Monday, March 26, 2012

Why Republicans Deny Some Scientific Evidence

Chris Mooney writes in "How Do You Build a Scientific Republican?":

Remember that over the past several decades, there has been an active smearing of the scientific community on this issue. Trust  in scientists was clearly driven down among Republican by events like “ClimateGate,” and how they were seized upon; and doubt about a scientific consensus on global warming was deliberately and consciously sown. 
In this context, the new data suggest that, had there not been such a concerted attempt to create doubt about global warming by conservative think tanks and their corporate sponsors—and, by Fox—we might never have had a problem. Perhaps Republican individualism, information satisfaction, and all the rest would have gone and found some other issue to attach themselves too.
 Bill Press in his talk about his book, The Obama Hate Machine: The Lies, Distortions, and Personal Attacks on the President---and Who Is Behind Them, describes the heavy funding commitment of Charles and David Koch and other wealthy conservatives of conservative think tanks and the media that support their views. This may be as or more important as the better known Fox News drumbeat of attacks on Democrats and opposition to aspects of scientific finding that are opposed by conservatives.

This is really disturbing that moneyed interests can sway a major political party to distrust and ignore scientific results in policy making in areas such as energy policy and education simply by providing visible sources of disinformation. The success is in part due to the the so-called “smart idiot” effect that Mooney has written on and the "Republicans’ strongly individualistic system of values—basically, a go-it-alone sense that government is the problem, and markets the solution—and even, perhaps, some aspects of their personalities or psychologies."

No comments: