Republican Blames Trees for Global Warming

Republican Congressman and former friend of the Taliban Dana Rohrabacher has an idea for curbing global warming: Gut the world's rainforests of old and decaying trees, because greenhouse gasses are "generated by nature itself." The California Representative thinks this whole idea of manmade global warming is bullshit, and wants to have developing countries with large rainforests to go in and do some heavy duty pruning.

At a congressional hearing yesterday, he asked climate diplomat Todd Stern about this idea. Stern said he didn't want to touch on subjects that he's not an expert on, and told Politico afterward, "If he wants to talk about the effect of rotting wood or whatever, we're happy to have someone come up who knows about it. I don't." Politico then asked a scientist about the validity of Rohrabacher's statements:

Jay Gulledge, a senior scientist at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, said Rohrabacher is correct that 80 to 90 percent of gross greenhouse gas emissions do come from nature, with humans producing the rest. But it's that small percentage that is changing the Earth's climate - not to mention that trees help absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in huge quantities.

"How he's using it is totally off the wall," Gulledge said. "It's beyond the pale. It makes no sense."

Given his track record, Rohrabacher has generally been wrong about everything, ever. But who knows, maybe he's got this one right?

[Politico; image via Getty]