Kentucky’s Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment, chaired by proud climate change denier Rep. Jim Gooch, met on Thursday to discuss the new EPA rules to fight climate change by limiting greenhouse gases from power plants.
In the past, Representative Gooch — who, as a reminder, chairs the committee — has called for Kentucky to secede from the union to avoid federal environmental regulations. That, however, is nothing compared to the alleged wisdom of one Senator Brandon Smith, R-Hazard:
“As you (Energy & Environment Cabinet official) sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”
First of all, I did not make up that quote, it’s quite real.
Taken at face value, this alleged comment boggles the mind. Mars is 1/3 the size of Earth, with an atmosphere ~93% carbon dioxide — it’s cold because Mars can only retain a thin atmosphere. If we wanted to make Mars more Earth-like, we’d transport what we’re doing here on Earth to Mars and just add water. But it goes without saying that no, Senator, nobody in academia will be agreeing with you.
As profoundly stupid as that alleged comment is — Mars’ average surface temperature is around −80°F, which is just a tad bill chillier than here on Earth — what I think the good senator may have been getting at was a rarely heard global warming “skeptic” argument:
Mars is warming
“Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto.
NASA says the Martian South Pole’s “ice cap” has been shrinking for three summers in a row. Maybe Mars got its fever from earth. If so, I guess Jupiter’s caught the same cold, because it’s warming up too, like Pluto.”
Needles to say, this is still a dense collective of horse hockey.
Senator Smith has been elected to his position twice by Kentucky voters, and served four terms in the State House before moving onto the State Senate. Other genius ideas he’s offered in the past include creating “sanction cities” for coal mines, where the mines would be exempt from federal regulations like the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.
As to whether or not Mars is burning coal in factories, well, I think we’ll have to get with the Martian leaders on that to see what they say. Does anyone know John Carter’s cell number?
h/t Daily Kos
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