Saturday, June 21, 2014

Science, Politics & Lawyers

"You dare challenge global warming with SCIENTIFIC DEBATE?"
The conflict between science and politics is nothing new. As far back as the occasion when politicians of the time in league with the church threw Leonardo DaVinci in jail for daring to advocate the fact that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice-versa. 

It seems politicians, officeholders, or those in governmental power will always deny science if it appears to threaten their position or cause them discomfort.  

The same is true today.

One only has to look at the current debate over global warming--which 90% of the scientists say is caused, in large measure, by human activity. The basic problem is twofold. Those who see their profits jeopardized by addressing the problem of climate change are hell-bent on denying the problem exists. Unfortunately, those folks are well-heeled and apparently have a bottomless bucket of money to maintain the status quo.   

A case in point is recent news revealing that some billionaires have joined the fray. A hedge fund billionaire out of California, Tom Steyer, has pledged $100 million dollars to support politicians who stand firmly on the side of addressing the problem of global warming. In response, the Kochbrothers--who have various refining, coal and other interests which clearlycontribute to global warming--have responded with a pledge of $290 million dollars to support politicians who deny the existence of global warming.

Anyone familiar with the history of the workplace and industry should immediately see through those politicians who cater to the Koch brothers--in hopes of becoming beneficiaries of their political largesse--who cling to the false hope that there are scientists who deny global warming. 

A most glaring example of when and why profiteers from dirty industries resist recognizing scientific fact is the issue of asbestos. For over thirty years industry denied that asbestos was harmful.  Many industries even went to great lengths to have doctors give false diagnoses of people with lung problems.

More recently, an industry right here in Jefferson County had a doctor proclaim that employees working unprotected with sandblasting had developed tuberculosis, attempting to cover up the facts of silicosis in the lungs.  This is a familiar path.  Even though industries like Johns Mansfield had known for years that asbestos would cause asbestosis--or, even worse, lung cancer--yet they tried their best to keep it a secret. They even had scientists on their payroll to proclaim that the element of asbestos was not dangerous.

And, how long, if you remember, did the tobacco industry produce studies from physicians on their payroll to the effect that smoking was not harmful?  Today, in hindsight, those physicians of phony science seem not merely ridiculous but almost criminal.

Hopefully, average citizens will recognize the current doctors of phony science--conjured up by the Koch brothers--and vote accordingly.

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