Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Tag: climate

Facepalm #56,751,331

From today’s NY Times headlines email:


“Science is like a compass. It can tell us where north is, but it can’t tell us if we want to go north. That’s where our morality comes in.”

NATHANIEL P. HITT, a fisheries biologist, on religion’s role in addressing climate change.

How many ways does a biologist manage to get THIS wrong?  I am going to point to just two.

  1. Climate change is nothing but a question of the continued survival of the human species – as well as a few thousand other species we’ll likely take down with us.  Do you need an appeal to extra-scientific concepts of morality for this?  Do you think there’s a difficult philosophical debate here?  Hmmm… should we choose a course that allows our species to continue to exist longer than two or three more generations? 
  2. If that question is your struggle how do you possibly think religion will help with it?  Name one moral question religion has ever gotten right.  Slavery?  Nope.  Treating women as if they were human?  Nope.   But a Pope gets on the bandwagon thirty years too late and everyone swoons.  
That’s not dealing with the question.  That’s abdicating it to “the mystery of the universe.”  To me the greatest mystery of the universe is this:  Year after year, these fuzz-brained faith-based lunatics, who obviously don’t give a damn about evidence as a way to answer important questions, get awarded science degrees.  How do they continue to fake it long enough to pull that off?

And if you think I am being harsh on Hitt and the quote might be taken out of context, the full article is much, much worse.  It’s as if a NY Times editor said, You know what this major USA newspaper really needs?  An article sucking up to Christianity!  Yeah, baby!  That’s courage!  Oh, Pulitzer committee….

Conservatives Need a Stupid Electorate

And not just about science.

Are you still wondering whether conservatives in the US are in the pocket of the oil/gas/coal industry?  (Or as I like to call it, “Oxidize Carbon for Christ!, LLC”)  Well, you can probably put that to rest with their approach to climate science.  James Inhofe (R – Oil Industry), chairing the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works has declared that climate change is no problem because God can fix it.  Or, perhaps, his top three campaign contributor categories: Oil & Gas, Electric Utilities and Lobbyists would just like him to keep stalling for a few more quarters.

But now take a look at Oklahoma conservatives’ objections to AP US History.  It takes a “consistently negative view” and fails to endorse “American exceptionalism.”

I presume they want to replace it with something that will better indoctrinate educate our youth as to why it was so Awesome that Columbus brought Jayzus to the Western Hemisphere, swept the continent clear to make it safe for white people and their slaves, and finally discovered humanity’s true destiny: ripping carbon from the ground in solid, liquid and gas forms (the holy trinity!), to finally find a use for all that surplus oxygen, and establish plutocracy as the Lord and the heirs of John D. Rockefeller intended.

The fact is that real education is the enemy of the US right-wing’s agenda.  Check the spelling on Tea Party signs if you don’t think this is so.  As the noted political philosopher Stephen Colbert has said,

“Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”  

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