Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boehner's Boner

Minority Leader John Boehner's denial of the scientific consensus on climate change, offered this morning on ABC's This Week, is so comical, so stupid, and so incredibly ignorant that I don't know if I want to move to France, slit my wrists, or give him an award:

Boehner replied: "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. Every cow in the world, you know when they do what they do you've got more carbon dioxide."

This is wrong in so many ways it's scary. (1) No one has ever claimed that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen (2) there are thousands of substances that are perfectly safe at one level of exposure and dangerous at another (say, water), and (3) the worst part of cow flatulence is its methane (CH4), not its carbon dioxide (CO2). Pound-for-pound methane is 20 times more effective in trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Livestock flatulence and manure is responsible for about one-third of global methane emissions.

So, yes, let's please take our scientific advice from Mr. Boehner.

8 comments:

Stimpson said...

I, too, was dismayed and amused at the same time by Boehner's dismissal of science.

Your rebuttal was so spot-on, BTW, that I've decided to quote it in a longer post at my own blog, about the all-too-common ignorance of science in certain political circles.

Cheers.

Dano said...

This is the best they can do: comical incoherence. The denialists have nothing more than this.

Best,

D

ole said...

You have to be a total idiot to believe that CO2 is causing global warming. If the warming worshipers would get out of their fossil fuel heated homes they would see it's getting colder. But, they don't let facts get in the way of good "political" science.

Dano said...

One wonders whether ole is evidence for my assertion above or a parody character.

Best,

D

Anonymous said...

I ♥ CO2

Hard Truth said...

7 years into a cooling trend and still the warmers beat their chests and provide nothing more than personal attacks to back their "science" up. Of the contributors to the IPCC 4th assessment report just 59 had any reasonable connection with climate or earth sciences, yet when in excess of 700 sign a statement that man produced CO2 is NOT a primary driver of the climate again the only repost is to personally attack the signees and dish out smears.
Where is your consensus of scientists that know what they are talking about with regard to climate? 13-1 against ain't that hot on my racetrack!
This is dogma, you are Earth centralists, and one day soon a Galileo will show you all for the fools you are (well why should I refrain ad-hominem attacks as well?).
And yes, there are idiots on both sides of the debate, but what is important is the DEBATE, which is the cornerstone of science. Anybody who says anything is settled in science (Newtonian Physics? Along comes Mr Einstein) is not a true scientist but a charlatan or political "scientist" looking to make personal capital from a bandwagon.
Rant all you like, the CONSENSUS of the public doesn't believe you, the scientists are coming out in ever greater numbers against you, even Earth isn't playing ball - you must be feeling very lonely.....

Anonymous said...

"And yes, there are idiots on both sides of the debate, but what is important is the DEBATE, which is the cornerstone of science"

My training includes an MD, a double PhD and a MS. Here is my 3 cents.....

The quote above from a previous comment is wrong. Data, fact and clinical observation published in peer reviewed scientific journals is the cornerstone of science, not verbal debate.

Steve Bloom said...

Fun fact: The cow emissions are largely from belches, not farts.