Where does lack of respect for science come from?
So far, the only group of people in the world to display grotesque arrogance and lack of respect for scientific organizations are the Young-Earth Creationists. YEC’s believe the earth is only 6000 years old when in fact about 40 different lines of scientific evidence all corroborate each other and prove that it’s closer to 4.5 billion years old. As far as the science goes, these people are off by a factor of 750,000 to 1. It’s like asking someone how far they think the moon is from the earth and they tell you it’s 3 miles away.
The Republican party is inundated with Young-Earth-Creationists who abhor science. Many of them think we should let the earth fall into ruin because then Jesus will come back. Many of them also believe that rules to protect the environment aren’t just wrong, but, evil.
Republican Senator James Inhofe, is perhaps the most famous and vocal global warming denier of the bunch. Inhofe actually coined the phrase that deniers have come to love by being the first to state publicly that the threat of catastrophic global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”
The bottom line is this:
Suppose an asteroid were heading for earth. Would you question the recommendations of NASA scientists as to the best way to deflect an asteroid?
Suppose you lived in Hawaii right next to a volcano and suddenly every major scientific organization in the world came out with joint statements that the probability of an eruption was very high. Would you question their opinion?
Think of the entirety of scientists and scientific organizations that have to be either stupid or corrupt for deniers to be correct:
Today’s campaigners against action on climate change are for the most part backed by the same lobbies, individuals, and organizations that sided with the tobacco industry to discredit the science linking smoking and lung cancer.
Later, they fought the scientific evidence that sulphur oxides from coal-fired power plants were causing “acid rain.”
Then, when it was discovered that certain chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were causing the depletion of ozone in the atmosphere, the same groups launched a campaign to discredit that science, too.
Later still, the same groups defended the tobacco giants against charges that second-hand smoke causes cancer and other diseases.
And then, starting mainly in the 1980s, this same groups took on the battle against climate change.
In each case the same groups accused scientists of being involved in a scientific conspiracy to drum up “business.” The same groups used identical tactics to fight controls on tobacco, acid rain, ozone depletion, second-hand smoke, and other dangerous pollutants.
What is amazing is that the same groups that have been wrong for 30 years still manage to succeed at sowing doubts about established facts. We are witnessing a predictable process by ideologues and right-wing think tanks and publications to discredit the scientific process.