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Steele: the ‘right scientists’ can help US ‘appreciate’ climate change

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Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has given his fair share of awkward answers to journalists. But this one takes the cake.

In a recently televised segment, he was asked to explain his thoughts on the so-called “global cooling” he invented during a radio interview last March. Specifically, a MyFox anchor was curious as to how Steele knows such a thing is happening.

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His response was nothing if not bizarre. At one point, Steele even seemed to be suggesting that earth’s crop of climate scientists are unfit and must be replaced by the “right scientists” who can help us “appreciate” climate change.

“I don’t!” he declared. “I don’t! But apparently neither does anybody else! Okay? I don’t. All I know is every morning I come on, I turn on channel 13 and I’ll see what the weather man tells me. Okay? But the reality of it is, you know, really what is being exposed down is the profit motive and the profit taking and the flawed science that many of us have been talking about for years. You know, let’s clear all of that out. Let’s get the smart, right scientists in place to help us understand and appreciate what’s happening. I’m still trying to find the brother who told me, ‘This is the temperature it should be.’ So, you know, we don’t know. The earth is a living organism and it changes. We all know what that is about, right?”

The inexplicable response was first snipped by Think Progress.

That’s a far cry from what he told a conservative radio host in March.

“We are cooling. We are not warming,” Steele claimed. “The warming you see out there, the supposed warming, and I am using my finger quotation marks here, is part of the cooling process. Greenland, which is now covered in ice, it was once called Greenland for a reason, right? Iceland, which is now green. Oh I love this. Like we know what this planet is all about. How long have we been here? How long? No very long.”

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Over at the Discovery blog, the RNC chairman’s comment drew little more than disdain.

“You want me to respond to that gibberish? Seriously? The man got the history of Greenland wrong… need I really wax poetic on the rest? It’s not a question of ‘what this planet is all about‘, but rather what planet is the RNC Chairman on?

After an “exhaustive review,” the Associated Press declared that the so-called “climategate” emails which exposed a row between scientists at the University of East Anglia did not show any climate data had been faked.

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“The AP studied all the e-mails for context, with five reporters reading and rereading them — about 1 million words in total,” the wire service noted. “One of the most disturbing elements suggests an effort to avoid sharing scientific data with critics skeptical of global warming. It is not clear if any data was destroyed; two U.S. researchers denied it.”

A recent Ipsos/McClatchy poll found that continued denial of climate change is increasingly leaving Republicans isolated.

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“In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded it is ‘highly likely’ that greenhouse gases largely contributed to a roughly 1-degree Fahrenheit rise in global average temperatures since 1905, and likely will lead to a 3- to 7-degree rise by 2100,” USA Today reported.

Scientists predict a dramatic rise in sea levels to coincide with heightened temperatures, triggering more erratic and violent weather systems and mass migrations throughout human societies due to coastal habitat destruction.

This video was broadcast by MyFox Tampa Bay on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009. The segment on climate change begins at 7:15.

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