Sadly, I am not surprised when I hear a Republican congressman make some sort of grotesquely antiscience statement. It’s all too common now, and seems hardly worth noting except to throw it on the ever-growing pile of political distortions of reality the GOP is now known for.
But sometimes, one comes along that is so outrageous and ridiculous it must be noted. Enter Dana Rohrabacher.
He is a far-right Republican in California, and toes the GOP stance of climate change denial. Recently, he made a statement that’s pretty bizarre, and it’s making the rounds on the internet. There was a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee (which he chairs) about UN climate policies and the US contributions to it. On the stand as a witness was the "top U.S. climate diplomat" Todd Stern… and Rohrabacher asked him this:
"Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rainforests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases? … Or would people be supportive of cutting down older trees in order to plant younger trees as a means to prevent this disaster from happening?"
Say WHAT? The idea here is that decaying matter in rainforests is emitting a lot of carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming. Rohrabacher seems to be saying that if we cut down old trees in rain forests there will be less decay, and therefore less CO2 emission.
This is such a bizarre statement it’s hard to know where to start. Read More