Over the past many years, scientists have piled up evidence and data that point to humanity’s responsibility in warming trends to our planet’s climate. Republicans, backed by fossil fuel concerns and a base that is afraid that science will kill Santa Claus, have funded bogus deniers and enlisted hack right-wing writers and news-folk to sow the seeds of confusion surrounding what the science around climate change is. Texas Republican Lamar Smith is the oxymoronic Chairman of the House Science Committee. He spends a lot of energy trying to protect ExxonMobil. The other day his committee’s official government Twitter account tweeted out this.
The Breitbart piece was written by James Delingpole. Delingpole is the go-to Brit for climate denial writing at Breitbart, because he writes in a faux-British sarcastic and dry style—think of him as a dumb-man’s Nick Hornsby. The fake “wit” masks the fact that Delingpole is just a liar. The quote that Delingpole bases his attack on climate scientists is an article by David Rose at the Dailymail in England. Climate deniers have one argument that they conflate in varying degrees at any given time:
If the earth is getting “warmer” how come sometimes it still gets cold?
That’s basically it. In its most juvenile form it’s headlines from the New York Post during a cold stretch of winter putting out a headline saying “global warming?” In other forms it’s the oldest denier “science” fad—climate change “hiatus.” Since global warming is a large phenomenon, going day by day with your finger out the window won’t give you enough data to base a serious theory on. But, people like Delingpole and David Rose only need to remember that snow is cold to know that everything is fine. Even though this denial argument has been debunked, it doesn’t change the Republican post-fact repetition machine from squawking and squawking about it.
The Breitbart drivel above relies heavily on this story by David Rose. David Rose’s story doesn’t actually link to the “evidence” he pretends to give and that “evidence” isn’t real.
“They’re not serious articles,” said Adam Sobel, a Columbia University climate scientist. “They paint it as though it’s an argument between Breitbart and Buzzfeed when it’s an argument between a snarky Breitbart blogger and the entire world’s scientific community, and the overwhelming body of scientific evidence.”
Sobel said the articles “grossly misinterpret” a few accurate details, for instance that El Niño and La Niña systems play a large role in single-year fluctuations. “The temperature goes up for a couple of years and we have the largest year on record, then it goes down and it reaches a level that’s still well above 20th-century historical averages,” he said. “That in no way disproves anything about the causes of the long-term temperature trends.”
The House Science Committee is really taking a page from Donald Trump by using social media to propagate lies. However, it isn’t a new thing they are doing. Republicans love to take over government departments in order to defund and abuse those posts until no one believes in those government jobs as having any civil worth.