Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
Most of us aren’t climate scientists, but acknowledge that the vast majority of scientists understand the underlying principles of climate change. Council Member Don Zimmerman seemed to take a different approach at an Austin City Council briefing. While dismissing the presenter (a visiting climate scientist), Zimmerman claimed:
"You don't have to be as smart as a fifth-grader to know what causes the climate is the sun. The sun. I have people tell me, ‘Carbon dioxide warms the Earth.’ No, it doesn't. The sun warms the Earth." – Council Member Zimmerman (4/27/2015)
This left fifth-grade teachers across Austin scratching their heads at a complete dismissal of the scientifically proven greenhouse effect. As one climatologist said to Politifact, “If Mr. Zimmerman thinks that having an atmosphere does not matter, perhaps he should try to live on the moon for a while.”
In the end Politifact would go on to rate the council member’s claim as “Mostly False” as in “the statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.” See a pattern here?