Republicans should try self-inflicted suffocation to grasp the harmful effects of climate change on human health, said Florida Democrat Alan Grayson at a hearing Wednesday.

"Regarding my friend from California, if he thinks [carbon dioxide] doesn't cause any health problems, I invite him to put a plastic bag over his head, tie it tightly around his neck and see what happens next," Grayson said during a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing on the Energy Department's clean energy budget.

Grayson was responding to comments made by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., who called climate change "a theory" that the Obama administration is using to justify spending and policy decisions that are putting thousands of people out of work.

"I don't accept the fact that CO2 in any way causes human health problems," Rohrabacher said.

He questioned whether the damage to the economy was worth it, "all based on an idea that CO2 is heating our planet."

Many scientists blame carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, for causing the Earth's climate to warm, resulting in sea-level rise and drought.