Neil deGrasse Tyson: Abe Lincoln 'would turn in his grave' over Republicans' climate denial
Neil deGrasse Tyson 060414 [MSNBC]

Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson blistered the modern GOP in footage aired on Wednesday over their efforts to avoid talking about global warming. It was Republican Abraham Lincoln, he pointed out, who created the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) during his presidency.

"Abe Lincoln would turn in his grave if he knew that his descendants, his political descendants -- if I remember correctly, Abe Lincoln was Republican -- were cherry-picking scientific results," Tyson said in a clip from his recent interview with MSNBC host Chris Hayes. "I don't know what he would say. I'm pretty sure he'd be disappointed."

Lincoln founded the academy in 1863, deGrasse Tyson explained, under the belief that both presidents and legislators would better serve the country by being able to call upon the NAS for advice on matters related to the sciences. But today's Republicans, the noted astrophysicist said, are content to pick-and-choose data at their own convenience.

"What you should be doing is recognizing the scientific results, then let the political conversations be about what kind of legislation you need to put into place that might serve your political interests," deGrasse Tyson said.

After playing the clip of deGrasse Tyson's remarks, Hayes observed that the latest GOP dodge is to plead ignorance, with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), among others, now seemingly content to remind reporters that they're not scientists whenever they're asked about global warming.

"The Republican Party has moved from complete denial to, 'Don't ask me, I'm not a scientist; I'm just a dude in a suit by a microphone, for the love of God,'" Hayes said.

But Hayes seemed particularly disappointed to see indicted Rep. Michael "I'll break you in half" Grimm (R-NY) parroting the "I'm not a scientist" party line.

In an interview for Hayes' Years of Living Dangerously series for Showtime, he recalled, Grimm cited the overwhelming majority of evidence pointing to man-made global warming.

"The basic story of, we're putting carbon in the atmosphere, the planet's getting warmer, that's gonna make the sea levels rise -- the basic story of that, you pretty much agree with, right?" Hayes asked Grimm at the time.

"Sure," Grimm said. "I mean, there's no question that the oceans have risen, right? And the climate change part is a real part of it. The problem that we're gonna have right now is, there's no oxygen left in the room in Washington right now for another big debate. That's the reality."

Watch DeGrasse and Hayes' remarks, as aired on Wednesday on MSNBC, below.