James Delingpole is a Briton who admits he’s just a reader of English literature, not a scientist. That didn’t stop him from publishing another of his duncecap climate change denier pieces at Breitbart, where he has posted for the past couple of years. Meanwhile, somebody—perhaps Chairman Lamar Smith himself—at the House Science, Space & Technology Committee tweeted (or authorized) a link to Delingpole’s piece, tossing it out like Sen. James Inhofe’s snowball on the Senate floor for everyone to see:
According to this screed by Delingpole, who once wrote that executions were too good for climate scientists, 2016 is the hottest year on record solely because of the periodic warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean—El Niño—and global temperatures will retreat because of La Niña, the countervailing cyclic cooling. This, of course, totally ignores the long-term trend. It’s not just 2016 that was the hottest year ever measured. Ten of the hottest years ever have all occurred since 1998.
Given that the most popular climate story on social media in the past six months labeled the science behind global warming a hoax, presumably tens of thousands of readers will nod uh-huh when they read that tweet, an official message from a committee supposedly dedicated to science. Chairman Smith, a Texas Republican, is simultaneously a head-in-the-sand, 100-percent climate change denier and a head-up-his-ass attacker of science and scientists.
In this instance, Smith’s committee has put its imprimatur on a kindred spirit in Delingpole, who is noted for his aggressive attacks on climate science. Here he is in March:
“Climate change is the biggest scam in the history of the world—a $1.5 trillion-a-year conspiracy against the taxpayer, every cent, penny and centime of which ends in the pockets of the wrong kind of people, none of which goes towards a cause remotely worth funding, all of it a complete and utter waste.”
Among other Delingpole claims: ocean acidification ain’t happening, wind turbines are an inefficient scam, the Earth is entering a cooling period, and volcanoes produce more carbon dioxide than humans, the latter point demolished by the U.S. Geological Service, which pointed out that volcanoes actually produce less than 1 percent as much CO2 as humans.
But that’s science—something the leadership of the House Science committee seems to hold in the same esteem and understanding as the Vatican did, circa 1620. The Vatican wised up. It’s doubtful Smith, Delingpole, and their ilk ever will.