Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Why Do Republicans Hate Science?

You might think the title of this posting is severe, but I don't. Take a look at the record of things Republicans have fought for over the last 50 years:

They fought against the science linking tobacco to lung disease and did so even after they already knew the science was conclusive;

They fought to push the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), commonly known as Star War, even though the scientists said it was not feasible. Just one fact was enough to invalidate the entire idea - it is a lot cheaper to make dummy warheads than to defend against them. The Soviet Union merely had to make massive amounts of dummy warheads to overwhelm any system we devised. This was just one of many scientific criticisms of the plan. The politicians were aware of this, but the Republicans pursued SDI anyway;

They fought against the science of acid rain. The science was conclusive that sulfur emissions were causing acid rain, which was devastating the environment and caused numerous health issues. And yet, the Republicans did, and still do, deny that science and claim it is okay to overwhelm the atmosphere with sulfur emissions;

They fought against legislation addressing the ozone hole and denied the dangers it presented to the environment and the public;

They fought, and continue to fight, the science showing the dangers of second-hand smoke. The science is conclusive, but let's ignore that. Try to imagine a world where inhaling cigarette smoke directly is very harmful, but inhaling it second-hand isn't. You have to really reject science to buy into that line of reasoning;

They are now engaging in a campaign to denigrate Rachel Carson and are labeling her as a mass murderer for her efforts to bring the dangers of DDT to light. Their line of reasoning is a U.S. ban prohibited other countries from using DDT and this led to an explosion of malaria. This is a double false argument and extremely deceptive. No ban in the U.S. affects any other country and American chemical manufacturers are free to manufacture and sell DDT to other countries. In fact, they have. DDT use continued worldwide long after the American ban. The problem is mosquitoes rapidly develop resistance to it. An examination of the cases cited by the Republicans and their supporters shows DDT spraying not only continued in areas that experienced increases in malaria, the amount of spraying and the concentration of the solution both increased. The problem was not a lack of DDT. The problem was too much DDT. Why don't the people criticizing Rachel Carson tell the whole truth?;

Virtually every public supporter of creationism is a Republican. The people who fight to include this pseudoscience in our schools and try to water down the proven science of evolution are hurting our children by undermining our education system. When I had students working for me I would automatically reject the application of anyone subscribing to creationism. My reasoning was that if they rejected science once, they could be counted on to do it again. My experience has been they do;

And, of course, the Republicans are leading the charge on undermining the proven science of global warming a climate change. They seem to think they are being clever with the line, "I'm not a scientist, but..." then proceed to show how they have total disdain for the entire scientific community. They don't care what the science says. If it goes counter to their beliefs, then it is bad and needs to be rejected;

The COMPETE Act that passed the House but failed in the Senate, which eviscerated funding for geosciences and climate science, passed on a wholly Republican vote;

Republican donors hide their funding of anti-science lobbyists by using third-party entities, such as Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund. If they thought what they stood for was so right, why are they working so hard to hide and deny their funding?;

Now, take a look at the stand the presidential candidates take on climate change. Every Democrat agrees manmade emissions are causing climate change. Only a few Republicans agree and those that do hedge their stance with comments about how we can't hurt the economy. Where does destroying the environment, causing millions of deaths and causing economic hardships help the economy? Oh, that's right! I forgot! It helps the billionaires providing the fossil fuels and, surprise!, funding the Republicans. What a coincidence.

This is quite a list. Unfortunately, I could go on, but I think I made my point. Republicans, for whatever reason, hate science. You can debate the pros and cons of this. You can argue the whys and wherefores. But, the bottom line is this: Republicans hate science.

Now, why is that and what are you going to do about it?

Disclaimer: I am not a Democrat and am not a liberal. In fact, I have voted Republican many times in the past (as well as Democrat and Independent) and may do so in the future. But, I will vote Republican in the future only if they start accepting science instead of rejecting it.

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