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Sign of the Times: Hearings on “Scientific Fraud” of Global Warming Expected

So the Republicans run and win a campaign in a treacherous economic environment, when people are desperate for something tangible to improve their situation in life. And the Republicans will start that new era by putting science on trial.

Fresh off a dramatic victory in which it retook the House leadership, the Republican Party intends to hold major hearings probing the supposed “scientific fraud” behind global climate change.

The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder related the news in a little-noticed article Wednesday morning.

The effort is a likely attempt to out-step the White House on energy policy moving forward. Legislation on energy and climate change reform, one of President Barack Obama campaign promises, has yet to materialize, though Obama’s EPA recently classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

Holding hearings would please the Republicans’ conservative base, which increasingly doubts the scientific basis for global warming — especially human-induced global warming — and provide a reflection of the new GOP’s tenor.

What this Scopes Monkey trial for climate change won’t do is create one new job or improve one life in America. Well, maybe some climate denier whose new book could get a bump.

If show trials are really the answer the GOP thinks they have to the question of how to govern the country, this House majority could be a blip.

The larger effort here is to weaken the EPA, who is under court order to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as a pollutant. Over time, the even larger effort is to discredit climate science, and science itself, and allow the public the peace of mind of retreating into selfishness. I don’t think that’s a wrong calculation; everyone likes to be told not to worry about something. The problem is that people are worried about a thousand things before a cap and trade bill enters the picture. This will not help anyone in a material way.

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David Dayen

David Dayen