Anti-intellectualism has never been so in vogue. Not since the Know-nothing party of 18-dickty-whatever has idiocy been such a fast track to political power. We can probably blame a broken educational system, resentment towards institutional government and rampant distrust of educated experts.
While it’s hard to believe that we live in a world where Facebook posts are better trusted than actual experts, it appears that would be exactly the case. So it’s no surprise to see that the worst of the worst have managed to make it into Congress. We fervently hope that most of these folks are faking idiocy to appeal to their voting base. But, if so, they’re some of the greatest actors we’ve seen outside of Hollywood.
Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)
Turtle-faced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel hates the EPA and climate science perhaps equally.
“I’m not a scientist,” he said disdainfully in 2014. “I’m interested in protecting Kentucky’s economy.”
That may be true, Mitch, but you don’t need to be a pilot to know that planes shouldn’t be in trees.
Marco Rubio (R-Florida)
In 2014, Sen. Marco Rubio defied scientific consensus, claiming he doesn’t believe in human-caused climate change.
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” Rubio said. “And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.”
Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma)
Baby-faced Rep. Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma Republication, is lesser known as a congressman, but perhaps one of the most recent climate deniers on record. Worse still, the dude was picked by Trump to head NASA.
And while they don’t do climate change research (no matter what Jim Inhofe says), they sure do a bunch of science.
The climate “has always changed,” Bridenstine says. “Going back to the 1600s, we have had mini Ice Ages from then to now.” He also claims that “space-based assets are not corroborating” climate data.
Lamar Smith (R-Texas)
Rep. Lamar Smith has been called “the preeminent climate change denier in Congress.” What did he do to deserve that title?
Well, first things first: this guy is chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
He’s used his position of authority to attack everyone from government officials to real-life scientists while doggedly claiming that human-caused climate change is a myth.
There are some small mercies: Smith will be resigning from Congress after his current term, which is his 16th.
Tim Walberg (R-Michigan)
Rep. Tim Walberg famously told his constituents that God will “take care of” climate change, if it actually exists.
“Well, as a Christian,” Walberg said, “I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”
What a relief! And I was so concerned about the mountain of data claiming climate change is a real problem.
Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma)
Oklahoma is a great state for climate denial.
Sen. Jim Inhofe won his place at the head of the idiot caucus when he threw a snowball on the floor of the Senate to support his crackpot notion that climate change doesn’t exist. You know, because it snowed.
Inhofe has called global warming a “hoax” while serving as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and he’s invited other climate change deniers to testify in Congress.