The Republican War on Science

Tue, 2005-12-20 12:37Jim Hoggan
Jim Hoggan's picture

The Republican War on Science

It’s a bleak book for Christmas, but Chris Mooney’s new book, The Republican War on Sciencegives unsettling new evidence that the political and private sector manipulation of “scientific fact” – which we notice so often in climate change – is endemic in George W. Bush’s Washington, D.C.

In laying out his case, Mooney asks:

“Why should we care about such manipulation? First and most obviously, when conservatives distort health information—claiming that condoms don’t work very well in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases, for example—such abuses can quite literally cost lives. Similarly, when they deny the science of global warming, their refusal to consider mainstream scientific opinion fuels an atmosphere of policy gridlock that could cost our children dearly (to say nothing of the entire planet). That includes children not just in low-lying New Orleans, where I myself grew up, but in low-lying Bangladesh and other nations across the globe.”

Pass it all off as a conspiracy theory if you will, but in order to do that credibly, you have to accept the neo-conservatives’ view that a different conspiracy is afoot. On one hand, you have a thousands of government-funded scientists – the best in the world – conspiring to agree that current scientific observation leads inevitably to the view that climate is changing and humankind is to blame.

On the other hand, you have a handful of energy-industry funded “scientists” – many of whom turn out to be economists – who say that climate change is an environmental boogey man.

As always, the deSmogBlog has an open mind. We’re totally willing to accept that a global climate conspiracy is possible. But we haven’t heard a good argument as to why government-funded scientists in the United States would conspire to ridicule their president’s position.

Whereas the rationale for why ExxonMobile and Peabody Coal would finance an attack on climate change science is – once you blow off the smog – pretty clear, no?