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Foster Responds To Jeb Bush Comments On Climate Change

Sep 28, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) spoke on the House floor, challenging Governor Jeb Bush’s comments on climate change. Recently, Bush rebuffed Pope Francis’ call to action on climate change, claiming he is “not a scientist.”

Foster, who was a high-energy physicist for over 20 years, is the only Ph.D. scientist in Congress.

Video of Foster’s speech is available here.

Text of Foster’s remarks as prepared is below:

Mr. Speaker, many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have continually reminded us that they are not scientists.

We have also heard this from several of the Republican candidates seeking our nation’s highest office.

As a scientist myself, I appreciate their candor. But what I don’t as much appreciate is when they use this mantra of “I am not a scientist” to preface statements that are factually wrong.

Facts are stubborn things – and they don’t only apply to those in the scientific community.

Last week, Pope Francis challenged us to take courageous steps to combat climate change, a call to action that made many Republicans uncomfortable.

When asked about the Pope’s statements, Governor Jeb Bush dismissed it saying that Pope Francis is “not a scientist, he's a religious leader.” In fact, Pope Francis is a former chemist, and as such, he has more scientific training than many of our elected officials.

I was hoping that when the Pope addressed Congress, in his remarks, he would tell Congress about the effects of the infrared absorption spectrum of carbon dioxide on the radiation balance and equilibrium temperature of the earth. But time did not permit.

So I encourage Jeb, and my colleagues in Congress, to consider the Pope’s call to preserve our environment.

And I yield back.