Saturday, August 18, 2018

#2057: Randy Neugebauer

Robert Randolph “Randy” Neugebauer was the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 19th district from 2003 to 2017, and was in 2011 named “the most conservative” member of the House. Neugebauer was a member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, and his background there might perhaps help explain his proposed 2011 Congressional resolution, in response to a period of crazy weather, to pray for better weather conditions. In particular, the resolution resolved that “people in the United States should join together in prayer to humbly seek fair weather conditions, including calm skies in the South and lower Midwest where tornadoes have ravaged homes and uprooted families, and for rain where rain is most needed in the South and Southwest, where devastating drought and dangerous wildfires have destroyed homes, businesses, and lives.” 

The most important thing for Neugebauer, though, seems to have been to keep those darn scientistsout of the political discussion. Neugebauer is a climate change denialist, and certainly doesn’t trust scientists with published results. Yes, there is consensus among scientists that climate change is happening and largely caused by human activity, but as Neugebauer sees it, the reason it looks that way is because there is a conspiracy to keep climate change denying results away from broader dissemination: “The consensus has been for some time that global warming, climate change, continues because man is the perpetrator. Now we are beginning to learn that may not be true, that there is not a consensus that there is global warming or climate change. We now have heard about Climategate, where the expert scientists hid emails in England that disagreed with the so-called consensus that there is global warming and global climate change [this is, of course, not remotely what happened]. We have heard now new evidence that even NASA is involved in not revealing evidence that contradicts climate change.” The main evidence for the conspiracy, as Neugebauer sees it, is the absence of science denying climate change in serious journals, which conflicts with Neugebauer’s intuition on the matter and, presumably, the crazy rantings of Senator (and non-scientist) James Inhofe. Since the idea that he is wrong and has something to learn is beyond his cognitive capacity, the only possibly conclusion is conspiracy.

Neugebauer has also taken a bold and brave stance on the War on Christmas.

Diagnosis: A seriously deranged man, and at one point a serious danger to civilization. Since he retired his influence has of course diminished, but we are under no illusion that his replacement is much better.

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