Congressman Steve King dismissed evidence pointing toward a warming planet on Tuesday, calling efforts to address the negative effects of climate change “more of a religion than a science.”
“Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in (environmentalists’) analysis,” King said, according to Iowa’s The Messenger. “There will be more photosynthesis going on if the Earth gets warmer…And if sea levels go up 4 or 6 inches, I don’t know if we’d know that.”
King added that environmental scientists did not have a precise measurement for sea level, therefore invalidating the fact that sea level is rising at all. “We don’t know where sea level is even, let alone be able to say that it’s going to come up an inch globally because some polar ice caps might melt because there’s CO2 suspended in the atmosphere,” the Iowa congressman argued.
But King’s statements are out of line with recent scientific reports about rising sea level. A study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last month reported that greenhouse gas emissions have “already locked in 4 feet of future sea-level rise,” and a recent report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that the average global sea level reached a record high in 2012, and has been increasing each year over the last two decades.
This is not the first time King has gotten his science wrong on climate change. After a string of snowstorms across the country in 2010, King declared at CPAC, “The Al Gores of the world were wrong on the science, and today we know it.”
“For the first time in the history of keeping records there’s snowfall on the ground in all 50 states. It’s tough to make an argument when the evidence is all around us with a snowy white wonder in a crystal cathedral,” King said.
Climate experts immediately dismissed King’s remarks, explaining that extreme precipitation is not proof that global warming does not exist.
msnbc will debut “The Politics of Power,” a new documentary featuring Chris Hayes on the effects of climate change and how politicians and corporations have politicized the issue, on August 16 at 8 p.m. ET.