Republican Congressman Offers Mind-Numbing Explanation for Rising Sea Levels

Ceria Alfonso
May 18, 2018

Duffy responded that he didn't imagine that defined sea-level rise.

A day after the hearing, the committee tweeted a link to an op-ed from The Wall Street Journal denying climate change caused sea-level rise.

E&E News reported on the comments of Brooks and others at the hearing, including California GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher who said he was "disturbed" that he heard people warning against questioning the link between human activity and climate change.

Questioning scientist Phil Duffy of the Woods Hole Research Center, Brooks postulated that silt and mud washed by rivers into the ocean caused water levels to rise as it settled on the sea floor.

"Sea levels over the last three million years have gone up and down in line with the cycles of ice ages and interglacials, and I can expound on the science of that if you wish", Duffy said in response to a question about rising and lowers seas from Brooks.

"What about erosion?" Brooks supplied through the trade.

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"Let's assume for a moment that what you're talking about has some kind of factual, rational basis for it, that ice has melted", the Alabama Congressman interjected. Are there other factors? All of that displaces water, which forces it to rise.

"Every time you have that soil or rock deposited into the seas, that causes the sea level to rise, because now you've got less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up", he explained.

Duffy replied that "on human timescales those are minuscule effects".

"Well, I've got a NASA base in my district, and apparently, they're telling you one thing and me a different thing", Brooks reportedly said. Duffy told Brooks that he had satellite records that show "an acceleration" of the shrinkage of the Antarctic ice sheet.

"The National Snow and Ice Data Center and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration", the scientist responded, citing his sources.

The debate quickly ran aground on the question of whether climate change is being caused by increases in greenhouse gas emissions, as climate scientists believe, or whether the entire theory has been falsified by an worldwide scientific cabal in service of a secret agenda to extend government control of the economy, as most Republicans believe.

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