Sunday 26 Jun 2016

Who Sets Policy
AJ Robinson

It never ceases to amaze me the level of sheer hypocrisy exercised by the Republicans these days. For years, they’ve ridiculed climate change. First, it was that it wasn’t happening. Then it was happening, but man wasn’t causing it. Next came, “Oh, so we can’t even debate the subject?” As if science was like a high school debating competition, whoever puts forth the best argument wins. What’s next, we going to debate the value of gravity?


Two new GOP arguments.

Just recently, I heard two of their new arguments and one of them is positively hilarious. They like to argue that merely because there is a consensus among scientists that doesn’t mean that Climate Change is real. It doesn’t matter that we’re talking 99.99% of all scientists, that’s irrelevant. They love to point out that Galileo was alone in his assertion at a sun-centered solar system.

Here’s my response to that one: How about Darwin? He was alone in his belief about evolution, although his father and grandfather had considered the idea, without much data. I find it fascinating that they only mention the folly of consensus when it suits their purposes. What they fail to understand is that scientists, today, all follow the scientific method. Back in the days of Galileo, Darwin, Newtown and others, many “scientists” who didn’t agree with what take as factual, today. The theories they put forth rooted in theology and that’s not science; it was similar to Creationism, today.

I digress. The next thing they love to throw out is that it doesn’t matter if the scientists are right, scientists don’t set policy and they shouldn’t set policy; once again, the height of insincerity. First, considering how important this issue is, I think maybe we should listen to scientists on what we should do. After all, we let Wall Street bankers not only set financial policy; they write the laws that “control” and regulate them. In fact, we let just about all special interest groups write policy and laws that are supposed to manage them. So, why do we exclude scientists?

 


I always defer to scientists.

For myself, I will always defer to scientists on matters in which she or he is experts. A scientist who is concerned with the public welfare is much more believable than is an oil company shill. For myself, I look at the issue this way. Let’s assume for the moment that the question of Climate Change is not settled. Let’s just put it completely aside. What are the scientists advocating? Well, they say we should cut down on C-O-two emissions, not use as much gas, oil and coal, and boost our use of renewable energy.

 

Here’s where I state the obvious. All of those are good things to do, no matter what the side benefits might be. If we cut down on fossil fuels, we reduce air pollution, we reduce our dependence on imported fuel and we become more secure. By boosting solar, wind and other renewable energy sources we can create jobs, jobs that pay well, which will benefit our overall economy. From what I can see, it is a win-win situation.


Who should make science-based social policy?

Who should make policy concerning matters of science? It seems to me that too is quite obvious. Anyone who doesn’t see it needs to go back to school and learn what true science is all about.

As a side note, this is the last time I will speak on the subject of Climate Change for at least two years. With the GOP in control of Congress, for at least that long, climate change will go unmentioned. So what’s the point? I’m not going to waste my breath on idiots.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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