This story originally appeared in Slate and is republished here as part of our Climate Desk collaboration.
If you ever catch me in a moment of weakness about the weapons-grade dumbosity of global warming denial on the Republican side of the US House of Representatives, it might look a lot like what Jon Stewart did on The Daily Show on the Sept. 22, 2014, show:
It’s become a cliché that majority members of the House Science Committee know nothing at all about actual science (or they do, but choose to ignore it for ideological reasons)—but here on display for all to see is just how ridiculous the reality of it is. What you just saw are long, long debunked denial points being brought up like they are revealed wisdom, along with “gotcha”-style barbs that are transparently, bone-headedly wrong.
And isn’t presidential science adviser John Holdren a freaking ninja in those clips? He easily and smoothly shuts down the salvos of scientific ignorance tossed out by the committee members. For his part, I’m very glad Stewart pointed out the glaring hypocrisy of people like Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Indiana, who accuses climatologists of faking the science for money, when Bucshon himself is funded quite well by fossil fuel interests.
Holy oiliness. It’s loathsome enough that Bucshon would choose to simply ignore the agreement of the vast majority of climatologists who know the Earth is warming and that it’s our fault … but to do so while happily taking the Koch brothers’ money is really galling.
If I seem upset about this, it’s because I am. It’s like we’re in some sort of alternate reality, a Hollywood spoof of what government is like. But it’s real, and these buffoons are holding up any real chance we have of making any progress about one of the (if not the single) largest problem we as a species face.
There’s an election coming up, folks. Vote. I know there’s essentially no chance that the GOP won’t lose the majority in the House, but it’s important to get out there and vote, and to get others to as well. If we don’t, then we’re just handing over our future to these people who have their minds firmly closed to reality.