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The US Science Committee Just Shared an Article Calling The Paris Accord a 'Fossil-Fuel Haters Club'

Yes that's the official government House Science Committee.

CARLY CASSELLA, SCIENCE AF
7 JUN 2018
 

On the very same day that NOAA declared May 2018 the hottest May on national record, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee posted an article on their Twitter, attacking the Paris climate accord for being a "fossil-fuel haters club."

 
 

It's not exactly what you would expect from a committee tasked with promoting scientific research. But then again, when Lamar Smith, one of the most notorious climate deniers in Congress, is the current chairman of the committee, it kind of is.

If you know anything about Representative Smith's opinions on climate change, it should come as no surprise that the article was written by Marlo Lewis, a leading member of the climate-denying think tank The Heartland Institute.

In the past, Lewis has flatly denied that the planet is warming and that CO2 is in fact a pollutant. At one point he even declared that environmental alarmism is more dangerous than climate change itself.

Lewis' most recent article is more of the same. In The Washington Times, Lewis describes the Paris climate accord as a "fossil fuel haters club" designed to "pressure and browbeat us into acting against our best interests" through "nagging, scolding and bad advice."

 
 

Nevertheless, there is strong evidence to suggest that this is a limited version of the truth. A recent study predicts that global demand for fossil fuels is going to plummet in the near future, causing a huge "carbon bubble" up to 16 times bigger than the one that caused the 2008 financial crisis.

The findings suggest this is going to happen regardless of whether major nations adopt climate polices that promote renewable energy.

"Individual nations cannot avoid the situation by ignoring the Paris Agreement or burying their heads in coal and tar sands," said co-author Jorge Viñuales, the chair of Law and Environmental Policy at Cambridge University.

In other words, if the US wants to avoid another financial catastrophe, it needs to start divesting from fossil fuels - the exact opposite of what the House science committee appears to be suggesting.

It's comforting to think that the committee's most recent tweet is somehow out of character, but scrolling through their Twitter account quickly dispels any hope that this could be true.

Under Smith's leadership, the committee has been consistently posting articles that call into question the science underlying climate change and the practicality of climate policies and environmental regulations.

One article, for instance, argues in its title that "Climate Change Has Run Its Course." It was written by Steven F. Hayward, a climate denier who has compared environmentalism to drug addiction.

Another article from the WSJ claims that sea level is rising, but not because of climate change. It was written Fred Singer, a leading member of The Heartland Institute who believes climate change is a natural phenomenon.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has firmly debunked this article, reminding the WSJ that the science on why sea levels are rising is "crystal clear."

The WSJ article received a -1.8 rating from ClimateFeedback.org for grossly misleading readers on climate science.

 
 

The WSJ's abysmal coverage of climate science is nothing new. When the Partnership for Responsible Growth (PRG) analyzed 201 editorials from the WSJ going back to 1997, they found that not a single one of them acknowledged that fossil fuels cause climate change (even though the vast majority of scientists accept this as fact).

As DeSmog Blog correctly points out, this is equivalent to writing a couple hundred articles on lung cancer and never mentioning cigarettes.

Nevertheless, the House science committee continues to share WSJ articles from climate-deniers, including those written by Holman W. Jenkins, Steve Milloy, Oren Cass, and Matt Ridley.

All in all, the committee has shared approximately 36 WSJ articles on Twitter since September 2017. Over half of these articles spout climate denial in some form or other.

Nor is the committee's science denial confined to just Twitter. A recent committee hearing on climate change turned into an absolute circus of climate denial, with one congressman suggesting that the sea is rising not because of climate change but because of rocks and soil falling into the sea.

As you can imagine, scientists are beyond frustrated with how the committee is handling climate science.

Shortly after the committee posted Lewis' article, the famous astronomer and science writer Phil Plait condemned the tweet, calling the GOP members "troglodytes" and counting down their days left in office.

On November 6, Lamar Smith's seat in Congress will be up for grabs. Until then, the House science committee's Twitter account will likely continue to spew even more mind boggling, scientific nonsense.

This article was originally published by Science As Fact.

Science As Fact is our sister site where we cover politics, debunking, fact checking, and humour. If you want more like this, head over to Science As Fact.

 

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