Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tom McClintock on climate change, in his own words

It seems Tom McClintock was proud enough to post the text of his (March 2009) climate denial speech on his own website, here. (Hat tip to Frank, who'd posted an audio excerpt, for alerting me. ) TMC excerpt:
"I want the record to be very clear: I believe that the earth’s climate is changing and that our planet is warming.

I must tell you that this is a somewhat sore subject for me. You see, it was me – and not Al Gore – who discovered the theory of Global Climate Change, and yet all you ever hear is Al Gore said this and Al Gore said that.

My climate change discovery came in the fall of 1964, when Miss Conroy took our third grade class to the Museum of Natural History.

It was there that we saw the panorama of dinosaurs tromping around the steamy swamps that are now part of Wyoming. That panorama was right next to the exhibit of the Wooly Mammoths foraging on glaciers that were also once the same part of Wyoming.

And I thought to myself, “Gee, those dinosaurs are nifty.” And then I thought to myself, “Good God, the climate must have changed from time to time.”

Younger voters (and his own children) to McClintock: Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time, and humans are now the dominant forcing.

To adapt Lou Grinzo's metaphor,

We’re sawing away at the tree limb we’re sitting on, and our Representative tells us not to worry because of all the times in the past when branches we weren’t sitting on broke without the aid of our saw.

The best and the brightest? You decide.


There's more to McClintock's speech than the excerpt above, & if you read it (link), you'll find he's proferring some long-debunked chestnuts like "Other planets are warming", and he advises finding credible information by Googling -
"If you have any doubt, just Google “Pluto Warming” or “Mars Warming” or whatever your favorite planet or former planet might be."
Oof. In the absence of an well-funded denial industry, that strategy might have worked.
(Although he's right, in the sense that - regrettably - a new meaning of "credible" might be emerging - not the original "likely to be correct", but the more literal "something that a particular individual is able to believe". )

If you prefer nonfiction, I'd recommend doing a science-aligned search for these terms instead.


A relevant resource, if McClintock brings up ice ages: How to explain Milankovitch cycles to a hostile Congressman in 30 seconds
(Richard Alley did, though it's not clear that Rohrabacher was open to learning)


Curtis Walker said...

The Climate Is Changing For McClintock...The Election Climate.

Those who pick and choose which science they need to make their point, while ignoring the masses of evidence, will never change. That ain't gonna happen with McClintock. He, like some TPP leaders and members and those Corporate people funding the Astroturf groups, have too much invested in their no fact positions.

Now they will merge with right wing religion for the 2012 races. Yep, the Republican/Tea Party/Christian Right party.

Gotta Stay Out Front.

Forget changing McClintock's mind; work to make sure he does not go back to DC in 2012. Again, that starts now. Now that is the ticket!

Anna Haynes said...

Related, sadly - Thoughts on stupid things politicians say about climate change