I have 3 articles for you this morning!
First, a brief history on how we got today’s conservatives:
Make no mistake: the attack is deliberate.
The Enlightenment blossomed in the wake of the religiously-inspired Thirty Years War of the seventeenth century, when thinkers horrified by the war’s carnage set out to break the fetters of superstition and tradition that had prompted the strife. Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, Jefferson and other thinkers advanced the idea that if people could listen to reasoned arguments, weigh them against evidence and choose the soundest ones, progress would follow. The Enlightenment revolutionized science, culture and politics, and gave rise to the modern world.
Enlightenment ideals prompted America’s founding and reigned for generations as Americans searched for the best ways to manage the economy, changing demographics and international conflict. But in the 1950s, the idea of progress through reason presented a problem for wealthy businessmen. They hated New Deal legislation because it regulated business and protected workers. The boom years of the 1920s had been good ones for them, and they believed that the continued success of their enterprises depended on their complete control over their businesses and the workers they employed. They believed that government meddling in their affairs would disrupt natural economic laws. And with their downfall would come the downfall of the entire American economy, and with it, the nation.
Next, an interesting read on the public’s ignoring of science:
The bad news is that everybody does it. The good news is that social scientists are making progress in understanding why people ignore solid scientific evidence in deciding what they think about all manner of science-based issues-including how those topics should be taught in schools and addressed by policymakers.
The U.S. research community has long lamented how often the public disregards-or distorts-scientific findings. Many media pundits point the finger at partisan politics, although they offer contrasting explanations: Liberals often assert that Republicans are simply antiscience, whereas conservatives often insist that Democrats tout scientific findings to justify giving government a larger and more intrusive role.
A leading social science journal, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, takes a deep dive into the debate by devoting its March issue (subscription required) to “The Politics of Science.” The issue, edited by political scientists Elizabeth Suhay of American University in Washington, D.C., and James Druckman of Northwestern University, includes some 15 articles that explore “the production, communication, and reception of scientific knowledge.” And nobody gets a free pass.
Finally, more evidence:
When scientists discuss increasing levels of carbon dioxide, they are generally referring to carbon that either stays in the atmosphere where it has a greenhouse effect, or dissolves into the ocean where it contributes to acidification. However, a new paper published in Nature describes the first evidence that confirms what climate models have predicted: the increase in CO2 is heating the crust of the Earth as well.
So how you doin’? 😀