Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!

In Case You Were Wondering (8)

This is the last in a series of posts on reasons why I and many other Independants and Democrats will not vote for any Republican candidates in this election.

Reason #8 – Putting more Republicans in office will contribute to continued lack of action on climate change.

So the monster storm hits New Jersey, New York and other areas on the east coast and all of the sudden people are starting to pay attention to climate change.  A 15 minutes search of online media that I tend to read each morning illustrates my point.  Nearly every one of the websites I read has an article that relates to the possibility that the intensity of Sandy was influenced by issues related to climate change.  Even Fox News had an article, with their typical caveat that some scientists don’t agree with the consensus.  Big shock there.   Here are a few of them:

  • “Did Climate Change Play A Role In Sandy’s Strength? – Ericka Bondstad – Mclatchy
  • “It’s Global Warming Stupid!” – Paul M. Barret – Business Week
  • ‘It’s Called Climate Change” – Molly Reilly – Huffington Post
  • “Cuomo: “Climate Change Is A Reality…We are Vulnerable” –
  • “Nasa Warned New York About Hurricane Danger Six Year Ago” – Chris Mooney – Mother Jones
  • “Outsmarting the Surge” – Bryan Walsh – Time
  • “Dems Push Climate Change Issue In Wake Of Sandy, But Some Scientists Skeptical” – Kara Rowland – Fox News

Everyone has an opinion.  I am amused by the fact that all of the sudden people seem to be having a “come to Jesus” moment now that the $50 billion storm has spread its havoc over a highly populated area.  Note, I am not amused by the results of the storm, just by the sudden surge in interest in climate change issues.

The processes and data obtained through legitimate scientific research is used to inform policy decisions that are made in Washington D.C.   However, when scientific research comes face to face with political ideology and the almighty pocketbook of our elected officials, that research is often ignored.  There are lots of reasons for a politician to ignore the results of science.  Here are a few:

  1. If the science in any way threatens the religious beliefs of a politician, he can not afford to alienate those who would vote for him that have the same beliefs.
  2. If the science  in any way threatens the ideological position of a politician, he can not afford to alienate his political base or he will lose his job.
  3. If the science in any way threatens the financial contributions that come to him from special interests, he literally can not afford to agree with the science.

Here is what we as a country are faced with at this time.

  • Legitimate scientific research overwhelmingly points to the fact that human activity has changed our climate.
  • Those who claim otherwise are not skeptics, they are deniers.
  • All legitimate scientists are legitimate skeptics.  It is inherent in the scientific process that one be skeptical.
  • Denialism is not skepticism.  Denialism involves ignoring evidence and maintaining a set of beliefs that are consistent with ones ideological or religious convictions.
  • Skepticism involves taking a legitimate look at the science, questioning it, getting answers and moving in the direction of the data.
  • Republican politicans are significantly more likely to deny the science of global climate change than Democrats.
  • All of the Republican politicians vying for the Republican nomination but one, stated that they basically “don’t believe that the climate is really changing” or don’t believe that “human activity is the cause”
  • Mitt Romney changed his position on human contribution to climate change during this election cycle.
  • Anyone shocked by Romney’s change in his position doesn’t pay attention to the realities of his constant flip-flops on most issues.

Let me be perfectly clear with regard to my stance on climate change if it is not already clear to this point.  I stand with 98% of the legitimate scientists whose expertise is in climate related fields.  Climate change is real and it is upon us in ways that are causing loss of life, causing destruction of property, causing major disruptions to peoples lives, and costing the government billions in repair and cleanup costs.  The effects of CO2 in the atmosphere were predicted in the late 1800’s.   Politicians who are responsible to put policies in place to protect those that voted them into office have failed miserably.  Some are significantly more culpable than others.

Ultimately, the electorate is responsible for the lack of legitimate action on climate change issues.  Those who vote for individuals who don’t have the courage to stand up to special interests, those who will not honestly look at the science, are responsible.  Voting for individuals who deny the science of climate change is similar to voting for someone who believes that smoking doesn’t cause cancer.  To anyone with a legitmate brainwave, that seems ignorant doesn’t it?  Yet, we keep putting these people in office year after year.

I blame the electorate my friends, for being so short-sighted and gullible when it comes to this issue.  If this was the only issue where I disagreed with Republicans, it would be enough for me to deny them my vote.  I am not a one-issue voter.  If I was, this is big enough for me.  In the long run, it could be more important than the other 7 reasons I have given in my previous posts combined.

A vote for a Republican candidate, is a vote for continuing the process of denying the science of climate change.  It is a vote that has ramifications, while the wind blows, the rain and snow fall, and the ocean decides to come ashore.  I am counting the days now, until Mitt Romney changes his mind again and goes back to his original stance on climate change.  A word of caution here.  It won’t happen before the election, too many of his voters expect him to have his current stance, and that is the problem in a nutshell.

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