Chris Matthews Calls Republican Global Warming Skeptics Luddites

Chris Matthews on Wednesday called Republicans that are skeptical of man's role in global warming Luddites, referring to the 19th century movement in Great Britain that was opposed to changes associated with the Industrial Revolution.

Clearly missing the absurdity in his analogy, the "Hardball" host arrogantly stated (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Well, take a look at the fight over which Republican congressman will be the new chairman of the House Science Committee. In one corner, it's California's Dana Rohrabacher, who says global warning is a total fraud and says the committee should be used as a bully pulpit against those who believe that humans are causing global warming. In the other corner, well, you've got Ralph Hall of Texas, who says people can't change nature. Well, this is the chairmanship of the House Science Committee, and they're actually fighting over who's less of a believer in science. What a party! Anyway -- the Luddite party's taking over.

You'll be right back -- well, we'll be right back. The Luddites!

For those unfamiliar with the term, the Luddites became a force during the harsh economic times while Britain was engaged in war with Napolean. Modernization was impacting the textile industry, and there were those opposed to such changes as they tended to replace higher paid laborers with those less skilled and cheaper.

The Luddites were therefore viewed to be opposed to progress despite their interests being rooted in economic self-preservation.

In today's parlance, the term is normally used to denigrate those opposed to computerization and technological advancements. The purely cynical could call folks opposed to outsourcing and the movement of manufacturing facilities abroad to cut costs Luddites, although that might be a stretch.

As for Matthews' usage of the term, without even addressing the junk science involved in the anthropogenic global warming theory, this analogy is preposterous for the political solutions to this mythical problem are specifically designed to set nations backwards rather than forwards.

Just this week, the director of Britain's Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research proposed the rationing of carbon dioxide to halt the economic progress of the world's richest nations. As the Telegraph reported Monday:

This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ‘carbon intensive’ goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.

Prof Anderson admitted it “would not be easy” to persuade people to reduce their consumption of goods

He said politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s.

This could mean a limit on electricity so people are forced to turn the heating down, turn off the lights and replace old electrical goods like huge fridges with more efficient models. Food that has travelled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.

Sound like progress to you?

Complicating matters further, a very high-ranking official on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just two weeks ago admitted that climate policy has absolutely nothing to do with saving the planet but was instead an economic scheme to redistribute wealth from the world's richest nations to the poorer ones.

Of course, it's likely Matthews hasn't heard about these recent revelations for according to LexisNexis, no one on his pathetic network reported these events including him.

Talk about Luddites.

As for the two Republicans in question, Politico reported Tuesday:

Rohrabacher gave his roughly 25-minute pitch to the House GOP steering committee Monday and said the Science panel should be used to spur the next generation of nuclear energy and give a platform to those that question or outright reject science suggesting that humans are causing global warming.

The panel “needs to be used as a bully pulpit because many of the issues brought up by the Democrats is based on phony science,” Rohrabacher told POLITICO. This especially is true of global warming, “which is a total fraud,” he said. “We need to make sure that the Science Committee has a debate which both sides can equally present their sides.”

As you might imagine, climate alarmists like Matthews think the debate is over and don't want both sides heard on this issue.

As for Hall, Matthews misquoted the Congressman. Here's what Politico reported on November 17:

“I’ve had people tell me if we had all the money in the world, put it in Texas Stadium, people couldn’t change nature’s future one iota,” Hall told POLITICO outside the hearing.

As such, Hall didn't say "people can't change nature." He said he's had people tell him that.

Nice job, Chris!

But there's more of note from that Politico piece:

“This administration argues that cutting greenhouse emissions as a policy directive is justified by science,” Hall said at a hearing organized by Democrats and billed as a “rational discussion” on climate science before the GOP takes over. “I think this hearing today will demonstrate and should demonstrate that reasonable people have serious questions about our knowledge of the state of the science,” he added.

Hall, currently the science panel’s ranking member, criticized the administration for proceeding with regulations to slash greenhouse gas emissions despite a staggering national debt and raised doubts about whether those rules are necessary. [...]

Next year, he pledged to have witnesses “testify under oath what the facts are and not to throw away money on something that has real question whether or not it’s going to do what they say.”

Sound unscientific to you to ask for folks on both sides of this debate to testify under oath about what the facts are? Quite the contrary, given some other recent events involving this matter, it seems quite essential.

Consider what Energy Secretary Steven Chu told the National Press Club Monday according to Investor's Business Daily:

Steven Chu said "you don't need 100% certainty" to put solutions in effect. A mere 80% or 90%, he said, is enough. The secretary's not-so-startling comment is revealing on two levels.

First, he admits that, despite the political left's claims that human-caused global warming is occurring and the debate is over, it is not an established fact. It is, at best, speculation. [...]

Second, Chu confirmed what we've been saying for years: The alarmists are using the global warming scare to force Americans to make significant changes in their personal lives. Chu and the rest don't need full certainty. They need just enough to increase taxes, force energy costs higher and regulate our choices.

Indeed, which quite supports what the IPCC official said two weeks ago. But there's more as reported by the Des Moines Register Monday:

Energy Secretary Steven Chu made a pitch today for using biomass to make synthetic versions of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel rather than ethanol. “Ethanol is not an ideal transportation fuel,” Chu said during a question-and-answer session at the National Press Club. Chu said synthetic fuels don’t require the specialized infrastructure, such as pumps and pipelines, that are needed for ethanol.

This came a week after Nobel laureate Al Gore admitted that ethanol mandates were not good policy and that he only supported them in the '90s because he thought it would help him become president. Readers are reminded that it was Vice President Gore that cast the tie-breaking vote in 1994 that created these mandates.

Of course, this was by no means the first time Congress made foolish energy decisions based on junk science. Recall the late 1970s movement away from nuclear powered electrical plants in America which set our energy policy back decades as a result of "China Syndrome" fears.

What was that you were saying about Luddites, Mr. Matthews?

Sadly, Matthews might also not have been aware of either Chu or Gore's comments concerning ethanol as according to LexisNexis nobody on MSNBC reported these revelations including him.

But this has been a consistent pattern in the liberal media concerning global warming: only things that support the alarmist view get reported.

And this is what folks like Matthews consider progress: only reporting one side of an issue while completely ignoring that which challenges their own views.

As a result, I quite imagine Hall and Rohrabacher know far more about anthropogenic global warming than Matthews does. Maybe he should invite them on "Hardball" to discuss it.

According to LexisNexis, Matthews has never interviewed Hall.

As for Rohrabacher, the last time he was on "Hardball" was May 19, 2009. On that day, Matthews asked if the Congressman was a Luddite or a Troglodyte, and refused to debate specific issues related to global warming choosing to instead focus on whether or not Rohrabacher believed in evolution:

As you can see from this video excerpt, Matthews wasn't actually interested in debating science with the Congressman, but instead wanted just to attack Rohrabacher's religious beliefs.

Talk about Luddites.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.