Mitt Romney ridiculed the effects of climate change in a year when the United States experienced the hottest July in recorded history, underwent one of the worst droughts in decades, and wildfires raged through many states. This year arctic summer sea ice was at the lowest level it has been since satellite monitoring began 33 years ago.
Last Friday, Ann Romney was in a private plane which began to fill with smoke and had to make an emergency landing. Mitt Romney commenting on the episode stated,
"I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don't think she knows just how worried some of us were," Romney said. "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no -- and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem."
Mitt Romney doesn’t know why airplanes don’t have windows that roll down. Consider an airplane cruising at an airspeed of 500 miles per hour at an altitude of 35,000 feet. Outside the aircraft the temperature would be about -50 degrees Fahrenheit, the barometric pressure would be approximately one-quarter of an atmosphere, and the oxygen tension similarly would be about one-quarter of that on the earth’s surface. Rolling down an airplane cabin window under such conditions would lead to the rapid decompression of the aircraft, perhaps threatening its structure. Passengers would pass out from hypoxia, freeze from the -50 degree cold blast, and then die. Mr. Romney, that is why aircraft do not have roll down windows. I think these basic facts are covered in many elementary school science curricula. In case Mr. Romney does not recall his elementary school science, perhaps he might remember the airplane cabin decompression dramatized in the Goldfinger movie. He might also recall that airplane cabin decompression was widely reported as the presumptive cause of the 2005 crash of a Cypriot airliner leading to the death of all 121 on board.
It is hard to imagine a would-be President being so scientifically uninformed and also so derisive of science.