Anti-Science Politicians

Ed Raymond

This headline could have appeared in The Donald’s favorite publication, his revered source of truth, the National Inquirer. But this is not “fake news” from “the enemy of the people,” the national press. How many billions Hurricane Michael is going to cost us will take months or years to determine. The mayor of Mexico Beach has told the residents not to come “home” for 12 to 18 months because there are no homes or government services left. Acting as one of Big Brother’s scientific advisers, Rush Limbaugh of Palm Beach ( My favorite name for him is Trash Limbo—he speaks trash and will enter a place other than heaven!), has said repeatedly that climate change is “one of the most preposterous hoaxes in the history of the planet.” Big Brother Trump agrees: it’s a hoax “created by and for the Chinese.”Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who has been chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee twice in the last two decades, has made this statement while chairman: “There is compelling evidence that catastrophic global warming is a hoax,  and that manmade global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” He’s very popular in oil-rich Oklahoma. But he says his main argument is based on his belief in God: “God’s still up there; the arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”    

Now chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Inhofe should visit what’s left of Tyndall Air Force Base just west of Mexican Beach. The “HOAX” destroyed the base. A flier with 11,000 hours in the air, Inhofe needs to see what Category 4 hurricanes do to jet fighters, hangers, and other buildings. Every barracks lost roofs. Most military housing was destroyed. We have traveled on Highway 98 by the base several times and remember an F-15 jet fighter on a huge pillar near the main entrance. Michael blew it off and sent it flying for the last time down the streets. The home of 55 F-22 fighter jets, each costing an outrageous $339 million, 38 F-22s and 17 trainer jets were flown to safety to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Seventeen F-22s were unable to fly and were seriously damaged by Michael. They will cost billions to repair or replace. Other military bases also flew their planes north. A witness said the base looked like a gigantic trash heap. The commander of Tyndall told 3,600 military not to show up for work until notified! Interesting note: the Florida Lottery based in Tallahassee had to move its headquarters to Urbandale, Iowa to announce winners because it had no power!     

Most Of The Victims Of Hurricane Michael Voted For Climate Change Deniers     

More than 60 million people from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and other states north were-and are- in danger from Michael. A majority of residents in these states vote for Republican climate deniers. It’s funny that a party that used to be conservative in all things, especially the status quo, has turned anti-science. About 95% of the 2,500 scientists who study global warming, climate change, and geography agree that 7.4 billion people on earth do change the climate.      

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the 7’2” NBA immortal, has become a terrific spokesperson for all of us. He wonders why people “elevate the heart over the brain!” He writes about the anti-intellectual threat to democracy currently dominating the Republican Party. By “going with your heart” it puts idiots and geniuses on the same level. Trump likes to go with his “gut.” Well, his “guts” are a terrible bloated mess of nonsense. He doesn’t deal in facts. He says forget what the experts and authorities say, disregard hard facts (believe “alternative” facts!), statistics, science, and all those who conduct extensive research.     

Research is for losers. Jabbar writes: “The cellphone is the greatest single educational tool in the history of the world, yet many don’t use it to get smart, only to justify calling others dumb.” That is truly elevating the heart which doesn’t think at all over the brain that spends all of its time researching something. Knowledge should be power in an age of reason but now we go with the gut because we are living within reality shows. Jabbar writes: “Deniers throw elbows and eye gouges to America’s ideals” instead of using scientific facts. He quotes a mixed-up character in the movie High Fidelity to make a point: “I’ve been thinking with my guts since I was 14 years old, and frankly speaking, I’ve come to the conclusion that my guts have s—t for brains.” Climate deniers should come to the same conclusion. Jabbar writes: “Going with my gut” is like saying, “I’ll jump off this cliff because my gut says the water below is deep enough.”    

 Let’s Go With The Brain For A Little While Instead Of The Heart     

The United Nations Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change, based on 6,000 peer-reviewed research papers and authored by 90 climate scientists of 40 countries, tells us that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate we will warm up 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2040. Our eight great-children will all be in their middle and late twenties by that time. What will their world be like if the politicians of the world do nothing about human-induced climate change? Here are the real facts guaranteed by scientific research, not reality show “facts.”    

•  Over 90% of the coral reefs near the shores of countries in the Tropical and Temperate Zones will be gone. The reefs will die from warmer oceans. Most of our seafood is produced from what happens on these reefs.    

•  By 2040 we may have Category 6 hurricanes (a new category!) with winds well over 200 miles an hour. Massive storms like Katrina, Florence, Harvey, and Maria will be very common. Three of the most deadly hurricanes in history (Harvey, Irma, and Maria) were in 2017. They caused $265 billion in damage. Harvey dumped five feet of water on Texas. How much will Florence and Michael cost us in 2018? Florence killed 5,500 hogs in North Carolina and flooded dozens of hog waste lagoons. Michael destroyed 2.2 million chickens and 82 huge chicken barns in Georgia. It looks like Michael will be the most expensive in history—and the year isn’t over. Because the oceans are warming, hurricanes are now called “rapid intensification storms.” Michael went from a Cat 2 to a Cat 4 monster in just a few hours. Harvey grew from a tropical storm to a super Cat 4 in two days and drowned eastern Texas. When Corky and I lived in North Carolina in the 1950’s we experienced six hurricanes—but we knew their intensity and category for a week because the ocean was cooler.    

•  The only solution at this point is to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2050 if we hold warming to 1.5 degrees. If we accomplish this “only” 69 million more people living on coasts will be flooded out. If we are at 2 degrees that number goes up to 80 million.    

•  Because of humans causing major changes in climate our western states are now experiencing megafires—defined as a fire that burns more than 100,000 acres. One fact about wildfires today is absolutely shocking. Fire seasons have been around for centuries in the west, but, nationally, fire seasons are now 78 days longer than they were in 1970 according to the U.S. Forest Service. Wildfires burn twice as many acres as they did 30 years ago. The smoke from Canadian forest fires has been found to travel more than once around the earth. In 2017 satellites traced 100,000 fires in the Amazon of Brazil! In addition, climate change has brought longer, hotter summers with temperatures as high as 117 degrees in California, increasing the number of dry forests to burn. Also the pine bark beetle thrives in dry wood. The most recent infestation has destroyed billions of trees in 14 western states and all of western Canada. Corky and I have driven to Alaska three times through the forests of Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, and Alaska. We have seen whole mountainsides of trees turned brown by the pine bark beetle. It’s a shocking sight.    

•  Megafires create astronomical temperatures. When flames reach 100 feet high, temperatures as high as 932 degrees have been recorded. Houses nearby simply explode. Hurricane-strength winds as high as 140 mph are often created in megafires.  A fire tornado in California reached thousands of feet recently. Temperatures as high as 2,552 degrees have been recorded. That’s the melting point of most steel. Burned vehicles with aluminum engines are found with twisted steel and puddles of aluminum.      

Climate Change May Have Started With Homo Erectus Two Million Years Ago   

  Researchers think our second-cousin homo erectus may have started to use fire over two million years ago. They also believe our first-cousin Neanderthals used fires to cook meat 400,000 years ago. They know that we homo sapiens used fires for warmth and cooking 190,000 years ago. The IPCC report says: “Every extra bit of warming matters and increases the risk of creating irreversible changes.” Myles Allen of Oxford University, a scientist of the IPCC, states: “We need to reverse emission trends and turn the world economy on a dime if we’re to stave off an ecological apocalypse in the next decades.”     

 Ed Simon of the History News Network recently wrote that “Unfettered, unregulated, capricious, vampire capitalism has brought us to the brink, and the mass inability to comprehend this fact evidences how ingrained said ideology is. As 2040 approaches our ignorance is a form of collective suicide.”  Climate writer William Vollman in his book Carbon Ideologies puts it bluntly: “We all lived for money, and that is what we died for.”

The Editorial Board of the Washington Post proposes that “future historians will look in absolute astonishment that not only did our government and corporate elite fail to halt climate change, but that our policy makers actually pushed in the wrong direction. That’s assuming that there will even be any historian left after the climate change horseman of pestilence, famine, war, and death gallop across the scorched and burning world, their riders named “Deregulation,””Bottom Line,” “Market,” and “Profit.”Minnesotans need to understand that the Republican candidate for governor Jeff Johnson thinks that any changes in policy—or ideology—will not matter: “There is a consensus that the plans are out there to deal with climate change somehow aren’t going to change anything in the long run. They just won’t make a difference. Even if we do it on a nationwide scale, but if we do it on a statewide scale, even less so.”Big Brother Trump, an  ignorant, illiterate climate denier and dumper of the international Paris Accords, visited several hoaxes last week in Florida. Let’s hope Air Force One also flew very low over Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia on the way back to D.C. so he could see the rest of his hoaxes.