The Champion

When it comes to global warming, who’s the worst politician out there? Not long ago, I’d have had a ready answer. But now, I’m not so sure.


I would have said that the worst politician around, about the global warming issue, is Oklahoma Republican senator James Inhofe. Move over, Inhofe, there’s a new kid on the block — a state representative from Montana, Republican Joe Read.

Read introduced a bill to the Montana state legislature, resolving that global warming is not caused by human activity. I guess he thinks that we can just legislate scientific truth. He even resolves that global warming is a good thing! Here’s the text of the bill:


2011 Montana Legislature

Additional Bill Links PDF (with line numbers)

HOUSE BILL NO. 549

INTRODUCED BY J. READ

A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT STATING MONTANA’S POSITION ON GLOBAL WARMING; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.”

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

NEW SECTION. Section 1. Public policy concerning global warming. (1) 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.

(3) (a) For the purposes of this section, “global warming” relates to an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s surface.

(b) It does not include a one-time, catastrophic release of carbon dioxide.

NEW SECTION. Section 2. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 75, chapter 2, and the provisions of Title 75, chapter 2, apply to [section 1].

NEW SECTION. Section 3. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.

- END -

Latest Version of HB 549 (HB0549.01)
Processed for the Web on February 15, 2011 (5:03pm)

New language in a bill appears underlined, deleted material appears stricken.

Sponsor names are handwritten on introduced bills, hence do not appear on the bill until it is reprinted.

See the status of this bill for the bill’s primary sponsor.

Status of this Bill | 2011 Legislature | Leg. Branch Home
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Authorized print version of this bill w/line numbers (PDF format)
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Prepared by Montana Legislative Services
(406) 444-3064

It reminds me of the bill introduced in Indiana in 1897, which attempted to legislate the value of pi.

This is what our politicians have come to. We have the tea party to thank (to blame) for this.

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31 responses to “The Champion

  1. David B. Benson

    But pi does equal 3!

    :-)

  2. In related news, House Republicans have introduced a bill to repeal the laws of therma-, tempodynam-, er, um, that heat stuff.

    • It’s part of a CR (continuing resolution) that will I doubt will be passed by the Senate.

      • No, it won’t get passed by the Senate, but the CR is what the House is focused on at the moment, and when they speak of cutting $60B for the rest of the fiscal year, the CR is what they’re talking about.

        The question is … how much of that will the Senate force the House to put back in, and will it be quick enough to forestall another shutdown as we saw under Clinton? Or will the Dems in the Senate just sit back and let the House Republicans force said shutdown?

        Events in Wisconsin make me think the Tea Party Revolution isn’t going as smoothly as they expected …

      • David B. Benson

        Yes, but certainly appropriate for The Champion thread.

      • Yeah, I have kind of a personal stake in the CR, so I’ve been watching this since Oct 1. This isn’t so much a spending bill as a political statement – the cuts are designed to target areas that Republicans do not like. My hope is that since this is so bad, some centrist Democrats won’t decide that this is a good way to address the deficit. Of course, Washington really isn’t serious about the deficit or they would have worked to rein in health costs and let the tax cuts expire.

    • It’s difficult not to fill my post with four-letter words when describing my feelings on a possible government shutdown. I receive social security survivor benefits from the untimely death of my wife. It’s the only way I can afford to stay in my house. If the checks stop or get interrupted, I don’t currently have many options. This stuff makes me sick.

  3. David B. Benson:

    But pi does equal 3!

    Bah!

    Everyone knows that pi equals 4!

    What’s the connection with climate science? Tallbloke, well-known publisher of private e-mail and Reconciliar of Lisboa, is a huge fan of Miles Mathis.

    If all of mathematics and physics is a hoax, climate science is a hoax, QED!

    • David B. Benson

      Nope, I’m not buying.

      I won’t even give you 22/7.

    • Hmmm. Poe or crank? Can’t tell.

      (S)he does say that that paper may be difficult for ignorant people (y’know, mere mathematicians and scientists) to understand, and they should start with his/her earlier work. But I notice that the paper relies on one of the earlier papers anyway, so I looked at that.

      And it’s b*ll*cks.

      A circle is a set of points – it doesn’t have a start or even a direction.

      So the assumptions in the later paper are false, and I don’t even need to read it to decide that it, too, is b*ll*cks. Isn’t that nice? I saved myself from the trouble of reading a load of crankish nonsense.

    • I followed your link, and now my head hurts!

      12:30am is not the time to be trying to understand twisted logic that that the circumference of a circle is not a measure of the length of it’s perimeter, but instead some bizarro acceleration term, which he then seems to directly compare to the length of the radius… (I probably got that wrong, but it’s late and I didn’t want to read any more… :-P )

    • Amazing, all of those pages to show that a circle’s circumference is the same as the perimeter of a smallest enclosing square. Reminds me of the proof that pi=2. (That’s slightly different of course.)

  4. OH, yes, see Deltoid comment and comment.

    Every once in a while, when need of amusement, and if tired of the “dog astrology journa”l JSE, of which Bishop Hill is fond, Miles Mathis is certainly of interest.

    But, back to Montana. Inhofe need fear not.
    This tells us:
    “The Legislature meets in regular session for 90 working days in every odd-numbered year. It is required to do so by state law and the state Constitution. Each session begins, or convenes, at noon on the first Monday in January …”

    Read is busy, as he only has 3 months to declare AGW nonexistent, or at least good, but also get MT declared off-limits to the EPA.

    At least as of ~10 years ago, according to blaance of payments, we find that a bunch of other states subsidize MT, which is ~sixth-highest in ratio of ($ from Federal govt) / (money sent to Federal govt). Read wants Federal govt out of MT, I agree; CA could use the money we send there.

  5. Horatio Algeranon

    “Scientists (and Mother Nature) are not above The Law”

    We’ll pass a bill on what will be
    The climate sensitivity
    Suspend the law of gravity
    Fix the value of pi at 3
    Show them that the laws of Nature
    Are no match for the Legislature.

  6. Gödel’s ‘s warning: an “inconsistency” that allowed the possibility of a dictatorship.
    http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2005/02/jerry_dworkin_p.html

    “Peter Suber (Philosophy, Earlham College) provides a nice description of the basis of Gödel’s conclusion: see section 16(B) of his book, The Paradox of Self-Amendment: A Study of Law, Logic, Omnipotence, and Change. Suber has posted the entire text of his book on-line ….”

    http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/psa/index.htm

    “The principle that what is logically impossible must be legally impossible may be philosophically arrogant and ignorant of legal history, but it is not a simple mistake…. If human law can be immoral without ceasing to be law, it seems it can be illogical without ceasing to be law. Law has its own tests of what is law, and those tests validate much that is immoral and illogical…..”

  7. Posting from The Onion doesn’t count.

    Oh crap, this was real.
    :(

  8. What is this escape clause in relation to?

    (3) (a) For the purposes of this section, “global warming” relates to an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s surface.

    (b) It does not include a one-time, catastrophic release of carbon dioxide.

    Are they (and I assume this isn’t all the work of one denialist) thinking of the single “slug” carbon dioxide in an idealized model of analysis? That wouldn’t make much sense to me since the context in which I am aware of “slug analysis” (if I may coin a phrase) is in terms of trying to identify how long a pulse of carbon dioxide resides in the atmosphere and not so much the enhancement of the greenhouse effect.

    Are they thinking of something more along the lines of the flood basalt volcanoes and other Large Igneous Provinces that sprinkle mass extinctions through geologic time? Everything from the Siberian supervolcano responsible for the Permian-Triassic Extinction 251 Million Years Ago (MYA) and the North Atlantic Igneous Province responsible for the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum 56 MYA?

    No doubt these eruptions resulted in great, catastrophic releases of carbon dioxide, but some were clearly over an extended period of time. The Permian-Triassic Extinction the Siberian supervolcano released carbon dioxide on and off over something on the order of a million years.

    Either way it seems that they are in fact at least dimly aware of the science and the fact that it is true. About the only thing they can claim at this point would seem to be that the warming won’t really be that much ala Lindzen or Christy, that something else is responsible for most of the warming (what else? anything else!), or that the carbon dioxide isn’t ours — which flies in the face of isotopic analysis — and oxygen levels that are falling in sync with rising levels of carbon dioxide.

  9. (3)(b) Maybe a reference to methane hydrates.

    The Industrial Revolution has been and continues to be the one-time catastophic release of carbon dioxide.

  10. This makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

  11. Alexander Fuchs

    The best joke is: (2) The legislature finds: lol
    Why do we need science, we have legislature!

    Another suggestion for Montana’s legislature:
    From now on in Montana light is allowed to move faster than 300,000 km per second.

  12. Tamino, are you sure the title of this post shouldn’t be:
    The Champignon?
    Cause Rep. Read has clearly been raised on bullshit!

  13. cherry pi: (1) an irrational choice of number not related to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter; (2) a choice of value sufficiently far removed from the irrational number 3.14159… (or occasionally the rational 22/7) that you usually have to doubt the user’s grasp of reality

  14. Horatio Algeranon

    RE: “It does not include a one-time, catastrophic release of carbon dioxide”

    That’s prolly a self-reference — to the current legislative session.

    In places like Montana and Utah (where Horatio lived for 15 years), catastrophic releases of CO2 (aka stupidity) by the legislature from time to time are necessary to keep the governing body from exploding.

  15. Of course, from a sensible perspective – that of the geologist – the human release of CO2 IS a one-time, catastrophic release. Between 1950 and 2050 we appear on track to put most of the accessible fossil carbon into the atmosphere, and in most proper rock formations that would equate to a few millimeters at best.

    So the legislation seems fine, since if humans released the CO2 over a geologically appropriate timeframe (say a couple of million years), there would indeed be little reason for alarm.

  16. Stop it already, I’m appalled enough at humanity’s crevasse of stupidity, oh it is too deep to apprehend! Laugh or cry; laugh and cry; it is all the same nowadays. Sadly, in Australia we have similar characters in government and especially, especially, in opposition. The senate has more than a handful of these idjits as well.

  17. Well, FWIW, I suspect that the “catastrophic release” clause may be intended to recognize the obvious: that CO2 in sufficient concentration can and will asphyxiate people and animals–and has done so in the past, for that matter.

    But it’s so badly worded that you can’t really tell. If you wanted to know the ‘original intent,’ you’d have to ask the person(s) who drafted this farrago. And who knows? Even that might not suffice.

  18. Don Gisselbeck

    Maybe I should see if my Montana Representative can introduce a bill requiring Nature to give us skiers 30 powder days a year.