Readers will recall a particularly memorable speech made by Republican Sen. Ray Scott of Grand Junction in the Colorado Senate this year during a debate over a bill requiring the state’s Air Quality Control Commission to collect additional data pertinent to climate change. Sen. Scott, speaking in opposition to the bill, had some truly fascinating insights to share about…well, the climate…and how it’s…changing…for the better:
Climate change has led to “massive improvements” and “the planet is a thing that heals itself,” state Sen. Ray Scott argued Thursday morning.
Scott, a Republican from Grand Junction, was speaking against Senate Bill 96, which would require the state to collect greenhouse gas emissions data from oil and gas wells, coal mines and other sources of planet-warming gases. Reports on emissions would be released annually, which supporters hope would help guide climate change policy.
“I will argue that climate change is occurring, but in the reverse order,” Scott told his colleagues on the Senate floor. “Anybody in this room and I can have a discussion about what was our climate like 100 years ago or 80 years ago or 50 years ago or 20 years ago. We have made massive improvements in our climate. Massive improvements.” [Pols emphasis]
Click the video above, and you can watch Sen. Scott’s painful mistaking of solid particle and other visible forms of air pollution–which have indeed been reduced over the years by clean air laws opposed at every step by Republicans–with the only peripherally related subject of greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change. It’s a level of demonstrated ignorance about the issue the legislation Sen. Scott opposed addressed that should be disqualifying from voting on it, but of course that’s not how representative government has ever worked.
We were taken aback, though, when we saw this announcement from the University of Colorado’s Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization, the “conservative affirmative action” department set up by now-ex President and longtime Colorado Republican kingpin Bruce Ben$on to create a “safe space” on the campus of the state’s flagship university for what they call “conservative thought.”
It’s not a joke–next Wednesday, the very same Sen. Scott who celebrated the “massive improvements in our climate” in the Colorado Senate this year is the choice of the conservative-run Benson Center to speak for Republicans at a public discussion of “Policies on Climate and Environment!” Now in all fairness, the following week they’ll have Democratic Sen. Steve Fenberg along with Sen. Kerry Donovan later in the month to speak on the same issue–all under the auspices of the “conservative affirmative action” department.
The difference, of course, is that Sens. Fenberg and Donovan know enough about climate change to speak intelligently about it! On the other hand, Sen. Scott has no business even representing the GOP in a discussion about climate change, for the straightforward reason that Sen. Scott doesn’t know what climate change means. It would be far preferable to at least have a climate change denier who understands the subject enough to argue the point effectively.
The conservative students at CU–and yes, there are a few–deserve better, not to mention everyone else.