There is no getting around the fact that the U.S. Republican Party simply hates science. It didn’t used to be that way. But it is now, and the timing of a recent uptick in this phenomenon couldn’t be worse.
“The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge.”
That is the subtitle of an excellent editorial today in the journal Nature, “Science Scorned,” which discusses how dangerous this trend is, pointing out that:
“There is a growing anti-science streak on the American right that could have tangible societal and political impacts on many fronts — including regulation of environmental and other issues and stem-cell research.”
Nowhere is the right wing’s anti-science stance more starkly apparent than on the issue of climate change, as Nature notes:
“Denialism over global warming has become a scientific cause célèbre within the movement. [Rush] Limbaugh, for instance, who has told his listeners that “science has become a home for displaced socialists and communists”, has called climate-change science “the biggest scam in the history of the world”.
Nature is a highly respected journal, and it is encouraging to see the editors take a strong stand against the GOP’s betrayal of science and reason. Science should never be confused with politics, but the recent antics of the Republican Party leave no alternative but to acknowledge that the Right’s attack on science must be addressed directly by the scientific community.