Hank Johnson holds Mo Brooks's beer

You may remember when Hank Johnson once speculated that Guam may become overpopulated and “tip over” (later claiming it to be a joke.) Not to be out-stupided, Mo Brooks now speculates that recent sea level rises are possibly caused by rocks falling into the ocean.

At least he figured out that rocks sink. It’s a start.

Who the hell is Mo Brooks?

Any relation to Mel?

Congressman, northern tier of Alabama, beowulff.

At least Johnson (D-GA-4) was having a Moment of Silly and just letting the unfiltered, unprocessed braincramps blurt out. Brooks (R-AL-5) is reaching for any explanation other than climate change, because of course it can’t be that, and pulling one out of his Fourth Point of Contact.

Yeah, my Congressman.

Sorry about that.

Thing is, he represents Huntsville, Al, which has Marshall Space Flight Center and the US Army Aviation Command, along with lots of technical stuff, so we have a moron representing smart people…or maybe not-so-smart people.

Well he’s not wrong that adding material to the ocean causes it to rise, it’s just not significant. I’d say “Guam could tip over” is a magnitude stupider. Sure, on geological time scales overpopulation could push the land down, but that’s not the same as “tipping over”.

It’s my fault. The last time I was at the beach I skipped stones in the ocean. A lot of them. Probably 15 or 20. I’m sorry.

It is a perfect plan for a congressman!
Since sea level rise is caused by rocks in the ocean this gives congress a perfect reason to vote more money for dredging. All the coastal areas want better beaches (in MS they are called the redneck riviera) and riverfront cities want their rivers deepened. All that and it solves global warming. Win win!

And then you ship the rocks overseas and dump them there. Who cares if someone else’s ocean rises?

Brooks actually thought about that hypothesis. Johnson probably just spoke from ignorance. Perhaps he didn’t know Guam was a real island, maybe he thought it was an artificial landmass floating in the ocean or something. There are so many things I just didn’t know once and so many things I still don’t know that I’m not going to judge a politician unless they do what Brooks did, spout ignorance to make a political point.

That whole “as long as I can point out to any conceivable counter-explanation however harebrained, I don’t have to accept yours” fallacy, does it have a specific name or is it just a subset of false equivalence? Mind you, I do not for a moment doubt Brooks is consciously arguing in bad faith and that he damn well knows better, but wants to plant the fallacy in the minds of the public.

So it’s totally reasonable to you that a member of the House’s Science, Space and Technology Committee not research their questions at all. They are to treat the experts called in front of them as their initial Google search.