Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks defended his statement saying falling rocks and erosion were the reason for rising sea levels.
Brooks earned national headlines when at a Wednesday House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing, he argued with a climate scientist.
“Every time you have that soil or rock or whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise, because now you have less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up,” he said in the hearing, AL.com reported.
Brooks Says Ice in Antarctica is Increasing, Water Levels Are Rising From Rocks
Brooks pushed back against Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and former senior adviser to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, who cited data from NASA.
“I’ve got a NASA base in my district and, apparently, they’re telling you one thing and me a different thing,” Brooks said, referring to the space agency’s facility in Huntsville.
Speaking to AL.com in between House votes, the Alabama Republican expanded on what he meant.
“You put it all together, erosion is the primary cause of sea level rise in the history of our planet, and these people who say to the contrary may know something about climate but they don’t know squat about geology,” Brooks said.
Brooks clarified that he was speaking in the context of tens of millions of years when he was discussing erosion.
“But if you’re talking a shorter historical timespan, you’re going to have great fluctuations up and down due to the quantities of ice that exist on a planet.”
Brooks also said he was not skeptical of climate change.
“The climate is always changing,” he said. “The planet is always either heating up or cooling down. It is very rarely constant.”
When asked about whether human activity was the cause of global warming, Brooks responded by saying in the 1960s and 1970s, scientists spoke about the planet cooling.
“They turned out to be wrong,” he said. “What I’m trying to establish is that a lot of these climatologists have no idea what they’re really talking about.”