We are well aware that in the US, the Republican party has gained a reputation for being anti-science, especially because so many (but not all) creationists seem to have found a home in that party.
[W]e shouldn’t bog down over the fake issue of whether one party is smart and the other is stupid. They’re both stupid. Also, they’re both anti-science, but in different ways. We’ve previously pointed out that the Dems are just plain weird about their environmentalism — no oil drilling, and no nuclear plants either.
And we ended up with this:
Our conclusion is that both parties, like the population as a whole, are mostly ignorant of science, but they tend to have confidence in science where it doesn’t conflict with their other opinions — like religion, environmentalism, “social justice,” etc. In other words, the parties are driven by ideology, not science.
Now we found something that will probably make the environmentalists’ heads explode. At the PhysOrg website they’ve got a new item that is certain to be controversial: Experts say nuclear power needed to slow warming. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Some of the world’s top climate scientists say wind and solar energy won’t be enough to head off extreme global warming, and they’re asking environmentalists to support the development of safer nuclear power as one way to cut fossil fuel pollution.
Four scientists who have played a key role in alerting the public to the dangers of climate change sent letters Sunday to leading environmental groups and politicians around the world. The letter, an advance copy of which was given to The Associated Press, urges a crucial discussion on the role of nuclear power in fighting climate change.
PhysOrg provides a link to the letter that was sent: To those influencing environmental policy but opposed to nuclear power. We’ll continue with the PhysOrg article:
Environmentalists agree that global warming is a threat to ecosystems and humans, but many oppose nuclear power and believe that new forms of renewable energy will be able to power the world within the next few decades.
That isn’t realistic, the letter said.
We always enjoy it when ideologues are confronted with reality. Creationists always choose to ignore reality. How will the hard-core environmentalists behave? Let’s read on, as PhysOrg quotes from the scientists’ letter:
“Those energy sources [preferred by environmentalists] cannot scale up fast enough” to deliver the amount of cheap and reliable power the world needs, and “with the planet warming and carbon dioxide emissions rising faster than ever, we cannot afford to turn away from any technology” that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases.
[One of the letter signers, Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] said the signers aren’t opposed to renewable energy sources but want environmentalists to understand that “realistically, they cannot on their own solve the world’s energy problems.”
This is not going to be well-received. Here’s more:
Hansen, who’s now at Columbia University, said it’s not enough for environmentalists to simply oppose fossil fuels and promote renewable energy. “They’re cheating themselves if they keep believing this fiction that all we need” is renewable energy such as wind and solar, Hansen told the AP.
This is brutal, especially coming from four scientists who have been prominent in warning about the danger of global warming. Moving along:
Stephen Ansolabehere, a Harvard professor who studies energy issues, said nuclear power is “very divisive” within the environmental movement. But he added that the letter could help educate the public about the difficult choices that climate change presents.
One more excerpt:
The scientists acknowledge that there are risks to using nuclear power, but say those are far smaller than the risk posed by extreme climate change.
So there you are. We expect the blogosphere to be rather lively over this latest development. Global warming isn’t a big issue for this blog, except when denial is linked with creationism. And we’re always wary when scientists propose political action. Now we may see the flip side, as the other party’s ideology is confronted by scientific and political reality.
It’s never good when science is a partisan issue. Maybe some day neither party will have a problem with science. But that day won’t be coming soon.
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