The chair of the House of Representatives science committee doesn’t think much of the investigations exonerating the scientists involved in the 2009 Climategate e-mail scandal. He also believes that climate scientists are driven by hopes of financial gain in producing reports that provide evidence for global warming.
Representative Ralph Hall (R-TX) doesn’t do many interviews. So it was a coup when the National Journal’s (NJ) Coral Davenport was able to get the 88-year-old legislator to answer several questions about his views on climate change as part of a 1 December story on how congressional Republicans are reluctant to answer even the most basic questions about where they stand on the issue.
FYI… It is understandable that Mr. Hall is opposed to the results showing climate change is occurring because Ralph Hall has received $78,199 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $53,999 of those dollars were from industry PACS. In total, Hall has accepted $307,930 from oil companies between 2000 and 2008, which makes him one of the largest recipients of oil money. Stricter environmental regulations would most surely put a damper on the oil business.
Here are a few of the Q & A’s, with my little bit of input…
NJ: Do you think climate change is causing the earth to become warmer?
Hall: I can’t say it doesn’t have a percentage of effects on it – one percent, three percent, five percent. But I don’t think it’s the cause. I don’t think we can control what God controls.
We put $32 billion into it and don’t see very much change.
Me: Seriously?? He really thinks God is controlling the climate. If this is your philosophy, then why is the US trying to control other countries, especially those with large amounts of oil? Should this not be left up to “God” then?
NJ: Last year the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science published a survey finding that 97 percent of scientists were in consensus that human activities lead to global warming.
Hall: And they each get $5,000 for every report like that they give out. That’s just my guess. I don’t have any proof of that. But I don’t believe ‘em. I still want to listen to ‘em and believe what I believe I ought to believe.
Me: “…believe what I believe I ought to believe.” Besides being a bit of a tongue twister, are we to assume then that you in all your benevolence knows more than the scientists? Okey-dokey, no problem. You conveniently listen to military advisers, the oil behemoths, but not to the climate control scientists because they would put a cramp into your style of politicking. One of my geology professors in college who I am sure was not one of the listed scientists you so doubt, but through his years of studying in Antarctica, had similar results showing climate change.
** Off topic note here…. He (my professor) invited me to come along for one of their south pole trips, but sadly, I had to decline. Oh, I wish…. He had quite a solid reputation among his peers, but I unfortunately cannot recall his name as I would love to find his research. **
NJ: Have you read Governor Perry’s book, Fed Up?
NJ: He essentially says climate science may be a conspiracy theory or may be put forth by scientists who are working together to put forth findings in order to get funding. Are you on the same page as Gov. Perry on this?
Hall: I’m pretty close. I think we ought to have an honest ear to science. They can come before my committee. I always put someone to come and testify when they’re testifying against it to give them the other side. I think we oughta listen to ‘em. I just don’t think we oughta mind ‘em.
Because what have we got for the $32 billion we spent?
NJ: Do you mean the $32 billion that was spent in the stimulus?
Hall: I mean everything that’s been spent knocking and pushing global warming. I’m really more fearful of freezing. And I don’t have any science to prove that. But we have a lot of science that tells us they’re not basing it on real scientific facts. And we need to listen to more. I’m willing to listen for more.
If we believe everything they say, we can’t clean China. They’re producing six coal-fed operations a week. We can’ t clean the world for them. We can’t clean it for Russia. We can’t clean it for India. We can’t clean it for Mexico.
We’re poorer now than we’ve ever been since the Great Depression.
Me: So, we cannot clean the world? But, again, we can invade other countries that are rich with oil. Are you picking and choosing? And we’re poorer now than ever since the Great Depression? I think Mitt may argue with you on that one.
NJ: Paul Krugman and other columnists have criticized Republicans and said that the party could become labeled anti-science.
Hall: I’m not anti-science, I’m pro-science. But we ought to have some believable science.
NJ: What’s the appropriate role for government on the issue of climate change?
Hall: To listen to good science, proper science and know the difference. And not to use it for political thrust or political gain, because it’s something that affects the world. But we can’t be 9-11 for the world. I wish we could. We could have at one time. But we can’t now. We have to be more careful what outlays we make for something that hasn’t been proved.
Me: Allow me to translate these last two answers, “I only listen to science that best suits my needs, purposes and personal gain.