it again. In its latest reporting of a so-called leaked climate assessment the New York Times relies on exaggerated statements and false allegations of cover-ups in order to push an agenda. To treat a climate report that has been public for months and is currently undergoing official comment by numerous federal agencies as a final document does a disservice to the American people. In numerous instances, the report fails to examine some of the most current data. For example, the impact of El Nino on the climate is completely downplayed and misconstrued to conflict with historical reports. Moreover, this alarmist reporting attempts to falsely link extreme weather events to climate change, when the data has never suggested this. Making temperature predictions far into the future has proven to be nothing more than speculation, and goes against the principles of scientific integrity. We should treat this document for what it is, an unfinished draft that requires serious revision. To report it in any other way is just fake news."
Writing for, Tom McKay pointed out that "Seriously, Smith is done with the whole Republican 'I’m not a scientist' line. In his telling, Smith has practically done the research himself, with his mighty brain striking like thunder at dubious scientific methodology."
The report published by the Times requires final sign-off by 13 federal agencies and the White House, so Smith might not have much say in its final conclusions. But he did seem to confirm a general Republican objective of cooking the books, writing, “We should treat this document for what it is, an unfinished draft that requires serious revision. To report it in any other way is just fake news.”

Several real climate scientists contacted by Gizmodo felt Smith was not as up to snuff on his research as he claimed to be, however.

“These comments reflect the utterances of someone who either doesn’t have the faintest understanding of the science, or has total contempt for scientific truth,” Michael Mann, climatologist, geophysicist and director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, told Gizmodo.

“To conflate El Nino (which is a climate fluctuation that occurs on timescales of a few years) with climate change (which describes trends over decades) is the last refuge of the climate change confusionist,” he added. “And given that model forecasts made decades ago successfully predicted the human-caused warming that has occurred since, the only thing that is ‘nothing more than speculation’ and in defiance of ‘the principles of scientific integrity’ is Lamar Smith’s fossil-fueled attack on the scientific discipline.”

Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton University geosciences professor and regular Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contributor, told Gizmodo that Smith “seems to be reading from the contrarian script rather than listening to climate scientists.”

“For example: Increases in the intensity and frequency of extreme heat including deadly heat waves such as the ones that killed about 40,000 Europeans in 2003 and devastated parts of Russia in 2010 have been convincingly linked to climate change,” Oppenheimer added. “Our ability to attribute the characteristics of some types of extreme events to climate change has been confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences. Does Smith know better than the best US scientists?”

Richard Alley, another Penn State geosciences professor and expert on the Earth’s cryosphere, noted Smith was correct the report was a draft finished some time ago, so it could not include “the absolutely most recent data.”

But Alley suggested reading a 2016 National Academy of Sciences report that he wrote showed “some extreme weather events can be attributed to climate change, in the sense that we have made them more likely, and more of them or more extreme ones are occurring.”

“This does not say that every extreme can or should be blamed on climate change, but some events are linked, with high confidence,” Alley added.

Kevin Trenberth, a senior climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and lead author of three IPCC scientific assessments, called Smith’s remarks “woeful ignorance, openly advertised!” and “certainly fake, or should I say, completely wrong.”

“The impact of El Nino is well known and is indeed taken into account,” Trenberth wrote. “It does not undermine the fact that 2016 is the warmest year on record, and 2015 second. Yes, both were influenced by the big El Nino, but 2014 is the next warmest and it wasn’t.”

He added there is “abundant evidence” the recent increase in extreme weather, like Hurricane Sandy and widespread flooding in the southern US, was the result of human-inducted climate change.

“The statistics for heavy rains increasing are very robust, although the effect has been greatest in the Northeast,” Trenberth added. “Meanwhile stronger droughts (think California), and now year-round wild fire seasons, cause tremendous hardship and disruption and monetary losses. The huge flood along the Front Range in the Denver-Boulder area in 2013 has now been confirmed to have the rainfall increased by 30 percent due to human-induced climate change.”

“The scientific evidence is overwhelming, and scientific integrity has everything to do with scientists crying out a warning,” Trenberth concluded.

The four scientists who spoke with Gizmodo are just a tiny fragment of the greater climate science community, which nearly universally agrees humans are responsible for climate change, which virtually all of them also agree could have disastrous impacts on the human species. Smith is just one dude who won a few elections in Texas and has no formal scientific qualifications whatsoever, but who does take an awful lot of money from the oil and gas industry.

It doesn’t really take a scientist to figure this one out, but you should probably listen to what they have to say anyway.

We spoke with Derrick Crowe this morning. Yesterday he spoke to the Austin City Council about Climate Change. You can watch his testimony on the video below. This morning he told us that "Lamar Smith can't make up his mind. Last week, he was a climate change advocate, trying to convince people that melting the ice caps was a great idea. This week, he's pretending he has the qualifications to pick apart the work of the top scientists in their field, asserting that warnings of imminent climate impacts are alarmist. Here's a tip for Mr. Smith: it's much simpler to keep your story straight if you just tell the truth, and the truth is, his work to block climate action in Congress has brought us to the brink of climate disaster. Winning gerrymandered elections with corporate PAC money doesn't make Smith an expert on anything other than working the rigged system."

The idea of Ryan keeping a neanderthal freak as chairman of the House Science Committee is a joke (ha, ha) in GOP circle, but not funny for Americans who take the crisis seriously. And it isn't Trumpanzee, who calls climate change "a hoax" or the egregiously corrupted Scott Pruitt who have Lamar Smith in that position; it's Paul Ryan. Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a report confirming that 2016 was the warmest year ever recorded on the planet-- the third in a row to break global temperature records. (ha, ha, Speaker Ryan?) Among the other findings:
Greenhouse gas concentrations are higher than ever recorded. Between 2015 and 2016, carbon dioxide concentrations saw their biggest annual increase in the 58 years on record, reaching peaks not seen in the last 800,000 years of ice core measurements.
Global surface temperatures are the highest on record.
Sea levels are the highest they’ve ever been since recordkeeping began. Global seas are about 3.25 inches higher than the 1993 average when satellite recording began. 2016 marks the sixth year that sea levels have risen.
Precipitation cycles are becoming more extreme.
The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the world.
Antarctic sea ice levels are lower than ever recorded.
Alpine glaciers have declined for 37 consecutive years. Glaciers shrunk an average of 2.8 feet.
There were more tropical cyclones, with 93 storms in 2016, compared to an average of 82 between 1981 and 2010.
Ryan's opponent, Randy Bryce, has been hammering him on Climate Change on the stump in southeast Wisconsin. And this meme his campaign has produced went viral:

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At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's an old cartoon that I can't find, where a teacher is addressing one of the kids in her class and says something like, "Well, Timmy, there is no such thing as a wrong answer. But if there were, that would certainly be it."

It does make me wonder sometimes, how some of these reality-ignorers made it out of the first grade. Pretty basic stuff: bragging about dating your daughter is wrong; you are not an expert in fields of study you have not studied; greed is unattractive and can backfire; oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive; things of that sort, seem to have not ever been heard of. Don't put your finger in a light socket. Where were these "adults" raised? How did they survive to adulthood? And, not to be mean, but don't we all have a duty to remove the idiot from the light fixture?
The wolves minding the sheep. What could go wrong?

At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ekstase, your musings are well founded. Except you forget the corrosive effect religious delusion has on reason and knowledge.

Richard Dawkins ("The God Delusion") points out, correctly, that when someone is in the thrall of god/holy spirit/allah, and they are faced with proof of some truth, even a fundamental one, that is contradicted by dogma of their particular faith, they don't realize that their faith is horse shit. They believe even more fervently that the dogma is THEIR truth and the proven fact is somehow a manipulation by magic or something.

I would point out that the entire R party and about 75% of the democrap party are no different than Pruitt and alexander mentioned here. Big oil pays them all to deny and thwart useful change; and their pulpit consistently denies man-made anything will destroy the earth. The destruction of earth and mankind are the sole purview of their deity... he likes killing and destroying very much, according to their scripture. Destruction of earth and mankind would be like an orgasm for that god.

And, yeah, I view all this as validation of Darwin. Those ill-suited for survival will die and will often take the herd with them. In this case, they'll forever alter the earth as well.

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lamar Smith probably believes White life would be so much better if only Custer had taken the nuke he was offered to the Little Big Horn.


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