I was disheartened by Election 2010’s results for this reason among others: a good number of candidates who won their races are Republican Teabagger global warming deniers. As the anti-science movement gains more control of what’s left of the Republican Party, extremists of all stripes are gaining prominence. Unfortunately for the planet and our civilization, the anti-science extremists are going to ensure that global warming takes even stronger hold.
President Obama can make all the nice talk he wants about working together and everybody getting along. When I read that four Republican Teabaggers are trying to chair the House Energy Committee in order to reopen the floodgates for a deregulated fossil fuel industry, launch investigations against climate scientists and kill all clean-energy efforts, I take the Teabaggers at their word. If President Obama truly understands the magnitude and immediacy of the global warming crisis barreling towards us, he will also take them at their word.
So it was with some small measure of joy that I read this morning that climate scientists in the U.S. may no longer largely sit on their hands and wait for the truth to sink in to minds too small to comprehend that truth.
On Monday, the American Geophysical Union, the country’s largest association of climate scientists, plans to announce that 700 climate scientists have agreed to speak out as experts on questions about global warming and the role of man-made air pollution.
I know I will repeat this many times over the next two-plus years, but I’ll start saying it now to establish the record: you will hear lots of nonsense about the feverish imagined results of an illegal computer hacking last year, that climate scientists’ emails somehow proved the science didn’t show what it was showing. It’s all b.s. “Five independent panels subsequently cleared the researchers involved and validated the science.” That’s the truth.
I’ve written about the Heartland Institute before and gotten some flack from global warming deniers. Let’s see what Heartland has to say about a leading right-wing conspiracy-du-jour:
“People who ask for and accept taxpayer dollars shouldn’t get bent out of shape when asked to account for the money,” said James M. Taylor, a senior fellow and a specialist in global warming at the conservative Heartland Institute in Chicago. “The budget is spiraling out of control while government is handing out billions of dollars in grants to climate scientists, many of whom are unabashed activists.”
Their work is among the most stringently accounted for. Heartland and other deniers want the public to believe that scientists and the government are running amok, doing gosh-knows-what. If you think about that for just a few seconds, you can discern the seditious intent underpinning such an argument. Furthermore, if Heartland was truly concerned about the budget, they would be fully energized to stopping the occupation of two foreign countries, which has cost in excess of $1 Trillion already and continues to climb, as well as the Bush tax cuts for the rich, which were never paid for and are also costing the budget $1 Trillion. Since they’re doing neither, we know that their concern for this argument is trollish at best. Finally, who cares if climate scientists are activists, unabashed or otherwise. Is James or Heartland seriously arguing that people can’t exercise their freedom of speech rights? There are more amendments to the Constitution than just the 2nd, after all. The truth is this: today’s Cons only believe in free speech if they’re the ones speaking.