Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sarah Palin and the politics of reality

Belched out of the intellectual black hole that is Sarah Palin, comes this breathless bit of populist posturing:

"We should create a competitive climate for investment and for renewables and alternatives that are economical and doable and none of this snake oil science stuff that is based on this global warming, Gore-gate stuff that came down where there was revelation that the scientists, some of these scientists were playing political games."

Emphasis mine.

Damn those elitist scientists!

Palin continues on (see video) by bemoaning America’s current energy woes. But don’t worry! America is going lead the next global energy revolution because we are the leaders in scientific innovation, according to the former governor. Sorry Mrs. Palin, you can’t have it both ways. You cannot extol America’s scientific ingenuity while simultaneously giving a big greasy “fuck you” to the science community, climate researchers or not.

All this does is further sensationalize and distort a non-issue. By referring to climate change as “Gore-gate” only goes to show how little denialists understand the issues on hand. They seek to characterize scientists as cultists affixed on protecting the image of their sacred idol, whether it be Al Gore for climate change or Darwin for evolution. This is not how science works. But it gives denialists and their followers something easy to latch on to, an easy target. It fires them up, like in the video mentioned, hear how her listeners bray at the sheer mention of Gore’s name.

I think Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy said it best:

“the far right in this country have been beating the pulpit to a bloody mess with their distortions and noise-making. They will do or say just about anything to distract people from the real issues. As long as people are scared to death by this noise, they won’t think about issues, they’ll react to them.”

Accompanied in his post is a brilliant segment by Rachel Maddow (reposted below). While it covers many issues that fall outside the realm of science, she does discuss “climategate” and how tortuously it was paraded around by the right - never mind the fact independent investigations found nothing that undermines the scientific backings of climate science.

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And rightfully so, Maddow calls “bull” on these politicians.

Phil again:

“Global warming is real. Evolution is real. Vaccines do not cause autism. Homeopathy doesn’t work. These are facts, and they don’t care whether or not denialists spin, fold, and mutilate them. Until we face up to reality, however, they will spin, fold, and mutilate us.”

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