Science-denying state rep. appointment to Climate Change Advisory Council is ridiculous

Imagine a butcher being invited to sit on an advisory board for longhorn steer safety. It’s an absolute farce. Yet Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a climate change-denier from western Pennsylvania, has been appointed to the state’s Climate Change Advisory Council by House Speaker Mike Turzai.

According to House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, Metcalfe’s chairmanship of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee makes him “best suited to participate on the [advisory] committee.” Metcalfe is, after all, the most powerful lawmaker in Harrisburg when it comes to environmental issues.

But Metcalfe also disagrees with 97 percent of the world’s scientists.

Science-denying Metcalfe has accused environmentalists of all sorts of nonsense, like when he lambasted Auditor General Eugene DePasquale for “partisan pandering [to] the governor’s delusional climate change policy proposals” and for “Chicken Little fear-mongering” when the auditor general had the audacity to say that the state wasn’t financially prepared for climate change-related heavy weather.

He also went on record at an environmental committee meeting to say, "I enjoy my vegetables, and plants need CO2,” and so the state shouldn’t do anything to cut carbon emissions, a fun line of thinking he picked up from his science-denying buddy Gregory Wrightstone, an absolute hack author that Metcalfe has invited to testify before his committee.

Oh yeah, he also said that any veteran who lobbies for environmental protections “is a traitor to the oath he or she took to defend the Constitution of our great nation!"

Sure, advisory committees have no real policy making power, but they do serve as bellwethers, and putting a stooge like this on the Climate Change Advisory Council is baffling, especially when you consider he never wanted the board to exist in the first place. The board was established by the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act of 2008 by a vote of 176-24. Among the few nays – Speaker Turzai, Cutler, and Metcalfe himself.

This appointment is laughable. Actually, scratch that. It’s terrifying.