The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Saturday, June 10, 2006

The science of 'An Inconvenient Truth'

I'm genuinely baffled by the eagerness of right-wingers to vehemently deny the existence of global warming. Aside from the obvious-- that there's no scientific debate over the basic facts-- righties just don't have anything to fight for. They have nothing to gain from backing oil companies, on a personal, political or societal level. But they aren't just begging to differ, or promoting a healthy (if misplaced) skepticism. They're handling this issue like they're fighting for their lives.

The Web clip is just one bit of the skeptic zaniness that has greeted the release of Gore's film. On Fox News, another Exxon-Mobil-funded pundit, Sterling Burnett, compared watching "An Inconvenient Truth" to learn about global warming to watching Joseph Goebbels' Nazi propaganda to learn about Nazi Germany. Over at the New York Post, a reviewer baldly asserted that "there is widespread disagreement about whether humans are causing global warming," a false statement that even oilman-in-chief President Bush doesn't accept anymore. Meanwhile, the College Republican National Committee encouraged skeptical students to throw global warming beach parties.

Furthermore, much of what they're so angry about runs against conservative ideology. Continued dependence on foreign oil, squelching research into new, more efficient and potentially highly profitable industries, and continued government handouts to established industries that are fighting innovation and competition. At the heart of the matter is the fact that a small group of wealthy corporatists find themselves with a legion of angry 'activists' happy to push their agenda in exchange for... nothing.

That's just something that's been eating at me lately. And the article itself doesn't address the issue. But it is interesting for dropping Gore's movie in the respective laps of a group of scientists and asking "How'd he do?" Not to spoil the ending, but he gets pretty high marks. And the outraged righties are still full of crap.