New GOP Bill in Montana: "Global Warming Is Beneficial"

If only we could sign a law the overturned the cold, hard laws of science and nature to declare that climate change isn't a problem.

I wish Joe Read, the Republican state representative from Montana's 15th district, was right. I wish that we could sign a law that overturns the laws of science and nature. That we could write legislation that made it so that "global warming is beneficial" and that "reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable impacts on the environment." Of course, we can't legislate away the hard physics and chemistry that dictate climate change. But that isn't stopping Joe Read from trying.

Behold, Montana's House Bill Number 549, "an act stating Montana's position on global warming":

The legislature finds that to ensure economic development in Montana and the appropriate management of Montana’s natural resources it is necessary to adopt a public policy regarding global warming.

(2) The legislature finds:

(a) global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana;

(b) reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable impacts on the environment; and

(c) global warming is a natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it.


Wonk Room's Brad Johnson scored an interview with Read, (who I can't imagine was expecting to be called a "zombie" in press coverage!), who admits that the proposal is "radical" and that his motivation is purely ideological. A few telling lines:

The science is driven by grant money. It’s all on the side for writing studies that global warming is happening. There’s nothing on the side that says I wish to write a paper that global warming is not an issue. Money has been flowing into the grant purse.


I have a very hard time believing that anyone calling themselves a scientist who "wished to write a paper that global warming is not an issue" couldn't find a some very deep-pocketed underwriters for such predetermined "research." (The folks at Desmogblog could probably point them to some eager sponsors not far removed from ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and other fossil fueled players.) If I were a young science grad student with absolutely no morals whatsoever, I would be awfully tempted to shirk scientific integrity for the much fatter paycheck that Big Carbon could write than the otherwise meager salary scraped together from government grants.

But I'm straying from the point. The point is: This guy in Montana who was actually elected to represent a district that is, right now, facing the impacts of warming, wants to vote away those facts. If only it were so easy!

Cigarettes killing too many people? Write a law saying they don't! Think gravity is an unnecessary burden on our airline industry? Let's vote it away! Evolution doesn't fit your religious beliefs? Outlaw it!

If the concept of legislating away science sounds familiar, that's because it's essentially what House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton is trying to do with the Energy Tax Prevention Act. Even that instance, however, isn't nearly as blatant an affront on science. Upton's proposal to strip the EPA of its court-ordered obligation to regulate greenhouse gases is, at least, one step removed from the underlying science that obligates the EPA to act. Read is suggesting a law that literally and immediately refutes broad scientific consensus. Amazing. And terrifying.

Photo (cc) by Parkerdr on Wikimedia Commons

via Affinity Magazine / Twitter

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape in the third degree and criminal sexual acts in the first degree in New York City.

The jury was unanimous in its convictions as well as two not-guilty verdicts on predatory sexual assault charges involving actress Annabella Sciorra.

The Miramax co-founder may spend the rest of his natural life behind bars.

Keep Reading
via Jim Browing / YouTube

Jim Browning is a YouTuber from the UK who has an amazing ability to catch scammers in the act.

In this video, he responds to a scam email claiming he bought a laptop by breaking into the scammer's computer. In the process he uncovers where the scammers work, their banking information, and even their personal identities.

"I got an 'invoice' email telling me that I had paid for a $3800 laptop," Browning writes on his YouTube page. "No links... just a phone number. It's a real shame that these scammers emailed me because I was able to find out exactly who they were and where the were."

Keep Reading

A two-minute television ad from New Zealand is a gut punch to dog lovers who smoke cigarettes. "Quit for Your Pets" focuses on how second-hand smoke doesn't just affect other humans, but our pets as well.

According to Quitline New Zealand, "when you smoke around your pets, they're twice as likely to get cancer."

Keep Reading