Is it Possible To Be a Republican Scientist?

Conservative thinking has devolved to the point that very little of it makes rational sense. Following this line has led them, and threatens to lead us all, into making everyone worse off and quite possibly leading us into a catastrophe unlike any that humanity has ever seen.

Consider the rapidly declining environmental situation. No more study is needed, no new evidence. It’s all around us, before our very eyes. Biologists speak now of the present great die-off of species, equaled only by massive die-offs that changed the planet forever many millions of years ago. Global warming threatens to literally drown us. We have good reason to fear the mercury poison wafting our way in the form of Chinese air pollution, to say nothing of Japanese radioactivity riding the same trade winds. And there is much, much more.

We cannot choose to ignore these things, because they will find us regardless. The only way we can address them at all is together, as a community, a nation, all nations. That’s why it’s so astonishing to hear about Republican disdain for any such effort, why it’s such a source of dismay that the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, founded just four years ago, was disbanded by the Republicans. What they are saying and doing is madness, and it will hurt us.

Whether we address the crucial issues related to environment is not optional. The catastrophe of global warming is bearing down on us, like the first trickle of Japan’s tsunami. Very soon it will wash us all away, and it will not be possible to pretend it hasn’t arrived. It’s the most serious threat humanity has ever faced, and it’s very, very real. But Republicans deny its very existence.

In most of the countries of the world, liberals and conservatives are battling over what their country must do to address the issue of global warming. Here at home we haven’t even begun, because Republicans deny its very existence.

Recently three very simple amendments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s statement on climate were rejected by 100% of the Republican members. None of the three proposed amendments was at all controversial. One Republican voted No because the Bible says there will not be a flood. Another voted No because an online poll by a climate denier said warming is fake. These Republicans simply deny all evidence from science.

Astonishing as it is, the most reliable indicator of whether someone understands the implications of global warming—or science in general—is whether they are Democrat or Republican. What is it that causes Republicans to blot out rationality? Can they not see that this has nothing whatever to do with political ideology?

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