November 22, 2010

More On GOP Scientific Ignorance

Let me say that there is no automatic link connecting the scientifically ignorant to the politically conservative. There are many conservatives who've not sipped the "global warming is a hoax" kool-aid. Some even here in the the US.

Here's one, Sherwood Boehlert:
Why do so many Republican senators and representatives think they are right and the world's top scientific academies and scientists are wrong? I would like to be able to chalk it up to lack of information or misinformation.

I can understand arguments over proposed policy approaches to climate change. I served in Congress for 24 years. I know these are legitimate areas for debate. What I find incomprehensible is the dogged determination by some to discredit distinguished scientists and their findings.

In a trio of reports released in May, the prestigious and nonpartisan National Academy concluded that "a strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems." Our nation's most authoritative and respected scientific body couldn't make it any clearer or more conclusive.
In his op-ed, Boehlert links to this piece from the National Journal which beings talking about a scientifically literate politician:
When British Foreign Secretary William Hague visited the U.S. last week, he placed combating climate change near the very top of the world's To Do list.

"Climate change is perhaps the 21st century's biggest foreign-policy challenge," Hague declared in a New York City speech. "An effective response to climate change underpins our security and prosperity." The danger was no longer just distant thunder, he suggested, warning that the recent devastating floods in Pakistan heralded the sort of extreme events that will become more common in a warmer world. "While no one weather event can ever be linked with certainty to climate change," he said, "the broad patterns of abnormality seen this year are consistent with climate-change models."

William Hague is not a holdover from the left-leaning Labor Government that British voters ousted last spring. He's not even from the centrist Liberal Democrats who are governing in a coalition with the Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron. Hague is one of Cameron's predecessors as Conservative Party leader.
And Hague isn't the only European conservative to get the science right:
Just for the record, when the nonpartisan National Academy of Sciences last reviewed the data this spring, it concluded: "A strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems." Not only William Hague but such other prominent European conservatives as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have embraced that widespread scientific conviction and supported vigorous action.
It's just in the GOP that scientific illiteracy seems to be a default idea:
Indeed, it is difficult to identify another major political party in any democracy as thoroughly dismissive of climate science as is the GOP here. Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says that although other parties may contain pockets of climate skepticism, there is "no party-wide view like this anywhere in the world that I am aware of."

It will be difficult for the world to move meaningfully against climate disruption if the United States does not. And it will be almost impossible for the U.S. to act if one party not only rejects the most common solution proposed for the problem (cap-and-trade) but repudiates even the idea that there is a problem to be solved.
But this is all moot. Know why? Because Congressman Shimkus said that because God promised Noah He would not to destroy after the flood (Genesis 8:21-22).

Science, schmience! That's the GOP party line.


EdHeath said...

I heard Bob Inglis, defeated Republican Congressman from South Carolina, on NPR on Saturday. Now, the NPR interviewer ought to have been a bit less condescending his description of Inglis being one of two Republican Congress persons who agree human's are contributing to climate change, and also Inglis's willingness to compromise with Democrats to get things done (by the way, I *think* the other Republican who accepted AGW was defeated as well). Just a bit of trivia.

I am reading that factory farms contribute more (greenhouse gases) to climate change than do our cars and trucks, although part of the factory thing might be trucks shipping feed and dead animal. So now the damn libruls are going to force everyone not only to drive clown cars, but also live on granola and twigs.

Piltdown Man said...

The GOP discovered a decade ago that their constituency could best be courted by appealing to the LCD, and I'm not talking about lights....

These men and women care nothing about the reality of scientific positions, they only care about their own personal well-being and wealth, usually not in that order. They have found it advantageous to simply spout a few well-polled positions and then find themselves on the election night dias swatting away balloons and soaking in the cheers.

Stupidity triumphs. As perhaps it always will.....

Scelerant said...

I believe it was John Stuart Mill who said “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.” From what I’ve noticed its not that the GOP dislike science, I mean Karl Rove is on twitter. It seems to be a blantant lack of knowledge regarding science combined with a complete absence of a desire to learn about science that has made this tornado of ignorance. Your average GOP member seems to think that the theory of evolution dictates that a monkey must at some point give birth to a human being.