Keep Science In Politics

Keep Science In Politics

The only source of information that should be used to legislate environmental policy (such as clean air and water standards, and the Endangered Species Act) is SCIENCE. Any politician saying otherwise is simply ignorant of facts and not wise enough to be in a position of leadership.

Here are a couple of examples that unfortunately are not isolated perceptions about our environment:

Regarding the impact of fossil fuels on the world’s climate: “Listen to Rush Limbaugh once in a while,” advised Idaho Republican Representative Dell Raybould. “He’ll tell you that this is just a bunch of nonsense.”

Idaho Republican Representative Tom Loertscher has his own explanation for global climate change: “We get climate change four times a year. It’s called the four seasons. I think it’s pretty vain if we think we can control the climate.”

Unfortunately for these two politicians’ intellectual reputations, science has already proven that human society as it functions today does in fact influence the climate. Sure, you can always find people who will disagree with that (like those who don’t believe in evolution, or believe that the Earth is flat), but if you actually study the facts proven by science, you find that human-influenced climate change, as well as evolution, and the roundness of the Earth, are indeed true.

Politicians are highly influential, it seems. If you are raised a certain way and tend to socialize with only a certain type of people, you can form opinions that are highly biased and weak on facts. Rush Limbaugh is not an authority on science. Feeling good inside about something he says that reinforces the opinion you already had does not make what he has to say anymore important than the average person on the street. Politicians need to suspend these kinds of opinions and instead form opinions only based on proof, regardless of how much that knowledge may make them feel uncomfortable. That is responsible leadership. As a politician you do have to cater to all kinds of people, industries, etc., but you cannot do so at the expense of science. We do not exist on the outside of nature. We are a part of it, and while there may be some politicians who think we could not possibly have an effect on the climate, these are also the same people who tend to support abuses of the planet with reckless abandon, as if it is an endless playground immune from permanent destruction. History has proven otherwise -yet another indictment of many of today’s ignorant politicians. It has become obvious that two of the most important areas of study for a person seeking political office are science and history.

Here are some facts:

We are currently living in an extinction event with the greatest loss of biodiversity since the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs. Although 875 extinctions occurring between 1500 and 2009 have been documented, with widespread degradation of highly biodiverse habitats such as coral reefs and rainforests, as well as other areas, the vast majority are thought to be undocumented.

SCIENCE is a systematic enterprise that creates, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

KNOWLEDGE is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning.

In general, an OPINION is a judgment, viewpoint, or statement about matters commonly considered to be subjective.

IGNORANCE is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge). The word ignorant is an adjective describing a person in the state of being unaware and is often used to describe individuals who deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts.