Friday, January 3, 2014

Cold Comfort & Climate Change: You can lead an elephant to water, but you can't make him think

MN GOP: Not going to school, Not studying science

cross-posted from MNPP

During his administration, Jesse Ventura cancelled schools across our state because of dangerously cold weather.

I'm expecting Governor Dayton will do the same for next week.

Next week we are looking at similar low temperatures with accompanying wind chills to the Ventura-era closing, where it will be dangerous for children to be outdoors catching school buses. Individual school districts are already beginning to cancel school next week in anticipation, to give their residents more time to make arrangements for child care.

We have seen the far right, like Birther Donald Trump, claiming that cold weather is evidence that climate change is a hoax
. We have the same variety of idiots on the right in our state legislature.

It is not only the perpetually stupid Gruenhagen who opposes climate change science.  As we saw a year ago, when the newly Democrat-controlled lege tried to educate its members.  A year ago, from the STrib:
Science made a comeback at the State Capitol on Tuesday.

Five of Minnesota's most prominent researchers on agriculture, land use, weather and climate change gave a room packed with legislators a quick but sweeping summary of the global environmental problems facing the state. They touched on floods, drought, massive thunderstorms, a changing forest, invasive bugs and rising demand for groundwater.

The point, Reps. Jean Wagenius and Alice Hausman said, is that the DFL-controlled House intends to base new laws and policy decisions -- especially those related to climate change -- on research rather than dogma.

"It's science vs. ideology," said Hausman, a DFLer from St. Paul and chairwoman of the House Capital Investment Committee, describing a debate that is going on nationally as well. "There are still some that question the science."It was the first of five joint committee hearings on looming environmental issues scheduled between now and the end of January. The others will focus more narrowly on groundwater, changes in infrastructure to handle extreme weather events and air pollution.

Wagenius, chairwoman of the House Environment Committee, said Tuesday's hearing was designed to give legislators the big perspective "at a graduate level" on the connections between climate change and the way Minnesotans use their natural resources through agriculture, water demand and forestry.

But some in the room questioned the premise."There is science and experts, and then there is political debate," said Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano. "And one side questions the authenticity of global warming. How do you know, if we are looking at only 200 years?"

We should probably be thankful that - so far - the MN GOP members of the lege haven't tried to assert some kind of crazy conspiracy to use a weather weapon on the state, the way other fringe right wingers have. (I'd bet on Bachmann for that kind of pronouncement more than a right wing member of the state lege.)

ALTHOUGH..........there IS this weather weapon conspiracy theory, with Jesse Ventura, from his canceled show:

I have my own weather-related prediction: the right wing science deniers will begin making their stupid hoax claims today, ramping up to new highs as soon as there is a statewide school closing. We can expect little precip, and less sense, with no science from the right, but at least they will be doing their part to add hot air to the cold snap.

1 comment:

  1. FYI : Congress is working on this ... buried deep into the 702 page FARRM bill (the agriculture subsidy bill aka H.R. 2642 Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013) is a provision that encompasses "The Sound Science Act of 2013".
    "Sound Science" would require that all agencies — including independent agencies like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission — have guidelines in place dictating how science is to be treated in policy decisions. The legislation would apply to a wide range of actions, including formal rulemakings, guidance, and listing and labeling decisions. It would deem any agency actions that fall outside those guidelines as arbitrary and capricious, opening up more rules to litigation.
    The intent is not to ensure that decisions are made based on science, but instead to allow the 1% to got to court to stop the 99%. Case in point, the American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard read the University of Texas methane emissions study and interpreted that it “proves” that “hydraulic fracturing is safe for the environment” - he did this by "cherry picking" the data ... and surely he will employ a scientist to defend his views ... all so that no new regulations are enacted.

    More proof why the Republican Party has failed our country.

    Commented cross-posted on MPP and expanded commentary on MN Political Roundtable.