Have you noticed that this year’s Presidential candidates aren’t talking about abortion? Maybe because the subject seems so yesterday.
Instead, they’re bashing evolution and climate change.
Who could resist a nice down and dirty fight about climate change? One could hardly call it a “debate” when one of the charges being bandied about is that scientists are perpetrating a hoax to get more money for research (Which probably came as news to them.)
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has had enough. In fact, he’s royally pissed.
Today he reacts to the charge by Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota that climate change is a fraud by quoting a Jack Nicholson line from “As Good as It Gets”:
“Sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here.”
Apparently the candidates haven’t gotten the word, since they’re still selling crazy.
Climatologist Katherine Hayhoe of Texas, a voice of reason, explains climate change this way:
“As our atmosphere becomes warmer, it can hold more water vapor. Atmospheric circulation patterns shift, bringing more rain to some places and less to others.
“For example, when a storm comes, in many cases there is more water available in the atmosphere and rainfall is heavier. When a drought comes, often temperatures are already higher than they would have been 50 years ago, and so the effects of the drought are magnified by higher evaporation rates.”
Pretty basic stuff when you explain it that way. And if climate change is a fraud, tell that to the firefighters battling that Texas blaze the size of Connecticut.
Maybe it’s not fair to blame the candidates.
Maybe part of the problem is that so much of the electorate mistrusts not only the “geeks” and “nerds” who spend their lives in science but anyone who seems too brainy.
(Clinton disguised his formidable brain power with folksiness. Obama can’t or doesn’t.)
Maybe we’d rather have a president we can have a Bud Light with than one who supports science.
What would Galileo Think?
New ideas have always been a tough sell – especially new scientific ideas.
I sometimes wonder whether Galileo and Copernicus would feel comforted if they came back to find their theory about the earth revolving around the sun had ultimately prevailed.
If they do, let’s not tell them that 400 years later, one in five Americans and Britons still haven’t bought the idea. Or that a third of Russians haven’t either.
What do you think? Comment above
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