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Meet first-term Congressman Ross Spano, who was elected to represent the 15th District of Florida just last year. In a teevee interview on WFLA Sunday, Rep. Spano said he's not convinced humans are causing climate change, and what's more, it really bugs him that people like him who reject the consensus of scientists get portrayed as idiots. It's just not fair, he says! If only there were some way for him to find out more about the topic, perhaps he would be convinced! But although he readily admits to knowing very little about it, and seems disinclined to learn, he gets to make laws about energy and environmental policy, and isn't that what makes America great?

Here's the clip of the gentleman beclowning himself on a local interview show, "Politics On Your Side." Every expense was spared by the WFLA production team, and it shows!


Ross Spano on WFLA News 8/4/2019 www.youtube.com

Asked by host Evan Donovan if he thinks human-caused climate change is real, Spano replies,

I do not. I don't think there's sufficient evidence to show that. I think there's almost an inexorable push in expectation and belief that there is based on certain, certain reporting. I'm not an expert; I happened to meet with a few young ladies at our open house yesterday at our Brandon office, which [sic] came in and said "Look, can we talk to you more about this?"

Look, I'm willing to listen, all right? I'm not an unreasonable guy, but what I've seen so far doesn't prove to me that man has had the influence that some people has said that it has had.

Donovan pointed out that nearly all the people who are experts are quite sure of the facts, but Spano wasn't about to be fooled, pointing out that he hasn't seen any such proof, so how does anyone else know? It's not like you can look at the science, or the science on how reliable that consensus is. Besides, Spano has seen reports saying it's not true, and if you stand up bravely and demand to see the proof, you'll be called a fool. Scientists, he insists, are trying to

force people to accept that it is true, And if you speak out against it, and you say no no, let's talk about the facts? Well you're an idiot. You're stupid. You don't accept what the scientific community says.

Spano, really getting warmed up, insists he'd rather "get into a detailed conversation about it, right? Rather than to say '98 percent of the experts believe it.'"

Here's how you can tell Rep. Spano is being dishonest: He wants us to believe he's never met anyone willing to explain how it works, and that instead they just shout "98 percent of climate scientists" and leave it there. They've probably tried explaining the science while he waves his hands, insists "You can't prove any of it!" and then pouts that someone is forcing him to take it on faith.

But sure, we'd be happy to sit down with him for a detailed discussion, although we'd bring a scientist along for backup. The conversation might go like this!

Us: While the mathematics and computer models that go into climate forecasts are indeed very technical, the basic science of global warming is pretty simple: Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide trap heat from sunlight in the atmosphere. That makes the atmosphere warmer over time. Since the Industrial Revolution, as CO2 in the atmosphere has increased, so has the Earth's temperature. This isn't voodoo, and it isn't just people yelling that all scientists agree. You could look it up!

Here is a video for Mr. Spano to ignore because now it's not detailed enough.

Global Warming 101 | National Geographic www.youtube.com

Spano: Prove it.

Backup Scientist: OK, here are more details...

Spano: I'm not convinced.

We're pretty sure Spano is skipping a step here: If he really wants to understand the science and asks scientists questions, he'll get honest answers. There are entire organizations dedicated to educating people about the science! Climate scientists and journalists have also written extensively on how best to communicate about climate change -- even with people who deny the science.

To his credit, Donovan kept going on to point out that if 98 percent of brain specialists say you have cancer, you should probably listen to them. Spano shot back that people once believed "bloodletting was the accepted form of treatment," so we'll assume he argues with his doctor all the time too.

Oh, yes, and Spano also dragged out a thing that never existed, claiming that when when he was a young fella, he'd seen a Time magazine cover predicting a new ice age. Time never had such a cover, so maybe he was thinking of the fake photoshop job from a few years ago. Now, there WAS a nine-paragraph Newsweek story in 1975 that a lot of deniers insist disproves decades of real science, but in 2014 Peter Gwynne, who wrote that long-ago piece, wrote a detailed debunking -- for all the good it did. And here's a nice review of the whole "global cooling" canard, courtesy of the "Warm Regards" climate podcast.

Gosh, it's almost as if Rep. Spano isn't really being victimized and called an idiot by cruel scientists trying to force him to conform. It's a lot more like he's lying, and being called a liar and an idiot, for being both those things. Fortunately, state Rep. Adam Hattersley, a Democrat, plans to challenge Spano next year, and the DCCC has targeted the 15th as a district to flip blue. Here's hoping Mr. Spano can find time to catch up on his reading.

[Tampa Bay Times / Florida Politics / Sierra Club / Scientific American / Inside Science / Warm Regards]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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