A Senate Republican has found a new piece of evidence in his fight against the Obama administration's climate-change plan: Oscar-winning movie The King's Speech.
Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, who doubts the existence of climate change, invoked an exchange between a speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth's stuttering King George VI while riffing on the number of newspapers that reported the finding by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that 2014 was the hottest year on record.
Here's what Wicker said during an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the EPA's climate rules:
"I was reminded of a scene from the movie The King's Speech in which the speech therapist Lionel Logue is talking to King George, and one of the things Lionel says is you need to quit smoking. And King George says, 'My doctors tell me smoke relaxes the throat.' And Lionel says, 'Well, they're all a bunch of idiots.' The king replies, 'They've all been knighted.' And Lionel replies, 'Then it's official!'"
(Here's the scene in question.)
Wicker went on to say that the "smartest people in Britain at the time" were giving the king "exactly the wrong advice about what he should be doing with regard to smoking.
"It is possibly conceivable that the smartest people of our time might be wrong and that some of the very learned and educated contrarians on the issue of climate change will turn out to be vindicated," Wicker said.
Wicker was the only senator to vote against an amendment stating that "climate change is real and not a hoax" last month, even after fellow climate denier James Inhofe, R-Okla., went so far as to cosponsor the amendment.
Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, a staunch supporter of climate action, rebutted Wicker's statements, joking that "King George got too much advice from the tobacco industry at the time" and that the science proved without a doubt "that carbon is a problem."
"We do agree on The King's Speech being a great movie," Cardin added.
Nobody at the hearing weighed in on the climate lessons of films that The King's Speech beat for the Oscar in 2011, including The Social Network, Inception, and Toy Story 3.