Yes, dear readers, I have arrived at long last. Climate change denying right wing performing clown “Steve Goddard” (real name: Tony Heller) has named me his “Climate Moron of the Day,” after a rather hilarious Twitter fight.
As Florida governor Rick Scott tries to deny he told state officials not to use the terms “climate change” or “global warming,” another Republican state lawmaker, Rep. John Wood, now says carbon dioxide can’t possibly be harmful to the atmosphere because God gave it to us.
Wood said he does not think that carbon dioxide emissions, also known as CO2, was causing air pollution.
“If you consider CO2 to be a pollutant, than everybody zip up their mouths and don’t exhale for the rest of the meeting because you are polluting the air,” he said.
“CO2 in my opinion is not a pollutant,” Wood said. “God gave us C02 to grow plants, for us to exhale, everything else.”
Wood (which is apparently also the material his head is made of) is also convinced the sea level isn’t rising despite what those egghead scientists are trying to trick us into believing.
Wood said he thought Florida’s compliance with the federal plan to curb carbon dioxide emissions would place “draconian costs” on the state and not produce much of an impact on the climate or rising sea levels.
“The impact on the level of the sea…is equivalent to the difference in this piece of paper,” he said, holding up a single sheet of paper. “For me, that is not good science. That is not a good reason to implement this provision on the people of Florida.”
You may have heard that the moderator for the first Republican presidential debate will be right wing talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, which makes total sense from the GOP’s point of view — because he’s guaranteed not to ask any questions that might be embarrassing. For example, whether they reject the scientific theory of evolution.
In an interview with radio host Aaron Klein that will air Sunday night on New York’s AM 970 The Answer, Hewitt ruled out certain types of questions completely.
“I don’t care what people think about evolution,” he told Klein. “I don’t care. I never cared. I don’t care if they know how old the earth is and I just have never cared about personal religious beliefs.”
This is the latest Republican talking point on evolution, of course; who cares? What does it matter?
It matters because Republican politicians at every level of government are still, in 2015, trying to find ways to sneak the teaching of creationism into public school science classes. In Louisiana, for example, where Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law a “teach the controversy” bill sponsored and written by the creationist Discovery Institute.
It would be especially embarrassing this time around, too, because it looks like this may be the first GOP presidential race in which all of the candidates are creationists.
And this is why they’re now pretending it doesn’t matter. Classic dishonest misdirection from the anti-science party that specializes in it.
We should also note, by the way, that Hugh Hewitt himself is a creationist. (h/t: Timothy Sandefur.)
“Doubt is our product”
Peter Sinclair from the Yale Climate Forum reviews a documentary that details how marketing doubt about science became profitable for multiple industries and their shills.
In March 2015, Robert Kenner, the Director of “Food Inc” and other acclaimed documentaries, will debut his newest, “Merchants of Doubt”.
Based on the book by Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway, the film follows the development of sophisticated methods for distorting science, used by the Tobacco industry to hide the poisonous nature of their products, and adapted by the Fossil Fuel industry to distort the science around climate change.
Note: the documentary has had limited showings in the UK and US at festivals and limited venues, the Official release is in March.
Nevada Republican assemblywoman Michelle Fiore, last seen at LGF when she said “hot little girls” on campus need guns to protect themselves against rapists, is telling her constituents tonight that cancer is a fungus that can be flushed out with salt water and baking soda.
Yes, she really said that. This is your Republican Party in 2015.
I was going to start this post by wishing everyone a Happy Darwin Day (it’s Charles Darwin’s birthday), but unfortunately it’s not a very happy occasion — because this country still has far too many religious fanatics who refuse to accept the fact of evolution through natural selection: On Darwin Day, 5 Facts About the Evolution Debate.
Of all the major religious groups in the U.S., white evangelical Protestants are the most likely to reject evolution. A solid majority (64%) of white evangelicals in a 2013 poll said that humans and other living things have always existed in their present form, while only 27% said that humans evolved. These views are largely mirrored by the positions of large evangelical churches, such as the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which explicitly reject evolutionary theory as being in conflict with what they see as biblical truth.
Some people will try to tell you this is just a private belief and doesn’t matter; but these people are not only indoctrinating their children with this Dark Ages anti-science rejectionism, they’re continually trying to force their views on everyone else’s children by sneaking creationism into public schools. And since this strategy has been consistently foiled by the courts, they’re now using a new technique to get at the children of America: taxpayer-funded religious schools that teach young Earth creationism and reject evolution entirely.
In an age when science and technology are vitally important skills, another entire generation of kids is having their critical thinking abilities deliberately sabotaged by fanatics.
Walker re: evolution: “I’m going to punt on that one as well. That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another.”
Walker obviously knows that in Britain, acceptance of the fact of evolution is nearly universal — and Brits know that in the US, rejection of evolution among Republicans is nearly universal. That’s why the question was asked, and that’s why Walker dodged it, because he knew that answering truthfully would make him look like a fool.
As for his comment that “a politician shouldn’t be involved” in this issue, that’s also incredibly disingenuous. Walker is undoubtedly aware that Republican politicians have been heavily involved in trying to sneak creationism into US public schools for decades, and in Wisconsin many taxpayer-funded voucher schools (a very popular Republican idea) are currently teaching young Earth creationism to students.
What a disgrace.
And now Ted Cruz weighs in with what’s obviously going to be the GOP’s talking point on vaccines: Cruz: Parents With ‘Religious Convictions’ Should Get a Pass on Vaccines.
That’s right. “Religious freedom” is now going to include the freedom to put your own children — and other people’s children — at risk of death from entirely preventable diseases.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday said he believes children should be vaccinated, but he said he supports exemptions for people with certain religious beliefs.
Cruz said that there is “widespread agreement” that children should be vaccinated, but he added that states should be in charge of deciding whether vaccines are mandatory, according to Politico. He also said that states should consider exceptions for those with “good faith, religious convictions.”
The Texas senator said that he has had his children vaccinated.
“We’ve got two little girls, we’ve vaccinated both our girls and would encourage people to do the same,” he told Politico.
And of course, he falls back on the eternal whine of the persecuted Republican; it’s that left wing media just making stuff up again.
Cruz told reporters that the controversy over vaccines is “largely silliness stirred up by the media,” according to Politico.
“Nobody reasonably thinks Chris Christie is opposed to vaccinating kids other than a bunch of reporters who want to write headlines,” he said.
Is Chris Christie actually opposed to vaccinating kids, or is he just pandering to the anti-vaxx crowd? Only he knows the truth of that, but this is far from the first time he’s made statements suggesting parents should be able to choose whether or not to vaccinate.
We should also note that Ted Cruz is simply restating a plank of the Texas GOP platform.
Immunizations ― All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves or their minor children without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.
I predicted the GOP would become the anti-vaccine party a few days ago; looks like it’s happening even faster than I thought it would.
GOP Posts Crudely Edited Copy of State of the Union Speech, Deletes Sections on Climate Change and Antisemitism
I started to write “unbelievable,” but this is sadly all too believable — and horrifyingly emblematic of a political party that is quite literally denying reality: Republicans Post Doctored Version of State of the Union, Censor Facts on Climate Change.
(The video above is set to start right before the clumsy edit.)
In the website’s “enhanced webcast” of the State of the Union speech, President Obama’s comments criticizing Republicans for saying they are “not scientists” when it comes to climate change are erased.
At the 43:25 minute mark, President Obama is supposed to say “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”
And that’s not all. The Republicans also edited out Obama’s remarks denouncing the rise of antisemitism.
The 43:25 minute mark is not the only place where the video is edited. At the 44:51 minute mark, a section is edited out where Obama spoke of respecting “human dignity,” prohibiting torture, and speaking out against anti-Semitism. The section that is edited out reads as follows: “As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world.”
The reason why they removed the climate change section is obvious - they’re in massive denial about this issue. But it’s also obvious that they took out the reference to rising antisemitism because it conflicts with their propaganda that Obama is anti-Jewish.
Senate Democrats led by Bernie Sanders have proposed a measure designed to make Republicans go on the record as climate change deniers: Senate to Vote on Whether Climate Change Is Happening.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he will allow the Senate to vote on an amendment asking if they agree that climate change is impacting the planet.
But a measure proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had raised questions about whether he would stick to that commitment.
The Sanders measure asks whether lawmakers agree with the overwhelming consensus of scientists who say climate change is impacting the planet and is worsened by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
Democrats believe the measure could be a tough vote for some Republicans, particularly GOP senators running for reelection in 2016 in states carried by President Obama in 2012.
I predict the Republicans will have no problem coming right out with a public denial of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. This is absolutely mainstream Republican head-in-the-sand policy, and they’ll all toe the line or risk being labeled a RINO. It’s also completely insane and irrational, and seriously dangerous.
Maybe after they vote that climate change isn’t real, the next vote should be on whether the Earth is round or flat.