Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart gives a remedial science lesson to House GOP climate change skeptics

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people marched in New York City to support efforts to fight climate change. Jon Stewart was impressed — at the marchers, not the media coverage or U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's outfit, he made clear on Monday night's Daily Show. But mostly, Stewart wanted to talk about the politics of climate change, specifically last week's hearing on the topic before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

Stewart focused on three Republicans on the committee — Reps. Steve Stockman (Texas), Larry Bucshon (Ind.), and Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.) — and their interactions with White House science adviser John Holdren. The congressmen don't come off all that well, especially on the science front, and Holdren is like Sisyphus, Stewart said, "charged with the impossible task of pushing a million pounds of idiot up a mountain."

Stewart got so frustrated with Stockman that at one point he conducted his own science experiment on his desk. He saved his final salvo for Buschon, though, who argued for a non-scary-talk truce between science and his patrons in the oil and gas industry. "Oh, and before you tell you kids to wash their hands after they take a sh-t, so they don't spread disease," said an exasperated Stewart, "maybe we should spend an equal amount of time listening to Big Fecal."

Serendipitously, Jimmy Kimmel made a similar point, a little more graphically and a lot more succinctly, on Monday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live. --Peter Weber