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Monday, March 21, 2011

Republicans Repeal the Existence of Climate Change

Retro researcherGlobal warming is just some crap scientists made up to get that sweet, sweet grant money, right? Never mind that this money goes to the research, not the scientists themselves, so researchers would have nothing to gain here; it's obvious (to Republicans, at least) that scientists are pulling a hoax to get grant money, which allows them to spend their days researching something that doesn't exist. I guess because it's fun.

Well, the gravy train stops here. The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday voted climate change out of existence. Problem solved. Add it to the other huge problems facing our nation that the GOP is working hard to solve, like the microscopic fraction of federal money spent on NPR or making sure the words "In God We Trust" are plastered over every blank square inch of America. You know, all that important "fiddling while Rome burns" stuff.

Sean Pool, ClimateProgress:

House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee demonstrated their commitment to science denial yesterday by unanimously voting down three separate amendments offered by Democrats to reaffirm basic facts about climate science. They then unanimously voted to pass the Upton-Inhofe bill to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific endangerment finding on greenhouse pollution.


Let's be clear. Congress should not attempt to make scientific decisions. The role of Congress is to take the best science and use it to make the best possible policy. The three amendments rejected unanimously by committee Republicans each lays out a fairly basic statement about generally accepted climate science.

Pool makes a good point when he writes, "Congress should not attempt to make scientific decisions." Michele Bachmann is not the person who should be designing docking clamps for the international space station, for example. We hire people to do that. People who know what the hell they're talking about. Scientists advise government, by supplying people in government with facts. When government decides to ignore those facts, things don't go very well.

At this point, it probably pays to point out that -- worldwide -- the American Republican Party is the only major political party that denies the existence, importance, and severity of global climate change. This is less "fiddling while Rome burns" and more "whistling past the graveyard." Dealing with climate change will be a big effort -- growing bigger the longer we put it off -- and, unless it's war, Republicans don't go in for big things. Change is antithetical to the Republican mind, which is why the only changes they actually support involve changing things back to the way they used to be. Undoing regulations, striking down Roe v. Wade, returning America to the pre-organized labor days -- all cornerstones of GOP philosophy and all involving disassembly. New things are not their friends and the old, pre-progress world -- as bad as the sexism, racism, and other bigotries were back then -- is always preferable to today.

So global warming must be a hoax, cooked up by Al Gore and crazy environmentalists to soak up that sweet, sweet grant money. Ask any conservative; back in the seventies, scientists used to worry that the Earth was cooling -- now they've pulled a 180 and are saying it's warming! Pffft! Silly scientists...

Except, that's not exactly true. Here's part of a Frank Capra short from 1958.

So, we can safely assume that roughly five decades of research is all wrong. Why? Because it's not good news for fossil fuel industries. We could be creating new jobs, new technologies, new industries, and new markets -- but only at the expense of old jobs, old technologies, old industries, and old markets. It's metaphor I've used more than once, but the Republican Party is in the hip pocket of the buggywhip industry. Technology must not be allowed to move beyond the horse-draw carriage, because no one will buy buggywhips anymore and that means economic catastrophe for the United States.

I think at this point, it's clear that the Republican Party has no interest in solving any problems. As Paul Krugman pointed out recently, they've completely lost interest in unemployment and jobs. Much more important is fighting pointless, doomed political battles based entirely on ideology and zero facts. Need a job? Hey, we'll defund NPR for you. That ought to help. Never mind that it'll never go anywhere or that it's just a bone to please the teabagger base and the rightwing blogosphere.

And jobs and the green energy sector? Who needs them? We can all make buggywhips. You just wait and see -- when the rest of the world realizes that all this global warming stuff is hooey, they'll come crawling to us looking for coal. Because all those wind turbines and solar cells -- all made anywhere but the United States -- will magically stop working, I guess.


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