The Anti Science Lobby and “a new Dark Era”.

February 22, 2012


Most scientists, on achieving high office, keep their public remarks to the bland and reassuring. Last week Nina Fedoroff, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), broke ranks in a spectacular manner.

She confessed that she was now “scared to death” by the anti-science movement that was spreading, uncontrolled, across the US and the rest of the western world.

“We are sliding back into a dark era,” she said. “And there seems little we can do about it. I am profoundly depressed at just how difficult it has become merely to get a realistic conversation started on issues such as climate change or genetically modified organisms.”

Inside Climate News:

A number of prominent U.S. climate scientists who identify themselves as Republican say their attempts in recent years to educate the GOP leadership on the scientific evidence of man-made climate change have been futile. Now, many have given up trying and the few who continue notice very little change after speaking with politicians and their aides.

“No GOP candidates or policymakers want to touch the issue, and those of us trying to educate them are left frustrated,”Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a registered Republican, told InsideClimate News. “Climate change has become a third rail in politics.”

….past support of policies to regulate carbon dioxide, a global warming gas, is being used to question the fitness of candidates to become the party’s nominee. During a speech this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Rick Santorum tore into his GOP presidential rival, former Gov. of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, for buying into man-made warming and supporting the nation’s first cap-and-trade program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Romney later opposed the scheme but Massachusetts did participate, and it has benefited from the nearly $500 million in economic activity the program has brought to the state.

A Tea Party favorite, Santorum has called global warming “a facade,” “a hoax” and an example of the “politicization of science.” Both Romney and Newt Gingrich, another candidate for the party’s nomination, have stepped away from their previous stances that humans are contributing to global warming in order to convince restive voters and donors that they are conservative enough to be the party’s luminary.


52 Responses to “The Anti Science Lobby and “a new Dark Era”.”

  1. ozonator Says:

    Looks like Dr. Gleick’s whistle-blowing has outed what denier corporate whores do for a lifestyle choice (emissions from God) with a shortfall of EssoKoch golden showers –

    a). Just found an advertisement for “Barbie Collector … flawless, timeless, priceless … out of a dream … A TRIBUTE TO CINEMA’S REGAL BEAUTY … SHOP NOW!” on – 9:05 PM CST 2/23/12.

    b). Stolen valor by the new GOP soldier/statesmen aka our black holes for the new Dark Ages -“Rick Santorum thinks serving in government is the same as serving your country in the military in combat. … “I didn’t see working in government service and being in politics as anything but serving your country, and doing in some ways — in a civilian sense — what a lot of folks did in a military sense, “Santorum said … why did he not chose to serve in the military? … You see some kid who lost his legs in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or for that matter the Gulf War or even Vietnam, is unlikely to find a job as a lobbyist. … schmoozing with corporate big shots over lunch … no hotel suites … no gourmet restaurants and a cool martini … your client at the head of the line at the government’s trough … the smoking pork barrel“ (“Outside View: Santorum’s quirky reasoning”; by Morgan Strong; UPI;, 2/21/12).

    • ozonator Says:

      Looks like a sure invasion of Iran if Newt, Mitt, or Sack is elected to plunder, rape, and pillage all those mint-condition Iranian Barbies rejected by their more moderate leaders. Also, this will be to end all those timely air pollution reports coming out of Iran while in Baton Rouge, DEQ is still blaming high ozone on mexican/african americans/and others lawn mowing days after killer ozone.

      • witsendnj Says:

        Got a link to Baton Rouge?

        Ozonistas want to know!

        • ozonator Says:

          I suppose. Not to tech savvy by comparison. Please be a tad more specific…

        • ozonator Says:

          “A severe dust storm hit the city of Ahvaz in Khouzestan province in southwestern Iran on Saturday causing health concerns for the residents” (“Photos: Dust Storm Hits Ahvaz”; Photos by Borna Ghasemi, ISNA;, 2/20/12).

          “Louisiana environmental officials have refused to add the yearly Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” to a nationwide list of polluted water bodies despite requests from the federal government. … Sam Phillips, assistant director of the state Department of Environmental Quality” (“State wants dead zone off Impaired Waters List”; By Nikki Buskey, Staff Writer;, 2/15/12).

          “Louisiana flunks at enforcing air, water laws, EPA inspector general says” (By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune;, 12/12/11).

  2. sailrick Says:

    Wait. It gets worse.

    Santorum: “Obama wants to ‘indoctrinate’ students by boosting college enrollment”

    from CBS News
    “Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Thursday that President Obama wants more young adults to go to college so they can undergo “indoctrination” to a secular world view.

    On the president’s efforts to boost college attendance, Santorum said, “I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely … The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country.”

    He claimed that “62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it,” but declined to cite a source for the figure. And he floated the idea of requiring universities that receive public funds have “intellectual diversity” on campus.'”;contentBody

  3. sailrick Says:

    To find an equivalent amount of extremism on the left, as we now have on the right, you would have to go back to the 1960s, but imagine that 100 activists like Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin were actually in congress, with several of them running for president.

    • ozonator Says:

      To them, anyone liberal or leftist is an extremist. The Looter Limbaughs have painted themselves into a corner such that the only way out is to put everyone but them in concentration camps – Louisiana without the food. Their wars on science, religion, laws, government, medicine, good, and other elements of a functioning society is part of creating a new infrastructure of NRA guns, EssoKoch refinery plantations, and litters of children.

    • ozonator Says:

      “left-wing extremists” aka another distraction from being hideously ugly and making Essokoch bacon –

      “The fight against climate-change alarmism is just one part of Sen. James Inhofe’s lifelong struggle for liberty … drive SUVs and are allowed unharnessed access to home heating … Inhofe … forced congressmen to answer to the people who elected them. … the hysteria about “global warming” was not about the environment, but about power. … by the United Nations and left-wing extremists… the so-called “science” was a team of elites and Hollywood celebrities … Inhofe … is something that no friend of freedom can afford to ignore” (“’MOST DANGEROUS MAN’ REVEALS ‘GREATEST HOAX’”; By Kevin ‘unable to find a honest job’ DeAnna; conservitards war on science;, 2/24/12). Holy Water on a rotting soul, mutating and Evil “Sen. James Inhofe says he believes a swim earlier this week in algae-laden Grand Lake made him ill. … “deathly sick.” … toxic blue-green algae … never seen that kind of algae in the water before” (“Okla. senator says swimming in lake made him sick”; AP;, 7/2/11). However, there is a difference between the Inhofes and pigs/boars. Trying to escape Looter Limbaugh’s sex tour, “Dozens of wild boars have turned up dead this month around a beach in western France, officials say, as they suspect poisonous blue-green algae for the deaths. … Officials and environmentalists say the spread of algae is driven by nitrates used in fertiliser. The proliferation of the minute organisms was speeded by unusually hot weather early this summer” (“Dozens of boars found dead on French beach”; AFP;, 7/27/11). For the Cuyahoga River in Ohio and a different kind of AGW burning, “Now the Lord can make you tumble … can make you turn … can make you overflow … But the Lord can’t make you burn … Burn on, big river, burn on” (song “Burn On”, 1972’s Sail Away album by Randy Newman;

  4. […] Heartland seeking to reinforce and escalate America’s anti-science attitudes in its efforts to confuse America’s K-12 students about actual science and about how to […]

  5. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    Scientific advancement in the US is slowing rapidly, in China it is exploding. Sure the US is the powerhouse of science and a century ago Europe was. Perhaps Chinese domination of science is ultimately inevitable, but to let that happen without any struggle is a terrible shame.

    • otter17 Says:

      Nah, I wouldn’t say inevitable. Give our engineers and scientists in the energy sector something like half of what we give to the defense sector, and our brainpower could be a force to be reckoned with.

      • rabiddoomsayer Says:

        That would require that we value science. Half of Congress does not.

      • neilrieck Says:

        A wise man once said “If we can go to the moon, then why can’t we go to the moon?” In hindsight, America only went to the moon in order to beat the Russians and nothing else. At the time, many of us thought that moon missions would advance the frontiers of science and engineering while contributing to human progress but in the end, diverting money to the war in Vietnam was a higher priority. In her most recent book “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”, Harvard physicist Lisa Randal tells us that there was no political will to fund both the SCSC (super conducting super collider) as well as “the S&L bailout. So once again, it was easier for men of no vision to divert money away from science, engineering and human progress. Today, the US is still stinging from a collection of various 2008 Wall Street scandals (sub-prime mortgages, asset backed commercial paper, default credit swaps, credit default obligations, etc.) so the US government responded by making some deep cuts at NASA. What a laugh; the annual US Defense budget jumped from $200 billion (12 years ago) to $800 billion now and Republicans are threatening a fight to restore it to $600 billion. Meanwhile, NASA total expenditures since 1958 haven’t reached $50 billion. Question: who has the largest air force in the world? (Answer: US Air Force). Question: who has the second largest air force in the world? (Answer: US Navy). Planet Earth hasn’t seen this amount of wasted resources since the militaristic-expansionist policies Roman empire.

    • neilrieck Says:

      You are correct. For ~ 2500 years China was the number #1 economy. Today China sees the past 250 years of Euro-American domination (re: the industrial revolution) as a minor diversion. To quote a Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, “I Am Afraid We Have Awakened a Sleeping Giant”. Since the USSR was consider the “Giant Bear” then maybe China would be considered the “Giant Panda” 🙂

  6. labman57 Says:

    Sanctimonious, theocracy-minded politicians and pundits such as Palin, Santorum, and Bachmann have redefined what constitutes science to fit their own point of view. Therefore, they equate real science with natural phenomena under the control of God.

    What they don’t understand is that science is not merely a body of knowledge accumulated over the centuries, it is also the process through which this knowledge is attained. And so simply declaring that something is true because it says so in the Bible (or any other literary source) cannot be construed as science if that “fact” or “idea” was not the result of a valid, structured, self-critical scientific process.

    One fundamental difference between climate change researcher­s and their detractors is that the former group base their prediction­s and conclusion­s on available evidence, whereas the latter group reach a conclusion and then search for rationalization to support it.

    The industries that are financing the “climate change denial campaign” share the same unethical “profit at all costs” philosophy that has dominated the decision-making process of the tobacco industry as it repeatedly denied any health-related consequences of using their products, including hiring scientists who are charged with the task of taking the supposition that man-made climate change is a fallacy and coming up with data to support that conclusion. Not only is it unethical, it’s bad science.

  7. rabiddoomsayer:

    “Half of Congress” is being kind. I know you reference the Republican party, but neglect of science is bipartisan. Lawrence Otto reports that in the most recent Congress only two members had science backgrounds, whereas about seventy were lawyers. A depressing statistic.

  8. simple but short

    the ‘politicization of science’ is inherently immoral but the ‘politicization of religion’ is necessary for the morality of this nation

    • neilrieck Says:

      Oh? I was under the impression that the USA was formed “by deist politicians” wanting a built-in separation of Church and State. This should translate into a separation of Church and Government as well as a separation of Church and Politics.

      People like Santorum and Bachman play the religion card (wanting more religion in politics) in order to woo religious voters but they don’t see the big picture: The number of “churched” Christians are declining while members of other religions are on the rise. What do these naive politicians think will happen when the members of religion X consist of greater than 50% of the population?

      The greatest amount of human dignity is only possible in a secular society. Teach common knowledge (logic, mathematics and science) in public schools and religion in privately funded churches/temples/mosques.

      And the next time you hear Santorum and Bachman talking interfering with public school curriculum, please think about how how that went wrong with the Taliban.

  9. sailrick Says:

    A few quotes from Thomas Jefferson on religion and politics

    “He who steadily observes the moral precepts in which all religions concur, will never be questioned at the gates of heaven as to the dogmas in which they all differ”

    “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”
    Letter to Alexander von Humboldt (6 December 1813)

    “The priests of the different religious sects, who dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of day-light; and scowl on it the fatal harbinger announcing the subversion of the duperies on which they live. ”

    “The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those, calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter … But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors. “

  10. […] Let me say upfront that I’m cheering Monckton on. I definitely think the anti-science movement deserves a figurehead that accurately represents its full, surreal and unfathomable nuttiness. The same truth-in-advertising impulse that has me rooting for Rick Santorum/Michelle Bachman ticket as the true face of the Tea Party Taliban. […]

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