Political Science vs. Science Science – By Peter Nichols

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Peter Nichols on a recent Washington Post Op-Ed: My generation is being condemned to a planet beyond fixing because political science takes precedence over science science. If world governments don’t come together and act in concert to do something to stabilize the climate, and soon, we will make sure they are no longer governments.

extreme weather, climate disruption

There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than there has been at any point in human history. It got there from human combustion of fossil fuels. The science is settled. Photo: Hurricane Sandy.

Oil on an Oil Fire: Why We Must ACT NOW on Global Warming and Deny the Political Science that’s Burning the Planet

By Peter Nichols

Josh Fox, the creator of the whistle-blowing documentary that made flaming faucets famous, “GasLand,” made a sequel short film called “The Sky is Pink.” In it he chronicles the difference between “investigative” journalism and “he said/she said” journalism. It is available for your viewing pleasure here. http://vimeo.com/44367635

Inspired, I’ve decided to textually mimic his process. I respond as directly and as frequently as possible to writing that I find dangerously, willfully misleading. Ed Rogers, your recent opinion piece “Democrats must quit denying the political science of global warming,” qualifies, so here we go.

Dear Ed Rogers,

You cut to the quick. Good job. You cite your sources. Bonus Points.

“American taxpayers spent $7.45 billion to help developing countries cope with climate change in fiscal years 2010 through 2012, according to a federal government report submitted to the United Nations on a subject that Secretary of State John Kerry described as “a truly life-and-death challenge.” Patrick Goodenough of cnsnews.com

You describe that fact as “an outrage,” and call on Congress to stop that spending, or re-route the money, perhaps towards extending unemployment insurance benefits for three months, as outlined in a bill proposed by Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.), with a price tag of $6.5 billion.

Then you launch some real catchy verbiage…

“Forget all the talk about the scientific reality of global climate change. Instead, let me assert a political reality: World governments are not going to come together and act in concert to do anything that will alter the climate or the weather any time soon. It’s not going to happen.

“Democrats need to quit denying the political science on the global warming issue. You don’t have to be a climate denier to think that wasting billions while our country goes deeper and deeper into debt is ineffective.”  — Ed Rogers

To which can only respond with a big and bold WHAT THE FUCK!?!

Really? You advocate for Political Science taking precedent over Science Science? That is not only dumb, it is dangerous. It contains tannins reminiscent 1930’s Fascism, …or 1630’s Catholicism and their attacks on Galileo’s Heliocentrism.

fracking, environmental impacts

Political Science has trumped science science, and allowed fracking for oil and gas, despite proof of its harm done to water resources, air quality, ecosystems, and climate stability. Photo: Frack Pads in Wyoming, By EcoFlight.

Political Science — and Climate Denialism — are Expensive

But your demented mind did manage to produce one squirt of truth, that last sentence. “You don’t have to be a climate denier to think that wasting billions while our country goes deeper and deeper into debt is ineffective.”

I found this on whitehouse.gov

The Administration continues to invest in the Nation’s military servicemembers and their families and provides them with the training, equipment, and infrastructure needed to maintain military readiness. The President’s 2012 Budget for the Department of Defense (DOD) reflects that commitment, proposing $553 billion – an increase of $22 billion above the 2010 appropriation.

US military

Seems like the priorities in the US are somewhat skewed, spending millions on an unnecessary tank while the planet burns.

Then I went on to learn that in 2012 the Gross Domestic Product of the United States was an estimated $16,240,000,000,000. Some elementary school math led me to conclude that the equivalent of 3.5% of the money made in the U.S. in 2012 got spent by the Department of Defense.

That stat kind of dwarfs the $7.5 bil spent in aid over 3 years huh?

Oh and don’t you go thinking for a second that that money is getting spent in a wise manner. In April of 2013 Congress forced the U.S. Military to spend $436 million on a weapon, the Abrams Tank, that the U.S. Military explicitly says is not needed. But hey, that’s “Political Science” for you.

Another thing, U.S. taxpayers annually subsidize the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $500 billion smackeroons. That’s money that sure could do a lot of good toward reducing the national deficit, not to mention mitigating the drivers behind the present and worsening climate chaos. Or, you know helping the domestic U.S. cope with catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina which came with a clean up price tag of $128 billion, or Hurricane Sandy, $50 billion, or that 2012 drought which cut America’s GDP by 0.5 – 1 percentage points, a loss of $75 billion to $150 billion depending on who you ask and how they stack it.

Oil Burning Delusionals Do More Damage Than Global Warming Deniers

And then there is your conclusion:

“Global climate change should be part of the election debate in 2014. The act of throwing money at developing countries to “cope” with climate change in order to ease the collective liberal conscience is absurd and it should be exposed. The United States does not set a useful example by wasting taxpayer money on overseas programs while we need that money here at home. At this point, global warming delusionals are doing more damage than global warming deniers.”

Ed, read much Ed Abbey? He scribbled this gem, “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” Ed, ever thrown water on a gas fire? Ed, are you aware that thanks to the Obama Administration the U.S. is now the largest producer of oil in the world?

extreme weather, climate change

The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more heat gets reflected back, the more water evaporates, the more convection in our climate systems, the more dramatic weather events.

A quick spot of science. There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than there has been at any point in human history. It got there from human combustion of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. That means that it functions like the plastic covering of a greenhouse. It reflects heat back towards the earth’s surface. The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more heat gets reflected back, the more water evaporates, the more convection in our climate systems, the more dramatic weather events. It’s what’s called a positive feedback cycle. Meaning the effects get larger, the further they are removed from the cause. Wonder what will happen when, as the U.S. Navy predicts, we experience an ice-free arctic summer in 2016.

So all that liberal rhetoric such as “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing. We will be judged as a people, and as a society, and as a country on where we go from here.” is without result. It is absurd and it should be exposed. Again, Ed, in a limited sense, you’re right: “At this point, global warming delusionals are doing more damage than global warming deniers.” The delusionals, Obama foremost among them, are making things way worse. In our President’s own words:

“Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quad­rupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth, and then some.?.?.?”  — President Obama

That is more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. That is oil thrown onto an oil fire. The water thrown on the oil fire is the liberal conscience driven policies, which ineffectively treat symptoms, ignore root causes, and keep the climate fires burning.

Ed, my generation is being condemned to a planet beyond fixing because political science takes precedence over science science. Ed, world governments must come together and act in concert to do anything that will stabilize the climate, and soon. If not, people like me are going to help them stop being governments, and soon. Our souls will not be ruined. That’s social science.

Yours Truly,

Peter Nichols

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About Guest Columnist

WilderUtopia.com regularly invites professionals, activists, and inspired individuals to publish opinion-editorials that illuminate the challenges to coexistence between city and wild, developed and developing, human and other. If you have a relevant piece to share, let us know at Jack [dot] Eidt [at] WilderUtopia [dot] com.