The G.O.P.’s War On Science Gets Worse

May 19, 2015

Photograph by Bill Clark/Getty

By Elizabeth Kolbert

During last fall’s midterm election campaign, “I’m not a scientist” became a standard Republican answer to questions about climate change. The line seemed to invite parody, and Stephen Colbert (among others) obliged. He played clips of House Speaker John Boehner, then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Florida Governor Rick Scott all offering, more or less word for word, the same refrain. “Everyone who denies climate change has the same stirring message,” Colbert observed. “ ‘We don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about.’ ”

The line worked—or, at least, didn’t not work—and Republicans won both houses of Congress. Now, it seems, they are trying to go one better. They are trying to prevent even scientists from being scientists.

Last week, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, headed by Texas Republican Lamar Smith, approved a bill that would slash at least three hundred million dollars from NASA’s earth-science budget. “Earth science, of course, includes climate science,” Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Texas Democrat who is also on the committee, noted. (Smith said that the White House’s NASA budget request favored the earth sciences “at the expense of the other science divisions and human and robotic space exploration.”) Johnson tried to get the cuts eliminated from the bill, but her proposed amendment was rejected. Defunding NASA’s earth-science program takes willed ignorance one giant leap further. It means that not only will climate studies be ignored; some potentially useful data won’t even be collected.

The vote brought howls of protest from NASA itself and from wider earth-science circles. The agency’s administrator, Charles Bolden, issued a statement saying that the bill “guts our Earth science program and threatens to set back generations worth of progress in better understanding our changing climate.” In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Marshall Shepherd, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Georgia and the former president of the American Meteorological Association, said that he could not sleep after hearing about the vote. “None of us has a ‘vacation planet’ we can go to for the weekend, so I argue that NASA’s mission to study planet Earth should be a ‘no-brainer,’ ” he wrote.


Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

68 comments on “The G.O.P.’s War On Science Gets Worse

  • I am not a scientist, but I know enough about science (it works), to be a bloody fool to deny humanity’s part in global warming. Where do these idiots think that all that released CO2 goes to ?



    Report abuse

  • Its an interesting ploy to deny your better educated opponents access to even better data.

    Of course, knowing the details better will be hugely helpful in deciding how high to jump and how effective we are being.



    Report abuse

  • 4
    aroundtown says:

    So much for the “good stewards” direction/principle from the holy book they espouse as being of paramount importance. The reality of our condition is a significantly different tale in actuality. The idea that the GOP is stripping funds from NASA’s earth-science budget for any reason other than serving their lobbyist profiteering interests is untenable. It’s all about money and profits, so business as usual really, and the Earth be damned. How these politicians can look their children in the face is beyond me. Selective amnesia is all I can come up with.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3085183/Apocalypse-Shocking-photos-mankind-s-destruction-planet.html



    Report abuse

  • shocking photos

    More shocking, a comment > notice how environmentalists find the worst examples as if it’s the norm.

    How these politicians […]

    Do the Mr. Burns test – serve a three-eyed fish.



    Report abuse

  • 6
    aroundtown says:

    Yes, it never ceases to amaze how the deeply deluded plumb the depths of ignorance and then turn around and wave it like a flag of honor. When my mother was still alive she sent me a newspaper clipping that touched on the depleted oceans that I was always harping on about. It showed a man sitting at a dinner table looking at an empty plate and he exclaims that he ordered the catch of the day, and the waiter says, that is the catch of the day, sir.



    Report abuse

  • Maybe there’s a reason that folks from other nations come to America for university training in the sciences. If this type of nonsense continues, I can see a day when Americans will be travelling overseas for university training in the sciences.



    Report abuse

  • I’ve seen a video of an exchange between a House Committee “member” and a scientist, and it took my breath away.

    The “member” advocated going out onto the street and asking a passer by about their opinion on global warming, pointing out that that would indicate the majority view.

    The scientist’s response was to say that he always enjoyed talking to said “member”.



    Report abuse

  • See, they’ll be ok. They’ll sit in the senate, after their daddy, and so on, and so forth.

    It’s a bit like wiretapping and mass surveillance. It’s ok to do it, just don’t do it to senators.



    Report abuse

  • Both sectors have to do the research but the gov needs to fund this – extensively. The return on this type of research is massive. The republicans are so dangerous right now…this is type of funding stranglehold bad for everyone.



    Report abuse

  • This action by Republicans is a rush to the bottom where ignorance prevails to appease the ultra wealthy. “Climate change” and “the Malthusian Doctrine” are evil words among the ignorant wealthy. If they succeed, they will suffer the consequences dragging the rest of us to disaster.



    Report abuse

  • The preservation and advancement of science is so important that if it is being stymied by politicians knowing what to say to ignorant voters, then the scientists are themselves partly to blame.

    Let’s be frank the issue is so important that scientist should be prepared to adopt the successful tactics of the anti-science lobby and if necessary “Lie for Darwin”. What is more important, The status and advancement of science, or feeling a bit dirty because you have used your intelligence to manipulate the not so intelligent?
    Ask a politician or a priest or a salesman and they will reply it is a no brainer.

    No point in being right and/or virtuous if you lose?

    This is total war you don’t win by being voted the nicest contender.



    Report abuse

  • Two explanations come to mind.

    1) They are stupid and so is the electorate.

    2) They are not stupid, but the electorate is and denying climate change means they don’t have to pay for any solutions and don’t give a flying fuck about their children and childrens’ children.

    Which is correct is irrelevant because the wrong choices could consign the most intelligent species ever going extinct in the shortest time ever.



    Report abuse

  • I agree with you Pliloctetes, but on principle, true expositors of science could never lie; to do so would be a terrible betrayal.

    No, leave lying to ignoramuses; the very foundation of science is the truth: “Truth is the intellectual wealth of the World.”

    Robert Green Ingersoll.



    Report abuse

  • bonnie
    May 19, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    More shocking, a comment > notice how environmentalists find the worst examples as if it’s the norm.

    But worst examples are the norm, when referring to the quality of articles written in the Daily Mail, Faux News, etc!



    Report abuse

  • 21
    aroundtown says:

    We deserve a clear picture of what you can expect from the GOP, I will attach a few links of their dedicated efforts against science. After all it is not just the Earth sciences that are under attack.

    Weinberg recalls a debate he had with a US Congressman on the Larry King show back in the day. “And he said he wasn’t against science, he just thought we ought to set priorities,” Weinberg reminisces. “And I said ‘well that’s fine, I agree with that. The super collider would help us learn the laws of nature. Doesn’t that deserve a high priority?’ And he said ‘no’.”

    GOP efforts killed the SSC in the U.S. and you hear lament from physicist Steven Weinberg, but you don’t hear any from the legislators that killed this project. This is what happened.

    The SSC was planned to include a 54-mile accelerator ring encircling the tidy town of Waxahachie – the “Crape Myrtle Capital of Texas” – that would have been able to generate three times the energy of which CERN is currently capable. Construction began in 1991, but after $2 billion and 15 miles of tunnel digging, the US Congress changed its mind and shut the project down.

    The site has now been purchased by a local chemical company. So much for a project that could have served to enlighten mankind. I would imagine the Chemical company is happy with their acquisition though, and now they have a great deal of space for their chemicals.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/05/ssc_and_higgs/

    Once the GOP achieved the reins of power in the 2014 election these are the individuals who were catapulted to head science committees within the government, Ted Cruz and James Inhofe. These two have gone well out of their way to kill science inquiry that serves the masses, and their priorities are usually directed at helping a limited constituency, one that has no need for science other than the disciplines that find oil and gas.

    http://grist.org/politics/the-new-gop-senate-is-already-gearing-up-to-cause-climate-mayhem/

    The one hope for me is this, we may suffer from those who thwart efforts that serve the greater good but we still attain forward momentum irrespective of those who drag us down like religion and dedicated interests who only view the Earth for what they can get dig out of it for a profit. The Mathematics of physics is the language at our disposal that rejects corruption and provides the means to expand our knowledge, it has no axe to grind and those who push the threshold attain a picture that expands our understanding of the world. If we are to save ourselves from the vestiges of our primitive selves, science will be key in laying the framework for the endeavor. Capitalist corporations have done little to be part of the solution, and usually they are a large part of the problem. Cern is looking for answers presently and the results will serve to inspire, but the long entrenched traditions of religion and capital gain will continue to provide what it always has, delusion, confusion, and empty pockets. Enjoy the cern link, there are 6 or seven that give the basics of the projects “second coming”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLAk-9e5KQYEpm9HTFxBw44K9QAkbJTJ5X&v=OMc6OCTxIEM



    Report abuse

  • It looks like a political clash is on its way!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-32818355
    Climate change a serious security threat, warns Obama

    .President Obama has called climate change “a serious threat to global security” and heavily criticised climate change deniers.

    In his strongest remarks on the issue yet, Mr Obama said climate change would “impact every country on the planet”.

    The US president made his comments in a speech to students at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.

    He has previously identified climate change as a central issue for the remainder of his time in office.

    Faced with strong opposition on the issue from Republicans and industry, Mr Obama used his speech to frame the threat in terms of national security.

    He said: “I’m here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security and make no mistake: it will impact how our military defends our country.

    “Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security. It undermines the readiness of our forces.”

    Mr Obama has used executive orders on climate change to circumvent opposition in Congress – issuing one in March ordering federal agencies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

    In China last year, he committed to reducing US carbon emissions by 26-28% by 2025, and he will travel to Paris in December for an international summit on greenhouse gases.



    Report abuse

  • aroundtown:

    …but the long entrenched traditions of religion and capital gain will continue to provide what it always has, delusion, confusion, and empty pockets.

    A very succinct way of expressing my own views about capitalism. Without profit, nothing matters. Of course not all the pockets are empty with some 85 individuals having pockets that carry the same amount as some 350,000,000 other individuals. Now what is the chance of one or more of those 85 individuals owning and controlling a few media networks? Pretty dam high in my estimation.



    Report abuse

  • true expositors of science could never lie; to do so would be a terrible betrayal.

    The cost of lies, the betrayal of trust, the backlash is immense and runs indefinitely into the future.

    Never, ever, ever.



    Report abuse

  • Blind faith provides solace from truth and reality, but it’s only a quick fix.

    Whereas I’m sometimes partial to QF myself, I never lose sight of the fact that that’s all it is, and that I’ll probably have to pay the price for it; but that’s my choice.

    What I’m totally against is having some idiot lay his quickie on me and mine, which is precisely what’s happening here.

    “Love of money is the root of all evil.”

    That’s yer actual misquote from the Bible there!

    But, of course, inconvenient passages such as that are ignored by all but the most courageous of brethren.



    Report abuse

  • They can say they’re not against science, but they are…

    Because science requires you to think logically, and thinking logically leads to thinking skeptically, which leads to questioning religion and authority. Therefore, cut science-based money so we can foster a nation of minds that can be manipulated.

    Climate science is this week’s flavor because the GOP’s oil company backers don’t want us looking into greener energies.



    Report abuse

  • 28
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Couldn’t agree more. The reason science such a high degree of credibility compared to any and all forms of dogmatic belief systems and pseudo-scientific quackery is its unwavering dedication to the truth and self-revision in the face of new evidence.

    Betraying those values would backfire badly and cause irreparable harm both to the image and the cause of science. A textbook case of “shooting oneself in both feet”.



    Report abuse

  • Why defund NASA? Simple. If NASA can’t collect evidence showing that global warming is real, and that the rate of increase is accelerating, the denialist side wins the entire pot, especially if the denialist side has funded their own trained-seal scientists who can “prove” that global warming is not true. After all, who are you going to believe? A group of ignorant alarmists with no proof, or a professional scientist with evidence showing that everything is just hunky-dory?



    Report abuse

  • Gerry
    May 21, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Why defund NASA? Simple. If NASA can’t collect evidence showing that global warming is real, and that the rate of increase is accelerating, the denialist side wins the entire pot,

    But only in the backwaters of the USA.
    ESA, ROCOSMOS, JAXA, and the Indian Space Agencies – all continue to collect Earth-Science and climate, satellite data.

    especially if the denialist side has funded their own trained-seal scientists who can “prove” that global warming is not true.

    Their “trained seal” pseudo-scientists are are mixture of scientifically illiterate Luddite propagandists, and a few bought dishonest scientists.

    Most of their attempts at branding real scientists “alarmist”, are laughable to anyone with basic scientific competence, who actually looks at the evidence!



    Report abuse

  • Philoctetes
    May 20, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Let’s be frank the issue is so important that scientist should be prepared to adopt the successful tactics of the anti-science lobby and if necessary “Lie for Darwin”.

    As others have said, Lying is a very poor strategy which in the long term, destroys the reputation of the liar” as is utterly an anathema to science.

    No point in being right and/or virtuous if you lose?

    This is total war you don’t win by being voted the nicest contender.

    That dies not mean we need to be “nice”, when exposing sponsored liars, charlatans, crooks, reckless profiteers, or the gullible moronic muppets and posing ignoramuses, who stooge for them!

    These sorts of irresponsible crooks deserve a good dressing down! – Some terms in jail for fraud would not come amiss either!



    Report abuse

  • Private investment requires a reasonable expectation of a return on investment. How do you propose making climate studies a profitable enterprise? Things like this are necessary public interest that require public funding to do science.



    Report abuse

  • 36
    Michael says:

    I am an atheist but I do have fun imagining a God much smarter than me, looking down on Boehner, McConnell and climate change deniers, saying “Really? Another Dark Age? Fuck it. I’m out of here.



    Report abuse

  • 37
    Frankus1122 says:

    The same thing is happening in Canada. Scientists are not allowed to discuss their findings with the media (public), especially when it comes to environmental science. There have been major protests from scientists across the country over government muzzling.
    The long form census was eliminated because the populace complained it was too intrusive. (Upon further investigation one letter was produced.) The long form census provided detailed information that is vital to social scientists when establishing policy.
    When there is no data it cannot trump ideology.



    Report abuse

  • Leon, I would hate to think that the private sector is hoping the public sector will save our planet. The private sector may expect a return on investment, but the expenditure is for saving the planet they are living on. If the government won’t act responsibly then someone else has to step up. That means the private sector. If we have no planet then no one has a profit.



    Report abuse

  • Thankfully we aren’t the only ones funding that field of Science. But this type of ignorance on the U.S.s part is dangerous and has a severe set of consequences both at the individuals health and the overall health of the planet.



    Report abuse

  • 43
    aroundtown says:

    I know what you mean Mr DArcy. I tend to side with George Carlin’s suggestion as regards our place in the bigger picture, it’s a big club and were not in it”. The owners continue to slice and dice the pie but concern for the little guy isn’t on the agenda. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and that is a sad truth.

    As regards the media – Journalism isn’t dead, it was simply purchased and put on a high shelf out of view. Now we have reality TV, and News pretty much follows the same format, it’s a package to entertain but not inform.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dBZDSSky0



    Report abuse

  • These gus are not so smart. A belief in tradition and a tendency to dislike new ideas or people who are different, on race or sexuality indicates a decreased level of on of the Big Five personality dimensions. This is the factor called “Openness to experience”. The research shows that greater openness is linked to higher intelligence and the lower openness to lower intelligence. Indeed one alternaitve name used in the literature for Openness is “Intellect”

    They actually remind me of the thick headed school bullies I used to encounter who picked on my for being to swotty. It is not surprising that they side with the powerful and against the poor and disadvantaged, they don’t have the intellect to know any better.



    Report abuse

  • People will hear what they want to hear.

    The Republicans benefit from Climate Change denial because the US is one of the biggest contributor to it. Therefore admitting that fact is “unpatriotic”; which is an impossibility in the minds of the electorate of the “Greatest country in the World”.

    Politicians rarely get elected by making the voters feel bad about themselves. If it requires lies to make the electorate feel good then they will lie



    Report abuse

  • But only in the backwaters of the USA.
    ESA, ROCOSMOS, JAXA, and the Indian Space Agencies – all continue to collect Earth-Science and climate, satellite data.

    Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise from melting ice, although growing, is still less than 0.5mm per year. The reported behaviour, however, would mean the south-western peninsula sector now has the second biggest input to that contribution behind the large glaciers that drain into the Amundsen Sea even further to the south and west.

    One of the key elements of the new study was the use of the European Space Agency’s Cryosat platform, which circles the Earth at a height of over 700km.

    This satellite has a remarkable radar altimeter that measures the shape of the ice surface below, and this instrument can be tuned to see rugged regions like the peninsula with a previously unobtainable resolution.

    For a check on its work, the Bristol team also used a completely different type of measurement from the US space agency’s Grace satellites.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32837201

    They may reduce the quantity of data and confirmations from US sources, but the evidence will just keep coming from independent sources!



    Report abuse

  • I am a scientist, and it doesn’t require any extra billions to measure the earth’s surface temperature, either by GISS satellite data or using the HADCRUT 4 global temperature record. The problem for NASA is that both of these show that the earth is NOT GETTING ANY WARMER, in spite of huge recent increases in anthropogenic CO2 release.
    So I guess they need the extra money to pay some consultants to come up with reasons why they should keep their jobs.
    NOTE FOR THE KNEE-JERK CLIMATE CHANGE ALARMISTS – No one is denying that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It’s just that it exists in the atmosphere in minute quantities (0.04%) and there are much more powerful temperature affecting influences (water vapour, sun activity) which overwhelm any potential warming effect. That’s why, in spite of the fact that we are in a 500 year warming cycle, the temperature right now (last 15 years) is just not going up! Must be a nightmare for the NASA people.



    Report abuse

  • Peter
    May 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I am a scientist,

    Really?? and you don’t know about the thermal capacity of oceans, or the latent heat of melting ice?

    and it doesn’t require any extra billions to measure the earth’s surface temperature,

    Actually for global coverage of the dissipation of the increased heat input, and consequential impacts, it needs extensive funding of Earth satellites.

    http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/nasa-reveals-the-complex-hidden-secrets-of-greenlands-ice-sheets/42045/

    It also needs millions to monitor and identify where the changes are taking place as the planet warms, and how this will affect coastlines, water-supply ecosystems, storms, droughts, floods, and food production, as the atmosphere becomes more energetic.

    So I guess they need the extra money to pay some consultants to come up with reasons why they should keep their jobs.
    NOTE FOR THE KNEE-JERK CLIMATE CHANGE ALARMISTS

    I guess you learned your climate science from Faux News and tabloid comics!! 95%+ of expert climate scientists confirm the planet is warming and the climate is changing, – but then they measure more than just surface atmospheric temperatures and don’t just cherry-pick bits of misleading data.



    Report abuse

  • 50
    aroundtown says:

    @Peter

    Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate change is 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.

    You seem to have excluded this component from your prospective on warming potentials. It is not even a discussion anymore as to whether the glaciers are in rapid retreat and along with the warming cycles (hottest years ever recorded have been in the last 10 years) which precipitated these events, we are presently acquiring more warming triggers in addition to C02’s effect on warming. Methane may not be as long lived as C02 but it’s heat trapping ability is 25 times greater than C02. This time bomb is not applicable at some later date, it is in play “right now”. Loss of reflective ice, loss of forests, a level at which the ocean will not accept any more heat, and the result will be a hotter and hotter atmosphere which will precipitate more warming.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html



    Report abuse

  • 51
    aroundtown says:

    If there is one thing that is not in short supply, and expands with abundance, it would have to be ignorance. There was a time not too long ago where the common practice as pertains to any potential problem was to “error on the side of caution”. It is very rare indeed to see this principle in play these days. The science deniers haven’t been coming up with these denier positions on their own, these wedge arguments are being spoon feed to them so they might march as a single cohesive unit of disinformation intended to thwart any action against global warming. If science brings up concerns that need immediate action, in addition to further study, we see attempts like these from the GOP to sweep them under the rug or kill them outright.

    The old adage that “should you forget your history your bound to repeat it” seems to be in play insomuch as people have already forgotten events like love canal, Bhopal India, the Exxon disaster in Alaska, and others, where corporate interests overruled sane practice. Now we are facing a massive threat to mankind and other lifeforms and what do we see – a bunch of these selfsame profiteers looking for profits regardless of the stakes of intrenched inaction. It is a tangled web of deceit that is being woven and an “I’m sorry” is going to be of little comfort when the other shoe drops and were left with consequences that are irreversible.



    Report abuse

  • Peter
    May 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I am a scientist, . . . . .
    . . . . .

    No one is denying that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It’s just that it exists in the atmosphere in minute quantities (0.04%) and there are much more powerful temperature affecting influences (water vapour, sun activity) which overwhelm any potential warming effect.

    WRONG!!!!
    CO2 has a catalytic feed-back effect on greenhouse warming increasing levels of water vapour!! Sun monitoring space probes provide climate scientists with detailed data on solar cycles for their calculations.

    That’s why, in spite of the fact that we are in a 500 year warming cycle, the temperature right now (last 15 years) is just not going up!

    Wrong!!! The temperature is not going up in SOME PLACES, but the heat is being absorbed into the planet’s systems, while short term climate variations confuse denialists.

    Must be a nightmare for the NASA people.

    Not really! The multiple cross checking of satellite data is conclusive!

    It is more of a nightmare for someone who claims to be a scientist as a badge of pseudo-authority, but has just blown his credibility, illustrating his scientific illiteracy at a schoolboy level, by contradicting:- basic physics, the consensus of expert opinion, and multiply confirmed climate data!



    Report abuse

  • 55
    aroundtown says:

    @ Peter

    Throwing jelly at the wall to see what sticks while running for the exit door isn’t helpful. The scientific method of adding weight to arguments/propositions is the preferred discourse.

    Band-aids attached to debunked unsupportable propositions related to causation, or lack thereof, should remain suspect. Established scientific discipline shows the way here. Science proves or rejects a hypothesis and moves forward without prejudice, with even tempered emotion and resolve, in an attempt to find the most plausible truth to deliver a theory. It’s goal is simple really, it looks to answer questions, not sweep them under the rug.



    Report abuse

  • How much is understanding necessary to the job of a legislator?

    Even Forest Gump took the advice of the Lieutenant and Bubba. If entry to Congress had required a minimum IQ (and educational standard) what would be the present composition of that madhouse?



    Report abuse

  • If I was one of the 1% that owns 40% of America’s wealth, I probably wouldn’t want scientists telling me my business activities were screwing up the planet for everyone else. Throwing them out of a job seems an eminently sensible defence.

    Perhaps this may be an indication that the b*****ds are getting rattled. Time to shout even louder then!

    Stafford’s Feynman quote is apposite. They can try and discredit the science, they can stop the finance to research, they can spread conspiracy theories and try to discredit anyone who opposes them, but they cannot fool Nature.

    Sooner or later when the guano really hits the ventilation system, – and we know it will if remedial action isn’t taken now – people are going to be looking for the persons responsible. We know who they are.



    Report abuse

  • 59
    aroundtown says:

    Last week, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, headed by Texas Republican Lamar Smith, approved a bill that would slash at least three hundred million dollars from NASA’s earth-science budget. “Earth science, of course, includes climate science,”

    I would say attempts have traversed past denial into criminal territory regarding these denier politicians. They have all the information supporting the scientific conclusions yet they deliberately seek to whitewash the facts on global warming. I do know how this happens, I was speaking with someone today about severe weather and what I heard back was typical, I was told weather always changes so that is what I’m seeing.

    That is what I find astonishing at this juncture, no concept of the differentiation between weather and climate when they make these assumptions. I saw this not long ago when Senator James Inhofe stood in the halls of power with a snowball in hand telling everyone that it is obviously cold outside so how could there be global warming, takes ones breath away that someone could be that deluded and still represent millions of people in the Senate. If they want to govern and pass laws I would say a test to determine sufficient mental acuity should be required to hold office, but that will never happen, the place would likely be empty.

    Climate science warned us to expect more radical weather extremes due a warming climate, and we are seeing that play out right now. California had consistently adequate snowfall in winter but now receives a fraction of the norm, Texas goes from drought conditions to needing a boat to survive, India has seen more than 500 people die in a heat wave with temps reaching 50 degrees Celsius – that’s 122 degrees to us here in the States, those are temps typical of an area we call Death Valley in Nevada, New Zealand is seeing a massive arctic cold snap with huge snowfalls and all of this is going on simultaneously. It ever there was a need for everyone to get on the same page, that time is now when it comes to understanding what the climate and weather conditions have in store for us. It’s going to be a bumpy ride that will increase in severity, but studying the situation clearly isn’t a priority for the climate deniers, even though they and their families will be battered by it. Forrest Gump does comes to mind in this instance – stupid is as stupid does.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/30/3640399/california-snowpack-at-record-low/

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/24/us/severe-weather/index.html

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-26/tornado-rips-through-mexico-texas-declares-states-of-disaster/6496586

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-25/india-heatwave-kills-hundreds/6496314

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11454586



    Report abuse

  • Someone should develop something like expert systems to counter global warming denial online. The hardest part may be emulating a natural conversational style, but the variety of abuses of writing already on the Internet should provide some cover for our eccentric “experts”. Also they could adopt the formal style expected of an expert.

    You don’t suppose anyone could have already unleashed such critters on an unsuspecting public do you?

    :foil hat:



    Report abuse

  • Not only are the Republicans attempting to trash global warming and ignoring scientists, but they also ignore the world population increase as if it was an “unfounded Malthusian Doctrine.” What is sad is that all news commentators, newspapers, and Democrats also avoid the topic of world population growth. When that growth causes an epic disaster, then they will all say….OOPS. Then it will be too late.

    See: http://galen.metapath.org/popclk.html



    Report abuse

  • but they also ignore the world population increase..

    I concur CBrown. If you’re sheep paddock only stocks one thousand sheep and you’ve put seven thousand in the paddock, it’s all going to end in tears. Dead sheep. Paddock denuded and useless. Farmer broke and charge with abuse of his animals. Humanity is the ultimate Ponsi scheme. Closed systems have limits. The earth is a closed system. There is no Planet B.

    It’s almost impossible to get a discussion on population going in any government, anywhere in the world. It’s like Lady Godiva is standing in the parliament, holding a sign, “There’s too many people on the planet” and every politician See’s Nothing. Even global warming, the high priority big ticket for all responsible politicians (Except GOP) is simply the collateral damage of too many people burning carbon. If there was a million people on the planet, they could burn as much carbon as they liked. But not 7 billion / heading for 9-12 billion. The sad thing is that we need to get the population back to 1 billion people by 2100AD but that’s an impossible task. We should do it voluntarily, because if we don’t the planet will do it to us. Not pretty.



    Report abuse

  • Meanwhile – just to confuse them further!

    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/alberta-creationist-discovers-rare-fish-fossils-in-basement-dig/ar-BBkmjPn
    An Alberta man who discovered a school of rare fossilized fish while digging up a Calgary basement believes the world was created by God a few thousand years ago.

    It’s for that reason Edgar Nernberg doesn’t think the fossils could possibly be as old as paleontologists are estimating.

    “I subscribe to the creationist position, and I believe they were laid down in Noah’s flood, about 4,500 years ago. But we agree to disagree.”

    He’s referring to Darla Zelenitsky, the University of Calgary paleontologist who was brought in to examine the five ancient fish.

    She says they likely swam in waters about 60 million years ago, which is the age of the Paskapoo Formation, a sheet of rock that lies under the city.



    Report abuse

  • Meanwhile, science keeps providing options for solutions to global problems.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33051949
    Researchers have identified a new way to produce aviation fuel from sugarcane biomass that could deliver substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

    The source crops could be grown on marginal land, avoiding displacing food production, the team observed.

    They added the development of renewable liquid fuels was critical to reduce global reliance on petroleum and help mitigate climate change.

    The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    “We’ve identified a new route of chemistry with its source from sugars in sugarcane plus some of the so-called waste material called bagasse,” said co-author Alexis Bell from the University of California, Berkeley, US.

    “We show in this paper how we can put these components together to make jet diesel and lubricants.”



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.