Year 4, Month 9, Day 27: As He Gives It To Her She Begins To Sing

Meet Rep. David McKinley, who made an idiot of himself at the recent hearing on climate change, as reported in the Charleston Gazette (WV):

McKinley cited data showing that there is now 60 percent more ice in the Arctic than there was at this time last year, when ice levels hit a record low.

However, levels of Arctic ice are still substantially below historical averages. As of this week, there were about 1.5 million square kilometers less Arctic ice than there has been, on average, for the past 30 years, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, a research center at the University of Colorado.

McKinley and others pointed to a recent slowdown in temperature rises over the past several years as evidence that man-made greenhouse gas emissions might not be contributing to climate change.

Moniz pointed to a study in the journal “Nature,” published in August, showing the slowdown to be a product of short-term weather trends.

“Our results show that the current hiatus is part of natural climate variability, tied specifically to a La Niña-like decadal cooling,” that study concluded. “The multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase.”

No shortage of these asshats, unfortunately. Sept. 19:

In a single remark during the recent House hearing on climate change, Representative David McKinley demonstrated that (along with most of his GOP colleagues) he does not know the difference between short-term phenomena and long-term trends. McKinley’s claim of a sixty percent increase in Arctic ice coverage from last year is a grotesque misrepresentation of the data, which show that despite brief interludes of accumulation, the overall level of Arctic ice has been dwindling for at least a decade.

Let’s clarify with an analogy: if a stage four cancer sufferer steadily loses weight over many months, a few days of slight gain may be a brief and welcome respite from the terminal decline, but it doesn’t mean the disease has disappeared. A doctor who asserted otherwise would be guilty of medical malpractice, no matter how happy it makes the patient’s family. If his misunderstanding of Arctic ice decline is deliberate, Rep. McKinley’s intentionally misleading his colleagues and his constituents; if it arises from ignorance, he’s incompetent.

Climate science is absolutely unambiguous. Whether through stupidity or cupidity, politicians like David McKinley are endangering all of us by blocking responsible action to address the threat while there is still time.

Warren Senders

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