Lately, I have been off doing (in the words of the folksy tea-bag vernacular) “sciency stuff” like measuring snow pack in the western Rockies and recording temperature readings at high altitudes. Yes, this data will be used and shared by non-partisan federal agencies such as EPA, USGS, and the Forest Service. The public is often remiss in its belief that scientists are all bleeding heart Liberals with an anti-corporate agenda meant to destroy the free market as we know it. Many, however, are card-carrying Conservatives with definite right-of-center political leanings. We have many politically debatable moments above the tree line, but one thing we can all agree on is the earth is warmer. It’s just a scientific fact. This many independently gathered numbers just don’t lie…unless your only criteria to argue against climate change are papers funded by Exxon Mobile and the American Petroleum Institute. Remember when “Joe Camel” and his political allies argued that smoking tobacco was not addictive or unhealthy while enlisting R.J. Reynolds’ data as proof?
As we sit on a rock ledge overlooking the beetle-destroyed Colorado pine forest, due in part to a high altitude temperature too warm to control the swarms, my Conservative colleagues and I hypothesize that the numbers of climate deniers seeking media and microphone attention will be directly proportional to the snow fall totals in Washington DC. The scientific method prevails again…as the precipitation increases, the more the flakes begin to appear.
Fox News’ Sean Insannity:
Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) little family of grandchild neo-cons mugged for the camera and mocked Al Gore by building an igloo on the National Mall. Let me guess, home schooled? Now THAT’S family values you can believe in.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC):
There are more idiotic examples from Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Glenn Beck, but quite frankly, I can’t stomach any more of the stupidity. There are many reasons to explain the snow in February, the least scientific of course is, uh, it’s WINTER. Add on top of that the warmest January in the history of the planet (it’s a fact; look it up whether you believe man saddled dinosaurs or not), the fact evaporation of moisture from the oceans is increasing, and production of more water vapor in the air. More moisture equals more snow. No matter how hard you wish it wasn’t so or how many times you click your heels, Dorothy, 2 + 2 will always add up to 4.
My lament is that science can certainly predict stupid, yet science just can’t seen to crack stupid…yet. Perhaps Sean Hannity can be persuaded that giving his body for research is the Right thing to do.