Profiting from Wrongful Deception: Lamar Smith’s Attacks on Climate Science are Paid for by the Fossil Fuel Industry

George Orwell could not have dreamed up a more sinister and underhanded abuse of government and monetary power than the present brazen attempt by fossil fuel industry funded politicians to kill off today’s most important scientific messengers. But that’s exactly the intent Lamar Smith telegraphed last week in his most recent address to the anti-science Heritage Foundation when he said:

“Next week we’re going to have a hearing on our favorite subject of climate change and also on the scientific method, which has been repeatedly ignored by the so-called self-professed climate scientists.”

A Non-Scientist Paid to Attack Real Scientists

Lamar Smith, the present head of the House Science Committee, is notably not a scientist. He is, however, famous for his various vicious hearings on climate science in which he has basically acted as a mouthpiece for fossil fuel company misinformation. And he’s just signaled that he’s revving up for a new set of industry-funded inquisitions this week.

To be very clear, Lamar Smith has a B.A. and a J.D. So he’s got no scientific credentials whatsoever, he’s a lawyer. But unlike many with B.A.s who can read and understand the science, Smith appears to be sadly lacking in any capacity or willingness to do so. He is, however, quite receptive to misinformation coming from the fossil fuel industry — especially when it’s attached to contributions to his political campaigns for re-election.

(Michael Mann, one of the world’s most recognized experts on climate change, joins NASA scientists, scientists from NOAA, scientists from the U.K. Met Office, Australian Climate Scientists and many, many others now in the cross-hairs of political hacks like Lamar Smith who appear to have ignored everything they learned in high school about the scientific method. Video source: The Real News.)

Fossil Fuel Industry Funded Legislative Deception Aimed at Defaming Real Science

In contrast to Lamar’s intentional fossil fuel company funded witch hunting and active legislative deceptions, honest climate scientists have for decades dutifully reported on the deteriorating state of the global climate in the least political fashion possible. They’ve argued passionately over various points of fact, recommended highly responsible policies, they’ve even tried to work with industry in a completely measured and reasonable manner. They have worked for wages ranging from that of the average school teacher to less than your typical IT professional (a starting salary of often less than 50,000 dollars per year). In other words, they didn’t, as some have so ridiculously claimed, do it for the money.

But the very industry that is dumping billions and billions of tons of heat-trapping carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere and making billions and billions of dollars in profits (oil company CEOs can make between 15 and 150 million dollars per year) doing it is paying politicians like Lamar Smith (who has a net worth of 4.5 million) to lead an entirely false and fact-free legislative attack against these scientists.

(People like Lamar Smith should be voted out of office. They are the very definition of legislative malpractice.)

This attack is not just a defamation of individuals — as happened to Climate Scientist Michael Mann a few years ago. It is a brazen attempt to use government power to tyrannically bury an accumulation of critical knowledge about a climate crisis that is now unfolding and that is, ever-more, representing an increasingly serious danger to the American public.

If Lamar Wins, We All Get Burned

To be very clear, Lamar Smith is being paid to lie. But his lies come in the form of a campaign to falsely discredit real science, to bury facts, to use ad-hominem arguments in an underhanded and vicious attempt to attack scientists, to put these benevolent public servants out of work, and to do all of this in a manner that will inflict vast harm on the American people. The fossil fuel industry is, through its agent, Lamar Smith engaged in a wrongful deception with the obvious intent to secure corporate and individual financial gain for the fossil fuel industry and its constituents. In other words, Lamar Smith is making every appearance of acting both fraudulently and in bad faith.

(Join us in supporting climate science on April 29.)

Adding to the problem is the fact that with Donald Trump in the White House (who falsely claimed that climate change was a Chinese hoax), with Scott Pruitt as head of EPA (who spent a big chunk of his professional life suing the EPA), and with fossil fuel company CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State (who spent years working with Russia to expand oil drilling in the Arctic), Lamar Smith’s witch hunting against scientists is capable of growing some real and very harmful teeth. Trump has proposed completely zeroing out or slashing funding for climate research at NASA, EPA and NOAA and he has actively gone after scientists jobs and Lamar Smith acts as a legislative enabler for such damaging policies.

If the scientists are going to get any help, it will come from more responsible members of Congress than Smith. But Smith and his climate change denier allies in the House are now attempting to bury these same scientists in another anti-factual witch hunt. Many have described Lamer’s actions as medieval — equating him to a new kind of Spanish Inquisition, but this time acting as an inquisitor for the fossil fuel industry. But it’s worse than medieval — because the harm perpetrated through Lamar’s willfully ignorant and brutish actions are not just in the form of political, social, or legal injustice. Lamar commits those things, but he also commits us all to an ever-worsening global harm.


Hat tip to ClimateHawk

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Michael Mann

Hat tip to Citizen Servant

Hat tip to Greg

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