Rep. Rohrabacher Denies, Then Acknowledges, Global Warming

June 26, 2009 4:56 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Rep. Rohrabacher is free to argue that global warming is happening or it's not, but he can't have it both ways.

"Surf's Up" On Mars

During a rant on the House floor this afternoon, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) denied that global warming is occurring.  But in his very next sentence, "Surf's Up" Rohrabacher (that's how he was introduced in the chamber) acknowledged that the polar ice caps are melting.  Of course, melting is a consequence of warming. "The ice caps are melting and these things are happening because of solar activity," he argued. "Not because of the activity of human beings":

Rohrabacher: "Thank you very much.  Wake up, America.  What's happening on the floor today is a power grab that will leave you with empty pockets and no jobs. The jobs will go to China and the economy will go to hell.  Worse than that, the scientific basis for the claims being made to frighten us into accepting this economy destroying legislation are wrong.  Wake up, America!  There hasn't been any global warming - which is what we heard over and over and over again - there hasn't been any global warming for ten years! And, in fact, the ice caps are melting, which we see over and over again.  Yeah, they're melting on Mars, too!  Which to any honest discussion, would lead to the conclusion that the ice caps are melting and these things are happening because of solar activity.  Not because of the activity of human beings.  The science is wrong.  The economics is wrong.  You're going to cause great damage to the people of this country, to their well being, in the name of phony science."

Rohrabacher is conflating two common, but mutually exclusive, Republican arguments -- that there is no global warming and that global warming isn't man-made.  "Surf's Up" is free to argue either that "these things are happening" or they're not.  But he can't have it both ways. 

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