In response to a growing campaign which demands that Exxon Mobile reveal a trove of secret documents on what, exactly, they knew about climate change and when, paid politicians have begun to rail against government involvement in scientific endeavors in a sad attempt at deflection.

These guys don’t get to head up some of the most corrupt corporations without picking up a bit of cunning, and this distraction is one of the most clever and nefarious there is.

It was recently revealed that ExxonMobil knew the intricate details of climate change for decades, yet refused to alter their practices and continued to mislead Americans. In this time, the devastating effects of fossil fuels have continued to wreak havoc on the global climate, virtually unchecked.

Rather than face up to their role, Exxon has begun paying off their loyal, climate-denying Republican politicians. The result is a very bizarre moment when Republican politicians like Texas Congressman Lamar Smith attacking the federal government over restricting scientific research.

Said Smith during a hearing on the Exxon issue on Wednesday:

“These investigations have had a chilling effect.”

Another member of the committee declared, that if the government had been in charge of science all along, “we’d still think the Earth was flat.” Another still declared that the inquiry was tantamount to bullying scientists.

This is awfully rich coming from the party which time and time again has stood in the way of  scientific progress and discovery. This hypocrisy is made even more hilarious when you learn that same committee which is now railing against government interference once subpoenaed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration over their climate science research.

Don’t be distracted by this committee suddenly waking up and pretending to give a damn about science – they have been fighting progress and discovery tooth and nail for decades, and now that their billionaire corporate bosses give a damn, they do too.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com