Watch: The infuriating irony of GOP climate denial

Republicans try to convince us that they know more about science than scientists

Published June 4, 2014 6:29PM (EDT)

Sen. Ted Cruz  (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
Sen. Ted Cruz (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

The Republican party has gotten itself into a bit of a pickle. It very much wants us to ignore all those things scientists are saying about the climate changing, but it has no real evidence to present to the contrary. When others challenge the GOP worldview, the retort of choice has become: "I'm not a scientist." In other words, while Republicans are qualified to disavow science, they're not qualified to tell you why. The irony is staggering.

This new ad, from Americans United for Change, drives that point home by demonstrating just how much of an epidemic this sort of thing has become. In an infuriating montage of GOPers beefing up their conservative cred by disregarding the scientific consensus, it features Republican after Republican speaking authoritatively on why they believe science is wrong. For people who aren't scientists, they sure do sound confident.

My only beef with the video is that ends by asserting that 7 out of 10 Americans believe in climate change. That's great -- but it's also beside the point. For the purpose of this argument, pubic opinion really doesn't matter all that much -- we can save that for the debate over what we're actually going to do about climate change. Otherwise, we're just really not qualified to be having this conversation. "Very few of us are scientists, which is exactly why we tend to defer to scientific judgment," was how Jonathan Chait put it. "It might make sense to question expert consensus in a field where you are an expert, but if you know very little about it, you probably want to just go along with what the experts think." A healthy dose of skepticism is always a good thing, but pretending to know better than the experts just makes you look silly.

Watch Republicans making themselves look silly below:

By Lindsay Abrams

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Climate Change Climate Change Denialism Climate Deniers Gop Republicans Video