Climate activist and organizer Derrick Crowe kicked off his campaign today against Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science Committee and a noted climate skeptic. Under Smith’s leadership, the committee has repeatedly accused scientists of manipulating data without evidence and carried out investigations against climate researchers. Smith made headlines last month, when, at a congressional hearing, he questioned the entire field of climate science: “Alarmist predictions amount to nothing more than wild guesses,” he said. “The ability to project far in to the future is impossible.”
Crowe, a 36-year-old Democrat from the Texas panhandle, has expressed his concerns over Smith’s climate denialism and financial ties to the oil and gas industry. “I’ve felt increasing alarm at how the escalating warnings from climate scientists about how bad the indicators are for our planet have been met with escalating denialism from people like Trump and Lamar Smith, the congressman who currently holds this seat,” he wrote in an op-ed earlier this month.
Joseph Kopser, a Democrat, aerospace engineer, and Army veteran, is also considering a run against Smith. Though Americans are growing increasingly concerned about climate change, unseating Smith, a 30-year incumbent in a historically Republican district, would be a major challenge for either Kopser or Crowe.