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GOP Still Arguing for a Return to Dinosaur Era

Is this really the talking point Republicans want to use in their fight against climate change legislation? At a congressional hearing last week, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) argued that we could afford to keep increasing the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, since dinosaurs got by just fine in a carbon-rich environment.

“Today we have about 388 parts per million [of carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere,” Shimkus said. “I think in the age of the dinosaurs, when we had most flora and fauna, we were probably at 4,000 parts per million. There is a theological debate that this is a carbon-starved planet, not too much carbon.”

Never mind that I have trouble imagining a theological debate about the chemical makeup of the atmosphere. Why do Republicans keep using this line of reasoning? (This isn’t the first time.) Do they really want our planet to return to an era of enormous lizards and 40-foot snakes?

Ah, but Shimkus does us the favor of explaining his logic. In a word, God:

The earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. A man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood. I appreciate having panelists here who are men of faith and we can get into the theological discourse of that position, but I do believe that God’s word is infallible. Unchanging. Perfect.

But back to the core issue: Has there been some sort of agreement among House Republicans that references to very bygone eras will somehow defeat cap-and-trade legislation? Remember that last week, another GOP congressman on Shimkus’ subcommittee, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), pointed to the Vikings as evidence that we can adapt just fine to global warming.

And in case that argument somehow wasn’t working, Shimkus tried another tack, claiming that carbon dioxide is valuable “plant food” that we would be remiss to reduce.

I suppose the arguments in favor of curbing global warming have been a bit human-centric …

Watch Shimkus below:

*There is no theological debate over whether you should follow TWI on Twitter. *

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