When the weatherman predicts rain, do we assume he is just making it up for a good laugh? When a doctor prescribes us medicine, do we not take it due the dubious nature of doctors? When we walk into a building, are we terrified the building is going to collapse because the engineers who designed it know nothing about structural integrity? When an astrophysicist discovers a new planet, do we just chalk it up to a speck on the telescope? When a chemist discovers a new life-saving compound, do we brush it off as some scientist trying to make a name for him/herself?
The answer is no.
Whether it is something as simple as listening to weather reports or discovering galaxies far, far away we trust what the scientists tell us. We trust science when it comes to everyday aspects of our lives like assuming medicines will work, or the internal combustion engine in our car will start. We trust science on issues we don’t have a direct connection with like the discovery of new planets or the discovery of new species. We trust science on issues both big and small.
What’s interesting though is some people, like Republicans, accept all science except when they don’t like it. They accept all science except when it comes to things like climate change and evolution.
Republicans have a strong religious base that believes God created the world. So Republicans deny evolution. A politically convenient move.
Similarly, accepting climate change means accepting the fact that burning fossil fuels is bad for the environment. This means billion dollar subsidies for big oil becomes a little sketchy. This means lessening regulations on oil companies can’t simply be justified in the name of ‘job creation.’ Denying climate change, denying that one area of science, is much more convenient for them considering many of their major campaign contributors are big oil.
As Upton Sinclair put it, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Basically, Republicans accept science, with one caveat; they deny it when it is politically inconvenient.
Skeptics argue climate change is not an exact science, and yes, science evolves and it can change, but these climate change deniers have offered zero valid counter-evidence. They have come up with nothing debunking climate change; actually scientists have disproved all their claims.
They point to the fact that it was cooling in the 1970’s, well that was due to particulate pollution that blocked the sun’s rays. The EPA has since banned those types of pollutants because they caused cancer. They point to sun-spots as the problem, which I debunk here. They point to inaccurate temperature measurements, which was found to be untrue by a Koch-Brother funded study (they were not happy about the results).
The list goes on, but in reality over 97 percent of scientists agree climate change is real and it’s man-made.
Creationists are even worse. They’re just sticking to the story that God created the world with the only evidence being that the Bible says so.
The evolution deniers in the Republican party do not bother me as much as the climate change deniers. Climate change has real consequences. We are already seeing the devastating effects of a warming planet and it’s only going to get worse. Solving climate change is going to be difficult in its own right; the last thing we need is to have one political party deny its existence.
So Republicans need to stop denying sciences they don’t like. At some point real-world problems have to take precedent over appeasing campaign contributors.