The House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (CSST) has jurisdiction over America’s scientific research into pretty much everything. So it’s deeply distressing that its official Twitter account tweeted an article from Breitbart that claims climate change is a myth.
“Global Temperatures Plunge,” the headline reads. “Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists.” It refers to the fact that the world-warming phenomenon El Niño has ended and global land temperatures have now fallen. Therefore, it boldly claims, climate change is a myth and it was El Niño all along.
Firstly, climate change is demonstrably real, and in fact may be feeding back into El Niño to make it more severe each time it appears. Secondly, land temperatures will obviously have fallen on land by now. Most of the land is in the Northern Hemisphere where something unusual called “winter” is taking place.
At the same time, the Arctic is 20°C (36°F) warmer than it should be right now. For some reason, Breitbart does not mention this at all, instead focusing on “lefties getting their climate information from fake news sites.”
The piece centers its conspiratorial theory on “evidence” from a website called the Global Warming Policy Forum, a known hotbed of climate change denial. Referencing it to discuss science is as credible as referencing the opinions of a sausage.
This article was authored by one James Delingpole, a malfunctioning, bloviating, ExxonMobil-funded non-scientist that spends his time talking about “climate alarmists”. He seems to really hate BuzzFeed, and on his website, his bio notes that he dislikes “the global warming myth,” but he likes “war”.
Bernie Sanders, for one, was not impressed with the CSST. Responding to the tweet, he said: “Where’d you get your PhD? Trump University?” Feel the Bern indeed.
Lest we forget that the CSST is in charge of policy when it comes to NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Unites States Geological Survey, to name just a few.
It is supposed to be a bastion of rational, scientifically progressive thought. It is now like the newly minted President-elect, spending time tweeting out gibberish.
It is genuinely insane that Breitbart – a grotesque alt-right website that doles out white nationalism and misogyny with all the grace and subtly of projectile vomiting – has managed to slip its way into the CSST, just as its former head is now one of the most influential people in the future Trump administration.
This is far from the first outburst of anti-intellectualism from the Republican-controlled CSST, however. The CSST has for some time held a fairly dire reputation when it comes to the dissemination of science – you know, its purpose.
Climate change deniers Ted “climate change is religion” Cruz and Marco “America is not a planet” Rubio were nominated last year to head some of its subcommittees. Both will be pleased to know that Trump plans to defund NASA’s Earth Science division, something they have often called for.
A few years back, the chief scientific advisor to the White House Dr John Holdren was forced to sit before a host of climate change denying, fossil fuel funded lawmakers at the committee. For several hours, this unfortunate scientist was tasked with absorbing a stream of unbelievably dim-witted manure as some twisted form of psychological punishment.
Jon Stewart takes on the CSST back in 2014. Comedy Central via YouTube
Listening to these politicians, Holdren remained polite throughout, even claiming he “enjoyed his interactions” with one of them, much in the way that, according to Jon Stewart, you would enjoy “playing peekaboo with a baby.”