The House Science Committee held a historic hearing on the IPCC report and the status of climate change (link to RealPlayer video of the hearing). It was especially historic because Speaker Pelosi made it the first committee she testified before as Speaker. She expressed her concerns about climate change, and the concerns she’s heard from many others.
The hearing continued for over three hours, with a panel of experts occupying most of the time. The panel consisted of climate scientists who had contributed and edited portions of the IPCC report and the Summary for Policy Makers recently released. Chris Mooney covered the hearing for Seed magazine.
But what I want to talk about is not the excellent testimony offered, but the concluding remarks by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. He had aggressively questioned on witness, pushing a fairly irrelevant question about what fraction of carbon dioxide in the air comes from natural sources, then ignoring the answers he got. In his concluding remarks, he observed that carbon dioxide levels have fluctuated throughout the Earth’s history.
“We don’t know what those other cycles were caused by in the past,” Representative Rohrabacher speculated, “it could be dinosaur flatulence.”
No one laughed. Rohrabacher was unable to bring any witnesses who could defend that claim, or indeed any climate change deniers at all.