Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.): Americans are too stupid to ‘get’ climate science

May 12, 2010 05:22

Congressman Says Climate Science Should Be Simplified to ‘Sixth Grade Level’ Because Americans ‘Don’t Get’ It. Obviously those that elected Rep. Cleaver are that stupid.

By Christopher Neefus at

Americans are growing skeptical about the threat of global warming because “they don’t get” the complex information that scientists deliver, according to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

Unless scientists can simplify their arguments to the level of newspapers that “print at the sixth grade level,” Cleaver said, the public is “going to get a headache and bail out.”

Cleaver made his comments to a panel of scientists on Capitol Hill at a hearing last Thursday of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

The committee was investigating the “foundation” of climate science after the Climategate scandal saw thousands of damaging e-mails leaked from scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.

The Missouri Democrat was responding to scientist James McCarthy, who said that science can sometimes be twisted by stakeholders because the conclusions can seem contradictory. One example cited the conclusion that global warming will actually create more snowfall because it will increase the amount of moisture held in the air.

“This is a very complicated subject and one can take one little piece of it and make a headline out of it and find that it’s maybe true but sounds like a contradiction,” said McCarthy, a professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University who contributed the 2001 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate assessment.


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