Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Climate scientists worried about cuts to their funding have decided to try to secure their supply of cash by running for Congress.
Politics & Climate Change: More Scientists Running For Congress In Affront To Trump
March 9th, 2018 by Steve Hanley
No president in US history has demeaned science and scientists as much as Donald Trump. His antediluvian attitudes about science and climate change infect policymaking at all levels of government. Not only is he personally a dunce when it comes to higher order thinking, he has surrounded himself with cabinet secretaries like Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry, and Ryan Zinke, who slavishly follow the gospel according to Charles and David Koch.
Perry told those attending the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston this week that is was “immoral” to suggest poor people in Africa shouldn’t have access to electricity made from burning fossil fuels. Pruitt has been busy scrubbing all mention of climate science from the EPA website and replacing scientists on its staff with political hacks while Zinke wants to pillage federal lands for their oil, gas, and coal resources.
All the anti-science rhetoric has resulted in a backlash from the scientific community. A political action group calling itself 314 Action, which was founded in 2016 to support candidates who have scientific or technical backgrounds, is recruiting scientists to run for office in 2018 and the response has been strong. Many scientists disdain the soul-wrenching wretchedness of politics, with its emphasis on grubbing for money from wealthy backers who expect a return on their investment. Then there is the character assassination that inevitably flows from the opposition to consider.
One of those seeking to fill Smith’s seat is Joseph Kosper. A Democrat who is a graduate of West Point, Kosper is a trained aerospace engineer. He tells the press, “I absolutely feel that science is under attack. It’s the opposite of when John F. Kennedy said he wanted to get us to the moon in less than 10 years. The way Trump is going, in 10 years he’ll have us back in caves.” Kosper promises on his website he will value only two things when he is elected — input from his constituents and “verified scientific data.”
The evidence is ordinary people consistently rate climate change last on their list of priorities.
Attempting to run for Congress on a single issue which people rate as less important than everything else they’ve been asked about, in the hope that this evidence is wrong, is the triumph of theory over observation. But I guess we are talking about activist climate scientists.