Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Anti-Intellectualism of Denial

Now hear this, America:

"Liberal fascism" is behind the concern for global warming. This is what the right -- and many "Libertarians" -- would have you believe about anyone who is concerned that we Americans be responsible stewards of God's creation. We "liberals" who voice a concern about the quality of the environment are not Christians, but rather "fascists."

Wow. I'm a fascist. Far out.

Despite the fact, however, that in July 2001 President George W. Bush stated clearly that "my Administration’s climate change policy will be science-based," the record of his administration has been one of resisting science, obfuscating scientific facts, and denying the reality of climate change. Despite a report of the National Academy of Sciences (commissioned by the Presaident) which affirmed and supported the findings of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climater Change, the Bush administration dug in its heels and denied the best science it had at its disposal. White House aides who were recruited from the American Petroleum Institute, a trade groups representing the oil industry, re-wrote US Government climate reports to obscure obvious links between fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas build-up.

Why? Simple: environmentalism is bad for business. So much for responsible Christian stewardship.

Federal agencies, under pressure by the Project for a New American Century and its functionaries in the Bush Administration have distorted science for political purposes. The Environmental Protection Agency’s main global warming website and its Global Change Research Program site have both been censored in recent years, even thought the US State Department's own website dealing with climate change has admitted that global warming is a real phenomenon caused by human consumption.

But after four years of internal censorship, the pressure of truth has overwhelmed the political pressure to lie about climate change, and the EPA has offered us some facts about global warming. Let me repeat this: the Environmental Protection Agency, right now, under the Bush regime is saying the following things about global warming:
  • Human activities are changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times are well-documented and understood.

  • The atmospheric buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is largely the result of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

  • An “unequivocal” warming trend of about 1.0 to 1.7°F occurred from 1906-2005. Warming occurred in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and over the oceans (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007).

  • The major greenhouse gases emitted by human activities remain in the atmosphere for periods ranging from decades to centuries. It is therefore virtually certain that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will continue to rise over the next few decades.

  • Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations tend to warm the planet.

What explains this craziness? Nothing new, actually, in American history; we've all seen this movie before. It's just good old-fashioned American anti-intellectualism.

This is the same anti-ntellectualism that says creationism is a "science." The same anti-intellectualism that says (as David Horowitz says) that academia is a haven for left-wing, revolutionary rhetoric. The same anti-intellectualism that said, in 2000, Al Gore is a boring snob, and George W. Bush is "regular folk." The same anti-intellectualism that fuels our image-driven (and therefore money-driven) political system.

Don't buy into this, folks. Read the science, which even the Bush administration concedes is real. Global warming is actually happening. So what do we do about it?


Anonymous said...

Skepticism is the heart of intellectual science and if you don't understand that you really, really need to learn about Scientific Method and the history of science. All the great scientific minds lashed out against the accepted intellect of the day and won.

Its unbelievably ironic that conformity to consensus is supposedly "intellectual" in modern times.

Dr. Fallon said...

The wonderful thing about anonymity is that you can lob whatever out-of-context grenade you want and walk away without the burden of responsibility; or without regard for caring about the burden of responsibility.

There is a difference between skepticism and politically-biased close-mindedness, in the same way that there is a difference between tolerance for diverse ideas and credulity.

I see that you include yourself among the "great scientific minds" of our day, because you refuse to believe in something that's been pretty-well established, empirically. You don't mention anything else about your political orientation. I'm SURE it's irrelevant. Or not.

It's unbelievably ironic that acceptance of creationism as a "science" is supposedly "intellectual" in (what you call) modern times. And the same is true of THIS denial of science.