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This week, the Republican Party nominated Lamar Smith to head the Congressional committee on Science, Space and Technology for the next session.  Currently, Mr. Smith is chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary.  He is replacing another Texas lawyer Ralph Hall, who is retiring from Congress at the age of 89, and agreed that climate science is a conspiracy.  Do you think the Republicans could find someone with a science or technical degree to lead this critical committee?

As lead of the Committee of the Judiciary, Congressman Smith refused to let HR 2306, “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011” come to a hearing.  This bill would end the federal prohibition on Cannabis and allow it to be regulated by the states.  In the 2012 election, two states legalized Marijuana and now 17 states support medical use.  But Mr. Smith continues to stonewall hearings on federal changes for marijuana during this lame duck session.

He also argues that there is a “Liberal Media Bias” that promotes climate change. "If the American people don't get the facts, they can't make good decisions. And if the American people can't make good decisions, then our republic is threatened," said Smith in January 2011. He ignores the facts that a 2008 survey of Scientists University of Illinois shows 90% agreement of civilization’s impact on the climate. Another 2010 Stanford University Survey shows 97% of climatologists also agree. Also 34 National Science Academies has made declarations of mankind’s impact on climate change. The list of nations includes 17 of the G 20 nations. These efforts by scientists to create awareness to climate change and global warming are not related to the so-called “ClimateGate” deception. This lawyer doesn’t listen to the opinions of scientists.  He thinks scientists are in it for the money.  

This Congressman will now be chair of the committee responsible for addressing global warming and climate change.  On December 9, 2009, he stood at the floor of congress, speaking that mainstream media was bias towards climate change. Congressman Smith claimed; “We now know that prominent scientists were so determined to advance the idea of human-made global warming that they worked together to hide contradictory temperature data.”  This was in reference to the overblown ClimateGate; hyped by Fox News and ignored by the other media for weeks. It seems that Texas lawyers have a bias against climate change.

Maybe Congressman Smith will understand history. The recent climate changes are only icing on the cake of global warming, which has gone one for well over a hundred years. The impact of recent climate change can be demonstrated by examining the Northwest Passage.  For hundreds of years mankind searched for a northern path connecting the Far East with Europe.  They … all … failed until the twentieth century. In 2012, shipping traffic through the Northwest Passage included “The World” cruise ship and a 30-foot, 30 year old fiberglass sailboat.  This is in stark contrast to 1845, when two British steam ships, each over 350 tons, sailed into the icebound Northwest Passage and never returned. Their ruins were found ten years later by a sledding expedition.  This degree of glacial change is unpredicted in recorded history.  The last large glacial melt occurred over eight thousand years ago.  In 1845, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) concentration was under 290 Parts Per Million (PPM) while current CO2 concentration is over 390 PPM and rapidly rising.

We are at a point where we need to act against climate change.  I can only hope that Congressman Smith realizes how much future generations will be impacted by his actions, or inaction.

Frank Paine
Author Time Arc ( )


Is the conservative movement bias against climate change?

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