What do you get when you take an ignorant Republican Congressman and cross it with a serious policy issue like climate change?
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) shared a moment of sheer absurdity with Britain's stuffiest global warming denier Lord Christopher Monckton in last week's Energy & Commerce hearing on climate change adaptation. Please note, Monckton has no formal training in the science of climate change, but it was decided by the Republican members that he would make for great expert testimony at the hearing -- no more suitable has the phrase WTF ever been.
Are they going to call Kermit the frog to testify at the next national security hearing?
Shimkus encouraged Lord Monckton to talk about how Earth is a "carbon starved" planet, making it seem as though we desperately need to seek out new sources of CO2 emissions if we have any hope for survival as a species. After all, the pair agreed, "carbon dioxide is plant food," so why on Earth would we want to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants and other sources?
As a journalist, one might hope Lord Monckton would know better, but you wouldn't get that impression from listening to his zany answers to Shimkus's questions.
For example, Monckton cites the Cambrian period as evidence that plants love carbon dioxide.
As the National Wildlife Federation points out, the irony abounds.
"A time when there were no land plants? That's your shining example? Come on. Lord Monckton may be the darling of the denier crowd, but he wouldn't stand a chance on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"
Leading the horse to water, Shimkus asks, "If we decrease the use of carbon dioxide are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere?"
"Yes indeed you are," Monckton replied.
See. You're killing Bugs Bunny's carrots, you dirty hippies! We need more CO2, not less!
Can't you hear the RNC convention chants already? "More pollution now! Burn, baby, burn!"
Republicans don't want to hear from real scientists like the climatologists at NASA and the National Academy of Sciences. They prefer to hear only from people who parrot the right wing's forgone conclusions -- what's good for Big Business and polluting industries is best for America.
Fossil fuel pollution equals life, and anyone who says otherwise hates salad.
You can't find reality TV this good.
Watch Monckton's plant food remarks at NWF's Wildlife Promise blog.