The United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is… well if you don’t know, you should really find out. Click the link. This shit’s important, guys. Suffice it to say the clue’s hidden away somewhere in the title.
It’s supposed to have 40 members (there are some vacancies at present) and like NRA supporters, country music fans and dungaree-advocates, most of them are Republican. Now I don’t have a problem with some steadfast convictions of the GOP in principle. Maybe the Government is too big. Maybe we’re wasting money on good-natured but ineffective programs. Maybe George W. Bush really will be judged differently by history than by everyone currently alive with an objective view. They do worry me though, because so many of them seem to believe in bullshit and when it comes to those who are specifically charged with legislating scientific matters, I think the stakes are raised somewhat and who gets to play should be a smaller group. Let’s lose Creationists, for a start, is basically what I’m driving at.
You see science, like real news, facts and common fucking sense has a well-known liberal bias. The more people engage with it, the more liberal they become. That’s why so many universities turn out liberals; it’s because the acquisition of scientific knowledge has corrupted them. Republicans sometimes seem to combat this by throwing their most ardent opponents of science at it, in the hope that this bias will balance out.
Yes, this is bullshit but we’re talking about a party that is arguably the most backwards of any mainstream political unit in the Western world. Nowhere else is climate change considered to be ‘a possibility’ by the mainstream. Nowhere else is a woman’s right to choose still up for debate by such a wide group of people. Nowhere else is a black guy talking with an accent such a big fucking deal.
So I had a quick glance at those Republicans who sit on the Committee. Here are some of the highlights.
Ralph Hall is the Chairman. Here’s him on Republicans being anti-science. “I’m not anti-science. I’m pro science. But we ought to have some believable science.” What sort of ‘believable’ science is he talking about? Well for one, he doesn’t believe in climate change. So there’s that. And let’s face it, do scientists expect us to believe their ‘theories’ just because the evidence suggests they’re true? What if they don’t feel right?
Then there’s Dana Rohrabacher on climate change being cyclic in nature. “We don’t know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know.” Yup, Dana thinks the idea that Man is causing climate change is ridiculous. Such changes have been going on for years, and could have been caused by anything. Just not Man. Well, maybe His ass.
Judy Biggert voted against the American Clean Air and Security Act 2009; the first time such an emissions related Bill had made it through the House. Said bill would have limited carbon dioxide emissions in the US, in a similar way to the rest of the civilised world. Maybe it was part of keeping America unique?
Todd Akin believes women don’t get pregnant from “legitimate” rapes because they have magical vaginas that can tell the difference and being a liberal is about hating God. Yes, this is the guy who thinks some rapes don’t really qualify as all that bad, but don’t worry even if they are because you almost certainly won’t get pregnant. Especially if God is on your side.
Chuck Fleischmann has tried three times to stop the Government’s green plans aimed at helping poor families save money through energy efficient insulation being installed in homes. This is a proven cost-cutter and many other countries such as the UK require such installation on new builds as a matter of law, but Chuck knows better.
Chip Cravaack campaigned on opposition to legislation that capped carbon emissions. That’s literally part of how he got through the door in the first place. Sorry America, but you’ve got no one to blame for this one but yourselves.
Larry Bucshon is open enough about his personal life. He’s a “long-term friend of coal.” Whether that’s because they hit it off at a fundraiser or just because his parents were poor at Christmas, I don’t know. I do know that I’ve never seen a statement from him proclaiming intimacy with any form of clean energy.
Paul Broun is my favourite in this list. He’s fucking certifiable. Now most, if not all of the Republicans who sit on this committee are devoutly religious and to my mind that immediately throws doubt on their ability to grasp the basic concepts of the scientific world, let alone legislate them, but Broun takes it to a whole new level. It’s too late for me to say I’m keeping my opinion to myself (wouldn’t really be in the spirit of this blog anyway) and letting you make up your own mind, but here’s what he said.
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior. I believe that the Earth is about 9,000 years old. I believe that it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says. And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook … But it teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society. I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions [sic] to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.”
This man sits on THE FUCKING SCIENCE COMMITTEE!!! I’m not one to say all religious people are dumb, or that the scientific world is closed to differing opinions. By its nature, it accepts changes to its way of thinking. That’s kind of the point. But there’s a difference between an idea and a scientific theory and the notion that someone who thinks Satan gave Darwin his ideas as a way to test the faithful gets to oversee scientific advancement in the largest western economy in the world is so ludicrous as to be funny. Except it’s not, because it’s true. America has some of the greatest minds in the world working to make our planet a better place to live. These idiots are obstacles in the road and should be shouted down by the majority every time they advance one of these crackpot notions. Their very positioning is offensive to the spirit of Humanity. It’s time to step into the light and embrace the truth. In other words? In order to sit on this Committee, you have to have read more than one book in sourcing your info.