As if you aren't already aware, the vast majority of Republican candidates for Federal office are "climate zombies": people who reject the scientific method, falsely accuse the leading scientific institutions and scientists around the world of fraud, and who embrace service to fossil-foolish interests over service to the American people (both today's and the yet-to-be-born).
With all their talk of being "Pro-Life", the Anti-Science Syndrome Hatred Of a Livable Environment tendencies of these leading Republicans is yet another nail in the coffin proving their utter hypocrisy. These people care about life? Fossil Foolish practices and Climate Chaos devastation has killed, are killing, and will kill people around the globe. A lot of people ...
Sadly, however, far too few Democratic politicians and Democratic institutions are calling out these climate zombies for their (proud) anti-science stance.
Senator Jeff "Energy Smart" Merkley (D-OR) bucked this tendency with the 2008 campaign. Every day on the campaign trail, Merkley spoke about climate and energy issues. Sadly, two years later, his words ring true today:
We have an energy policy that’s been great if you’re an oil company and terrible if you’re an American citizen. And we have to change that, end our dependence on foreign oil, and stop sending $2 billion a day overseas, and start tackling global warming.In every Senate race and most House races, Democratic candidates are facing Republican Climate Zombies. Even as, in many races, energy and climate issues are a significant difference between the D and R candidates, too many Democratic politicians seem scared of the issue -- fearing that it is a loser. Yes, it is a loser issue -- for an inept politician, for an inarticulate candidate. But for an articulate and confident candidate, these are winning issues:
- Create jobs for Americans via sound clean energy investments in our homes, schools, and business.
- Make Americans wealthier by ending our oil imports.
- Clean transport jobs can prevent another Deepwater Horizon disaster.
- Green our schools using money from ending dirty energy subsidies!
- Scientists merit respect.
And, so on ... those aren't the slogans or bumper stickers, but these are points that can resonate with voters ... even at this late a date.
About that last one, about those geeky scientists ...
This is, although most Americans remain clueless about it, fundamentally an election about science. Even as Most Americans continue to hold science and scientists in high regard, an increasingly large share of the Republican Party's elite, office holders, candidates, and mouth pieces are taking seriously anti-science positions. As Nature magazine's editors summarized it in Science Scorned,
The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge.Yet, their arrogant anti-science diatribes are going, far too often, unchallenged by their Democratic opponents.
The exceptions are rare enough to merit notice. Representative David Wu directly called out his opponent as a Climate Zombie. Michael Bennet's campaign has called out Ken Buck:
“Ken Buck’s extreme stance on climate change is a threat to Colorado’s economy and could prove cataclysmic for our national security,” said Bennet spokesman Trevor Kincaid in a statement. Kincaid noted the Pentagon’s view that climate change is a security issue.Bennet's attack put Buck's campaign somewhat on their heels, with Buck clarify his climate change stance (he believes in global warming, just isn't sure humanity has a role) and shifting the discussion toward economics.
“Michael Bennet believes that climate change is real, and that we need to grow our economy by embracing clean energy alternatives, like solar, wind, and other renewable sources of energy. Michael believes that Colorado is uniquely positioned to lead the world in the new energy economy,” Bennet’s campaign said.
"I'm not going to take a course in Ron Johnson science any time soon,” Feingold said ... calling it one of several “bizarre ideas” that Johnson has.As with Buch, the Johnson campaign was forced into damage control mode.
“This notion that he knows better than most of the scientists in the world is a little preview of what you might get if he was your senator,”
Their anti-science positions are not just at odds with reality, they are at odds with the voters' beliefs. This is a vulnerability ... a vulnerability that far too few Democratic politicians seem willing to attack.
Ask yourself this question:
How many Democratic politicians have so directly challenged reporters to pay attention to the anti-science credentials of their opponents?My answer: too few.
Our future depends on forcing this issue to the forefront of public discussion -- and the election of many Democratic Party candidates might as well.