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This Republican Congressman Seriously Suggested Sea Levels Are Rising Because of Falling Rocks

May 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Hunter, Daily Kos

“Every time you have that soil or rock or whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise [...]“

One of the worst duties of being a top-level American scientist or researcher is that you get summoned before House Republicans so they can explain why, in their minds, the entire collected research that you and tens of thousands of others have participated in is probably wrong because of Shit They Just Made Up.

It might help to imagine Woods Hole Research Center President Philip Duffy as having wandered into a local bar, and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks as a sloshed-out-of-his-mind patron regaling him with Drunk Guy ideas about the real causes of sea level rise. For example, says Brooks, maybe it's not thermodynamics or melting ice sheets causing our oceans to rise, Maybe it is the goddamn White Cliffs of Dover.

Brooks then said that erosion plays a significant role in sea-level rise, which is not an idea embraced by mainstream climate researchers. He said the California coastline and the White Cliffs of Dover tumble into the sea every year, and that contributes to sea-level rise. He also said that silt washing into the ocean from the world's major rivers, including the Mississippi, the Amazon and the Nile, is contributing to sea-level rise.

“Every time you have that soil or rock or whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise, because now you have less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up,” Brooks said.

Duffy responded: “I'm pretty sure that on human time scales, those are minuscule effects.”

No, no, I am fairly certain that the world's collected best scientific minds did not think about “what if, like, a bunch of rocks are just falling in” until just now, when Alabama Republican Mo Brooks thought it up. Or ever made calculations of how much silt is deposited annually by the Mississippi. Or made a back-of-an-envelope calculation on what the total sea level rise would be if the entire region of Dover, every picturesque bit of it, slid …read more


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