Retiring Texas Congressman Steve Stockman is on his way out, but it looks like he's making one last swat at cementing a little Congressional recognition for himself with a climate denial bill.
Stockman, a Republican, has been a fairly ardent denier of all things climate change for a while now. Just last month he made a bit of a splash when he started questioning John Holdren, presidential science and space adviser, about why global wobbling wasn't included in models on climate change. "I mean think about it, if your ice cube melts in your glass it doesn't overflow, it's displacement," Stockman said. "This is the thing, some of the things they're talking about, mathematically and scientifically don't make sense." The Daily Show had a lot of fun with that one.
And now Stockman is trying to get a little Congressional recognition for one of his own theories about climate change, namely that actual climate change is a myth and whatever is going on with the weather these days might be caused by magnets. (To be fair, messing with climate denial stuff probably beats pondering how longtime Sen. John Cornyn trounced him in the primaries a while back, or worrying over how he and three aides were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury for some sort of criminal investigation, according to the Associated Press.)
Last week Stockman filed H.R. 5718, otherwise, and oh-so-self-deprecatingly known as "the Stockman Effect Act." The Stockman Effect Act proposes to "study the effect of the Earth's magnetic field on the weather." The bill never actually name-checks global warming but if passed the bill will have Congress on the record as stating:
Prior to a magnetic polar shift, there is a decline in the Earth's magnetic fields. (2) Decrease in magnetic fields could impact global temperatures. (3) There is a possibility that the reason Mars lost its atmosphere was because of the loss of its magnetic field.
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The bill also has Congress instructing the director of the National Science Foundation to commission a study on the impact that a shift in the Earth's magnetic field could have on the weather.
Curiously, the Stockman Effect that the Stockman Effect Act is named for doesn't seem to actually exist in the world of actual science, as the National Journal noted. There's a Stockman Effect in economics and a blog post referenced the "Stockman Effect" after Stockman's own surprise defeat of Democratic Congressman Jack Brooks, but as far as the scientific world is concerned, the Stockman Effect doesn't exist.
So yeah, apparently, Stockman is not only attempting to get Congress to recognize and advance a theory that doesn't technically exist (while there is evidence that the Earth's magnetic field is weakening, scientists say that most likely doesn't have anything to do with increased temperatures, according to the National Journal) he's also apparently trying to get the whole darned thing named after himself.