Three climate contrarians vie to lead House Science Committee

Ars Technica ┬╗ Scientific Method 2012-11-20

The House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology hears testimony on climate change in March 2011.[/ars_img]If you had the chance to ask questions of one of the world's leading climatologists, would you select a set of topics that would be at home in the heated discussions that take place in the Ars forums? If you watch the video below, you'd find that's precisely what Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) chose to do when Penn State's Richard Alley (a fellow Republican) was called before the House Science Committee, which has already had issues with its grasp of science. Rohrabacher took Alley on a tour of some of the least convincing arguments about climate change, all trying to convince him changes in the Sun were to blame for a changing climate. (Alley, for his part, noted that we have actually measured the Sun, and we've seen no such changes.)

Now, if he has his way, Rohrabacher will be chairing the committee once the next Congress is seated. Even if he doesn't get the job, the alternatives aren't much better.

There has been some good news for the Science Committee to come out of the last election. Representative Todd Akin (R-MO), whose lack of understanding of biology was made clear by his comments on "legitimate rape," had to give up his seat to run for the Senate, a race he lost. Meanwhile, Paul Broun (R-GA), who said that evolution and cosmology are "lies straight from the pit of Hell," won reelection, but he received a bit of a warning in the process. Dead English naturalist Charles Darwin, who is ineligible to serve in Congress, managed to draw thousands of write-in votes. And, thanks to limits on chairmanships, Ralph Hall (R-TX), who accused climate scientists of being in it for the money (if so, they're doing it wrong), will have to step down.

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