Friday, February 15, 2019

#2145: Joe Read

Joe Read was a member of the Montana House of Representatives, representing House District 15, from 2011 to 2013. He is most famous for his 2011 bill maintaining that global warming is “natural”, not man-made (“human activity has not accelerated it”), and “beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana”. Some details here. It is instructive to note how Read seems to think these matters are settled, and according to himself he did not consult any climate scientists in drafting the bill, relying instead on his own experience and understanding of the issues (“science is driven by grant money” and hence “being skewed” by the “federal goverment” through the grant process, which manipulates most scientists to deliver findings that support governmental power, said Read, evidently unaware of how these processes work: “[The grant money is] all on the side for writing studies that global warming is happening[; t]here’s nothing on the side that says I wish to write a paper that global warming is not an issue”; right: since there isn’t an equal number of papers arguing each side, the grant process must be biased. He did, however, introduce a companion bill that asserts that federal greenhouse pollution limits violate the Tenth Amendment (once again apparently oblivious to how such matters are settled.) It is worth pointing out, to nobody’s surprise, that Read was not the only clown in Montana’s legislature at the time.

Nor, of course, was this Read’s only attempt at being an idiot. His tenure was in particular characterized by attempts to pass state laws that would nullify federal law, including circumventing the Affordable Care Act, nullifying federal environmental regulations, and even criminalizing the enforcement of federal firearms laws.

After receiving the boot in 2013, Read has apparently joined the Constitution Party.

Diagnosis: One would imagine his constituents being embarrassed by their mistake – Read was, after all, voted out at the first opportunity – but the cynic in us is reluctant to really believe so. (And yes: that’s technically a diagnosis of us, not Read. Read doesn’t really need one.)

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