Here’s a Video Showing the Very Worst Anti-Science Bullshit of 2015
Snowballs, witch-hunts, and a big measles outbreak.
In 2015, science was a favorite punching bag for many of America’s politicians. While leaders of nearly 200 nations met in Paris to hammer out a historic deal to combat climate change, the US Senate held a hearing—hosted by presidential hopeful Ted Cruz (R-Texas)—to debunk the science. It had a subtle title: “Data or Dogma?” In fact, 2015 did nothing to alter the notion that one whole American political party—and nearly all of its candidates for the White House—remains stuck on a murky spectrum from outright climate denial to the policy version of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, as we wrote about all-too often this year.
There was, of course, the infamous snowball thrown on the floor of the Senate. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) claimed that global warming wasn’t happening because it was cold when he made the snowball. (Repeat after me: Weather does not a climate trend make.) But perhaps the more insidious attack on science was directed by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Smith accused government scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of rigging climate data to disprove the so-called “global warming pause” (a contested but popular talking point often used to attack the science). He then attempted to depose the scientists and subpoena their documents. “Political operatives and other NOAA employees likely played a large role in approving NOAA’s decision to adjust data that allegedly refutes the hiatus in warming,” he told the Washington Post.
But if you can’t fight the science outright in public, why not simply try to ban the words? That was the ingenious tactic allegedly employed by the state of Florida, under Gov. Rick Scott (R). Employees from several state departments said they had been told not to use the phrases “climate change” and “global warming” in official state business. (The governor denied the allegations.)
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