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The GOP's Faith-Based Climate

The GOP's Faith-Based Climate

Richard North Patterson

Webster's defines "faith" as a "belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." Traditionally, this connotes theology. But the Republicans now offer us faith-based politics -- that intellectual lotus land where dogma, blissfully unmoored from fact, suffocates reality. One stellar example, climate change, captures the party's intricate pas de deux between ignorance and venality.

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Great writing and critical information. Thank you, Mr. Patterson.

This paragraph deserves repeating:

“The Kochs’ many billions are rooted in the fossil fuel industry; after Citizens United, the only limit on the brothers’ political spending is their estimate of how much it takes to purchase their own president. And they are vehement climate deniers. In recent years, they have poured an estimated $79 million into front groups which oppose climate legislation. Now the Koch funding network has pledged nearly $900 million to elect their candidates in 2016 – more than double the amount spent by the Republican National Committee in 2012.”


It is important to note that the 97% figure quoted by the author is not necessarily correct. That figure came from a meta-analysis that can be shown to be flawed. The actual consensus, from a more careful examination of published work from the scientific/climate community shows actually 99.8% agreement as to AGW.

In The Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming by James Lawrence Powell in the Nov/Dec '15 issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine the flawed methodology of the analysis is fully explained. That figure was based on a study that relied on merely looking at the TITLES of papers and articles concerning the subject. Almost two thirds of all papers were purposely not included because the lack of some words matching the search criteria.

I will not try to further summarize Mr. Powell’s excellent examination of this study. It is important because, in the eyes of the deniers, a 3% contrarian view they believe vaults them into the company of many great scientific geniuses of the past who, bucking conventional scientific paradigms, changed science and our understanding of our world. A 0.2% contrarian contingent puts them clearly in the company of cranks and schills.


I primarily pay attention to American politics for one reason:

“When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show.
When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”
–George Carlin


Actually Powell found that more than 99.9% of climate scientists accept AGW.

“For 2013 and 2014, I found that only 5 of 24,210 articles and 4 of 69,406 authors [0.0058%] rejected anthropogenic global warming, showing that the consensus on AGW is above 99.9% and likely verges on unanimity.”


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In some Future, Marco’s children will confront him, after they have been forced to move from Florida. By then Florida will be awash.
My oldest son castigates me about my beliefs about Climate Change and what will happen to Florida. I left Florida in 1975 because of what had been prophesied by Edgar Cayce. I feel so vindicated now. My Descendants will not be caught up in the slow panic of flooding and migration.
Home Owners lost insurance a decade ago and then AllState, which had divested it self from coverage (suddenly), created a subsidiary that it could write off and bankrupt if another disaster happened. But a home owner can’t have a Mortgage without insurance. There was quite a panic back then. When there is the next disaster the insurance will not cover homeowners. Of course Marco will be gone by then.

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Has the author lived in either Texas, or Florida? My point is, mass transit really is lousy in both states, on purpose.The Kochs are oil people but Rubio got his seed money, and some questionable personal loans, from a few auto dealers in that state. One of them put up $15 million to kick start the campaign this year. FYI- about 15% of all jobs in the U.S. are tied into the automotive industry; repairs, parts, etc., including sub-prime lending for the credit challenged. Follow the Repubs money on this and see that the banks are neck deep in loans which can have interest rates as high as 36%. On the other hand, Cruz is really the hydra of modern politics. He’s got more wretched and dangerous policies than you can imagine. And, enough heads to contain them all. But his wife is only on sabbatical from Wall Street and Sen. Cruz aligns himself with their lending practices here, as well. Tipping ( $$$ ) isn’t just for cows any more and the Kochs, et al are going after a lot more than just the environment in 2016.

Saying Republicans posit climate change as controlled by God rather than man merely denotes cynicism that man controls climate while framing the issue as a political football rather than a question of abstract truth… Opinions up the wazoo are still only opinions rather than facts. As such relying on them is a hearsay proposition and constitutes a Logical Fallacy known as Appeal to Authority ; no more convincing than when Galileo was convicted of offending Doctrine when addressing Science and for the same reasons. Contrariwise science relies on data…not available for prophecy.

Let one thing be said. Consensus is not scientific proof. The Catholic Church proved that long ago.

And a question. The USA is recognised internationally as world leader in science. So why is it that its politics are dominated by bloody fools who are deliberately scientifically illiterate, if they are indeed literate in any way?

The US is a scientific leader? It might have been at one time but how can it be so in today’s world when the life expectancy of US Caucasians is declining? See Death rates, health problems, rise among middle-aged white Americans http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102163700.htm

Republican faith based politics also appears fairly solidly faith based in monotheism.

Being a leader in science does not necessarily mean that one leads the world in social issues. In respect of the latter, if one measured social responsibility against total wealth of the nation divided by population, the USA would probably rank last, with China, India and Saudi Arabia.

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Yes, and much good science is done in the US.