Thursday, August 23, 2012

Science R Us

Since discovering that "colonial-era biology" Congressman Akin was on the Science, Space, & Technology Committee, I thought I'd better take a look at other members of that esteemed body. First among equals is Chairman Ralph Hall of Texas, whose votes show him to be extremely dubious about climate change though supportive of computer science training. His main purpose on the committee seems to be to ensure that states and localities do not incur additional costs due to federal lawmaking and regulations, and he strongly believes in "minimizing duplicative research," which might come as a surprise to several Nobelists, whose awards often derive from competitive, even duplicative, global research.

Then there's Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who promises to believe in climate change when China and India do their fair share. He's a big talker about Solyndra and the need for accountability in alternative energy. (He also sponsored a bill that would prohibit funding to organizations that "support or participate in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization." I'm not sure what those organizations might be.)

Next on the list (I'm just going in order) is Lamar Smith of Texas. (Texans make up 12.5% of the committee.) He absolutely believes that climate change is affecting the earth, pointing out that "the Earth has undergone tremendous change in the past and is experiencing similar change now."

The fourth member of this critical committee is Dana Rohrabacher of California. Global warming? Well, if it were man-made, wouldn't we have signed the Kyoto Treaty? But we didn't, did we? So emotional junk science loses again! Clearly Mr. Rohrabacher's clever use of petitio principii makes him just the representative we want on our science committee!

Next is Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, who failed to vote for an energy act, despite his concern about our dependence on foreign oil, because it did not focus on the things that most interest him—nuclear power, hydrogen fuel, and clean coal. And Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, who is pissed that Obama wants EPA to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants, when, after all, coal is important to Oklahoma. Needless to say, he also issued a strong condemnation of Obama's failure to support the Keystone pipeline.

Time for one more. Judy Biggert of Illinois has a whole issue page on Asian carp! (She rejects them.) And she wrote a nice statement on the discovery of evidence for the Higgs boson! Plus, she went to New Trier, one of America's top high schools, and thence to Stanford. She's still for off-shore drilling, as befits her party membership, and she seems to have nothing whatsoever to say on the topic of climate change.

It's hard to draw conclusions from this small sample, but I'd say that Akin is not really an outlier. More to come when I have time.


Anonymous said...

What, you think Asian carp are funny? See for proof that you're correct. As for duplicative science, well, good thing that the entire scientific method isn't based on replication as a cornerstone of proof. Me, I just have faith that N=1 will be all we'll ever need. In fact I'm refurbishing my car to run on cold fusion later today...

Diane said...

I have tweeted you!