Make Science Great Again

by Naomi Ages

March 29, 2017

The House “Science” Committee is at it again, and this time they’ve got a climate denier in the White House to back them up.

Climate Deniers

Photo by tropical.pete / Flickr. Creative Commons.

As climate scientist David Titley wrote for the Washington Post today, “questioning the basics of climate change is akin to holding a hearing to examine whether Earth orbits the sun.”

And yet that is exactly what our government continues to do — on taxpayers’ dime.

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the incredulously-named House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, held yet another hearing this morning to “debate” climate science. Don’t let the snooze-inducing title “Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method” deceive you. This hearing was two hours of taxpayer time and money spent giving a bigger microphone to climate deniers and furthering the false idea that there is anything to debate about climate change.

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has jurisdiction over some of the most crucial government agencies, especially when as they relate to climate science. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA — they all depend on federal funding. Today even Dr. Judith Curry — who deniers in Congress regularly turn to for these sham hearings — went off message and testified that atmospheric and ocean monitoring systems were “critical” and urged the Committee to continue their funding. Whoops for her, but we agree.

Lamar Smith, however has no interest in furthering scientific research or debate. He uses the Committee as “a tool to advance his political agenda rather than a forum to examine important issues facing the U.S. research community.”

Smith also took the opportunity at this hearing to deny those facts, managing to keep a straight face while asserting that “Science” is not an objective magazine. Meanwhile, the official House Science Committee Twitter account shared a climate-denying Breitbart article.

So far no has one pointed out the absurdity of holding this hearing the day after the Trump administration began the process of dismantling the Clean Power Plan. So we will.

The House Science Committee should be listening to the majority of Americans who want swift action to address climate change — even 75 percent of Trump voters say they favor more clean energy. Our tax dollars should be invested in scientific research and technology that ushers in the clean energy future we deserve.

The only debate the House Science Committee should be encouraging is the best way to get there. Until then, this is the only red hat you’ll catch me wearing.

Naomi Ages

By Naomi Ages

Naomi Ages is a senior political strategist with Greenpeace International.

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