Monday, September 19, 2016

The End Of Science May Signal The End of Civilization––and Trump's In Favor Of It

Millions of trees suddenly dying. Storms of unprecedented violence. Once in a millennium floods occurring once a month. This sort of thing ought to mobilize world leaders to action.

This scary die off of forests was reported this morning in The Guardian.

There have been many articles recently about ocean levels already rising. Scientists predicted this and many Americans chose to demonize them.

Rising ocean levels reported by National Geographic.

Rising oceans is not as worrying as rising ocean acidity, which may compound the climate change dynamic and also degrade the earth’s ability to create oxygen. Think about that.

Rising acidity of the oceans reported by Scientific American.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party is in control of Congress and on the verge of winning the White House. The Republican leadership has accepted millions of dollars in exchange for denying climate change and blocking scientific research into climate change. They think that believing something isn’t happening will prevent it from happening. So they close their eyes and wish and pray and they punish and condemn anyone who is paying attention. Being rational and responsible is a punishable offense, according to the Republican Party.

The ignorant and dangerous anti-science leadership in this Republican Congress, reported in the New Yorker.

Half of our country is in thrall to a delusion. The right half of the country believes if they vote for Donald Trump all the things he denies are true will automatically be untrue. One man’s mental illness has become contagious and it may become the law of the land. Bigotry may become policy. Ugly rumor will be our guide to what is true, the uglier the truer. Superstition and corporate PR will replace science. One man’s angry impulses will replace careful and rational planning. Policies that should benefit the whole country will be retooled to suit one man, his whims (and boy has he got whims), his prejudices, his hates, his lusts, his greed, his narcissism, his frequent urges to do violent harm to people who have displeased him.

The New Yorker gives us a picture of what Trump will be able to do immediately when he reaches office.

If Trump is elected all of our nation’s decision-making institutions will pass to him. He will cancel climate change accords and devote America to full use of fossil fuels. And 99% of our scientists will be silenced if not criminalized. Let’s set aside his endorsement of more nuclear weapons in trouble spots and a looser policy about using them. Let’s forget about his expressed willingness to kill people he “has a feeling” are criminals. Let’s forget about his ugly bigotry toward all non-white people living on earth. Let’s forget about his long history of fraud and violation of contracts and reneging on promises and lies big and small. Let’s forget about his scary admiration for the worst dictators on the planet, and his many millions in debt owed to one of them.

Let’s just focus on one thing, the greatest danger to human civilization in the history of human civilization: global climate change.

It won’t stop happening just because one poorly informed individual refuses to believe it is happening. Half of America’s voters seem excited to go on this carnival ride with him, to trust his shallow beliefs, to place their lives and their loved ones’ lives in his hands. It’s like a hostage situation, where the male head of a household barricades himself and his family in his house with his arsenal, only this arsenal is nuclear. It seldom ends well. Usually it ends with the family dead and the deranged man dead by his own hand. It’s like Jonestown where many hundreds were willing to drink the poisoned kool-aid because their leader instructed them to. His beliefs were translated into orders and they obeyed.

A few years ago we laughed as a creepy and hilarious congresswoman left the political stage. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said science was evil and the End Times were here. She seemed downright pleased that the world was coming to and end. It was all falling apart according to her prayers. People like Bachmann believe that if they can screw up the world badly enough by provoking wars and poisoning the environment and making economies collapse, then Jesus will come and rescue them. Like a fire starter who believes the fire department will give them a medal. Her loopy beliefs got a lot of mileage and endorsement from FoxNews, the leading cable news channel, and from talk radio. (On talk radio 9/11 is believed to have been a plot run by the U.S. government.)

Well, folks, half of American voters, or nearly half, seem to fit this description. America’s future, and the world’s, may be in the hands of ignorant, hateful, deranged, heavily armed lunatics.

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