Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Fatwa Against Science

So now it appears that U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-TX, has declared a fatwa against scientists whose research on global warming produces results unfriendly to the oil companies. The Guardian reports that Barton, chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has demanded large volumes of paperwork from three scientists. Says the Guardian:
Mr Barton, a Texan closely associated with the fossil-fuel lobby, has spent
his 11 years as chairman opposing every piece of legislation designed to combat
climate change.
He is using the wide powers of his committee to force the scientists to
produce great quantities of material after alleging flaws and lack of
transparency in their research. He is working with Ed Whitfield, the chairman of
the sub-committee on oversight and investigations.
The scientific work they
are investigating was important in establishing that man-made carbon emissions
were at least partly responsible for global warming, and formed part of the 2001
report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which convinced most
world leaders - George Bush was a notable exception - that urgent action was
needed to curb greenhouse gases.

The Republican Party's war on science is not confined to evolution. It is an all-out battle against facts that are inconvenient to the party's favored industries and issues. Truth be damned!
Biology, Chemistry, Physics -- research in all of these areas is at risk because of the Republican stranglehold on government. So far they haven't attacked mathematics, but I suppose when they figure out that mathematical formulas and equations are responsible for all of the other scientific conclusions, there will be attempts to ban Algebra and Calculus.
Algebra, Al-Qaeda, what's the difference?