On Monday night’s episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, host Jon Stewart devoted the first segment of his program to the subject of climate change. He discussed the People’s Climate March that took place in New York City on Sunday, where over 100,000 people took to the streets to bring awareness to the dangers facing our planet due to rapid global warming. Stewart pointed out that, while you would think people around the world are now acutely aware of the existence of climate change and its effects on the environment, this march was necessary because House Republicans continue to deny its existence.
The Daily Show host then directed his attention to a recent hearing by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, where White House Science Director, John Holdren, spoke in front of the committee to discuss President Obama’s initiative to reduce carbon emissions 30% by the year 2030. Stewart lamented that Holdren had the unenviable task of “pushing a million pounds of idiot up a mountain.”
Below is video of the entire segment, courtesy of Comedy Central.
Stewart highlighted the various Republicans on the committee who peppered Holdren with idiotic questions or flat-out conspiracy theories. Confirmed moron Steve Stockman asked Holdren about global ‘wobbling.’ Stockman wanted to know why it wasn’t included in any climate models when he had read somewhere that it helped contribute to the last major ice age. Holdren patiently pointed out to Stockman that ‘wobbling’ refers to changes in the planet’s tilt and orbit and takes place over tens of thousands of years. It is very slow and has a tiny effect within a time scale of 100 years, which is the normal time frame for climate models.
Of course, the stupid wasn’t just contained to Stockman. A clip was played showing California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a well-known climate skeptic, tossing out a question about the dangers of carbon dioxide Rohrabacher wanted to know at what level does carbon dioxide become dangerous for human beings. When Holdren stated that he always enjoys his interactions with Rohrabacher, Stewart interjected, claiming Holdren meant it in the same way someone enjoys playing peek-a-boo with a baby or teasing a cat with a laser pointer. Stewart then showed Holdren’s response, where Holdren told Rohrabacher that his question was a red herring. As Holdren stated, the focus on CO2 is not about whether or not humans can breathe with increased levels, but if those increased levels trap heat in the atmosphere and rapidly change global temperatures.
However, the worst may have been Indiana Representative Larry Bucshon. The Congressman revealed himself as a full-fledged denier on the tin-foil hat variety during the hearing. He wondered why Holdren wasn’t listening to public comments on global warming. Holdren answered that perhaps Bucshon should read the scientific literature available on the subject instead of public opinion. As exasperated Stewart stated that Bucshon should read a climate science journal instead a teabaggers YouTube comments. Stewart then said Bucshon gave away the game when Bucshon told Holdren that he doesn’t believe scientists because it is their job to do these studies. In his opinion, scientists have a vested interest to create a hoax and therefore he won’t read what they produce.
After pointing out Bucshon’s idiocy, while also revealing that Bucshon’s biggest campaign donors are energy companies, Stewart then turned it back to Stockman to end the segment. He showed Stockman asking about the rise of sea levels and wondering how long it will take. Then, Stockman amazingly insisted that sea levels won’t rise because of displacement, using an example of melting ice cubes in a glass. This finally set Stewart off. Stewart tore apart Stockman’s lack of understanding of grade-school science by bringing out a glass of ice water and a bowl of ice. Stewart then proved the point that displacement only takes into account ice that is already in a body of water. However, if you take ice from elsewhere, say land, and put it in a body of water, that water level will rise.
All in all, this was one of Stewart’s best segments in a while. He tore apart the willful ignorance and Koch-funded denial of the Republican Party when it comes to the issue of climate change. The fact is, Republicans are placing us in great harm by refusing to act at all when it comes to global warming and the devastating effects it is having on our country and planet.