Getting Science Under Control

November 10, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More

After the election of 2008, we fans of the rational and provable had high hopes that government may give as much credence to the scientific process and conclusions as to the disproved aspects of philosophies promulgated by churches and industry shills. We watched with waning hope as a series of attempts to honor that ideal got watered down. But at least it was an improvement.

But the 2010 election quickly reveals a backlash. Those whose cherished misunderstandings had been disrespected for the last couple of years now will have their day. As Phil Plait says, Energy and science in America are in big, big trouble. He begins,

“With the elections last week, the Republicans took over the House once again. The list of things this means is long and troubling, but the most troubling to me come in the forms of two Texas far-right Republicans: Congressmen Ralph Hall and Joe Barton.”

He goes on to explain why. It comes down to them being proven representatives for Young Earth and fossil fuel interests, doing whatever they can to scuttle actual science by any means necessary. Especially where the science contradicts their pet ideas.

Barton has published articles supporting climate change denialism. His main contributors are the extraction industries.

Hall has used parliamentary tricks to attempt to scuttle funding for basic research. The Democrats offered to compromised by cutting funding, and he refused in hopes that the whole bill would fail. It passed. Then Hall publicly called Democrats on the carpet for using tricks to fatten the bill by the amount that they offered to cut. The Proxmire spirit lives on.

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Category: American Culture, Current Events, Energy, global warming, Law, Orwellian, Politics, populism, Propaganda, Religion, Science, scientific method

About the Author ()

A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (2)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    I share your concern, Dan. Motivated big money subverts scientific inquiry. Big money can spew out bad science, drowning out good science.

    It's looking like the fossil fuel industries are going to continue being the guiding light of Congress.

    China is working hard at being green, which will probably make the conservatives hate China rather than working hard to make the U.S. green.

  2. Jim Razinha says:

    I live in the state that those two are from and am dismayed often, most recently at the textbook debacle the State Board of Education wreaked. Still waiting to see the fallout from that one.

    And Erich, what will be lost in China's construction of coal-fired plants at an incredible rate is that nugget you point out that they are working harder at being green than the US. They are building a higher efficiency plant a month while the US debates whether to build its first.

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