Chris Mooney on “The Republican Brain”
June 11, 2012
I’ve been sitting on this interview with Chris Mooney since meeting him in December at the American Geophysical Union Conference.
I had hoped by now to pull this into a larger piece on Republican science denial, which I still expect to do, but I think the interview is worth watching now rather than waiting. I started reading “The Republican Brain” a few days ago, (my first iPad book buy..) and it is clear and eye opening.
It’s also, sadly, all the more timely in light of the continued absurdity of GOP lawmakers simply unable to even speak the words “sea level rise” –
Virginia’s legislature commissioned a $50,000 study to determine the impacts of climate change on the state’s shores. To greenlight the project, they omitted words like “climate change” and “sea level rise” from the study’s description itself. According to the House of Delegates sponsor of the study, these are “liberal code words,” even though they are noncontroversial in the climate science community.
Instead of using climate change, sea level rise, and global warming, the study uses terms like “coastal resiliency” and “recurrent flooding.” Republican State Delegate Chris Stolle, who steered the legislation, cut “sea level rise” from the draft. Stolle has also said the “jury’s still out” on humans’ impact on global warming:
State Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, who insisted on changing the “sea level rise” study in the General Assembly to one on “recurrent flooding,” said he wants to get political speech out of the mix altogether.
He said “sea level rise” is a “left-wing term” that conjures up animosities on the right. So why bring it into the equation?
“What people care about is the floodwater coming through their door,” Stolle said. “Let’s focus on that. Let’s study that. So that’s what I wanted us to call it.”
Somehow, this seems an appropriate bookend: