It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Texas Republicans Deluded

Governor Perry:
It is unconscionable that unelected bureaucrats at the EPA have declared carbon dioxide a public danger despite a lack of scientific evidence to support their ruling. This action should be of grave concern to all Americans, especially Texans, in light of the recent "Climategate" scandal, which uncovered data had been manipulated and destroyed in order to falsely show a preordained result.
John Carter, R-TX31 (Round Rock, Temple, Stephenville)
Global warming is simply a chicken-little scheme to use mass media and government propaganda to convince the world that destruction of individual liberties and national sovereignty is necessary to save mankind, and that the unwashed masses would destroy themselves without the enlightened global dictatorship of these frauds.
etc. etc.

Lamar Smith (R-TX-21; Eastern San Antonio, Western Austin, Boerne, Bandera, Leakey): "We now know that prominent scientists were so determined to advance the idea of human-made global warming that they worked together to hide contradictory temperature data."

Michael Burgess (R-TX-26; Eastern Fort Worth, Richland HIlls, Denton): "Numerous reports now suggest that the scientists at CRU intentionally excluded data that did not fit into their political agenda..."

See Stupid Goes Viral Deep in the Heart of Texas by RLMiller.

A commenter there asks an excellent question:

A conservative who is friends with a friend of mine on FB tried to start a global warming debate with me by saying that he is a scientist, that the data has been fraudulent, and that scientists with opposing views have had their work suppressed. I've encountered a couple of scientists already who are conservative or libertarian politically and use their greater knowledge of science to try to beat me over the head with why we're wrong. These people are educated, not ignorant. What to do?

My guess is that he is not a scientist, actually. Anyway, what to do?

Update: I note that this article was exactly coincidentally written with Simon's argument that such articles should not be written.

He is right of course. Reaching out to conservatives is crucial during those few months when America isn't in the thick of an election cycle. Without some Republicans who see things clearly, the whole world is at a standstill.

Right now, though, what we need, at least in these parts, is for the uncommitted general public to feel free to see these particular Republicans as the dangerously credulous fools they are.

image via


Oale said...

RealClimate is biased on the side of truth. Ergo, the friend should read it.

Michael Tobis said...

If you follow the link, you will see that the "scientist" has already rejected RC as biased.

Oale said...

No evidence of fraudulent data has been found. The search for evidence has been done by scientists and independent research. The source of those claims is clearly fudging their own judgement of the evidence, and as scientists they should not let other people do that.

I'm not in a particularly philosophical mood, so I leave it here.

Dirk said...

Dave Roberts and Chris Mooney got it right.

This is the culmination of the GOP war on science through the Bush years. Now you have a bunch of post-modernist knaves who find it easy to gain political capital by making, erm, stuff up - especially if the "stuff" appeals to the gut of baser elements of American society.

Anyway, being based in a red state, I've found that a good way to get moderate conservatives to at least think beyond Rush/Beck/Palin bumper-sticker science is to show them this, and point out the logical dots for them to connect.

Simon D said...

I still see the long-term value in trying to understand the source of people's skepticism about climate change. Those that are more involved in the short-term political world are likely to disagree. So perhaps it depends on whether, to wax political for a moment, you are playing the "short game" (dealing with an election) or the "long game" (public understanding of climate change).

Then again, one might argue that near-term action on climate change to avoid long-term consequences means that there is no long game.

David B. Benson said...

There is a difference between conservatori and the ignoranti.

The problem with the latter is being able to think coherently.

As for the former, recall that Winnie was one.

Dan Satterfield said...

I was at a seminar at NCAR last month and this was discussed. Jay Gulledge (senior scientist at pew) had an even more shocking fact.
"The more education a republican has, the more likely they are to think climate change is a hoax."

That is just amazing to me.