Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Daily Show helps John Holdren Show Up Congressional Know Nothings

After about a minute, this video gets to Congressional questioning of Presidential Science Advisor John Holdren. Three members of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology show their opposition to the scientific consensus that human activity is putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that result in global warming. Dr. Holdren shows how poorly those Congressmen understand their own arguments. Jon Stewart makes it all look funny.

It is not funny. Sea level will rise over future decades because glaciers and ice packs are melting, and because even water expands when it is heated. The oceans contain a huge amount of water, and heating it only a few degrees will increase the volume of the oceans enough to raise their surface area perceptibly. That will be bad news for coastal zones, especially when storms and hurricanes hit. That in turn will be bad news for people all over the world.

Climate change is likely to require farmers to change how they farm and foresters to respond to new threats to their forests. Global warming may expand deserts. It will threaten many species as the biospheres on which they depend are threatened.

We depend on the people who make our laws and ratify our treaties to do the right thing. If they don't have the knowledge to do so, we are in big trouble. On climate change, the scientific consensus is clear. If the legislators don't understand the science, they should be guided by scientists who do understand the evidence and who can guide the legislators. This will not happen if we elect legislators who are unaware of their own ignorance and/or are too pig headed to listen to those who know better.

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