The Republican War on Science Returns

Mon, 2011-08-22 09:10Chris Mooney
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The Republican War on Science Returns

As author of the 2005 book The Republican War on ScienceI’ve watched recent developments in the presidential race with fascination.

It is not exactly news that many candidates on the GOP side take “war on science” positions, e.g., denying that global warming is human caused, or that human evolution explains who and what we are. Climate and evolution have long been the “big two” issues in the “war,” but I would expect that many of the GOP candidates reject modern scientific knowledge on a variety of other subjects as well. (Just ask them about, say, reproductive health and contraception.)

The standard “war on science” saga has droned on—usually in the background–for years and years. But somehow, it all exploded into political consciousness last week with Texas governor Rick Perry’s attacks on the integrity of climate researchers, and his claim that his own state teaches creationism–which if true would violate a Supreme Court ruling. (Actually, this is not state policy, though I suspect much creationism is being taught in many schools in Texas, in defiance of the law of the land.)

At that point, former Utah governor and outsider GOP candidate Jon Huntsman Tweeted some simple words, which ended up nevertheless serving as a shot heard round the political world:

”To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming.  Call me crazy.”

Huntsman then followed up on ABC News:

I think there’s a serious problem.  The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party – the anti-science party, we have a huge problem.  We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012.  When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Science – Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position.

I agree, as do moderate Republicans like David Frum and Kenneth Silber. But presumably most of the GOP (or at least its most influential elements) does not, or else this problem would not exist. Which probably means that Huntsman is simultaneously destined to be a media darling, and also an unsuccessful candidate.

He’s correct, though: We do have evidence that the GOP’s anti-science behavior is pushing former followers away, like atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel, whose political deconversion away from the GOP ranks I described here. But the attacks on science may also be drawing in others, and certainly it appeals to the base—particularly the authoritarian Tea Party.

So what follows? Well, a lot.

It’s now six years since the “Republican War on Science” thesis was published, and while much has stayed the same during that time, much has also changed. I want to highlight three main developments, or differences, in particular:

1.      Bottom Up v. Top Down Anti-Science Attacks. Clearly, the U.S. Republican right has remained at “war” with science—at least on the most hot button issues. Were this not the case, Huntsman’s claim would not resonate, as it so obviously does.

If anything, however, I believe matters have gotten worse. Why? Largely because we’ve swapped the relatively genteel “war on science” of the George W. Bush administration (which was prosecuted in top-down fashion from the White House and administration, largely in service of what various staff believed that the president wanted, or what should or shouldn’t be on the public agenda or in the media) for a more populist and bottom-up strain associated with the rise of the Tea Party. This is partly a function of the fact that the GOP is in the opposition right now, rather than running the country; and partly a function of the right moving further to, uh, the right; and partly also, I think, a function of the increasing influence of the blogosphere.

Either way, there are lots of consequences. For instance, the attacks on science are now nastier, aimed at individual scientists and presenting direct assaults on their integrity and their work. This goes far beyond Bush vaguely mumbling that scientists don’t have a consensus on climate change, or that it might be natural; or some aide at NOAA or NASA blocking a scientist’s media interview.

2.      It’s Not Just About Science, It’s About Reality. Whatever you may have thought of Bush, I don’t think he approached the full construction of an alternate reality that we see in the Tea Party (although Bush went quite a way towards constructing an alternate reality around the Iraq war). And this leads to the second really important thing that is different now: Even as everybody revives the “war on science” meme, we now realize that the war isn’t really on science at all, but on reality. People who can say that the government banned incandescent light bulbs when it didn’t, who can claim that the U.S. can fail to raise the debt ceiling and it won’t be any problem, or who assert that the 2009 health care bill created government “death panels” are in denial about a lot more than science.

3.      We Need Psychology To Explain This. The major new development, to my mind, has been the application of psychological and neuroscientific approaches to try to understand how people can actually behave and think like this. In particular, more and more attention focuses on motivated reasoning, a subconscious and often automatic emotional process in which people rationalize pre-existing views that are important to their identities, including in the face of direct factual refutation. So we are beginning to be able to understand the Republican denial of science as part of a motivated process in which certain scientific claims are seen as so threatening to self-identity and group affiliations that they must be rejected in order to preserve a sense of self.

What does all this mean? It means that even as the war on science has gotten broader and worse, we are at least beginning to understand how this could happen. 

Unfortunately, though, we are not very far along on the road of actually figuring out–and agreeing on–a way to address this problem. Based on what we know about motivated reasoning, though, we know that if science is seen as an attack on people’s identities, it will be rejected. So any solution is going to have to make facts themselves seem a whole lot less threatening.

Tall order.

Comments

JFK in the early 60s invited the ‘Viga’ of science- and what it would do for this country.

The GOP of today? Witch craft, Sorcery, and the earth was magically formed 5,000 years ago. Do they also believe in black cats?

I see more and more commentary from the left asking about the message, and or the messenger/implementer (Obama), while ignoring the validity of the ideas/beliefs.

Snarky comments about a war on science do not add any value. Nor does calling everyone willing to question those beliefs/views “deniers.”

The war is not on the science as that is readily understood and primarily accepted. What the questions center on are the extreme/catastrophic results asserted by a handful of scientists and the willing believers. “Ice deah spirals”, ice free yadda yadda, polar bears, Kilimanjaro, Ocean heat content, lost heat, hide the decline, reliance on proxies and really really poor math, denial of contradictory studies, and over reliance on questionable models results. Doe not make a war, but do make for an open discussion.

“The war is not on the science as that is readily understood and primarily accepted.”

In what sense is evolution not readily understood and primarily accepted?

Snarky comments about “the extreme/catastrophic results asserted by a handful of scientists and the willing believers” are completely at odds with the evidence, unless your idea of evidence is the opinions posted on WUWT. It is ridiculous that you treat scientific evidence as a left/right divide. No wonder you chose the usual astroturfer’s option of hiding behind anonymity.

Keith M is anonymous as I. As is Debbi J, or Peter S, or even Phil M (pronounced FilluhM). Another false point.

Evolution has what to doe with this article? Another false point.

…unless your idea of evidence is the opinions posted on WUWT. Another false point.

It is ridiculous that you treat scientific evidence as a left/right divide. Another false point.

I clearly made the point that: “What the questions center on are the extreme/catastrophic results asserted by a handful of scientists and the willing believers.” Show us the many successful predictions/projections. Should be easy.

Don’t go over that ole list of climate change indicators, because we agree that the climate changes. I’m looking for those successful projections of dire or not so dire results from that change.

“Keith M is anonymous as I. As is Debbi J, or Peter S, or even Phil M ”

Errr, the difference is, we actually use names. Names you can track. You use an anonymous name, to hide you lies & to prevent others from tracking your history of lies.

“(pronounced FilluhM)”

That is your unique paraphrasing again. Your opinions are well established as shite.

You guys just go back and forth with the name calling, etc, wtf!
Anon2 asked made a statement about the unsubstantiated claims from some CAGW scientists and their followers and asked a simple question regarding the extreme/catastrophic claims that are made. Can you (Phil or others) reconcile any of that with the truth of our current situation? In other words, what has an hasn’t come true in all those over the top predictions. H

If, as you claim, you agree that the climate changes, then the dire or not so dire results from that change are as well documented as the change itself.

What hides behind the red herring is whether *WE* are responsible; whether this particular climate change is human-driven. In which case the answer is yes, and the science to support that answer is widely available for your perusal should you be bothered to read it with an open mind.

The dire consequences specifically of AGW lie in climate change at a pace that nature cannot equal. What might happen naturally over thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of years, is happening within the span of industrial civilization, decades and bare centuries.

In a natural climate change, when nature has time to balance, vast swathes of life are wiped out. In AGW, when nature has no time to balance… the outlook isn’t pretty.

How about these predictions by climate scientists?

Wally Broecker, in 1975:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/lessons-from-past-climate-predictions-broecker.html

James Hansen, in 1981:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-hit-a-home-run.html

James Hansen, in 1988:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/A-detailed-look-at-Hansens-1988-projections.html

Of course, you could go back further all the way to Svante Arrhenius, in 1896, who predicted that burning of fossil fuels would cause an enhanced greenhouse effect and global warming. I dont think he quantified his predictions, though the Wikipedia article suggests he was fairly accurate with his estimate of climate sensitivity (about 2.1ºC per doubling of CO2, compared to a range of 2-5ºC from IPCC AR4).

Actual predictions (as opposed to general hand-waving) by climate sceptics are few & far between - they dont seem to like to put their money where their mouth is.
But here are a couple:

John McLean
http://www.skepticalscience.com/mclean-exaggerating-natural-cycles.html

Richard Lindzen:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/lindzen-illusion-2-lindzen-vs-hansen-1980s.html

Don Easterbrook:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/lessons-from-past-climate-predictions-don-easterbrook.html

Loehle and Scafetta:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/loehle-and-scafetta-play-spencers-curve-fitting-game.html

The message is simple. Where predictions have been made, those that accept CO2-driven climate change are surprisingly accurate over 30-40 year time periods (especially given the limited state of climate science 30-40 years ago!), whereas those that do not diverge from reality quite sharply, usually within just a couple of years.

Bern, what I asked for was: “”What the questions center on are the extreme/catastrophic results asserted by a handful of scientists and the willing believers.” Show us the many successful predictions/projections. Should be easy.”

Note I was emphasizing the extreme/catastrophic results. Your examples failed to answer, what I said: Should be easy. We’ve already agree that it is warming, but the impacts of that warming are at issue.

“Evolution has what to doe with this article?” - First, a number of climate populists are creationists who have to, e.g., deny ice ages. Among them Roy Spencer. Apparently those who deny AGW will believe any nonsense…

Second, evolution theory has a number of verification problems much akin to those of AGW, in particular: there’s only one earth at any time to ‘experiment’ with.

Conversely, it is said that a man who does not believe in God will believe in anything, which is why so many atheists believe in the AGW myth. Its your own fundamentalist religion, you eco-jihadi. You people are as offensive as the Westboro Baptist Church, as unbending as Al Qaeda.

Well, sing a song. The fact I don’t believe in nonsense does not imply I don’t believe in reality or truths about reality. But oh well, such logic is not for those who believe in nonsense up to a point they will give their (or rather someone else’s) life for it. Sing a song then.

“The war is not on the science as that is readily understood and primarily accepted.”

Yes it is. It’s quite clear. Vested interests vs science.

Vested Interests - The western developed world likes living in luxury and the rest of the world wants to join us. Vested interests play a definite role in this discussion. When it comes right down to it, people really really dont want poverty.

If we limit “vested interests” to a few fat cat oil men, we are missing something bigger.

Oh, but the politicians and bureaucrats around the world who lust after the trillions in carbon taxes arent special interests. They are pure as the driven snow. There will be no rent-seekers out there, making billions off of some phony carbon trading scam ala Enron. Only angels trying to save the world will participate.

Such childish fantasies you people engage in.

“Oh, but the politicians and bureaucrats around the world who lust after the trillions in carbon taxes arent special interests.”

Got an example? How did they arrive at that decision?

“When it comes right down to it, people really really dont want poverty.”

Rick, you are right about that. It’s a real problem & the answers are not easy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/opinion/crashing-the-tea-party.html

“On everything but the size of government, Tea Party supporters are increasingly out of step with most Americans, even many Republicans. Indeed, at the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, today’s Tea Party parallels the anti-Vietnam War movement which rallied behind George S. McGovern in 1972. The McGovernite activists brought energy, but also stridency, to the Democratic Party — repelling moderate voters and damaging the Democratic brand for a generation. By embracing the Tea Party, Republicans risk repeating history.”

And by not embracing the Tea Party they risk starting a third party mostly of their supporters.

This is already occurring. The GOP is splintering; solid Republicans are “coming out” and resisting the downward slide of the party openly.

Not that you could provide proof of that. Like most Alarmist beliefs this one is made up of whole cloth. Obama is currently tied in the polls with ” a syphilitic camel.” There, I like mine better.

Changing the subject must be right up there, along with throwing in pseudo science, as a means of disarming a blog by swamping it in white noise.

The moment we accept current scientific understanding as dogma we are following a religion.

re·li·gion    [ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
noun
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
(from Dictionary.com)

Chances are there’s a lot of science around you, on you, and within you at any given moment that you could not sufficiently explain, but accept anyway.

I regularly worship the forces of gravity, magnetism, and electricity myself, amongst hundreds of other scientific principles.

There is a difference between acceptance of an idea on faith alone, versus acceptance of an idea that, with time and effort, you could assemble facts, perform experiments, and draw theories. Religion is faith. Science is fact.

“So what experiment has, or can be, performed which scientifically proves that human beings have caused the Earth’s climate to change?”

I suppose you’d prefer to wait for irrefutable evidence, rather than the 95% probability that AGW is happening, to give the carbon industries the time to maximise their profits before they’re rumbled. Reminds me of the tobacco industry and cancer, but with much higher stakes.

KeithM (anonymousX), says: “Reminds me of the (add your long list of events/crusades here), but with much higher stakes.”

But much higher stakes?????? And this is the crux of the argument. Few deny that man impacts the planet and that those impacts can change local climates. Done!!!!! But that is and has been true since (our inception, dinosaurs, fishes, plants, multi-celled forms, single cell life, etc (see how that long list process works?) also have impacted the planet and just as surely the climate.

What climate did you expect and which do you wish to repeat?

“…much higher stakes????” PSHAW!!!

And you do not think it is religion? Double PSHAW!!!

@anonymous2: “add your long list of events/crusades here”

No actually, the list is very short. In fact it has only one entry: the tobacco industry’s ruthless campaign of spreading uncertainty and doubt about the evidence linking tobacco smoking to cancer, so that they could go on profiting from the sale of cigarettes. As I said, just like the carbon industries and AGW.

That’s quite the opposite of religion as I understand it, unless I missed the bit about immorality being good for the soul.

“What’s that you say? None? In other words, the proposition of AGW is unfalsifiable, and therefore does not meet the minimum standard required in order to be a valid scientific theory.”

What’s that? Putting words in my mouth? Must be out of hope or desperate belief that repeating yourself enough will make you right.

Data. Hypothesis. Prediction. Experiment. All peer-reviewed, scrutinized, kicked back if fault is found. It’s all out there for the finding. It took me a few seconds typing in Google to find experiments that have been or are being performed. I suppose it takes less effort to deny than to actually look things up.

The experiments prove or disprove the predictions. Observations are made, data is kicked back in, and it all goes through again.

As I stated to begin with, however, even you could go to school, learn the relevant topics, follow the scientific method *and come up with the same conclusions*. There’s no need to take anything on faith.

“Data. Hypothesis. Prediction. Experiment.”

Um,except they keep forgetting the “experiment” part.

What “experiment”, exactly, conclusively proves human activity has, or is capable of, changing the climate of Earth?

Oh, and the “data” part has turned out to be pretty dubious, as well.

The way they’ve been practicing climate science goes more like this:

1. Conclusion

2. Collusion

3. Data

4. “Fix” Data

5. “Lose” Original Data

6. Accuse Critics of Being Paid by Exxon

7. Nobel Peace Prize

Sound about right?

(Note: d’Smogblog is frantically sifting through all the comments and painstakingly deleting ones like the above, and futilely banning IP addresses. Personally, I find this rather amusing, and it gives you an idea of how much they want to hide criticism. Oh, well. It takes me 2 seconds to repost. PR company FAIL!)

Sure. Just keep on being totally ignorant about Fourier, Tyndall, Arrhenius :)

cRR K, yeah that’s it. Listen to me because I’m about to appeal to authority. Let me list: (add you list of names here) to make no point what so ever.

Mine was a list of science. I know you have to ignore that, facts being taboo for you postmodernist inquisitioners, but there are dissidents :)

“Note: d’Smogblog is frantically sifting through all the comments and painstakingly deleting ones like the above, and futilely banning IP addresses. Personally, I find this rather amusing, and it gives you an idea of how much they want to hide criticism. Oh, well. It takes me 2 seconds to repost. PR company FAIL!”

I suppose you well resourced astroturfers have no shortage of IP addresses you can draw on. Of course, by posting anonymously, us readers can’t keep track of which of you is posting what - which no doubt suits your purpose.

Chris Mooney has obviously hit a sore spot, for you to be so persistent.

KeithM is just as anonymous as PhilM, Phil M, anonymous and anonymous2. But you just keep beating that dead horse.

As has been repeatedly pointed out, you can see all the posts that I have made, whereas there is no way to tell if anonymous posts are by the same or different people. I suppose it doesn’t matter to you, as the intention of you astroturfers is simply to fill blogs with white noise, in the hope that it buries the message the blogger was making.

A2, you simply don’t get it do you? It’s beyond your level of comprehension.

Please point me to a blog outside of desmog blog that I can search for a post of yours under the name “anonymous2”.

I, in turn will give you a link from other sites that I frequent , where I use the same name “Phil M”, where you can search the history of my posts.Actually, I used to have both Phil M & PhilM before your name impersonating mate “anonymous” that you endorse, registered PhilM for the purposes of slander & smear. So for this site at least, I have to distinguish myself as “Phil M”.

We both know you can’t provide proof of your pseudonym “anonymous2” outside of this blog . Because you want to hide the history of your lies.

A denier & liar for hire.

Please prove me wrong with a link.

“So what experiment has, or can be, performed which scientifically proves that human beings have caused the Earth’s climate to change?”

well, we could stop all fossil CO2 emissions for a few decades to check whether or not that has the opposite effect.

“What’s that you say? None? In other words, the proposition of AGW is unfalsifiable, and therefore does not meet the minimum standard required in order to be a valid scientific theory.”

There are a number of observational sciences in which actual experiments are either not always possible or are impractical: astronomy, geology, oceanography, etc. Doesn’t mean they’re not sciences.

“And since no proof of the claim of AGW exists, or is currently possible, then your belief in AGW is based on nothing more than faith.”

BS. Evidence for anthropogenic global warming starts with the historic record of fossil fuel consumption and the measurement record of atmospheric CO2 concentration, mass conservation arguments, about 100 years worth of physics and molecular spectroscopy, and temperature records. No religion.

You are using words as if they exist as an object. Science is not a fact. It is a process which can lead to a greater understanding of how certain aspects of the world works. And even then we are interpreting this understanding through our words which are not infallible and through our limited minds.

I like the definition of religion as scrupulous conformity. And many people who read layman’s articles of popular science articles based on our current understanding and then blast other people who call these into question, which includes top scientist, are simply do just that.

Finally CO2 concentration is at 20.000 ppm, global temp is 15° C but it would all just be faith like it was three billion years ago :)

“So what experiment has, or can be, performed which scientifically proves that human beings have caused the Earth’s climate to change?” - Look around. The experiment is in progress.

(The following reply was deleted by d’Smogblog, and is re-posted. What are they trying to hide?)

“There is a difference between acceptance of an idea on faith alone, versus acceptance of an idea that, with time and effort, you could assemble facts, perform experiments, and draw theories. Religion is faith. Science is fact.”

So what experiment has, or can be, performed which scientifically proves that human beings have caused the Earth’s climate to change?

What’s that you say? None? In other words, the proposition of AGW is unfalsifiable, and therefore does not meet the minimum standard required in order to be a valid scientific theory.

And since no proof of the claim of AGW exists, or is currently possible, then your belief in AGW is based on nothing more than faith.

Ergo, climate alarism is no different from any other faith-based religion. Let’s call it “The Church of Climate Scientology”.

Science is based on theory, Solitha, sorry to pop that bubble. Take a high level Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering class. when it comes right down to it, all of it is based on theory. Yes there are times when we cross something off as being a theory and put it into the realm of fact. You talked about magnetism, gravity, and electricity, these are all based on theories, which we do not understand fully. Yes, we understand basic principles, but that is all. You then worship these on faith, that is religion. Look at numbers 1 & 2 for confirmation on your faith being a religion.
Einstein did not understand electricity, magnetism, or electricity, if you do, please enlighten me. An interesting thought is the String theory, another, is the Bible Creation theory. Although String theory can not explain it all and the Bible Creation theory says that in time you will know and understand, have faith that it works and keep learning to understand. Me I like the latter. :)

Is that like the Dems War on Freedom? Or their War on the Economy? Or their War on Job Creators? How about their War on the Constitution? The public does not give a crap about your global warming lunacy. They care about jobs. They care about the $16 trillion in debt that you economic illiterates choose to ignore. They care about an oppressive, unconstitutional health care plan that was shoved down the nations throat without the consent of the majority.

BTW, the majority of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics believe that the federal deficit should be reduced only or primarily through spending cuts. Let me guess, you see know reason to obey the majority of experts on a subject you disagree with. http://www.cnbc.com/id/44226011

Awful lot of wild shots in the dark there. The one about the War on the Constitution made me nearly LOL… what exactly do you think that horrible left-wing group the ACLU does?

What’s even more funny is the apparent point of your rant. So far as I know, Chris doesn’t try to say whose economic plan is better - except that nose-thumbing at the threat of default was clearly anti-reality. So you’re blasting him for not supporting a particular economic plan…

Wait, what? That’s totally straw-man there.

And wow, talk about projection. So far as I know Chris has not stated an opinion in terms of your linked survey of economic experts, yet you blast him for “disagree[ing]” with them. At the same time, you make it clear that you totally disbelieve a worldwide, nearly complete consensus amongst experts in another field (global warming lunacy).

So… “[]let me guess, you see know[sic] reason to obey the majority of experts on a subject you disagree with.” Need a bit of salt for that foot?

Sorry youre unable to see the connection between Alarmists demanding that we submit to the judgement of various science bureaucracies and how that isnt applied to other fields. None of you orcs would ever agree to a policy of spending cuts only to combat the debt yet that is the opinion of a majority of economic experts. Dont expect Republicans to be swayed in the least by a group like the NAS or whoever.

As far as the bogus piece of propaganda about bowing to the will of 98 percent of “climate scientists” well, you just made that up. Show me a poll by a polling organization, show me their methodology. 98 out of 100! LOL! Right out of a 1950s advertising manual. Remember, 98 out of 100 voters are going to see that number and automatically think, “Bull****!”

The National Association of Business Economics? Essentially a colloquium of industry-employed “company economists” (think economist like Larry Kudlow uses the imprimatur whenever his face appears on television) and disgraced neoliberal insiders like Alan Greenspan and Obama’s own chief economic adviser Larry Summers. You do realize that NABE gave Summers their Adam Smith Award? And it wasn’t in the interests of bipartisanship.

I wouldn’t expect the GOP to be swayed by the NAS because their methods are reasonable and their conclusions don’t confirm with the GOP’s un-reality. You can’t make a man believe something when his paycheck depends on him not believing it. The GOP’s bread and butter is in industry sycophancy and catering to a small, uninformed, revanchist minority of angry white people who’ve seen their living standards retreat faster than the Greenland ice sheet. This has happened under Republican domination of the political process for the last 30-years (The GOP has controlled the presidency for 20 of those years, the Senate for 18 of those years, and the House for 12 of those years–conservatives have had de facto control of the House for much longer than that via GOP alliances with Boll Weevil and Blue Dog Democrats.)

But a relentless marketing campaign decrying the “liberal” Clinton and Obama administrations (both Republican administrations far to the right of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and much of the Reagan administrations for that matter) have convinced those people that the root of their ills is some nebulous “liberal” conspiracy and not in the amoral economic elites that spend the vast majority of the discretionary budget on defense and intelligence gathering, export their jobs to Indonesia, pump their well water full of poisons, spill oil on their beaches, perpetrate private economic theft (not “economic growth”) in the trillions through fraud or redistribution, before flying off to Davos, Switzerland for a Christmas holiday before returning to cut their unemployment benefits and raise their children’s tuition, while their houses are foreclosed on, because the rich don’t want to pay taxes when they’re woefully undertaxed by any historical or international standard.

It was a nice touch to call out the economic illiterates while proving that you are also economically illiterate. Its a bit discomforting to know that a majority of “experts” also agree with the absurd. Lovely.

I really couldn’t tell the last 30-years. It’s amusing listening to fools blather on about a War on Job Creators (compare the records of job creation and economic prosperity during the New Deal consensus and the economic record of the post-Reagan era of speculative booms and busts, rising inequality, catastrophic debts, the financialization of the economy, etc, etc ) or a War on the Constitution. The GOP respects the Constitution? Both parties have greased the skids toward a corporate police state, both parties, at least since the late-80’s have been overwhelmed by neoliberal economic theories that don’t have an iota of evidence to support them.

That’s the interesting thing about right-wing science deniers, they occupy all sorts of loony positions in contradiction to the facts on global warming, species extinction, deforestation, the harms of chemicals in nature, from pesticides to fracking fluids; they deny evolution, denied that cigarette smoke or asbestos caused cancer, said mandating safety engineering for cars would be counter-productive, etc, etc and yet they embrace, like a baby embraces a mother’s bosom, something as utterly absurd as supply-side economics and neoliberal trade policy.

They rant about the unreliability of modeling climate change and deploy the usual assortment of dog and pony philosophical arguments about the impossibility of proving anything conclusively about evolution or climate change, while at the same time relying upon crap methodologies like cost-benefit analysis or the entire facade of neoclassical dogma in economics, which they brandish as if it were Newtonian mechanics and not some tattered garment ravished even by its own proponents. The difference between global warming and tax cuts as a means of stimulating the economy? The latter has many a Nobel Prize winning detractor who have generally, unlike global warming deniers, been far better in their predictions than the assholes spouting the company line.

Where is your so called evidence that man developed from apes? Where is your evidence that man is destroying the earth?
There is evidence in Natural Selection, not Evolution.
There is evidence that what man does has a small effect on the environment, but to blame mankind for climate-change is irrational. Look at the history of the earth and you will see that there have been many cycles of climate-change, not man made, and whatever man does we cannot change the cycle. You will stop the Mississippi River from flowing and fast as you will change the fact that there are Climate Cycles that the Earth goes through.
Who is attacking science, those who bring in facts that have been tampered with to show what they want. The entire Al Gore alternate reality is one that you need to also talk about in your psychological and neuroscientific research. Look at the facts.
As for me I believe in God and I believe that he created this world and all others. I believe that both creationism and evolution should be taught in school so that kids can choose which to believe, or do you not believe in the freedom to choose?
Psychology is needed to explain how someone can believe that they are right when they fabricate evidence. Please explain this.
I am guessing that you are a Liberal Democrat and that you voted for Pres, Obama. If that is the case, then please explain your reasoning for voting for a fool who promised change, and never said in what and very rarely voted for anything. I did not trust him when he ran and now I know why I do not trust him now. He has done more fore socializing this country then about any other president. He has also taken this country into the biggest debt that has ever been seen in history. Pres. Obama has bowed subserviently to other dignitaries instead of standing equal to them, he has not only talked with terrorists but is friends with some of them. Then here is a shocking truth, he can not keep a budget let alone make one, it seems the entire Democratic Party do not know how to make a budget. Where is your Psychology now? Why are you not talking about the ball drop made by the Democrats for not making a budget, and for not knowing how economics work.
Your rant and rave over Science, meaning Evolution and Global Climate Change, they mean nothing, because they will not affect the state of the USA. Being in Debt will, not being able to afford a military to protect ourselves will, not able to care for our own people will effect the state of the USA. Why do you not talk about these issues?, instead you rant and rave over frivolous things.

The next time you’re down with a cold or the flu, remember what you’ve said here. After all, if evolution wasn’t true, but only natural selection, we should have a cure for all influenza and common cold viruses, like we did for polio and smallpox.

We don’t, because they mutate. Living things mutate. This is observed and documented fact.

When you then think that we’re too minimal to cause global change… think again about that virus. Compared to you, it’s so tiny! And yet it can raise your “global” temperature (fever) and make you violently ill. It can really, you know, throw off your body’s whole balance. It can even kill you.

However, your body temperature changes normally! On any given day, it rises and lowers based on what you’re doing and where you are. Does that mean that a fever is just part of your normal temperature variation? No, it doesn’t. It’s a symptom of a system out of balance.

Yes, climate change happens. If you accept this, and the science in the record of our planet, then you must understand that it goes slowly. Like, on the order of thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of years. Never before in Earth’s history has the climate changed this much this quickly. And the previous episodes resulted in immense loss of biodiversity, even though life had a lot more time to try to adapt.

You believe in God and Creationism. Yay for you. You believe it should be taught in school; that not doing so is an affront against freedom. What about the freedom of those that don’t believe as you do? Is it not an affront against their rights to shove your religion down their throats?

And that’s what it is. Purely and simply. Creationism, and God, are based on belief, not facts. Creationism is not a scientific theory. It pre-supposes a Creator who cannot be proven by any scientific method to exist. It does not belong in a science class.

By the way, I doubt you will let your kids *choose* what to believe. You just want to choose for everyone else’s kids.

That’s not freedom.

As for Obama, I suppose you’re another one who conveniently forgets which president vastly overspent the budget while cutting revenue. That would be Bush.

As for what will and will not affect the USA, Mother Nature disagrees. Flora and fauna moving their ranges upwards in altitude, and pole-wards in latitude, disagree. The glaciers in Alaska? Disagree. Farmland turning into dustbowls? They disagree too. Food shortages? Definitely disagree. Extreme weather events? Yeah. Disagree.

Welcome to motivated reasoning. Have a nice day.

“Flora and fauna moving their ranges upwards in altitude, and pole-wards in latitude”

thats a plus

“The glaciers in Alaska?”

might not be bad

“Farmland turning into dustbowls?”

1930s are evidence that such things are cyclcal

“Food shortages?”

thats all distribution and greed - there are more people and more food than ever before

“Extreme weather events?”

Galveston … and a thousand other examples of past weather events show the past was just as bad as the present - if there is a problem it is that too many people have chosen to live in known trouble spots

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