Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rep. Lamar Smith, Who Criticized 'The Idea Of Human-Made Global Warming,' Set To Chair House Science Panel

Climate advocates celebrated after winning nearly every Congressional race they targeted during the national elections, including four of the "Flat Earth Five" climate deniers in the House of Representatives. But with the balance of power essentially the same in Washington, many rightly worried that little would change moving into the 113th Congress.

Case in point: yesterday's nomination of Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) to chair the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology - a body with jurisdiction over many laboratories, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the National Weather Service.

Smith is a climate skeptic who has taken to the House floor to rant against scientists and journalists "determined to advance the idea of human-made global warming." Here's Smith in a 2009 speech after scientists' emails were hacked from a server at the University of East Anglia:

"We now know that prominent scientists were so determined to advance the idea of human-made global warming that they worked together to hide contradictory temperature data. But for two weeks, none of the networks gave the scandal any coverage on their evening news programs. And when they finally did cover it, their reporting was largely slanted in favor of global warming alarmists. The networks have shown a steady pattern of bias on climate change. During a six-month period, four out of five network news reports failed to acknowledge any dissenting opinions about global warming, according to a Business and Media Institute study. The networks should tell Americans the truth, rather than hide the facts.

In fact, independent reviews found that climate scientists neither hid nor tampered with data.

Compared to the outgoing chair of the committee - Texas Republican Ralph Hall - Smith has been a bit more "moderate" in his skepticism of climate change. Last year, Hall said he doesn't "think we can control what God controls" and explained that he wasn't concerned about global warming because he's "really more fearful of freezing," even though "I don't have any science to prove that."

Smith acknowledges on his website that the climate is changing; however, he does not mention the overwhelming consensus within the scientific community that humans are responsible.

Over his political career, Smith has received $500,000 from oil and gas. And just last year, he received $10,000 from Koch industries.

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