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. witsendnj Says:

    Thank you Nina Fedoroff, and thank you to Peter Gleick, and thank you Jim Hansen. Knuckle-draggers like Santorum deserve to be ignored while meanwhile, we need MORE scientists to step forward and talk about the planetary emergency – without mincing words, as it has now been defined by the illustrious and courageous recipients of the Blue Planet award, in their new report linked to here:

    “Civilisation faces ‘perfect storm of ecological and social problems’

    Abuse of the environment has created an ‘absolutely unprecedented’ emergency,
    say Blue Planet prizewinners”

    • ozonator Says:

      It doesn’t hurt the science and it doesn’t hurt Gleick. It doesn’t hurt the corporate whores demanding a free lunch. It does hurt the advertiser cesspool for extremist media outlets like Looter Limbaugh and Coast2Coast. To pay for environmental racism is bad – to be outed from a whistle blower during a presidential election is worse.

  2. Evolution is a lie, climate change is a hoax, and every sperm is sacred. That’s our Rick “Sanctus” Santorum, Man of Science!

    As they said on Hee-Haw: “SALLLLLLLLL UTE!”

    • ozonator Says:

      Sack-o-Santorum represents the pinnacle of the white trash wing of the GOP with an empty head filled with Looter Limbaugh’s environmental racism.

      May I suggest for the 1% who would get healthcare, with gated communities, avoiding public service at all costs, and with servants basking in their off-gassing AGW and pheromones –

      Duck Soup (1933 film).

      • Imagine Rick Santorum debating Naomi Oreskes on the topic of climate. Like a chimp debating Einstein. One imagines Ricky breaking into song:

        It’s poetry in motion
        She turned her tender eyes to me
        As deep as any ocean
        As sweet as any harmony
        Mmm – but she blinded me with science
        “She blinded me with science!”
        And failed me in biology!

  3. guylacrosse Says:

    Not that it’s likely to happen but if Santorum became President that would likely spell the end for the government doing anything meaningful on climate change. All our worst fear would be realized. We’d might have to become a doomsdsay preppers instead of global warming activists.

    • witsendnj Says:

      Uhhh…guy? It matters little who gets elected. We don’t have a democracy in this country, every single politician is owned by the corporatocracy.

      I would highly recommend BOTH prepping (though it will do no good if you aren’t well armed and prepared to fend off the zombies) and continuing activism (for moral reasons).

      The time to halt emissions was at least fifty years ago if not more. As Hansen says, it takes very little forcing (burning fuel in the current situation) to set into motion amplifying feedbacks, and we are well into those already. They are unstoppable. And that’s only considering climate change, not peak oil, ocean acidification or air pollution, any one of which is arguably a more serious threat to modern society.

      Then there are the sheer numbers of human destroying habitat. There is an interesting essay on that here:

      Buckle your seatbelts…

      • guylacrosse Says:

        How do you propose we prep for a worst case scenario for global warming?

        • witsendnj Says:

          Notice Guy, I did say it will do no good. You can’t really prepare for climate change, if only because of the conflict that is going to inevitably result from the vast majority who won’t do a thing to prepare. Have you seen these modeled scenarios? which are quite likely overoptimistic because the current rate of change is unprecedented so no one has any idea how to put data into the models about tipping points, and abrupt transitions.

          In any event, to get through times of no power, no transport, and no access to fresh water or groceries that may be intermittent, temporary and localized, before the SHTF everywhere permanently, I think it’s prudent to have a stockpile of food, water, medicine, batteries, and so forth. There are many sites devoted to answering your question.

          Getting back to Santorum though, I just read this quote of his on the Huffington Post, which is so incredibly delusional and arrogant, I’ll let it speak for itself:

          “While we all see all this as a great political conflict in warfare between the Obama camp and the McCain camp and culture wars, what Bishop Aquila put his finger on and what I think, I suspect those of you who are here understand, this is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war,” Santorum said in August of 2008.

          “And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country, the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age. There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost 200 years, once America’s preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers.”

    • greenman3610 Says:

      For myself, I’m thinking of getting a “Go Rick” button.
      Can’t think of anything that would unmask and destroy the crazy wing of the GOP more completely than a Santorum candidacy.

      • guylacrosse Says:

        I wouldn’t underestimate him or the delusions of the rightwingers or where the super rich will place their bets. George W. Bush was able to win after all and we know how well that turned out. There’s still some people out there that think he was a better President than Clinton.

      • witsendnj Says:

        How about, a Santorum/Palin ticket!! Oh please, please, please…

  4. anderlan Says:

    Don’t use as a source. Reconstitute the primary sources they use into your own analysis. is a nationalistic enterprise (Russian) which criticizes US (and Western) politics with no care how the conversation in the US or Europe ends. This is unlike ClimateCrock and every other editorial source I use, whose analysis is designed to help and aid the US, constructively criticizing our politics as loyal opposition.

  5. pendantry Says:

    Chris Mooney in the video clip says that “beating people over the head with facts doesn’t work; the reason that the resistance exists is emotional”.

    This ties in well with the views of Chip and Dan Heath in ‘Switch’; the Path of the Elephant Rider needs to be clarified.

  6. neilrieck Says:

    A number of years ago, I stumbled onto something published by British military analyst “Marc Widdowson”. Although there have been over 70 imperial expansions and collapses, Widdowson created a graph of the largest six which can be seen here:

    During the contraction before an imperial collapse, people in those societies almost always express similar symptoms: ignorance, superstition, religious fundamentalism, xenophobia, intolerance, rejection of science.

    If humanity knows about this, then we can avoid the worst. But I doubt you will be able to convince Rick Santorum.

  7. ozonator Says:

    You too can purchase proof of the new Dark Ages making Charlie the Tuna proud. Noory and Limbaugh have strangely similar AGW propaganda with the trinket selection of electronics’ condoms, coffee cups, and star-belly Sneetches costumes –

    “George Noory “Academy of Truth” Classic Hoody”
    as of 2/22/12; Coast to Coast AM Gift Center


    “Limbaugh Institute Crew Neck Sweatshirt” and “Act Now! … Free Limbaugh Institute Decal”
    as of 2/22/12; EIB Store.

    • neilrieck Says:

      Does the “sweatshirt and decal” deal include free publicity photos of Limbaugh scoring Oxycontin (hillbilly heroin) in a Denny’s parking lot?

    • ozonator Says:

      Just 1 day later in a bid to steal intellectual property to entertain other looters –

      “Safe Talk: Contraception, Abortion and Infanticide Discussion Halted … February 24, 2012 … RUSH:  I’m going to put the equivalent of a condom on my microphone so that if I utter the word “contraception” or if anybody wants to talk about “abortion,” you won’t hear it” (looting the lock box of Reagan’s alzheimer’s,

      With the DEQ Mallett-types helping to kill babies in Jindalstan, “Louisiana gets an ‘F’ for premature births”; Jan Moller, The Times-Picayune;, 11/7/10).

  8. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    The kleptocracy want it all and they will get it. But it will be all of nothing. The middle class can not be good little consumers without income. A planet with a very damaged biosphere is not a good food producer.

    By the time they realize the error of their ways it will be too late. They will learn the truth of “you cannot eat gold or drink oil”

    Extinction will end the argument.

  9. guylacrosse Says:

    It is difficult not to become cynical in times like these. Still, I think it helps to have a more optimistic outlook for the sake of our children, nieces, nephews, etc. We have to hold out hope for them, even if we don’t believe it ourselves.

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