Monday, December 11, 2006

Clueless Conservatives and Global Warming

I'm always amazed at the depth of scientific ignorance exuded by the conservative Republicans in Washington. Take, for instance, recent comments by the outgoing chairperson of the Senate Environment Committee, James Inhofe. Here's a link to an article heard on NPR:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6591614

The not-so-honorable senator from Oklahoma has been a stalwart warrior against science and reason, especially on the issue of global warming. According to Inhofe, the issue of global warming has been "the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people," echoing views expressed by his leader, President Bush. He then went on to say that the media was at fault for keeping the hoax alive, naming all the great news networks and services (except Fox, of course). The media wasn't given a chance to reply. Go ahead and blame the messenger, James, it's a sign of desperation.

Inhofe dredged up a couple of unknowns to back up his statements, one of whom actually said that, instead of stopping the release of greenhouse gases, we should instead emit as much as possible, to "stop another ice age." Come again!? Never mind that all the great minds of science agree that mankind has been the leading cause of greenhouse gases and that the effects of global warming are being felt everywhere in the environment, including the destruction of Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves and the resulting rise in ocean levels, the death of coral and other sensitive animals, and even the greater strength of hurricanes due to warmer waters, such as was seen with hurricane Katrina. Adversaries of scientific reason used to say global warming was a hoax because there wasn't firm data. When scientists showed firm data, those people claimed it was a natural phenomenon, as seen in eons past. When scientists showed data that current temperature increases and carbon dioxide concentrations were far, far higher than anything in the past, those people now claim it is somehow good for us. Maybe next they'll say it'll be nice to go outside and enjoy a pleasant sauna in the wintertime.

It boggles my mind how conservative Republicans can think this way. We're talking here about nothing less than saving the world. Wouldn't you rather trust the word of thousands of scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying global warming, or would you instead focus on the opinions of a few outside dissenters and help corrupt industries and their lobbyists avoid anti-pollution legislation? Seems like a no-brainer if your goal is safeguarding our people, eh?

For a good treatise on the global warming, see Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." Here's a link evaluating the movie: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/05/060524-global-warming.html

Lucky for us, Democrats now control both houses, and liberal senator Barbara Boxer (who agrees with scientists) will control the committee. Though Inhofe will still sit on the committee, he won't be able to call meetings or block legislation. Go, Barbara!

1 comment:

Vegetating Vegan said...

Let's say the climate change deniers are right.

It doesn't mean we shouldn't try to stop air and water pollution, the destruction of wetlands and rainforests, and the damage we cause other species. In short, even if the climate was stable, it doesn't mean we can keep on polluting and gobbling up resources!