Sunday, February 6, 2022

#2513: John Barrasso

John Anthony Barrasso is a US Senator from Wyoming and for the most part roughly what you’d expect from a Trump-promoting wingnut – not the apparently craziest of the lot, though he did for instance promote the utterly discredited and moronic conspiracy theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


Barrasso has, however, a story as one of the staunchest and most quixotic climate change denialists in the US legislature. In a hearing with the Environmental Protection Agency director in 2011, for instance, Barrasso stated, apparently with a straight face, that “forty years ago, the same scientists that are predicting the end of the world now from global warming were predicting the end of the world from global cooling”, a claim that is as common on climate change denialist websites as it is complete and utter nonsense. Asked, in 2014, whether human activity contributes to climate change, Barrasso saidthe climate is constantly changing. The role human activity plays is not known.” Though that kind of claim surely flies with the nuttier part of his electorate, it’s hard to believe that Barrasso is displaying complete intellectual honesty here – he is certainly not shy about engaging in some bald-faced lying about climate proposals he disagrees with. At least listening to Barrasso talk climate change makes for an easy game of denialist talking point bingo.


Barrasso opposed the CIA’s creation of its Center on Climate Change and National Security in 2009, and two years later introduced a bill that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting CO2 emissions.


That said, he did, in December 2018, publish a New York Times op-ed where he claimed that he believed that climate change was happening but was opposed to a carbon fee and dividend. He was, however, at the same time a firm supporter of Trump’s plan to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement. It may be worth mentioning that he received over $690,000 in funding from oil and gas companies in 2018 alone.


Diagnosis: Mostly an utterly spineless, dishonest liar and opportunist, we suspect. But it is probably safe to say that some of his nonsense statements reflect ideas he genuinely endorses, too. Dangerous.

1 comment:

  1. Don't know if this has popped up, but I'd like to nominate Tom Brady for inclusion in this encyclopaedia. Regardless of his Pro-Football-Hall-of-Fame-worthy career, he is using his celebrity status to push woo and pseudoscience, labeling it "The TB12-Method".