Jim Gibbons, um, erupted with a particularly nonsensical response to a question about his infamous report on mercury emissions.
Gibbons was interviewed over at Nevada Newsmakers and was asked for his reaction to a quote from Chris Mooney‘s story (via Molly Ball I suspect) on Gibbons’ poorly researched report which under-reported the effects of mercury emissions on human beings unfortunate enough to live close to coal-fired power plants.
That’d be you and me, Battle Born folk.
Gleaner already has noted the looniest spewing from Gibbons’ eruption when confronted with his own bad science during the interview. Gibbons, the Gleaner reports in detail, went off on a tirade about volcanoes.
I just wanted to point out that Gibbons simply coughed up some pyroclasts from neolithic Republican anti-science strata. (Somebody stop me–enough geologic metaphors!) GIbbons claimed that we should wonder if all the mercury which scientists are finding is simply “naturally occurring”. Surely the scientists studying mercury pollution in Utah and Idaho, which is likely coming from gold processing in Northern Nevada, were clever enough to factor out background mercury. In fact they are finding abnormal levels of mercury in lakes and even ducks. “Abnormal”, for all you non-scientists and Congressfolk out there, means “not normal”–that is, more mercury than one would normally expect to find “naturally occurring”.
Gibbons also misleadingly took credit for the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection’s tiny steps towards curbing emissions. The State of Nevada took steps to try to monitor and decrease mercury emanating from gold mines because there was no guidance from Washington–or the Congressman from CD2. In fact, some folks up in NDEP belong to organizations which attacked the E.P.A. guidelines on mercury emissions as too weak. Those guidelines were very likely influenced by Gibbons’ bad science in his bad report.
Other nuttiness: an education plan that starts and ends with Gibbons’ pointless “Education First” proposal, and Gib-blossom’s old idea of funding education from sales of BLM land. Let’s see, it will take an act of Congress to do the latter, and the Bush folk are on the lookout for a way to steer that BLM land-sale money into the Federal treasury. Oh, lets tempt them to steal that money by proposing changes in the current law!
Now there’s an earthshattering idea!