I fully expect to see former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay raking forest floors in California immediately, if not sooner. At the start of hurricane season, he shall be in Houston with a WetVac. He's not afraid of non-existent climate change. That devastating, 1600-page climate change report Hair Führer released on the Friday after Thanksgiving don't mean NOTHING to him. It was all political, get me?
CNN host Brianna Keilar did an admirable job attempting to push back on the intentionally obtuse bulldukey spouted by DeLay, but he kept coming at her with Republican rejection of actual science. She asked him about the report, correctly calling it "buried" on Black Friday, and what he thought Republicans should do about it.
DELAY: They should be standing up for good -- I tried to read the report that came out Friday and frankly it is horrible. I can't understand why the trump administration allows -- I know that the statute calls for such a report, but for this report that is nothing more than a political document and alarmist political document, why they let it out like this, they should have written a completely different kind of report based on real science. Climate change is real...
KEILAR: You think scientists in the administration -- you think they — you are basically saying there was a conspiracy to do something that was inaccurate? I'm not following you.
DELAY: Look at the report. It's nothing more than a rehash of age-old 10 to 20 year assumptions made by scientists that get paid to further the politics of global warming. That's what this is all about. It's not new science. The only new stuff is the alarmist stuff that in 80 years we will see people dying and starving and all that kind of stuff. I remember growing up and the population bomb. He predicted right now we would all be starving worldwide and has been discredited and debunked.
KEILAR: This is not just one guy. This is overwhelmingly accepted science.
Got that? The government scientists were paid to push the political agenda of climate change? Good effort, Keilar. The rest of us are with you in your futile attempt to get through to his teensy tiny intellect. But we also are exhausted for you watching this, really.
Then, folks, former Republican Leader Tom DeLay compared the reality of climate change to the debunked theory of the population bomb. I admit I had to google this one...but basically a Stanford biologist named Paul Erlich wrote a book in 1968 declaring that we had too many people, in the 1970s England and India would cease to exist and the world's population as it was had already become unsustainable, and everything was DOOOOOOOOOMMMMEEEDDD. Yes, he compared the thousands of scientists who have studied climate change for decades to Paul Erlich.
Finally, just for fun, he blamed the flooding from Hurricane Harvey on the government.
DELAY: The only reason we had the huge flood we had in Houston was the government-run dams that failed
KEILAR: Reports said it was -- just to be clear when you talk about Hurricane Harvey, we are talking about feet of rain dumped in days in Houston. Reports, reputable reports said that increased significantly because of climate change. That it supercharged the storm.
DELAY: Not at all. Brianna , we had the same rain about five years ago. We had flooding, but we did a lot of adaptation and fixing the infrastructure and stuff. A lot of people flooded before that didn't flood here. I'm not minimizing the devastation of the flood in Houston, but I'm saying the most of the houses that were flooded is because of the two dams that were managed by government failed. Flooded places that had never had any flooding.
KEILAR: In the face of unprecedented rain.
DELAY: No, no. You can't say that. It was not unprecedented rain. We had the same -- we had 24 inches of rain just four or five years ago and didn't have this kind of flooding. We had flooding and we had certain areas that flood, but it wasn't unprecedented. We had these storms for the last 100 years and there wasn't the man made green house gasses that were going on. We are going to have these storms. We just have to mitigate them. The fires in California are because of environmental policy, it's not because of climate change. They shut down parts of the forest in California and allowed the brush to grow up. They call that fuel. Instead of cleaning that fuel up and keeping it clean and minimizing the fires, the environmentalists and crazy Governor Jerry...
She cut him off right there. I like her style.
Furthermore, Hurricane Harvey's rainfall WAS, indeed, unprecedented. Over 4 feet of rain fell — 51+ inches, in fact — which is more than twice what DeLay stated fell five years earlier. So, he is either lying or stupid or both.
Secondly, if DeLay is blaming the governmental policies for the dams that broke during Harvey for the flooding, he should check the date of that storm. It happened in August 2017. His dear leader had been in office for 8 full months by then, and could have done all he wanted with a Republican Congress to strengthen the infrastructure of the dams in Houston. The same point applies to California's wildfires - the land on which they began are owned and controlled by the federal government. Isn't this Republican government now in control of environmental policy?
KEILAR: I will say, Mr. Leader, that scientists take issue with what you are saying. In this report that you are casting aspersions on, this is 300 leading scientists, and 13 federal agencies.
DELAY: I can give you 300 scientists that will say different. If you read the report, there is no dissenting opinion.
KEILAR: That will be more difficult to find. Well, what does it MEAN that there is no dissenting opinion? That this is widely accepted science.
Believe us, Brianna Keilar, we get your exasperation. It was an admirable effort, but DeLay did his level best to look as absolutely ignorant and uninformed as he possibly could. Just trying to fit in with his pal, Rick Santorum, I suppose...