Washington, DC. With Florida Senator Marco Rubio's recent pronouncement that climate change is not caused by human activity and any efforts to arrest that change will bring about irrevocable economic armageddon, the Republican Party continues to solidify its image as the anti-science party.
In some ways this is a good thing, as it distracts from the general impression that the GOP is only the anti-woman, anti-middle class, anti-union, anti-minority party, but for Rubio this could be a problem. You see, Florida is basically flat. In fact, the highest elevation in the state is 345 feet, that being Britton Hill. Whoever named this insignificant bump had the good sense not to call it Britton Mountain, possibly foreseeing that Florida would already be a punchline for myriad other reasons. But the fact remains that the average elevation in the Sunshine State is about 6 feet.
Why could this spell trouble for Senator Rubio? Because Florida is already experiencing rising tides and floods as a result of polar icecap melting and very few of his constituents can live for extended periods of time under water, although admittedly it would be amusing to watch his voters try.
Which brings us to the mysterious disappearance of Republican scientists.
Not too many years ago there were about equal numbers of scientists who identified as Republicans or Democrats. But in a Pew poll conducted back in 2009, researchers discovered an alarming phenomenon: Republican scientists were disappearing. Now only 6% of professional scientists claimed to be Republicans. Where did they go? Were they dying off? Were they being kidnapped by foreign governments? Extraterrestrials?
Actually, I lied about the mystery part to add drama. It's about as mysterious as the reason most African-Americans vote Democratic. In other words, people are averse to supporting a political party that hates their fucking guts. And with scientists, it's not just about lack of respect for their persons, but for their very profession and life's work.
This is transparently evident in the Republicans' in-your-face-Poindexter choices for seats on the House Science Committee, from current chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) who has made a career out of opposing anything that might benefit the environment while stuffing his pockets with over $500,000 in oil and gas money, to Paul Broun (R-GA) who believes evolution is "a lie from the pit of Hell," to Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) who opines that global warming will result in world-wide bumper crops, to Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) who just knows that carbon dioxide is irrelevant, that polar bears are not becoming extinct and that dinosaur flatulence was responsible for past climate events. And of course to a man they all believe that climate change is a liberal hoax designed to destroy America and to make Jesus Koch cry.
That 97% of climate scientists think that these Republican oxygen thieves are dumber than a crate of football mallets means nothing to them, but it does to the scientists, who are valiantly doing what they can to keep Marco Rubio's benighted voting base from treading water in their living rooms.
The Pew poll cited here was conducted in 2009. I have not seen new numbers, but my guess is that they have not improved for the GOP. And they won't, until Republicans start treating Science and scientists with respect. I mean, Dana Rohrabacher on the Science Committee? That's like putting Michele Bachmann on the Intelligence Committee. Oh wait...
©2014 Kona Lowell
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