Posted by: ericgrimsrud | March 11, 2015

GOP Traitors to Science and Country?

In several of my posts on this blog, I have been particularly critical of the GOP because of their Neanderthal take on the subject of climate change and science, in general. Their leadership in Washington DC seems to be proud of their denial of climate change (Senate Environmental Committee Chairman, James “it’s all a big hoax” Inhofe, for example) as well as their ignorance of the subject (Majority House Leader John “I am not a scientist” Boehner, for example).  Unfortunately, their party is now in control of both houses of congress and very well might be selling the future of mankind down the river. They appear to believe that the natural world will unfold in the manner they prefer rather than in the manner science predicts. Note, for example, that in the GOP-controlled state of Florida, it has been declared illegal to use the word, Climate Change, in any of that state’s literature – even though Florida is predicted by scientists to be the state most affected by future climate changes.

To hold such ideas, one must become essentially a “traitor” to the long-held and time-tested concept that science provides mankind with our best understanding of what Mother Nature is likely to do in response to the impacts of mankind. The notion that the GOP has become a traitor of this sort to the general welfare of mankind is additionally evidenced by their recent behavior with respect to other issues currently on the table in Washington DC.  That is, the GOP seems to be trying to set themselves up as a “separate state” with the USA.  This point was most cleverly related by Dana Milbank in his Washington Post column today.  It can be seen at

The column referred to above is priceless – please have a look and return. While the GOP has not yet suggested abdication from the United States of America, their behavior does bring up memories of our pre Civil War era when the slave states used that threat in order to affect all US policies. After the slave states did abdicate in 1860, they then tried to set up their own independent relations with other countries of the world.  Unfortunately for those defectors, President Lincoln did not  even recognize the so called “Confederacy” to be more than a traitorous faction within the United States of America and dealt with them accordingly. Hopefully, president Obama will have the good sense to follow Lincoln’s example in dealing with this emerging “separate state” for whom Milbank has coined the term “Republicania”.

Hopefully, the GOP of today will also follow the advice of their founding father and will endeavor to solve our national problems and international relations via our existing institutions of government and the individuals who have been elected to serve within them.  Included in those institutions is the Executive Branch, of course, but also our National Academy of Science commissioned by President Lincoln in 1863 to provide advice on issues of national importance. The recommendations of the NAS have been clear on the subject of climate change – as our sitting President knows. The fact that our GOP of today ignores them is shameful and a disgrace to our nation’s reputation.


  1. When it comes to determining traitors, the rule of law should apply. Otherwise, it’s mere labeling and name-calling. Senator Inhofe uses a colorful word, as well, by labeling climate change to be a hoax. If he was serious, he would have you and other scientists in court on charges. I think we all need to find words that communicate better.
    In the next presidential election, I do not see Democrats Hillary Clinton or Vice President Joe Biden running — too old with considerable options beyond public service. Lots private dollars ahead for Obama, Clinton and Biden — and maybe greater political/humanitarian results. Terrific public servants all. They are on the right side of history.
    So who would make a great next president? I like smart/experienced people who also see themselves doing the right things. I even surprised myself with this name. I envision Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, being elected president, assuming his family is okay with that challenge. This time around, the more we can avoid the extremes of far left and far right politics, the more cost effective and unified our government/country will be. Political moderate Mitt Romney would be good, as well. Right of center is good because its the private sector that drives the train in the United States. Therein lies the path to slowing down CO2 in the atmosphere. Government and industry need to find common ground, more than just talk about future generations. We need to live in both the present and the future.

  2. Response from EPG: Dave¸ thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    Concerning my use of the word “traitor” you will note that I used a ? at the end of it. Ever since Obama was first elected in 2008, I have wondered whether the GOP’s leadership was guilty of treason. You will recall that Mitch McConnell, then minority head in Congress said that the first priority of the GOP would be to ensure that Obama was a “one term President”. That was his PRIME objective for the following 4 years. Never mind the fact that Obama had just been elected fairly by our Constitutionally set election. What term describes what McConnell did. Is it just obstruction or might it be considered traitorous. I have always thought that we were obliged to acknowledge the power of our elected leaders and where obliged to at least give them a chance.

    Concerning my use of the term for smart people such a Senator Inhofe who claim to have scientific expertise, I definitely do not retract my use of the word traitor. People like him who claim to be scientific “experts” on the topic of climate change but come down on the side of “scientifically stupid” are doing so just for their obligations to the fossil fuel boys. Just as Judas was a traitor to Jesus, Inhofe is a traitor to humanity. Sure Inhofe appears to be a nice and decent guy. I suspect that Judas was also .

    I also added the ? because of some of the GOP’s other nefarious activities – such as undermining our countries negotiations with Iran. Lincoln considered the Confederates to be traitors to the United States and his strong stance on that principle led directly to the Civil War. With your help at that time, he might have not taken such a strong stance using such charged words and we might have avoided the Civil War. And, as his adversary, Union General McClelland, advocated in the election of 1864, we might have allowed the South to go its own way. Sometimes, however, the course of history requires strong stances and words in order to convey a sense of urgency and opportunity. Your suggestions for calm and patient negotiations on the topic of climate change would have been appropriate and useful – only if taken seriously about 50 years ago when they were first issued. Its now too lake for cordial interactions and action must be taken now while there appears to be an opportunity for some action. If the GOP wins the White House in 2016, we can be assured of lip service and cordial discussions, as best. .

    Finally, Dave, you need to know more about the opponents of action on climate change. For that purpose see These are folk who have sold out on your grandkid’s future for the sake of the business interests that got them in office. There has never before ever been a scam of this magnitude played out on humanity – while you are concerned over the use of the word “traitor” in describing them. Wake up, Grampa!!]

  3. Huff Post article:
    “Republicans cite job losses in the energy sector and higher consumer utility costs as reasons for opposing climate change policy; claims which, while they hold some truth, are often far overblown. Instead, more often the real reason behind such opposition to climate change policies within Congress is to protect the interests of coal, oil, and gas industries. A report released by the CAP Action fund found that, on average, climate change deniers within the Senate received $732,788 from fossil fuel interests in career contributions while other Senators only took $182,902. If there is one thing that remains painfully clear about Congressional politics, it is that money can buy votes in Congress. While it may seem that such deniers in the Senate oppose climate change policy in order to lower electricity bills or create jobs and thereby benefit the average voter, their true incentive is more often to protect the interests of a select few representing the industries that stand to lose the most from the enforcement of such policies.”
    – a
    [Response from EPG: Amen to that, Dave. In the words of Will Rogers, “we have the best Congress that money can buy”. And the business-as-usual forces are always the ones that are firmly entrenched and have the most money. The first words I learned in my German class at St. Olaf were “aller anfang ist schwer.]

  4. Good news today.
    World economy grew while CO2 levels did not. See link below.
    Maybe this will help build confidence that the economy and respecting life on Earth can work together. I’m not certain if you (Eric) and Senator Inhofe will see this as good news or bad news. In my world, things are shades of gray and not black and white.

  5. Eric,
    You said:
    “Their leadership in Washington DC seems to be proud of their denial of climate change (Senate Environmental Committee Chairman, James “it’s all a big hoax” Inhofe)”
    Nobody denies “Climate Change”. Everyone agrees that climate changes, so I challenge you to show that James Inhofe or anyone else I have heard of denies climate change.

    [Response by EPG: Your mincing of words makes no sense to me. Of course I am very concerned about the possibility of catastrophic climate change. It is this possibility that Inhofe denies. ]

    It is a disgrace that you are pushing the certainty of “Climate Change” while turning your back on “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming”:

  6. If you are in the business of naming traitors to science I nominate Michael Mann for claiming that tree ring proxies show that temperature is rising because the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is rising. Somehow he ignored the fact that a doubling of CO2 raises growth rates by 41% for C4 plants:

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