4 May 2012

Do you still believe in science? Well, you're a terrorist.

According to the Heartland Institute, people who put their trust in science instead of trusting oil companies to guide environmental policy are "terrorists." Normally, I would make some snarky comment at this point, but this is just so over-the-top stupid that I'm momentarily struck speechless. I'm especially shocked that people would bother to take on "global warming" at this point, since it's a well-established explanandum (a set of facts to be accounted for by a theory). Clearly, if people all over the globe read their thermometers and the mercury is, on average, a little higher, the Earth is warming. I don't quite get what the rabid right angle is here. Is the argument supposed to be that scientists and lowly weather station bureaucrats all over the globe have secretly conspired to add a few degrees to their measurements (all the while, ensuring that they do so in a plausible way that would agree with weather models)? This is enough to send any sensible person into a coprolalic frenzy. The idea is so blatantly ludicrous that it would be rejected as a conspiracy plot for a third-rate spy novel. I suppose we'll be seeing more and more of this sort of idiocy if the Republicans gain power.

Others talking about this story:
New York Times
The Guardian
The Daily Caller
Global Warming: Man or Myth?


wunelle said...

I think the argument is not one with political roots per se; It's a plutocratic / oligarchic thing that has purchased the services of the right wing media, which in turn bring a rabble of calculatedly misinformed citizens. It's the classic arguing backward from a conclusion--anti-science, as it were.

As for this billboard, it makes me laugh! I'd wager that not a single person will find their acceptance of global warming weakened by this; but I bet more than a few fence-sitters will ask themselves what kind of lunatics are opposing the theory...

Karlo said...

I've been seeing this argument a lot lately in different guises. I don't remember what the formal name for the fallacy is, but it's basically of the form, if p==>q then q==>p. Since Hitler was a vegetarian, all vegetarians must be Nazis. Since Bin Laden thought Fox News was idiotic, all who agree must be trying to destroy America. That the people who put up this billboard describe themselves as a "think-tank" kind of takes the luster from the term. As you mentioned, they're actually just apologists for plutocrats. In other words, weasels of the vilest sort.

Jazzbumpa said...

The M.O. for right wingers in this century is to be wrong on everything, and when called on it, double down.

It actually worked for about a decade. But I think that wad has been blown.

Here's another take.