Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fighting back, pt. 2

Here's the explanation:
Here at ClimateProgress, we spend a lot of time debunking politicians who deny climate change based on scientifically murky grounds. On Thursday, it looked as though we’d have to do it again, after Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) blocked a Senate resolution that would have simply stated that climate change is real. Inhofe said he objected to the resolution because the earth had experienced “no warming for the last 15 years;” and because 9,000 scientists had signed a petition expressing doubt that greenhouse gases cause global warming.

Fortunately, however, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) did the debunking for us, just seconds after Inhofe finished his tirade against the Obama administration for having his federal agencies “collude” together to promote a “global warming agenda.”

“I appreciate very much having had the opportunity to hear those words, from what I can only describe as an alternate reality,” Whitehouse began, before getting into detailed specifics rebutting each one of Inhofe’s points.

"Alternate reality" is right. Batshit crazy politicians, representing gullible Bible-thumpers and the fossil fuel industry, do live in their own little fantasy world, don't they?

But what I like about this is that another senator - an intelligent senator, a sane senator - immediately stood up and debunked the crazy. It won't make the slightest difference to Inhofe, who hasn't had a new thought in decades, and it won't make the slightest difference to the entire Republican Party, which has become completely anti-science in recent years, either.

But we've got to fight back. And I was particularly impressed at how well Sheldon Whitehouse did it. Of course, we shouldn't need politicians to debate science (although it's always good to hear a politician who understands and appreciates science). That's what scientists are for.

Scientists come to a consensus about what's true and what isn't, because science is based on demonstrable evidence. Where there's a consensus - a worldwide consensus of scientists working in their own field of expertise - that's the best information we've got. Where there's a scientific consensus about anything, that's the smart bet - the only smart bet.

But the crazy is strong in the GOP, thanks to faith-based thinking and boatloads of cash from the fossil fuel industry. They're dinosaurs, true, but they might just bring us all down with them.

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