Thursday, July 16, 2015

#1415: Jim Bridenstine

James Frederick Bridenstine, the US Representative for Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district, is apparently one of the up-and-coming Tea Party politicians, and a true loon. Among his most notable accomplishments is the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013, which was introduced in response to several 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes as a means to secure that measures were taken to reduce the disastrous impact of tornadoes in Oklahoma without looking like any sort of support for climate change research. In fact, Bridenstine claimed that 30 times more money was being spent on climate change research than on weather forecasting and warning, a claim that is so obviously and demonstrably misleading that it cannot possibly have been made in good faith. Of course, Bridenstine blamed the situation on Obama, despite the rather obvious fact that the budget was set by Congress, but we suspect that very many politician would have done the same in his situation.

Now, the wording of the aforementioned bill is not particularly surprising. Bridenstine has repeatedly said that he believes anthropogenic climate change is a myth, despite consensus from 97 percent of the scientific community. Specifically, Bridenstine has said temperature increases have coincided more with “solar activity” than the human-driven increase in heat-trapping gases emitted into the atmosphere, a hypothesis that has been refuted so many times that it has started to resemble standard creationist talking points.

Of course, denialism and conspiracy theories rarely come in isolation, and Bridenstine has also argued for instance that Common Core is a plot by the federal government to “indoctrinate” students and breed “socialism” – indeed, a deliberate attempt by the federal government to “control opinions” and weaken American exceptionalism. And then there is this.

Diagnosis: Stock delusional conspiracy theorist who’s apparently been elected to Congress instead of being left to ferment over at where he belongs.

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