Republicans block science laureate vote over climate change stance fear

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It seemed entirely harmless: the creation of an honorary and unpaid position of science laureate of the United States to travel around the country and inspire children to be future scientists.

But Republicans in Congress last week quashed the initiative, which had gained rare bipartisan support, on the grounds that a science laureate might support action on climate change.

The bill had been scheduled for swift approval last week. It would have allowed Barack Obama to name up to three laureates at a time to the two-year term. The posts would all be unpaid, and appointees credentials would be vetted by the National Academy of Sciences.

But after urging from the American Conservative Union, which bills itself as the country's largest and oldest grassroots conservative organisation, Republicans in the House leadership pulled the science laureate bill off the schedule, and sent it for revision.

Written By: Suzanne Goldenberg
continue to source article at theguardian.com

29 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by FrugalSolar:

      As an American, I’m just embarrassed by this.

      Respect!

      As an indignant refugee I empathize with this sentiment.

      I’m fond of my country too, and therefore terribly upset over being forced to flee on moral grounds. Sadly the lightly-populated island where I live was conquered and occupied relatively recently. Now the invaders, their families, and the shamans and witchdoctors who’ve traditionally informed them on scientific matters, have become so numerous they have assumed complete political control. Their new and militant leader is an ignorant, religious extremist who dreams of emulating America meticulously. He resembles a trim and pale version of that despot Robert Mugabe, psychologically. Behaviourally he performs like an energetic Pol Pot on a bicycle, immediately banishing scientists and intellectuals to create his agrarian utopia of a trillion, trillion trees tended by simple farmers to replace our diverse and technical society.
      And just like Pol Pot he was trained by Jesuits.

      I desperately seek asylum but America wouldn’t be suitable.

    • In reply to #2 by AlGarnier:

      The Republicans are uglier than Al Quaeda and are willing to destroy the country in opposition to Obama’s common sense legislation.

      and

      … which had gained rare bipartisan support, …

      ?

  1. For years, I’ve tried my best to not just assume that a Rebublican will likely do the dumbest possible thing for the dumbest possible reason, as I strongly loathe the employment of generalizations to describe large groups of strangers.

    That being said, Republicans of the last 30 years sure seem to take inordinate pride in their stupidity.

  2. “More than half of Republicans in the house and 65% of Republicans in the Senate deny the existence of climate change or oppose action on climate change, according to an analysis by the Centre for American Progress.

    Republicans in the House have voted 53 times to block action on climate or energy-saving measures such as the phasing out of incandescent bulbs.”

    It sounds just like our newly-elected conservative LNP government in Australia. Their first job on taking office was to dismantle the Climate Commission and for the first time since the creation of a science portfolio in 1931, Australia does not have a science minister.

    Prime Minister Abbott is telling the world that his climate policy will end at the beginning. He simply doesn’t believe in the science. That should not surprise anyone, because Abbott owes his position to the climate deniers that put him there.

    Conservatives/Republicans, lots of heads in the sand. Very sad.

    • In reply to #8 by ArloNo:
      >

      It sounds just like our newly-elected conservative LNP government in Australia…

      Funny. I was just telling everyone about that event. Uncertain the acronym LNP would be recognized, or that a cursory glance would have readers think I was a moral refugee from Austria, I explained our plight.

      Too grim an environment for scientists these days, sadly. The diminishing number of Australian schools is sinister, when they’re being replaced by religious bigot factories identical to the institutions that poisoned Abbott’s mind against science.

  3. Although the bill seems innocuous, it will provide the opportunity for President Obama to make an appointment of someone (or more than one person) who will share his view that science should serve political ends, on such issues as climate change and regulation of greenhouse gases

    But what makes those issues “political”? Because one side refuses to be honest about it. That doesn’t mean being honest about it is biased; it means it is a fact, not an opinion, that one half of politics is evil.

    • In reply to #10 by Jos Gibbons:

      Although the bill seems innocuous, it will provide the opportunity for President Obama to make an appointment of someone (or more than one person) who will share his view that science should serve political ends, on such issues as climate change and regulation of greenhouse gases

      But what makes tho…

      It’s the fact that people don’t accept some truths with at least some emotional neutrality that warrants any deviation from simply telling it as it is in the first place. It’s not entirely the fault of the politicians that they have to gauge audience tastes and reactions, though it’s less excusable when they outright encourage them.

  4. Is this a sign of being anti-science or what? The “credentials would be vetted by the National Academy of Sciences”, and yet this doesn’t convince the Republicans at all. It’s all about restricting facts in the name of pushing ideology.

  5. Nepotism and greed all the way.

    They either stop opposing the phasing out of inefficiency and waste or we’ll all be phased out or wasted by nature.

    Do these opportunistic prats think they know better than NASA? Daft question, they don’t or can’t “think”.

    I’ve just looked up “nepotism” : from Ital. nepotismo (with reference to privilages bestowed on the ‘nephews’ of Popes, often really their illegitimate sons.

    So, what do we have now?

    Nepotism, greed and hypocricy. Well, who would have guessed that!

    • In reply to #13 by Stafford Gordon:

      Nepotism and greed all the way.

      They either stop opposing the phasing out of inefficiency and waste or we’ll all be phased out or wasted by nature.

      Do these opportunistic prats think they know better than NASA? Daft question, they don’t or can’t “think”.

      I’ve just looked up “nepotism” : from Ital…

      I would. GOP has long stood for greedy old pigs.

  6. It would have allowed Barack Obama to name up to three laureates at a time to the two-year term. The posts would all be unpaid, and appointees credentials would be vetted by the National Academy of Sciences.

    Well yeah! I mean appointments vetted by the National Academy of Sciences.

    They might not appoint “creationist scientists” or “Republican denialist scientists”.

    Real Science that does not have a biased political agenda!! – OOOooo frightening!!
    Just think of the possible impacts on the profits of political sponsors!!!

  7. As always under capitalism, the making of the buck here and now, far surpasses any consideration for the long term effects of such activities. (Oh, and by capitalism, I include ALL the world’s countries including the so-called communist ones.)

    When it comes to the greenhouse effect, the politicians are happy to ignore the evidence, as long as their cell phones and computers work, – what the hell ! They’ll be out of office by then ! (Hopefully with a nice publicly funded pension and perks all the way to those Pearly Gates !)

  8. They’re killing the legislation because someone might disagree with their opinion?

    What next?

    Stop going to the doctor because he is partially funded by the Affordable Care Act (and disease is God’s Judgement anyway)?

    Stop use of DNA evidence in court cases because it proves humans are related to monkeys, so must be unreliable?

    Campaign for all motorcycle pillion passengers to ride side-saddle because sitting astride promotes homosexuality?

    Accuse people whose opinions you don’t like of Un-American Activities?

    Abandon use of the Roman Alphabet because it can be used to spell the word “Evolution”?

    (Poe’s Law probably applies to all of these)

    • In reply to #22 by N_Ellis:

      They’re killing the legislation because someone might disagree with their opinion?

      What next?

      Accuse people whose opinions you don’t like of Un-American Activities?

      Isn’t that a Republican tradition?

      Joseph Raymond “Joe” McCarthy (November 14, 1908 – May 2, 1957) was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion.[1] He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere. Ultimately, his tactics and inability to substantiate his claims led him to be censured by the United States Senate.

      The term McCarthyism, coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy’s practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist activities. Today the term is used more generally in reference to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents

  9. Republicans – oh, I mean the paid corporate stooges who call themselves “Republicans”, so sorry – only care about what keeps the money pouring into their pockets. Can’t possibly support something – anything – that might make oil companies look bad or stop them making unprecendented and utterly obscene profits; things like science and climate change. Must keep drilling and burning until the last drop is squeezed from every rock on every continent…and then the greedy bastards will be dead and gone, so they don’t give a shit what kind of hellhole world they leave behind. The religious ignorance angle isn’t really the driving force – it’s just what these cynical pigs use to keep their religious and ignorant constituents compliant with the drilling, the spilling, the fracking, the mountain-top leveling, the polluted water, the destroyed livelihoods, the non-existent future. They don’t really think that they can stop climate change from happening by simply denying it exists – they simply think they can keep their constituents fooled until the last dollar rolls out of the last oil well. Then it’s “fuck you, morons – I got mine.”

  10. They want to put us back in progress another two thousand years! Surely we can’t let that happen again. Somebody please tell them if they let science flourish, it might invent a time machine for them all to be transported to their beloved biblical times and leave the rest of us in peace at last. :)

    How very, very embarrassing. :(

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