Congress is fascinated by the search for intelligent life on other planets. Apparently, they’ve given up the search at home.
In this session of Congress, House committees tasked with covering U.S. energy and science have held a total of seven hearings to discuss climate change. By contrast, the two chambers have held a combined 19 hearings about space exploration in that same time period.
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee—led by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, since 2013—has held 15 hearings on space exploration alone, at least three of which have involved the search for extraterrestrial life. By comparison, Smith’s committee has held just two hearings devoted to climate change.
The Democrat-controlled Senate doesn’t have a much better record. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has held three hearings this session on climate change, while the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has not had a hearing devoted to the topic since 2012. The Senate Commerce Science and Space Subcommittee has had one hearing about climate change and four about space.