Year 4, Month 11, Day 9: (Head-desk)

Oh, for fuck’s sake. The Omaha World-Herald:

The Nebraska lawmaker who initiated the Legislature’s first study of climate change now prefers to see the study abandoned rather than continue along what he called a politicized, scientifically invalid path.

State Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm said Tuesday the state committee handling the study is disregarding the intent of the Legislature.

Haar, a Democrat, is asking his fellow senators to help him salvage the $44,000 study by encouraging the committee to reconsider the restrictions it published Monday in the official request for study assistance.

The request says researchers “should consider ‘cyclical climate change’ to mean a change in the state of climate due to natural internal processes and only natural external forcings such as volcanic eruptions and solar variations.”

The use of the term “natural” would rule out the primary cause of the climate changes that have occurred in the last half-century: humans.

The issue of “cyclical” climate change was successfully amended into Haar’s bill by Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, a Republican candidate for governor.

McCoy on Tuesday elaborated on his opposition to using state tax dollars to study man-made climate change: Humans aren’t capable of influencing climate patterns.

“I firmly believe our planet goes through cyclical weather patterns. There have been hotter times, colder times, wetter times and drier times,” he said.

A fourth-generation rancher who has become involved in construction, McCoy said he “lives and dies” by the weather. Environmental extremists, he said, are drumming up climate change hysteria to further their own agenda.

There aren’t enough faces and palms for this level of stupid. October 30:

Senator Beau McCoy’s insistent denial of human impacts on climate is a fine example of the logical error known as the “argument from incredulity” — if he can’t understand something, it can’t be real. As a fourth-generation farmer, the Senator presumably has no problem diverting water to irrigate his crops, thereby creating a localized “micro-climate” that helps his plants grow tall — but somehow the countless ways humans have already altered our environment for better or worse escape his attention.

As the history of the Dust Bowl reminds us, overgrazing leads to erosion, destroying topsoil and devastating agriculture. Pumping industrial wastes into rivers and lakes turns them toxic, and releasing smoke into the atmosphere does the same for the air we breathe. Given that it’s so easy to damage our soil, our water, and our air, it shouldn’t be that hard to affect the chemical equilibrium of our atmosphere, which is essentially how the greenhouse effect works. Legislating from ignorance may play well on TV, but the anti-science posturing of such politicians will inevitably fail in the real world, where the laws of physics and chemistry always win in the end.

Warren Senders

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