In a rather astounding, inappropriate for youth moment, House Minority Leader John Boehner chose to put his ASS on display. Anti-Science Syndrome, that is.
Today, on ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulus pushed Boehner to speak to Global Warming and the Republican Party’s plans to deal with Climate Change in like of Democratic House leadership (Markey-Waxman American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act, for example) and the Obama Administration’s allegiance to science and law, as seen with the EPA’s Friday announcement that CO2 and other greenhouse gases endanger the public.
In response, Boehner spouted false information (no, John, CO2 is not a carcinogen), truthiness, and idiocies.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you then about energy. We showed your statement on the president’s decision through the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. Also, you’ve come out against the president’s proposal to cap-and-trade carbon emissions.
So what is the Republican answer to climate change? Is it a problem? Do you have a plan to address it?
BOEHNER: George, we believe that our — all of the above energy strategy from last year continues to be the right approach on energy. That we ought to make sure that we have new sources of energy, green energy, but we need nuclear energy, we need other types of alternatives, and, yes, we need American-made oil and gas.
Let’s be clear. Repeat after John and Sarah: “Drill, Baby, Drill!” Let’s work together to figure out how to reinforce a 19th century, polluting energy system, digging our hole deeper (with deeper holes from mountain-top removals, strip mining, and drilling for ever more difficult to recover oil and natural gas).
STEPHANOPOULOS: But that doesn’t do anything when it comes to emissions, sir.
Doesn’t this seem to be the sort of challenging engagement that was far too often absent through a recent dark period of American history?
BOEHNER: When it comes to the issue of climate change, George, it’s pretty clear that if we don’t work with other industrialized nations around the world, what’s going to happen is that we’re going to ship millions of American jobs overseas. We have to deal with this in a responsible way.
It is nice to see that the House Minority Leader really isn’t interested in setting a path where America leads the globe unilaterally on a position.
And, it is rather refreshing to see such a call for multilateralism, no?
Really, what is the point of Boehner’s words? Attempting to deflect the question and to foster fear: watch out, evil people are trying to steal your jobs.
Yes, need to structure our approaches to avoid allowing business to flee to nations and areas not engaged in action to reduce GHG emissions. And, to avoid giving business advantage to countries that don’t engage with the global community in dealing with GW.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So what is the responsible way? That’s my question. What is the Republican plan to deal with carbon emissions, which every major scientific organization has said is contributing to climate change?
Again, I need to pause to remark on George actually having the tenacity to ask, repeatedly, meaningful questions on a difficult subject.
BOEHNER: George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen
Okay, to be absolutely clear, John, CO2 is NOT a known carcinogen.
These type of errors lead Chris Mooney to suggest that someone get Boehner a scientist as a science advisor.
BOEHNER: George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide.
The latest fad, it seems, amid the denier/skeptic/delayer community is to be emphasizing that Co2 is plant life. This has been seen in recent weeks from witnesses in Senate testimony, from Republican Congressmen in hearings, in blog posts galore, and in conservative columns and editorial pages.
To place this in quick context, let’s lay out that angle:
- You will die if you don’t have liquid (water). (Get your eight glasses yesterday?) If a half-gallon/day is good for you, then a gallon must be better. And, well, of course, why not try drinking 50 gallons per day.
- John, if CO2 is nothing to worry about, why not electric tape closed your garage (with you inside, with no innocents in there with you) and run a natural gas heater for awhile to [breath in some of the carbon monoxide from inadequate combustion] and higher CO2 from the combustion? [NOTE: A primary characteristic of ASS-sufferers is an inability to admit error and correct oneselves. This was a quickly written aside, leaving aside that the threat to life is not from carbon dioxide, but carbon monoxide, in this situation. Thus, a correction to and mea culpa for that error in what is / was a flippant aside.]
Yes, CO2 is natural.
Yet … so what? The science is clear, there has been about a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations due to human activities over the past 150 years or so (principally burning of fossil fuels).
Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide. And so I think it’s clear…
John, by the way, if you mean “breathe”, then yes, “we’ve got more carbon dioxide”. But, well, if it is coming out in a belch or out the other end, then we don’t have more CO2, but methane. That methane, by the way, in the near term (decades rather than centuries) is some 21 times more dangerous in global warming terms than CO2.
Jamess, in a typically strong fashion, suggests Boehner forget about cow farts and learn something about “earth burps” (or methane releases as warming melts the permafrost).
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you don’t believe that greenhouse gases are a problem in creating climate change?
BOEHNER: … we’ve had climate change over the last 100 years — listen, it’s clear we’ve had change in our climate.
Okay, has he just admitted that Global Warming exists? I don’t think so.
The question is
John, you should understand grammar. Is the correct phasing “the question is” or “questions are”? You help me decide.
The question is how much does man have to do with it, and what is the proper way to deal with this?
Well, these are both quite legitimate questions.
The first is a question of science. And, the answer is understood to a very high degree of confidence: There is a high likelihood (95+%) that humanity is responsible for the majority of the current warming.
The second is a question of policy, for which science can provide advice. So, by the way, John — what is the right way “to deal with this”?
We can’t do it alone as one nation.
Wow. Isn’t it surprising to hear a Republican leader saying America can’t do it alone?
In any event, who is arguing for the US alone to be taking action?
If we got India, China and other industrialized countries not working with us, all we’re going to do is ship millions of American jobs overseas.
Again, are you getting scared?
And, absolutely should have the globe’s major players involved in moving forward to a lower-carbon global economy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it sounds like from what you’re saying that you don’t believe that Republicans need to come up with a plan to control carbon emissions? You’re suggesting it’s not that big of a problem, even though the scientific consensus is that it has contributed to the climate change.
BOEHNER: I think it is — I think it is an issue. The question is, what is the proper answer and the responsible answer?
STEPHANOPOULOS: And what is the answer? That’s what I’m trying to get at.
BOEHNER: George, I think everyone in America is looking for the proper answer. We don’t want to raise taxes, $1.5 to $2 trillion like the administration is proposing, and we don’t want to ship millions of American jobs overseas. And so we’ve got to find ways to work toward this solution to this problem without risking the future for our kids and grandkids.
Let’s scare you in three ways:
1. Taxes. TAXES. TAXES!!! Let’s not talk about benefits, just costs.
2. “Ship millions of American jobs overseas”. What has happened, John, in recent years? Hmmm … so, legislation needs to be written with an understanding that the US doesn’t exist in a vacuum. What a shocking idea.
3. “Risking the future for our kids and grandkids”. Actually, John, we must seek to find a solution so that we aren’t ruining the future.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you are committed to coming up with a plan?
BOEHNER: I think you’ll see a plan from us. Just like you’ve seen a plan from us on the stimulus bill and a better plan on the budget.
You’re going to provide a “plan”, John.
I’m waiting with baited breath.
For some reason, have to believe that it won’t be putting some serious ASS on public display, a display inappropriate for minors.