Just when you thought it was safe in Obama’s hands, the climate science ball is being kicked into touch by most of the republican candidates for US president. Evan Bush (no relation) has outlined the candidate’s views recently stating that “of the front-runners, only former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has gone on the record as accepting climate change; he stresses the importance of reducing pollution that contributes to global warming. Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry take the opposite view, criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency, which Bachmann vows to shut down except for overseeing conservation”.
It has to be said that much of this is posturing (perhaps!) as the candidates have to appeal to an American public sceptical of big government (which the EPA represents), sceptical of evolution and of human induced (anthropogenic) climate change. It appears that far too many Americans would rather put their trust in God rather than climate science.
The candidates include Michele Bachmann who has called the science behind climate change “manufactured.” Evan Bush states that ‘she has vowed to lock the doors and shut the lights off at the EPA, except on conservation issues’. As iWatch News has reported, Rick Perry is no friend of the EPA. In an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, Perry said he prays for the President every day to “ask that his EPA back down these regulations that are causing businesses to hesitate to spend money.” Perry has also stated that he does not believe in manmade global warming (in this video) “there are substantial number of scientists that have been manipulating data,”
The other candidates are Ron Paul , Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. It is too early to say who is emerging as the presidential front runner but whoever runs they are probably going to give Obama a real challenge. This means we could see a White House occupant repeating the Bush approach of scepticism to climate science and government intervention on environmental issues.
Meanwhile in the UK the BMJ are hosting a conference in October (17th) on ‘The Health and Security Perspectives of Climate Change – How to secure our future wellbeing’. This conference is borne of an unlikely alliance – between health leaders and military experts. Frustration at the slow progress in tackling the causes of climate change at national and international level led to a series of discussions and an editorial in the BMJ. An International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) report highlighted that the effects of climate change will present a threat to collective security and global order in the first half of the 21st century.
So while informed, scientifically literate professionals from various fields gather to address the very real and threatening issues, those who wish to see themselves as leaders of the free world are talking as if the work of Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking do not exist. Christopher Hitchins has argued that religion poisons everything’, well this may be a case of pandering to illiterate faith beliefs which are poisoning the ability to reason.