Posted by: ericgrimsrud | February 9, 2021

Climate Change issue will attract the Loonies of the GOP

In the last few years, we have witnessed a surge in the number of what I will call here “Loonies” – that is, people who regularly “make stuff up” no matter how outrageous their “news” is without providing the evidence that is generally expected for claims of the unusual. 

Hopefully, our citizenry is now astute enough to know that over-the-top claims require strong supporting evidence. Thus I, for example, do not believe that Barack Obama was born in Africa, that Hillary Clinton was involved with a satanic child sex trafficking ring, or that the presidential election of 2020 was stolen by the Democrats.  My disbelief in claims such as these is due to a basic level of “common sense” reinforced by the fact that 0ur justice system has found little support for allegations of this sort.

Now consider the plight of the GOP Loonies whose main goal is once again to see that the new Democratic administration fails.  What wild claims might they launch next in their attempts to discredit our new President? While the recent past has shown that they have lots of choices, most of their “loonyisms” are fortunately too silly to survive close examination by the public and the media. One of them, however, has shown that it never runs out of gas even if it has been repeatedly shown to be wrong.  I am referring now to the issue of man-caused global warming. 

The present warming of our planet is known to be caused primarily by mankind’s massive emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into our atmosphere over the last two centuries. This phenomenon has been intensively studied for more than two centuries with scientific priority given to it over the last several decades. As a result, the massive literature of climate science is now exceedingly clear on one central point – the Earth is, indeed, warming at a pace that is “very rapid” on a geological time scale and threatens to make conditions within the current century and beyond distinctly untenable for human beings.  

When faced with these scientific realities, you can bet that the Loonies of the GOP will love to “make stuff up” concerning this issue, in particular, for at least two reasons. One is that the lay citizens and even their representatives at the federal and state levels often chose to not understand the science behind global warming – even though it is crystal clear to professional climate scientists. Therefore, the Loonies can float their preposterous notions without fear of its immediate rejection by the public.

 Another reason why this topic will attract the Loonies is that nobody, including me, wants the science of global warming to be correct. The fact that it is happening is definitely very bad news that everyone would understandably wish was not true. Therefore, the comforting, but erroneous messages of the Loonies on this issue are all too often taken in hook, line and sinker, by naïve portions of the public and their elected representatives who typically prefer to share only “good news” with their constituents. In addition, following the dictates of science in this case, means that we have a tremendous amount of work to do. Yes, the problem of global warming is an exceedingly difficult one to address, but if we continue with our business-as-usual reliance on fossil fuels, our species is sure to be “hammered to bits”, if not made extinct, by our continued emissions of greenhouse gases.

Therefore, President Biden will have before him the dire warnings of the entire climate science community opposed by a set of scientifically illiterate GOP Loonies who are committed to the obstruction of all legislation favored by the Bidon administration. Thus, we will continue to hear the loony claims the of the GOP that the threat to mankind posed by climate change is just a big hoax, that increased CO2 levels will actually be good for our plants, that completion of the Keystone XL pipeline is essential for the health of our economy, and that future demands for energy can only be met by our continued and even increased use of fossil fuels. Never mind the fact that every one of these statements is incorrect – that does not bother the Loonies who will have their “alternate” set of made-up facts that they know will sell pretty well within the public domain.

Perhaps the only reason why we might expect the Loonies to lose this specific battle is that the public might finally come to understand the overwhelming supportive evidence behind the man-caused warming of our planet. Therefore, the Loonies will also try to undermine the public’s confidence in science itself just by “making stuff up”.  In any case, it is clear where we are headed in our present fossil fuel era and I hope that the public does not go with the business-as-usual flow so they can continue to ignore the problem and simply “enjoy the party” while it lasts. So, if you aren’t so sure what Mother Nature has in store for us, please do make your next stop at the top menu bar of this website and hit the “science basics” tab – where you will find the scientific basis of global warming related in a manner that can be understood by most with a basic junior high school level of understanding of our physical surroundings. We should not spend our remaining time on this planet “fiddling” while our cities as well as our entire culture “burns”.

Human beings have been present on this planet for only about 200,000 years while the dinosaurs are thought to have existed for about 2,000,000 years.  We might be able to do as well as those prehistoric animals if we would use the scientific information that has been generated by our reportedly far superior brains. In other words, we should use the greatest gift mankind has in his arsenal in order to ensure the survival of our species which includes, of course, the grandchildren we have already come to know and love. If our generation fails to do this, the overriding recollection of it will be written in Charles Darwin’s Halls of Infamy.  In the words of Forest Gump, that recollection will be “stupid is as stupid does”.  We should try to do better than that in the time we have left – for the sake of our reputation as well as our descendents.

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