Year 3, Month 4, Day 16: My Ding-A-Ling?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a columnist named Reg Henry, who takes on a certain frothy former Senator in a meticulous piece of dissection:

While nobody can be certain that the early spring here in the East is a manifestation of global warming, you know the old saying: Something that looks like a groundhog, walks like a groundhog and makes weather forecasts like a groundhog is probably a groundhog that gets his information from talk radio, as filtered through men in top hats.

Indeed, the party that looks out for the interests of men in top hats is pretty much united in the belief that global warming is a hoax — in particular, man’s alleged role in it.

Pennsylvania’s own Rick Santorum has been in the forefront of such remarks, in the belief that the Republican primaries are a competition to say the stupidest things. This strategy has been quite successful for him. While he won’t win, he hopes to parlay his victories into an appointment as Grand Inquisitor in the Romney administration.

Unfortunately, the climate — not knowing concepts such as conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat — just goes on getting weirder and weirder, pretty much as climate change theory predicts. Tragically, this erratic weather is also becoming more deadly each passing year, with hurricanes, tornadoes and floods of growing ferocity.

Of course, in bursts of sanity, some conservative politicians admit that perhaps the world’s scientists have a point, but the perpetrators are soon forced to recant lest they be considered elitist — which these days, as you know, means anyone who thinks.

This was enjoyable. Sent April 8:

Rick Santorum’s massive ignorance would be a lot funnier if he didn’t represent a worldview shared by millions of Americans. While Pennsylvania’s embarrassment of an ex-senator embodies resurgent American anti-intellectualism, there’s no doubt he’s happy to use the products of the past few centuries’ worth of scientific progress (confining ourselves to the letter “A,” these might include antibiotics, automobiles, airplanes, anesthesia, and antiseptics, without which Mr. Santorum’s life would probably have been very different).

Apparently, science is invalid only when it contradicts the senator’s ideology. Nowhere is this more problematic than in his position on global climate change, which he believes is a worldwide scientific conspiracy (one which, curiously, includes the Pope, whose infallibility doesn’t seem to extend that far).

Deliberate ignorance of the facts is both intellectually and morally irresponsible; for human civilization to survive the burgeoning climate crisis, denialists like Rick Santorum must remove their mental chastity belts.

Warren Senders

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