Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Anti-Intellectualism of Denial

Now hear this, America:

"Liberal fascism" is behind the concern for global warming. This is what the right -- and many "Libertarians" -- would have you believe about anyone who is concerned that we Americans be responsible stewards of God's creation. We "liberals" who voice a concern about the quality of the environment are not Christians, but rather "fascists."

Wow. I'm a fascist. Far out.

Despite the fact, however, that in July 2001 President George W. Bush stated clearly that "my Administration’s climate change policy will be science-based," the record of his administration has been one of resisting science, obfuscating scientific facts, and denying the reality of climate change. Despite a report of the National Academy of Sciences (commissioned by the President) which affirmed and supported the findings of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Bush administration dug in its heels and denied the best science it had at its disposal. White House aides who were recruited from the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group representing the oil industry, re-wrote US Government climate reports to obscure obvious links between fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas build-up.

Why? Simple: environmentalism is bad for business. So much for responsible Christian stewardship.

Federal agencies, under pressure by the Project for a New American Century and its functionaries in the Bush Administration have distorted science for political purposes. The Environmental Protection Agency’s main global warming website and its Global Change Research Program site have both been censored in recent years, even thought the US State Department's own website dealing with climate change has admitted that global warming is a real phenomenon caused by human consumption.

But after four years of internal censorship, the pressure of truth has overwhelmed the political pressure to lie about climate change, and the EPA has offered us some facts about global warming. Let me repeat this: the Environmental Protection Agency, right now, under the Bush regime is saying the following things about global warming:

- Human activities are changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times are well-documented and understood.

- The atmospheric buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is largely the result of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

- An “unequivocal” warming trend of about 1.0 to 1.7°F occurred from 1906-2005. Warming occurred in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and over the oceans (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007).

- The major greenhouse gases emitted by human activities remain in the atmosphere for periods ranging from decades to centuries. It is therefore virtually certain that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will continue to rise over the next few decades.

- Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations tend to warm the planet.
Yet many on the right continue to deny the reality of global warming (and, I suspect, several conservative and "libertarian" contributors to this bog). What explains this craziness? Nothing new, actually, in American history; we've all seen this movie before. It's just good old-fashioned American anti-intellectualism.

This is the same anti-ntellectualism that says creationism is a "science." The same anti-intellectualism that says (as David Horowitz says) that academia is a haven for left-wing, revolutionary rhetoric. The same anti-intellectualism that said, in 2000, Al Gore is a boring snob, and George W. Bush is "regular folk." The same anti-intellectualism that fuels our image-driven (and therefore money-driven) political system. The same anti-intellectualism that equates ciriticism with "crucifixion," and dissent with disloyalty.

Don't buy into this, folks. Read the science, which even the Bush administration has been forced to concede is real. Global warming is actually happening. So what do we do about it?


  1. You are right on the money. The Bush admin. has been playing fast and loose with both science and with the truth. Fortunately, we only have to put up with this pathethic, reactionary loser for a few more months. The EPA will do a much better job protecting the environment under the leadership of Hillary Clinton. Go Hillary!

  2. LOL. Wow. Sometimes satire comes like a thief in the night. Oh, yes. I expect Hillary will fix everything.


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