Sen. Brandon Smith (famous climate science “academic”) is still living on Mars

Sen. Brandon Smith’s truly bizarre statements from a July 3 committee hearing in Frankfort — saying climate scientists are full of it because Mars is the exact same temperature as Earth and Mars doesn’t have any coal mines and factories — has gone viral nationally, with the YouTube clip we made being viewed nearly 34,000 times.

You would think that a person who says something so laughably false would simply acknowledge his error and move on, but that’s apparently not how Brandon rolls. Shortly after the committee hearing, Smith tweeted out the following statement, implying that he actually said something completely different and he was taken out of context:

Not only was Smith not taken out of context — these were the only comments he made about Mars — but his brand new theory is also laughable. In deep and dark corners of the internet tubes, climate change deniers enjoy sharing this conspiracy theory that all planets are warming, so there must be increased output by the sun to explain climate change on Earth, not the burning of fossil fuels. For instance, if you Google this, the first link that pops up is this website claiming Martian warming is real and debunks climate change scientists. Elsewhere on the site you can read many posts on how the Jews did 9/11, too (seriously).

The only problem with this theory is that it is laughable because relies on a speck of information, largely photographs of ice melting in one region on Mars over a three years period. And we can actually measure increased output from the sun… which is not happening. If you want more information on why Smith’s new theory is junk, feel free to read these words from actual scientists, or check out this video:

But Smith seems to be really convinced by these photos of one spot melting on Mars. Here’s the response from Grist:

On Earth, we have poles melting, surface temperature rising, tropospheric temperatures rising, permafrost melting, glaciers worldwide melting, CO2 concentrations increasing, borehole analysis showing warming, sea ice receding, proxy reconstructions showing warming, sea level rising, sea surface temperatures rising, energy imbalance, ice sheets melting, and stratospheric cooling, all of which leads us to believe the earth is undergoing global warming driven by an enhanced greenhouse effect.

One Mars we have one spot melting, which leads us to believe that … one spot is melting.

But Smith wasn’t done! The Monday following the hearing, Smith sent the following email back to a Kentucky resident who emailed him to point out how wrong he was on Mars:

Subject: Re: Climate Change

It amazes me that you have no idea what I actually said, weren’t at this meeting yet bought into this bogus quote posted about me so entirely that you took time to actually send me an email. Really? I have some lake front property you might be interested in! Please do not kick yourself for being duped by this, 56 other people in the world did as well.

As you can see, Smith is still denying that he said it, and still lying about being misquoted or taken out of context. It’s all bogus! The person replied by sending Smith a link of the YouTube video I posted… in full, undeniable context. Smith did not reply until this weekend, when he sent the following email, proving that Smith’s head is still on another planet:

“I made the point that it is my opinion that something bigger than one industry, coal, is affecting our planet. I went on to use the example that both Earth and Mars have experienced temperature changes. The clip you saw only shows enough of the overall debate to make the viewer believe I’m saying something different. I am not asking you to believe me; that is entirely up to you. However, as always, there is more to this story that deserves to be told.

The meeting in question was held so the Secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet could explain to committee members the impact of the newly proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. To say this was a heavily attended gathering by the media is an understatement. In fact, every major state outlet was present. Curiously, they never reported this story. Why? Because all of the informed parties understood the context of the conversation as I have been making this point for over five years. In fact, I was in Louisville on May 14th at a Forum Panel where we had a healthy discussion on this exact topic, and there was no story following that. You might be wondering how then did you get the story? This story came from an individual in the audience who can be heard on the tape shouting the claim that New York City is underwater due to climate change (I assure you, the whole story really is that bizarre). They began to tweet and blog and when the tape became available, took the snippet of me you saw.

Either all of the legitimate reporters in this meeting missed my comments or this whole ordeal is a diversionary, anti-coal measure to keep people from asking what the Secretary had to say. The answer to that question, the really important question of the day, is that he said nothing. He did not show up. I am not certain if these facts make a difference now but at least it provides a more complete image of what really happened and background on the source. If you still have doubts, take notice that this story, as you see it, was not reported in this publication or any other in Kentucky.

Although the majority of emails and calls to my office and home on this topic have unfortunately been vicious and accusatory in nature, one may be surprised to know that I appreciate the input. This is a discussion worth having, and even though we don’t all have to agree, we need to have tolerance of the many different views if we hope to come together to address this vital issue. Jumping to conclusions and battering the “opposing side” only perpetuates the entrenched environment we currently live in, which hasn’t gotten us anywhere. As chairman of Natural Resource committee, I had an open door policy. We brought the most diverse group of individuals and ideas to our meetings in hopes of finding answers. It takes no effort to call someone an idiot; the true challenge is finding the opportunities to work together beyond differences.

Brandon D. Smith”

Let’s just go through this mess point by point:

“The clip you saw only shows enough of the overall debate to make the viewer believe I’m saying something different.”

No, the clip shows exactly what you said about Mars, not the junk science you later claimed you were talking about, but weren’t.

“In fact, every major state outlet was present. Curiously, they never reported this story. Why? Because all of the informed parties understood the context of the conversation as I have been making this point for over five years. … Either all of the legitimate reporters in this meeting missed my comments or this whole ordeal is a diversionary, anti-coal measure to keep people from asking what the Secretary had to say. … If you still have doubts, take notice that this story, as you see it, was not reported in this publication or any other in Kentucky.”

Yes, no one else reported on your Mars statements in Kentucky except LEO … and the Courier-Journal (one, two, three times), Herald Leader (two times) and public radio. Unbelievable.

“You might be wondering how then did you get the story? This story came from an individual in the audience who can be heard on the tape shouting the claim that New York City is underwater due to climate change (I assure you, the whole story really is that bizarre). They began to tweet and blog and when the tape became available, took the snippet of me you saw. … I am not certain if these facts make a difference now but at least it provides a more complete image of what really happened and background on the source.”

Since he’s clearly referring to me, yes, you can clearly hear me in the video screaming about New York being underwater. This is despite the fact that you can hear no one shouting over him in the clip, and I was actually in Louisville watching the hearing over KET’s livestream. I guess I’m just gifted with a naturally booming voice.

“Jumping to conclusions and battering the “opposing side” only perpetuates the entrenched environment we currently live in, which hasn’t gotten us anywhere.”

Yes, God forbid people jump to conclusions without any facts in order to batter the opposing side. That won’t get you anywhere (except national fame for acting like an absolute fool).

Please keep replying and digging your hole, Sen. Smith. This is fun.

4 Comments

  1. The Notorious Mr T
    Posted July 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Well, I can see at least 5 problems with the argument of the the honorable gentleman from Kentucky:

    a) Inverse Square Law, basically, the further away you are from the Sun, the less energy is delivered for a given area.
    b) Insufficient longitudinal data to establish a correlation pattern. You need to follow the climate over at least one or two solar cycles (~11 years each), and preferably the longer cycle which spans centuries as well to claim a valid correlation (as we all know, correlation != causation).
    c) Margin of error of the methods available to measure temperatures indirectly and remotely. Because of a) and b), the changes in temp on mars would be minute compared to earth, and would be lost in the margin of error of estimation techniques.
    d) Lack of multiple data sources. You need to measure temperature on many places on the remote planet, just not at the poles where the ice is located to be able do a good comparison.
    e) Mars’ atmosphere. Mars’ atmosphere is much thinner and consists of different gasses than Earths, so both boiling and melting points will be entirlely different than on earth.

    And those are just the show-stoppers I, a non-climate scientist, can see right away. I suspect that a climate scientist proper could easily double the number of show-stopping problems with the claim.

    TL;DR Dude should’ve either stuck with denying he said it, or simply owned up to having spoken utter falsehoods.

  2. Matt Osborne (@OsborneInk)
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I must protest, because political science is an actual science that uses hard data to make predictions.

    In fact, Brandon Smith’s party has been trying to defund political science (and all types of social science) research along with climate science for several years. I, too, have a BA in PoliSci, and the only difference from a BS degree is that we learned a language in addition to learning our major.

    All of that being said, Smith has me wondering if we shouldn’t take a page from Cognitive Politics 101 and stop trying to debate scientific fact with him. Instead, maybe we should encourage Smith to think of the Red Planet as the ultimate red state, one with plenty of delicious CO2 in its atmosphere and none of that evil, liberal GOVERNMENT to mess things up.

    Heck, Mars is a potential libertarian paradise for coal barons like Brandon Smith.

    So if he’s inclined to think that Mars has fossil fuels, let’s just allow him to think that. If he’s inclined to lead a hegira of the right wing, science-denying demographic to Mars, who are we to stand in their way? My PoliSci degree qualifies me to suggest slogans, so how about “MARS NEEDS REPUBLICANS”?

  3. Greg Leichty
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Good work Joe. Truth in this case is stranger than fiction. Intentional stupidity deserves the punishment of ridicule. Perhaps a waterfall of deserved ridicule will stop such displays of intentional stupidity.

  4. gagner de l'argent en jouant
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get
    four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Many thanks!

5 Trackbacks

  1. […] Smith, in the form of making him a national laughingstock, and he’s letting constituents know he’s not happy. It amazes me that you have no idea what I actually said, weren’t at this meeting yet bought […]

  2. […] Do you remember Kentucky State Sen. Brandon Smith’s (R-Again) explanation of why we needn’t worry about climate change because “the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here“? Of course you do, it was hilarious. It’s also brought national fame to Brandon Smith, in the form of making him a national laughingstock, and he’s letting constituents know he’s not happy. […]

  3. […] Do you remember Kentucky State Sen. Brandon Smith’s (R-Again) explanation of why we needn’t worry about climate change because “the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here“? Of course you do, it was hilarious. It’s also brought national fame to Brandon Smith, in the form of making him a national laughingstock, and he’s letting constituents know he’s not happy. […]

  4. […] Do you remember Kentucky State Sen. Brandon Smith’s (R-Again) explanation of why we needn’t worry about climate change because “the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here“? Of course you do, it was hilarious. It’s also brought national fame to Brandon Smith, in the form of making him a national laughingstock, and he’s letting constituents know he’s not happy. […]

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    Sen. Brandon Smith (famous climate science “academic”) is still living on Mars – FatLip