By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2010, 7:30am PT  

We played a few clips from this during Thursday's Green News Report, but if you didn't hear it, or even if you did, the full remarks from Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) are worth watching and worth the awarding of The BRAD BLOG's very rarely bestowed "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award."

Inglis, was ousted by a "Tea Party" candidate during the GOP primary this year --- despite his 93% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union --- so he is now the outgoing Republican U.S. Congressman representing South Carolina's 4th Congressional District. He is, for the moment, the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Energy and Environment Subcommittee and will likely be replaced in the new Congress with either Texas' Rep. Joe Barton (who apologized to BP) or Illinois' Rep. John Shimkus (who believes global warming doesn't exist, because God doesn't mention it specifically in the bible --- seriously.) In short, Inglis is one of the last sane Republican elected officials in the U.S. Congress.

So here he is Wednesday morning, taking a remarkable parting shot at his fellow Republicans on the committee, all climate change denialists, along with the industry that fuels their cynical anti-science disinformation, the technological ground (and money) being lost to China in the bargain, all while celebrating, at least, that these hearings are "on the record...because I want our grandchildren to read what you said and what I said."

His fist-in-a-velvet-glove comments are not to be missed, such as these near the ends of his remarks:

Meanwhile we got people that make a living, and a lot of money, on talk radio and talk TV pronouncing all kinds of things. They slept at Holiday Inn Express last night, and they are now experts on climate. And those folks substitute their judgment for the people who have Ph.D.s and who are working tirelessly to discover the data.

So, we have some real choices ahead of us. But I hope in the future, as we have these hearings, that we realize it's all on the record. And our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are gonna get to see.


Think Progress offers more context for Inglis' remarks and his career. The text transcript of his comments follow below...

REP. BOB INGLIS (R-SC): I’m very excited to be here Mr. Chairman, because this is on the record. And you know it’s a wonderful thing about Congressional hearings — they’re on the record. Kim Beasley (SP?) who’s Australia’s ambassador to the United States tells me that when he runs into a climate skeptic, he says to them, “Make sure to say that very publicly, because I want our grandchildren to read what you said and what I said." And so, we’re on the record, and our grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, are going to read.

And so some are here suggesting to those children that here’s a deal: Your child is sick — this is what Tom Friedman gave me this great analogy yesterday — Your child is sick. 98 doctors say treat him this way. Two say no, this other way is the way to go. I’ll go with the two. You’re taking a big risk with those kids. Because 98 of the doctors say, “Do this thing,” two say, “Do the other.”

So, it’s on the record. And we’re here with important decision to be made. And I'd also suggest to my Free Enterprise colleagues — especially conservatives here — whether you think it’s all a bunch of hooey, what we’ve talked about in this committee, the Chinese don’t. And they plan on eating our lunch in this next century. They plan on innovating around these problems, and selling to us, and the rest of the world, the technology that’ll lead the 21st century. So we may just press the pause button here for several years, but China is pressing the fast-forward button.

And as a result, if we wake up in several years and we say, “geez, this didn’t work very well for us. The two doctors didn’t turn out not to be so right. 98 might have been the ones to listen to.” then what we’ll find is we’re way behind those Chinese folks. ‘Cuz you know, if you got a certain number of geniuses in the population — if you’re one in a million in China, there’s 1300 of you. And you know what? They plan on leading the future.

So whether you — if you’re a free enterprise conservative here — just think: it’s a bunch of hooey, this science is a bunch of hooey. But if you miss the commercial opportunity, you’ve really missed something.

And so, I think it’s great to be here on the record. I think it’s great to see the opportunity we’ve got ahead of us. And, I also — since this is sort of a swan song for me and Mr. Barrett I’d encourage scientists that are listening out there to get ready for the hearings that are coming up in the next Congress. Those will be difficult hearings for climate scientists. But, I would encourage you to welcome those as fabulous opportunities to teach.

Don't come here defensively. Don't come to this committee defensively. Say "I'm glad you've called me here today. I'm glad you're going to give me an opportunity to explain the science of climate change. Because I'm here to show you what you've spent, say, $340 million a year on the U.S. Polar Programs, so you've spent the money, now I'm here to tell you what you got out of it. I'm happy to educate you on what the data is."

And hopefully we'll have experts, like some we have here today, but also --- you know on a trip from this committee to Antarctica to visit with the money, the $340 million a year we spent on the Polar Programs, I met Donald Manahan (SP?) who's a professor at USC --- the other one, we claim the real one that's in Columbia, South Carolina, but the other one, you know, that's on the West Coast, that one --- Dr. Manahan is a master teacher. I hope he's one of the witnesses here, because he's the kind of guy that would welcome the inquiry and would lead a tutorial for folks that are skeptics. So you could see the science.

Meanwhile we got people that make a living, and a lot of money, on talk radio and talk TV pronouncing all kinds of things. They slept at Holiday Inn Express last night, and they are now experts on climate. And those folks substitute their judgment for the people who have Ph.D.s and who are working tirelessly to discover the data.

So, we have some real choices ahead of us. But I hope in the future, as we have these hearings, that we realize it's all on the record. And our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are gonna get to see.

And it could turn out the science is all wrong. You know we've had that before. We used to blood-let people...so sometimes science turns out to be wrong. But other times it turns out to be very right. And the key to scientific endeavor is what we're hear to discuss today --- is openess, access to the data, and full challenging of the data. That's how we advance science.