Who’s Afraid of a ‘Science Laureate?’
So what happened to derail such a nonpartisan and noncontroversial idea?
Enter the Disinformation Lobby
According to a variety of sources, Republican support for the bill evaporated after an outcry from a vocal lobbyist named Larry Hart at the American Conservative Union (ACU). Spotting the science laureate bill on the list of items slated to bypass committee deliberation for a vote on the House floor, Hart wrote a strongly worded letter to Republican legislators urging them to oppose the bill.
Hart’s intervention speaks volumes about what’s wrong with our politics these days. His group falls squarely in the climate disinformation camp. The organization’s board, for instance, include Joe Bast, President of the Heartland Institute, famous for its blatant corporate-funded disinformation on tobacco, climate, and renewable energy; and Fred L. Smith, Jr. from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, also notorious for its climate disinformation work.
By now, we know all about these groups’ cynical disinformation tactics which include underhanded techniques honed by tobacco companies to try confuse the public about the dangers of cigarette smoking. Many of the same groups, now underwritten by fossil fuel interests, are working actively to try to confuse the public about the realities of climate science, renewable energy, and other issues.