Anti-science Republicans and their vision for the future of America

A few days ago, I was jumping around the web, reading the news, when a comment that someone had left after an article caught my attention. A woman had asked what the Republican endgame was. She wanted to know where, if we stopped resisting and allowed them to lead us, the Republicans would take us. I thought that it was a great question, and prepared to respond, when someone else offered the following… We’d be a snake-handling nation of hunter gatherers with advanced military aircraft, he said. As I couldn’t possibly do any better, I moved on to something else. But, the question, and its answer, have stuck with me ever since. And, current events, I’m sorry to say, are making that particular scenario seem all too possible.

Let’s start with Joe Barton, the man who very likely could be the Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He, among other things, doesn’t think the government has any place telling us that we should replace our “traditional” incandescent light bulbs with those “little, squiggly, pig-tailed ones.” (Advocating for energy conservation, I think we’d all agree, has no place on the Energy Committee, especially at a time when we have such an unlimited abundance of non-renewable resources.) You might know him better, though, as that Congressman who bravely stood up and apologized to BP’s CEO Tony Hayward after the Obama administration asked the company to pay for the cleanup of the Gulf. But, others are vying for the position now held by California’s Henry Waxman. Fortunately for us, they’re all three climate change deniers.

One of these men is John Shimkus. John, like Joe Barton and almost all other Republicans these days, does not believe in global warming. Unlike these folks, though, he doesn’t rely on the bad science of oil industry lobbyists to make the case. No, he doesn’t have to. He goes right to the source – to God directly. Global climate change, according to Shimkus, can’t be real because God told Noah after the flood that he would never destroy the world again. I could see how some might think it risky to have someone with a less than open mind on such a critical issue running the Energy Committee, seeing as how an overwhelming percentage of climate scientists are telling us that we have a very small window in which to avert global catastrophe, but I for one would find comfort in his certainty that God is “infallible, unchanging, perfect.” The sad truth of the matter is that science is depressing, and what we need right now, more than anything, is to feel good about ourselves. People, after all, don’t buy SUVs, air conditioners and snuggies when they think the world is ending.

Fortunately, there’s likely to be a whole lot less science under Republican leadership. Here’s a clip from a recent article in the New York Times:

Federal financing of science research, which has risen quickly since the Obama administration came to power, could fall back to pre-Obama levels if the incoming Republican leadership in the House of Representatives follows through on its list of campaign promises.

In the Republican platform, Pledge to America, the party vows to cut discretionary nonmilitary spending to 2008 levels. Under that plan, research and development at nonmilitary agencies — including those that sponsor science and health research — would fall 12.3 percent, to $57.8 billion, from the Mr. Obama’s request of $65.9 billion for fiscal year 2011.

An analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science looked at what would happen if all of the agencies were cut to the 2008 amounts. The National Institutes of Health would lose $2.9 billion, or 9 percent, of its research money. The National Science Foundation would lose more than $1 billion, or almost 19 percent, of its budget, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would lose $324 million, or 34 percent…

That’s what I call a win – win. Not only do we save some money that can go toward corporate welfare and advanced military weapons systems, but we do so by cutting the funding of those pesky climate scientists who are to blame for all the Henny Penny hysterics over the adverse affects of CO2 in the atmosphere. And, I think we all know that the new Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is absolutely right when he says that it’s “almost comical” to suggest that greenhouse gasses are bad for the planet. As a former executive in the plastics industry, he should know, right?

Fortunately for democracy, America’s patriotic corporations are stepping up to assist the Republicans in their righteous fight against environmental regulations. Here, on that subject, is a clip from as article in the Guardian that ran right before the midterm election:

The next Congress is expected to throw up a whole new set ofroadblocks to Barack Obama’s environmental agenda – from time-consuming investigations to budget cuts.

So how much was the fossil fuel industries willing to pay to help cast out White House allies on energy and climate change?

A lot, it turns out. Oil and coal lobby groups have spent $69.5 million on television ads specifically targetted against Obama clean energy policies in these mid-term elections, according to data compiled by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

That’s a 10-to-1 advantage over clean energy groups. Opinion polls are all predicting big wins in tomorrow’s elections for Republicans, especially Tea Party candidates…

Climate scientists, the sneaky sons-of-bitches that they are, are speaking out en masse, but I suspect that our true patriots will come forward to drown them out with the beautiful music of corporate free speech. God bless them.

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11 Comments

  1. jeez-louise
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Some of this reads like an article on The Onion. We are in so much trouble. That Noah part almost made me spit my Pepsi.

  2. Edward
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I would think that you’d have to believe in science to serve on the Energy Committee. Then again, I’d think that you would have to believe in science to be elected to the House. It’s terrifying that our future rests in the hands of these men.

  3. TeacherPatti
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why you are making fun of the God-Noah thing. Moses told me that God told Noah who told Abraham who told Sarah who told Elijah (okay I’m about out of biblical names) that the world has a ton of nonrenewable resources and there is no such thing as “global warming”. Also, the world is only actually five HUNDRED years old & that Jesus rode a dinosaur through the streets of London while singing Clang, Clang, Clang goes the trolley. Moses told me he’d Facebook me back when he had more information. He’s a good guy, Mo is.

    I’ve also wondered what their ultimate plan for us is. For sure, a permanent underclass of people whose only opportunity for education will come from either for-profit schools with teachers reading scrips (oh that’s already happening you say?) or from way underfunded public non-profit schools that cram 80 kids into a room with no books or resources. I’m sure they also wouldn’t mind another tier of college educated folks who are so saddled by student loans that they have to indenture themselves to corporationXYZ for $30,000 a year for life. These folks of course will feel superior to the underclass because, after all, THEY HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE MOTHERFUCKER. Then there will be the top 1% that controls the wealth and doesn’t share any with the rest of us. And there is our three tiered system folks!

  4. Peter Larson
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Actually, their plan is to have the wealthiest nation in the world be completely run by Joe the Plumber, with puppet strings pulled by the Koch Brothers. Joe the Plumber doesn’t read, so why do you need to?

    That the Republicans don’t see the merit in research is troubling to say the least. Scientific research is what made this country a technological powerhouse, and what continues to drive the most important and exportable resource we have, which are our universities.

  5. Robert
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I thank God for granting us all such a limited life expectancy. Watching all this for more than a few decades would be absolutely unbearable.

  6. John Galt
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    If it were up to you liberals we’d make it illegal for cows to fart. Gas is natural. Get over it. Your scare tactics don’t work here. You cannot control us. We are free men, and we’ll leave our cars running all day if we want to. And why should we fund science? So we can have mice with human brains? So we can make things out of dead babies? We are on to you. We know the Devil when we see him.

  7. Stephen
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I bet you anything, though, that when one of these guys like Shimkus wants a boner, he reaches for the Viagra bottle and not the Bible. They love science when it suits them. They just don’t want to pay for it.

  8. Edward
    Posted November 17, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    If they cut funding to the NIH and the NSF we’re fucked not just now, but the foreseeable future. I don’t think people realize how important this funding is, not just in terms of the economic benefit that eventually results, but it terms of the future of the human race. I find it absolutely appalling that we, as a nation, would choose to keep funding unprovoked foreign wars and tax cuts for the rich, at the expense of scientific research and providing health care to our sick and vulnerable. Our president should resign himself to being a one term president, and spend this next two years absolutely kicking ass. I’d love to see that.

  9. Posted November 17, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    In a word, the average American doesn’t see how important the NIH and the NSF are. To make matters worse, they have to listen to misinformation by rightists and religious leaders maligning these programs left and right.

    The Repugs have made it well clear that they don’t give a shit about science, health or jobs that people with degrees can do. Basically, they’d love to have a non-state where wealthy people sit on their porches in pristine white suits sipping lemonade, watching their poor serfs toil away picking cotton all day long.

  10. Posted November 17, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Agreed. Our research universities should be proactive on this and initiate a campaign making the case as to why basic scientific research is important, and not wait for the Republicans to strike the first blow.

  11. D.
    Posted December 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    These are the anti-science Christians that you’re up against.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Lb–n7NP8

    You will never convince them.

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