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Ralph Hall (R-TX) Speaks Out on Climate Change

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?

Hall: Yes.

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.



8 replies »

  1. I’ve run out of words for people who think we can live on this planet without changing it … or who think scientists are trying to do anything other than analyze and quantify that change.

  2. I would like to hit “like” but just cannot as stories like this, about people as influential as Hall is (chair of SCIENCE committee), make me feel sick inside. Again, Science is not something you BELIEVE in or not, it either IS or it ISN’T. His idea that God is pulling all the strings is so completely full of fantasy that I can’t even begin and I am a believer in God!

    I know you are an atheist but please here me out on this. I’m not trying to convert anyone but since Hall believes in God, I just want to compare his view to mine. I believe God created this world using natural and physical laws, laws that are throughout time and space, that govern the universe. If God did that, he/she/they’re not going to set things in motion and then sit there and “play” the world like a game of chess. God knows that laws work a certain way and the world will roll on through time according to those laws. I see nothing contradictory about this idea and science, they are completely compatible for me. What I cannot accept is that God, having set all in motion, then steps in to adjust things all along the way. I don’t believe it. If God is the creator then he loves all his creations the same, otherwise he wouldn’t be God. That includes all life, plant and animal (which we are). He also is bound by the laws governing the universe.

    When we put crap into the atmosphere, it reacts according to physical law. What we are seeing with climate change are the reactions and readjustments of the atmosphere trying to reach equilibrium of temperature and pressure, both of which are affected by chemical properties and reactions of whatever is in that atmosphere.

    Hall is a fool.

    • Very well said. Thanks! I may be an atheist, but I do completely support anyone’s own personal beliefs. I am not here to change anyone, especially in that matter. If believing in God, having a religion makes one a better person and more happy in their life, I am right there in support. Heck, I married a devout Catholic (we’re divorced, but that’s due to other reasons), and when it came to our spiritual beliefs, we had a mutual respect. I actually was fascinated with Catholicism and often accompanied him to church. Just as I was intrigued by Mormons during my times in Utah. I do not fear religion, but rather enjoy learning more about the various ideologies. Just as I do not agree with everyone about any subject (not just religion), in turn, I expect the same. Just as I never lecture anyone in an attempt to convert them to atheism, I simply ask the same in return. There is nothing wrong with agreeing that people may disagree when done respectfully and peacefully. I do want to hear others view points.

      What I particularly do not like about Hall is that his viewpoints about God in control change for his own personal needs. Science is science. A theistic person typically believes that God created the earth, the elements, the laws of physics, etc and that scientists simply discover what God created. As nearly everyone does, I grew up believing in God and combined theology and science for many years – but I also had my doubts the entire time. About 15 or so years ago is when I finally decided I was an atheist and have been very happy and content in my decision since then. To me, it just feels “right.” To a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Buddhist, their beliefs feel “right” to them – at least to those who understand and embrace, not abuse, their religion.

      Hall is full of shit and his viewpoints vary depending upon the amount of money tied to it.

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