The sad promotion of anti-science sentiment in the US


Public Policy Polling has come out with new survey results of the views of Republican primary voters and it is quite sad. They have the usual questions about whom they favor as candidates for the presidency and the leaders are Scott Walker with 25% followed by Ben Carson 18%, Jeb Bush 17%, and Mike Huckabee 10%.

But what struck me were the results on other issues. 66% do not believe in global warming, 49% do not believe in evolution, and 57% support establishing Christianity as the national religion. The survey sample size was just 316 voters so there was a margin of error of 5.5%, quite large.

Of course, while sad this is not surprising since Republican politicians and their public relations organ Fox News have been hammering away with these messages for a long time. Just a couple of days ago, senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma brought a snowball to the senate floor to convincingly refute the idea that 2014 was the warmest year on record. Ha ha, so clever! Take that, pointy-headed scientists!

No good can come to a nation that willfully seeks to promote ignorance. Science is the way of the future and those nations that embrace it will prosper and those that deny it will wither. These chickens will definitely come home to roost. The only question is when.

Comments

  1. Paulo Borges says

    As long as global warming and climate change are used as synonyms, this purposely deceiving discourse will continue. I say purposely deceiving because if I accept that it is the result of ignorance, all is lost.
    This issue of the utmost importance has to be addressed in a way that regular people can understand and the first thing to do is the explain the meaning of words like weather and climate.

  2. Dave Huntsman says

    “Of course, while sad this is not surprising since Republican politicians and their public relations organ Fox News….”

    In my opinion, you’ve got it reversed: It’s the Republicans that pander to Fox News; Fox never kowtows to the Republicans. The Republicans are the political action committee of Fox.

  3. anat says

    Paulo, the climate of the planet is changing, and the direction of change is of warming. Warming on average over the entire globe (ie global warming) does not preclude temporary instances of cold weather, nor does it preclude long-term cooling in particular areas. How hard is it to understand?

  4. Paulo Borges says

    Anat, the planet is getting warmer due to emissions, the rise in temperatures is changing the climate. The climate change besides permanent weather pattern change, will produce more extreme weather events which can be droughts, abnormal snow fall or stronger storms.
    This is what is say that needs to be passed to the public, I understand the process however many people don’t.

  5. oldoligarch says

    The climate has fluctuated between cooler and warmer periods throughout earth’s history.
    This pattern existed even before there were humans ,much less industrialization.
    The extent to which humans are contributing and exactly how we are doing so are legitimate scientific questions.

    Our major impact on the environment comes from our sheer numbers.

    If Western societies were truly guided by reason we’d do everything to continue negative population growth in those areas where it was occurring (eg. Europe) by severely limiting, if not ending immigration.

    In fact immigration from third world(high population growth) countries to first world (low population growth) countries would be ended,as would food and medicines from the first to the third world, letting nature take its course.
    The whole world would be better off with fewer people.

    Unfortunately the Left is dominated by emotion and not reason.

  6. Paulo Borges says

    @ldoligarch – If guided by reason, it would stand that the developed countries citizens should commit suicide in order to solve the problem, the problem is not the developing countries, the problem is the developed countries.
    We produce much more emissions per person and before some comes to point out the Chinese, Indian and other countries raise of emissions, we should keep in mind that many of the recent reductions come from outsourcing. Yes, the Chinese raised there emissions but please keep in mind that they raised them producing the products that we buy.

  7. Rhonda Lee says

    So, besides allowing plants to breath more freely, producing more food and oxygen, CO2 also decreases tornadoes and hurricanes. You’re welcome earth….CO2 is not a Toxic Gas!
    NOAA/NASA Dramatically Altered US Temperatures After The Year 2000
    Posted on June 23, 2014 by stevengoddard
    Prior to the year 2000, NASA showed US temperatures cooling since the 1930’s, and 1934 much warmer than 1998.
    NASA GISS: Science Briefs: Whither U.S. Climate?
    NASA’s top climatologist said that the US had been cooling
    Whither U.S. Climate?
    By James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Jay Glascoe and Makiko Sato — August 1999

    “Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought.”
    In the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country

  8. oldoligarch says

    @Paulo Borges
    Stop being condescending to people in the third world.Their not innocent,ignorant children being led around by evil,greedy Westerners.They know the score.But as long as the West bails them out by accepting their surplus population(often their best and brightest) and providing relief from the consequences of their lifestyles, they will never make the changes they need to in order to have a higher standard of living,and help preserve a better quality of life for humans and the other creatures with which we share this planet.

    If humans are contributing to climate change,deforestation is a major contributing factor.The conversion of natural habitats into farmland and living space for humans is a major cause of deforestation.
    When people immigrate they still have to be fed and housed, so the problem is transferred.

    I don’t expect people to commit suicide.They will undoubtedly struggle to exist.
    In any animal species overpopulation results in hardship until a balance is restored.Disease ,famine,conflict are the means by which nature does this. Humans are no exception to this rule.

    Leftist want to resolve these problems through education.I’m sorry,we don’t have that much time.

    Even if there is no anthropogenic climate change, we face other problems,which are clearly laid at our feet.
    The loss of biodiversity,the slow but steady accumulation of man-made chemicals in the biosphere.
    I’m afraid the web of life can only take so much stress before it collapses.

    Reason requires the West to recognize its limitations and to do what it can where it can,that is in Western countries.End immigration and foreign aid.Nature will do the rest.

  9. jws1 says

    Wow. A couple of crazies have descended into this blog post. Usually they know better and just remain lurkers.

  10. says

    Yet another poll that deals ONLY with Republicans, and implicitly pretends they’re the only people worth talking about. This is how Republicans win in America: by monopolizing everyone’s time and attention and making sure that no one even bothers to remember that anyone else even exists, let alone has something to say that isn’t in the Republicans’ script.

  11. says

    Leftist want to resolve these problems through education.I’m sorry,we don’t have that much time.

    We also want to resolve the problem through increased access to birth control. Guess who’s been consistently opposing us on this for DECADES.

  12. lanir says

    Well this is a depressing topic and moreso after reading the comments.

    @Rhonda Lee: The US government does not have a monopoly on thermometers or weather data, especially in the last several decades. Falsified data would be so blatantly obvious they might as well rent billboards that say “CONSPIRACY HERE”. You wouldn’t be using a handful of fringe papers as data points, it would be everywhere and it would ruin anyone involved with it. At the least it would be well known internationally and US climate science would be disregarded (you’d probably find it easy to dig up examples of this if it were happening).

    @oldoligarch: It’s understandable to want to simplify a problem and I even see why you would want the source of a problem to be someone else’s fault. This alone isn’t proof however nor is it an accurate pointer in that direction. There is no wand you can wave to make the people with the least access to resources and who also have the least influence on how anyone else uses their resources magically responsible for global resource problems. There’s also the issue of how things are made. We export a number of our polluting industries because companies want the apparent price breaks of being able to ignore environmental concerns without being fined and sued here or having their latest product marketing irreparably associated with a current (and local) ecological mess.

    It is also a bit ironic that you should mention not having time for education. There’s some truth to that. We don’t really have time for people to ignore the science on global climate change whlie they chase some pet theory that they find more comforting. So… odd as it may sound, please don’t believe me at all. Go learn something for yourself.

    EPA data on global greenhouse gas emissions by country (among other things):
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/global.html#four

    Don’t trust the US government? How about the UK? Maybe you’d be interested in finding out how they plan to approach the issues of climate change and developing countries:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/taking-international-action-to-mitigate-climate-change/supporting-pages/helping-poor-countries-to-adapt

    Don’t like either of those governments? Maybe there’s one you trust to have accurate data. Go look it up, it’s probably available with a few minutes spent on a search engine. Don’t like governments at all? Try looking up university studies. The whole point is to get educated, right? They’re generally considered a good source for that.

    The data is out there. Along the way you’ll probably find information on how to check aspects of it yourself. I think you’ll find that whoever has been feeding you the ideas you’ve mentioned is wrong. But if that’s not the case you’ll have plenty of data on your side next time you choose to spout off like this. What’ve you got to lose besides assumptions made in ignorance? Go learn something.

  13. oldoligarch says

    @12 Lanir,The problem is simple.There are too many people.Nature has built in solutions for this problem,we just keep interfering with them.
    Nor do I expunge the West we carry a share of the burden.But we haven’t forced automobiles,industry,high birth rate etc. on the third world.
    (By the way if collective guilt can be passed down the generations, can the credit for the good that was done be also? or does one’s guilt debt live on,but their good deeds die with them?)
    Ultimately I’m not concerned with assessing blame for the problem.
    But rather in eliminating or at least minimizing it’s impact on me and those I care for.

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