Rick Santorum, Attacking Scientists, Claims He’s not Anti-Science

Tue, 2012-02-21 10:02Chris Mooney
Chris Mooney's picture

Rick Santorum, Attacking Scientists, Claims He’s not Anti-Science

Rick Santorum is becoming the anti-science gift that keeps on giving.

Yesterday, while speaking in his home state, the former Pennsylvania senator once again tilted at the idea of human caused global warming, saying that it is based on “phony studies,” and really a case of “political science.”

This is, you will note, a clear attack on climate scientists. It suggests 1) that climate researchers have either done bad research or, worse still, perpetrated falsified or fraudulent research; 2) that the norms of their field are somehow inadequate to prevent dubious conclusions from becoming accepted; 3) overall, climatology is a body of research that you just can’t take seriously.

Any climatologist would find this insulting. Any climatologist would consider this an affront.

Which is why it is so amazing that Santorum then went on to claim that he isn’t anti-science—no, it’s the Democrats who are the problem:

When it comes to the management of the Earth, they are the anti-science ones. We are the ones who stand for science, and technology, and using the resources we have to be able to make sure that we have a quality of life in this country and (that we) maintain a good and stable environment.

Please.

To me, one key part of the definition of being anti-science means failing to respect the results and the integrity of the scientific process. Here, Santorum is doing precisely that. He is picking and choosing which science is good, which science is bad, and throwing out global warming research—arbitrarily, selectively, and politically.

Why does he do this? Well, it is at least in part reflective of the fact that Republicans as a whole do the same thing. As I have noted previously, the data suggest that they just don’t trust environmental scientists or the results they put out. I know Republicans do not think they are anti-science, but to me, distrusting a whole field of research definitely earns them that label.

There is one word in the statement above, by the way, that fascinates me. It is the word “stable.”

If you are a conservative like Santorum, then you feel very strongly the need for stability: stable political systems, stable markets, stable institutions, stable families and social norms. And, apparently, stable environments.

Conservatives, much more than liberals, like order, regularity, structure. So Santorum’s use of the word “stable” is well tailored to his audience.

Here’s the thing, though: Global warming may well prove to be the most destabilizing force the planet has ever seen. The most disruptive, destructive, and disorderly planetary phenomena that we have created. This is why the Pentagon and CIA are worried about it—they are worried about where millions of people are going to live in the brave new world we’re creating.

So overall, I think the irony meter just hit eleven. Santorum, claiming to be pro-science, attacks scientists. Santorum, claiming to support environmental stability, denies the most destabilizing threat of all.

Santorum, allegedly pro-mirror, refuses to look in one.  

Previous Comments

“We are the ones who stand for science, and technology, and using the resources we have”

Sure, they stand for the kind of science that delivers improved technology enabling us to extract even more of the resources we have. They don’t stand for any science that interferes with that vision.

Why are conservatives generally not conservationists?

they actually are not conservatives.  More like wolves in sheep’s clothing.

It was the Republicans (Richard Nixon) that created the EPA.

They aren’t following ideology.  They are pushing the agenda that is lining their pockets.

Filthy lucre…

“They aren’t following ideology.  They are pushing the agenda that is lining their pockets.”

That is true for the politicians and those that profit from their decisions, but for the average Joe who has no coin in it, why do they do it? The rusted on ideologues will have this attitude, that somewhere along the line, by backing their prefered team, there will be a greater good and things with even themselves out. The con is so complete, that they dare not look at facts, because it would cause them to ask additional questions and force them out of their comfort zone.

They simply trust their team and quiet that little voice inside that says, this doesnt add up. The moderates seem to have more of a chance of listening to that voice instead of the party.

 

“Why are conservatives generally not conservationists?”

I think many are , but just suffer cognitive dissonance. They want to do the right thing, but their ideology is the overriding factor.

I have a couple of mates that are conservatives and are probably as passionate as I am about environmental issues. Both are rusted on conservatives though and begrudgingly give the nod to any conservative policy, despite it conflicting with their personal beliefs.

Both drive around with “The Wilderness Society” stickers on their cars. I haven’t had the heart to tell them as yet, that it was started by Bob Brown……the current leader of the Greens party here in Australia.

If Santorum is the best the Republicans have got, they are screwed.

“If Santorum is the best the Republicans have got, they are screwed.”

I don’t think any of those running is the ‘best’ the Republicans have. The problem is that candidates of real merit are not going to get a look-in, unless they sacrifice their integrity by swinging far to the right in order to meet the Teapot Party. I am sure there are good potential candidates who are currently silenced by a fractured system, just as there are good policies currently torpedoed by bad politicians.

It seems there is no room for moderation on the right at present, which has the effect of leaving no room for prudence either. Where are the statesmen and women of today? Where are the great compromisers?

the United States is under attack by lucifer himself.

“Satan has his sights on the United States of America,” Santorum told a Catholic university audience in 2008.

“Satan is attacking the great institutions of America — using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that (have) so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Time+exorcism+Santorum+Satan+speech+comes+back+haunt/6192787/story.html

 

The only science Santorum believes in is the almighty dollar. Since climate change interferes with the continiuing plutocracy that has created the greatest wealth inequality since 1928- and changing our carbon based consumption based society away from what we have now is sacreligous - then Science has to go……

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