Friday, December 01, 2006

Fat Tony's "No Scientist"

If our government is supposed to be representative of We the People, then I suppose Antonin Scalia represents the worst of our know-nothing conservative culture. During questioning in a case that could be pivotal in forcing the EPA to deal with global warming, Fat Tony had the following exchange:

"Respectfully, Your Honor, it is not the stratosphere. It's the troposphere," Milkey said.

"Troposphere, whatever. I told you before I'm not a scientist," Scalia said to laughter. "That's why I don't want to have to deal with global warming, to tell you the truth."
Like our President, Scalia not only doesn't know, he doesn't want to know. Not about global warming, not about peak oil, not about the civil war in Iraq.

It's long been a conservative trope that people who worry and think about things other than making money are "egg-heads" or "intellectuals" locked in their ivory towers on some Left-Coast campus. This attitude has permeated much of our culture and now the smartest among us are sneered at and dismissed; unless of course the knowledge can be used immediately to make more money or to make a better weapon (whether it works or not doesn't matter - see Star Wars - as long as it makes one or more campaign contributors more money).

The scientific consensus is well established on global warming and on its human causes. Just because Fat Tony doesn't join in on that consensus, just because conservatives don't want to stop the current gravy train of "sustainable development" doesn't mean that global temperatures won't continue to climb or that weather patterns won't continue to change.

History is full of cautionary examples of the danger of ignoring science. Even though our current President and his advisors choose to ignore the lessons of science and history the world continues to obey the laws of chemistry and physics. We continue to elect such know-nothings at our own peril.

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