Possibly the oddest, and dumbest, argument posited by climate change deniers in the GOP has come from Kentucky state Senator Brandon Smith (R). Smith claimed that humans can’t be responsible for climate change because Mars and Earth share “exactly” the same temperature.
Smith, who is also owner of the coal mining company Mohawk Energy, said that coal companies should be exempt from emission regulations because, since Mars has no coal mines and the two planets are the same temperature, the coal industry clearly isn’t contributing to global warming.
During a meeting with the Natural Resources and Environment Committee meeting last week, Smith said:
“As you [Energy & Environment Cabinet Official] sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I won’t get into the debate about climate change, but I’ll simply point out that I think in academia, we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s [sic] no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”
Maybe the reason that Smith didn’t want to get into that debate is because his “facts” are unequivocally wrong.
According to NASA, the average temperature on Mars is -81 degrees Fahrenheit, with Earth’s average temperature at 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Apparently a difference of 138 degrees equals the same thing to the State senate’s Majority Whip.
Unfortunately for the Commonwealth, several other Kentucky legislators also made outlandish statements regarding climate change during the meeting.
“The dinosaurs died, and we don’t know why, but the world adjusted,” said State representative Kevin Sinnette (D). “And to say that this is what’s going to cause detriment to people, I just don’t think it’s out there.”
State Representative Stan Lee (R) also said that the term climate change was basically a re-branding of global warming, which also didn’t exist.
“All this stems, this carbon capture, all this other stuff, it stems back to a scare generated years ago about global warming,” Lee said. “Finally it turned out that there hasn’t been global warming in 15 or 20 years, then they changed the name to climate change.”
Apart from not being able to understand that 57 and -81 aren’t the same number, the state legislature’s constant denial that temperatures are rising will prove detrimental to Kentucky’s agriculture. Kentuckians, especially the farmers on which much of the state’s economy is dependant, should be scared that these are the men representing their interests in Frankfort.