Posts Tagged ‘bad science’

wrong side of history

images-174If you’re following politics at all, you’d be forgiven if you came to the conclusion that the Republican members of Congress are insane. What is happening in our country’s politics makes absolutely no sense…that is, until you factor in corporate money (legalized bribery) and rightwing extremism (the Tea Party and a loony-tunes brand of Christianity).

Three examples:

Guns
How in the world can a bill about basic background checks for gun purchases fail to win in the House, when 93% of the lawmakers’ constituents (the people they are elected to represent) want it? Especially when it’s already illegal for felons and spouse abusers and the mentally ill to purchase guns, and all that’s missing is a law that requires gun sellers to do a five-minute check to make sure the person trying to buy a gun isn’t in one of those categories.

The reason? Two things: Corporate money (these law makers are paid through campaign contributions to not agree to 7.6.12C.Money-Politics-610x427anything that would piss off gun manufacturers) and rightwing extremism (if you’re a lawmaker and the tea party nutwings find out you’re not toeing the party line, they will “primary” you).

ExxonMobile
How does ExxonMobile get to wreck an entire town in Arkansas with a sands oil spill and not have to explain to the public (or show photos) of how or why this happened? How do they get to legally keep reporters out of the area? How did they get a frickin’ no-fly zone over their clean up operations?!?! Why were they allowed to not make proactive repairs when they knew that the potential for disaster existed? (One executive famously stated: “We know the cost of a clean up operation is much less than the cost to improve equipment and avoid a disaster.”) And why we’re on the subject, why does this obscenely wealthy corporation get billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks every year???

The reasons? Legalized bribery. They give money to (usually) Republicans’ campaigns in exchange for no media accountability, lots and lots of free money and a free pass to fuck up the environment. And there are the extremists, of course. A tweet from Rep. Steve Stockman:

The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out.

95205167-global-warming-deniersClimate change
While the rest of the industrial world is working to curb global warming, why do our politicians continually vote against anything that would help to cool down the earth, even while 98% of scientists agree that a global temperature increase of just 5 degrees would be a disaster…AND that it’s becoming inevitable that this WILL happen if we don’t do something, and do it soon?

The reasons?

Corporate money: Reporters from The Independent researched the ways that corporate money is influencing politics in the area of climate change, and they discovered that the amount of money being spent on fighting the science of climate change is just over 500 million dollars each year. Here’s how it works: The Koch brothers (Bill and Charles), the guys who started (and fund) the Tea Party, own Koch industries, a large oil, gas and chemical conglomerate. Koch industries gives millions and millions of dollars each year to a group called the “Knowledge and Progress Fund,” which in turn gives the money to two sister groups: Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund. These two groups then spend shitloads of money “educating” the public against climate change, buying “scientists” who will de-bunk the real scientists’ research results, and paying off congresspeople. So, while 98% of scientists believe that it’s time to yell “fire!” in regards to global warming, these clowns are pretending that, “Oh my gosh! There are scientists out there who are totally against climate change!” The end results? The Koch brothers get richer, and we as a planet experience more and more deaths through “extreme weather events” (drought, storms, tornados, fires, floods) and get closer and closer to complete ecological ruin and the extinction of species, including our own. Good work, Bill and Charles.

bp-funds-tea-partys-climate-change-deniersExtremism: Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) appeared on Voice of Christian Youth America’s radio program Crosstalk with Vic Eliason a few months back to promote his new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, where he stated:

God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.

Enough said.

Of course, there are many, many more examples, including the corporations that are allowed to coat our vegetables with pesticides, the minimum wage, aid to the poor, colleges loans and more. Watch this space.

cartoon_380First, a couple facts:

FACT 1  95% of scientists believe that man is the chief cause of climate change.

FACT 2 – Of the 5% that don’t believe this, somewhere around 85% of them are being funded by wealthy energy companies.  Yes, those scientists’ conclusions are for sale.

Smokey Joe Barton (R) from Texas, chair of the energy committee and one of the biggest recipients of fossil fuel lobbying money of anyone in congress, explained in a recent congressional hearing why there is some confusion about the science behind climate change.

(This was regarding the Keystone Pipeline debate, which he supports, of course, because he’s being paid to support it.)

He says:

I would point out that people like me who support hydrocarbon development don’t deny that climate is changing.  I think you can have an honest difference of opinion of what’s causing that change without automatically being either all in that’s all because of mankind or it’s all just natural.

wearedestroyingearthvoteby08aug08oOk – before we get to the rest of his quote, let me just say this.  This is NOT a matter of opinion.  The “opinion” he’s referring to is “Am I going to listen to the vast majority – the 95% of scientists – who say this is a man-made change, or not?”  This isn’t a “difference of opinion” like “I prefer chocolate ice cream” or “I prefer vanilla ice cream” or even “I’m pro-background checks for gun purchases” or “I’m against background checks for gun purchases.”   No – this is about choosing whether or not to believe science.

Smokey Joe went on to state in this congressional hearing:

I would point out that if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change, and that certainly wasn’t because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.

Yup, he really said that.

web_287_kelly1

Megyn Kelly blasts Erickson: ‘Who died and made you scientist in chief?’

Click here for the epic smackdown on FOX “news” men for their blatant misogyny!

This is awesome.  

(I think I have a new crush.)

a_3x-horizontalClick here to find out how women bringing home the bacon is destroying America!

My favorite quote:  

Liberals are telling us that Conservatives are anti-science…but look at nature, the roles in the natural world, the roles of the female and the male in the animal world…the male is typically dominant!

Other great moments:

These are troubling statistics – our society is being torn apart.  In 4 out of 10 families the woman is the primary breadwinner.

Society is dissolving around us.

This should be in large letters on the front page in every newspaper!  Something is going terribly wrong in American society.  It’s hurting our children.  I don’t see how you can deny this.

There remains no room for independent thinking within the conservative movement.  Being a good liberal doesn’t require that you believe (or pretend to believe) lots of things almost certainly aren’t true; but being a good conservative does.

-Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist

images-152Krugman says that conservatives who acknowledge the connection between humans and global warming, or who oppose austerity and favor tax increases for the rich, for example, often find themselves disowned by the conservative movements.

Krugman has written before that there are some issues in which there is little room for debate because the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of one side, and yet conservatives continue to argue in favor of the opposite.  “The closed bubble they live in, comprised of FOX News and the like, allows them to continue to believe the things they want to believe, instead of the things that are true.”

In one example, he responded to critics of his stance against government belt-tightening by writing “maybe I actually am right,” in an April blog post.

By the way, more people may be starting to take up Krugman’s anti-austerity stance. The evidence against austerity 105525-Austerity-Failure-by-Paresh-Nath-The-Khaleej-Times-UAEis in fact so overwhelming that a few conservatives have voiced their opposition. But as Krugman and New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait note, the most outspoken critics like conservative Bloomberg columnist Josh Barro have had to pay the price, becoming disavowed by the movement as a whole.

What the conservative critics of the reformists within their ranks may be surprised to learn though, is that some of their very idols went against the dogma they’re espousing today. Former British Prime Minister and conservative icon Margaret Thatcher actually raised taxes, violating a major tenet of the current conservative movement. In fact, taxes as a share of the economy increased during her tenure.

images-150In addition, former President Ronald Reagan, a GOP hero, enacted the largest tax increase in four decades, according to Joseph J. Thorndike, the director of the Tax History Project at Tax Analyst. Reagan was able to obscure the increases though by giving them a different name: “revenue enhancements,” which came from closing loopholes in the tax code.

So, what do you think?  Why the correlation?  This goes beyond this graphic, but why are the most religious states also the states with the highest teen pregnancy rates, and the poorest states, and the most politically conservative states, and the states receiving the most in welfare and other government aid?  What is the connection?

Could it be that abstinence-only education leads to more pregnancy?  Or that religious guilt as a way of dealing with sexuality doesn’t equip young people to deal with their sexuality in a healthy way?

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