Wiretap: Climate change? Boehner wouldn’t presume, is ‘not a scientist’

Jonathon Chait in New York magazine deconstructs the newest trend in Republican public sphere climate denial — the “I’m not a scientist” line, trotted out recently by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Florida Governor Rick Scott and House Speaker John Boehner. “Listen, I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change,” Boehner told reporters last week. “Boehner immediately turned the question to the killing of jobs that would result from any proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which he asserts with unwavering certainty,” writes Chait. “On this question, Boehner is not held back by the fact that he is also not an economist…

“It’s a strange form of reasoning. Very few of us are scientists, which is exactly why we tend to defer to scientific judgment. 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. Scientists do, in fact, have a nearly unanimous view of anthropogenic global warming. Scientists likewise believe that chugging Liquid Drano is bad for your health, which is why, precisely because of my lack of scientific training, I hold off on the Drano Cocktails.”

Republican candidate for governor Mike Kopp, running against three better-known primary candidates, has ridden 69 miles on a bike tour of rural southern Colorado. Kopp hasn’t connected with voters or funders in a big way, and voters will begin casting mail ballots this week. The bike tour of low-population towns has a doomed comic quality, a kind of David Lynch approach to campaigning. He pedaled into Salida heading east on Sunday. “Cycling really gives you a unique perspective on all of these places we’re visiting,” Kopp was quoted to say in a release. Instead of quickly driving through, I am seeing people walking on their sidewalks; I see businesses with ‘Closed’ signs in the windows. This up close and personal view of Colorado energizes me to work even harder on this tour.” Tomorrow, Canon City, the prison capitol of the state.

In Wise County, north Texas, a family has won $2.9 million in a lawsuit against Aruba Petroleum oil and gas drillers who have descended on their ranch, making them sick by fouling the air. The Parr family have been trying to sell their 40-acre ranch for two years. The jury concluded that drilling had devalued the property by $275,000.

Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who led the charge to shut down the government last fall, is championing the costly, ineffectual standoff as an election-year winner. He said the “gray beards” in the party are “reaping the fruits of the battle, which is perfectly fine.” He said he was committed to continuing the battle to defund Obamacare. Via TPM.

A Texas gun group is calling for all Republican delegates to bring “long guns and black powder revolvers” to the state party’s Fort Worth convention center gathering this week. “All delegates, I urge you to open-carry the whole time,” Open Carry Tarrant County coordinator Kory Watkins wrote on the group’s Facebook page. “I will be a delegate with my AK 47. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.”