25 November 2015
The letter below was sent to Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, one of the top science denier’s in Congress, who happens to chair the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. That’s right, I said the chair of the science committee is one of the top science deniers in the Congress. That’s scary enough, but his attack on Dr. Tom Karl, the head of the NOAA National Climate Information Center, is beyond absurd.
You see, Smith thinks that climate change is a grand hoax, and that NOAA scientists like Karl are all part of the conspiracy. He’s demanding all kinds of things from Karl, because he blew out of the water one of the climate denier’s crowd most lovable myths, that climate change stopped. What he does no seem to understand, is that ALL the data he wants is available already. Guess what congressman, it’s already out there. That’s how science works ,and It’s more than alarming, given your position, that you don’t know that.
Go to war against science, and you are going to war with the established facts. You may win a few battles, but you will lose in the end, and lose badly. Galileo won (after his death), and so did Kepler, Darwin, and a host of others. Scientific truth always wins eventually. Authoritarian personalities react with anger when you knock the legs out from under a cherished table holding their worldview, and you should read about Bob Altemeyer’s research to understand more about this (It’s a rather funny read). Also, Chris Mooney’s summary of the research of Dan Kahan is indispensable to understand this kind of crazy behaviour.
Congressman Smith is an embarrassment to the Congress, his state, and his country. What many people do not realize, is that this myth of a pause, is totally meaningless in any event. If you add CO2 to an atmosphere, the atmosphere warms. Period, end of sentence. Even if there were a pause, it could not last long, because the heat being trapped will have to show itself. This has been understood since Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States. No one cared back then, because it was “obviously impossible to burn enough coal to raise the CO2 level more than a few parts per million”.
The letter below was signed by the top science societies in America. Full disclosure: I am a member of the AMS (and chair of the Committee on Station Science), and also a member of the AGU who host this blog. (Letter from the story in the Wash. Post which is HERE.)