Rohrabacher and Alley: Brain vs Blowhard

December 2, 2010

Dana Rohrabacher is angling to be chairman of the Science and Technology committee. Richard Alley is the brilliant expert on paleo-climate from Penn State.  On November 17, Alley gave testimony before the committee.  Watch Rohrbacher try to counter brains with bluster.

It’s too bad Rohrabacher could not have prepped himself with Crock of the Week videos, it would have made for a less embarrassing outing.  For instance, the “Warming on Mars” canard is so, so Rush Limbaugh.

And the inevitable “Medieval Warm Period” rant has become so tiresome. How many times do these shibboleths need to be taken down?


12 Responses to “Rohrabacher and Alley: Brain vs Blowhard”

  1. BlueRock Says:

    What a contrast! Infectious intelligence versus confident, determined ignorance.

    It’s obvious Rohrbacher is simply not listening. Prof Alley begins an answer and Rohrbacher is already firing off the next dumb “b-b-but…” He’s read *several* blogs, goshdarnit!

    Any essay on the dangers of ignorance combined with certainty would certainly need to reference Mr Rohrbacher.

    Whereas, I wish someone would give Professor Alley a science show to host – I could listen to his enthusiastic explanations all day!

  2. livinginabox Says:

    Dana Rohrabacher would have done well to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”


    Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963): “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

  3. otter17 Says:

    This guy’s condescending tone towards a scientist with far greater knowledge of climate science is just painful to watch.

  4. sailrick Says:

    This stuff is old hat for Rohrabacher.

    from my blog. Most of this I got from reading Ross Gelbspan’s books.

    And how else, but by virtue of the fossil fuel industry’s influence in Washington, could it possibly be, that Congress, during congressional hearings before the House Science committee, gave more weight to the opinion of Pat Michaels than to that of their own scientists at NOAA, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and a co-chairman and lead author of the IPCC’s 1995 report? Well, they say Michaels has a charming personality. I’m sure.

    Pat Michaels was pitted against Jerry Mahlman, Chairman of NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth Scientific Advisory Committee, and director of NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.
    They were questioned by Representative Rohrabacher (R CA), who by his own words doesn’t know the difference between carbohydrates, hydrocarbons or CO2. He grilled Malhlman, and didn’t listen to anything he said, then gave a free ride to Pat Michaels, praising him for his contribution. Mahlman had the disadvantage of talking in unemotional, factual scientific terms, which Rohrabacher couldn’t care less about.

    Scientists are not usually trained in public speaking. As a rule, they are not skilled debaters, and are at a disadvantage when debating media savvy skeptic mouthpieces, who are not really interested in truth, so much as winning the hearts and minds of an audience, and advancing the political agenda of their fossil fuel paymasters. Real scientists tend to understate conclusions and speak in terms of probabilities of outcomes, which to the untrained ear, make it sound like they are unsure of the science. This is all people like Rohrabacher need to hear, as they percieve this as a weakness to be exploited.

    Robert Watson
    lead author 1995 IPCC report on climate change impacts:
    Senior scientist of White House Office of Science and Technology
    Elected Chairman of IPCC by unanimous vote in 1996.

    He was pitted against Robert Balling who out and out lied about what science knew about rising temperatures in the Arctic, claiming temperature there hadn’t risen in the last 50 years. In fact, NOAA had found temperatures at 9 Arctic stations in Alaska had increased by 5.5 C (9 F) over thirty years. Soil temperature had increased 2-5 C. Rohrabacher dismissed outright whatever Watson had to say, and only gave credence to Balling’s testimony

    Robert Watson headed the IPCC until the Bush adminisration used their influence to have him removed because he was convinced of AGW. They had him replaced by Pauchari, who was agnostic, but now is also convinced. So now the deniers attack him.

    Rohrabacher, who has no grasp of science whatsoever, showed nothing but contempt for the testimony of Mahlman, and Watson, valuing his own ignorant opinion over theirs.

    • livinginabox Says:

      You’re correct, but you omitted something rather important when you said:

      “Robert Watson headed the IPCC until the Bush administration used their influence to have him removed because he was convinced of AGW. They had him replaced by Pauchari”

      That ‘something’ is:
      The Bush administration used their influence to have him removed because ExxonMobil asked them:

      “Can Watson be replaced now at the request of the US?”

      Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science

      See ExxonMobil Fax on page 52. Header for fax with Randy Randol’s signature is on page 51.

  5. The Science Pundit Says:

    When Dr. Alley was pointing at the top of his head, I imagined that he was asking Rohrabacher “Do you have one of these?”

  6. […] clip I posted last week of Richard Alley vastly overmatching Dana Rohrabacher seemed to strike a chord with a lot of people, and I think I know why. Allowing the climate […]

  7. colinjames71 Says:

    Having grown up in Orange County, I’ve seen Rohrbacher make an ass of himself many, many times. But using Mars to deny AGW? That takes the cake.

  8. […] as well know some of the players. I’ve featured a number of the good guys, – Hansen, Alley, Santer, and others – now offers a rogues gallery of the goon squad – the folks […]

  9. […] might as well know some of the players. I’ve featured a number of the good guys, – Hansen, Alley,Santer, and others – now offers a rogues gallery of the goon squad – the folks who, […]

  10. […] (R – The O.C.) is one of the dimmest bulbs in Washington, and the co-star of my video “Brain vs Blowhard”. (Richard Alley plays himself, as the […]

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