Wednesday, March 31, 2010


In a follow-up to my last post, it was gratifying to read in this morning's Longview News Journal an AP story noting that the brouhaha on the right over the so called "Climategate" controversy has been revealed to be largely unfounded. Why the paper chose to bury such a significant story on page 4A is anyone's guess, but I hope many noticed it nonetheless. The thrust of the piece is that the science backing up the twin claims that global warming is happening and that it is caused in large degree by human activity now stands vindicated. Doubtless this in no way will dampen the passions of the eco-belligerent, who have demonstrated a strong aversion to matters of science and fact. Nor will it staunch the flow of conspiracy drenched agitprop coming from the regressive right. But the reality based world in which the rest of us exist can move ahead with policies that at least have a chance of averting disaster.

That's the Wednesday, March 31 edition....Just sayin'.



  1. Well anything that disagrees with the conservative ideology doesn't get much play.

    Just look at Thomas Jefferson. His whole "Separation of church and state" doesn't go over well here in Texas, so they just remove him from enlightenment.

  2. Mike,

    True that. What passes for "judicious consideration" among conservatives these days calls to mind two books by Richard Hofstadter: "Anti-intellectualism In American Life," and "The Paranoid Style In American Politics." Read them if you will, but not late in the evening. Nightmares may ensue.


  3. Hello again. I hope you're well. It's been a while, and I've been too busy with work, grading papers, and my little boy's activities to read and chat as I'd like to.

    Indulge me to make a few points if I may.

    For the benefit of your reader, Mike, the oft-quoted "wall of separation between church and state" appears nowhere in the Constitution. The words were penned by Jefferson in a letter. And while he likely advocated for just such separation (the language of the seminial document makes no mention of specific gods, but of "Nature's God","The Creator", and "Providence"), the framers as a body did not make provisions for any onerous burden of such separation in the Constitution. They sought freedom OF religion and expression, not freedom FROM them. Reasonable Americans object to groups like the ACLU attempting to scrub symbols and religious iconography from even so remote a place as a lonely hillock in a desert. The SCOTUS, sensibly, overruled them recently.

    Secondly, judicious consideration, specifically in the area of science, requires a disciplined adherence to dispassionate inquiry using the scientific method. Where bias and politics intersect with science, there results nothing that may be called scientifically valid. Such poisoning of the well has resulted in the Climategate scandal, which has done so much to further discredit AGW. The U.S. isn't immune to the disease, either. Two recent pieces for your consideration follow. Cheers!

  4. Brian,

    Welcome back and thanks for the commentary and links. In Mike B's defense, I see nothing in his post that indicates that he was not aware of the facts surrounding Jefferson's famous phrase. Perhaps that's why he put quotation marks around it.

    Certainly the spirit of what Jefferson and the founders sought to achieve on the issue of "Separation of Church and State" can (and certainly has been) inferred since the word "God" appears nowhere in the constitution.

    Readers who want still more historical context on the issue might read "The Godless Constitution," by Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore.

    I have little to add to the ideas expressed in the above post except that as I write, an oil slick of epic proportions is threatening the Louisiana coastline with massive ecological damage. No reasonable person will argue that the mess was not caused by human activity. We've merely short circuited the process by which the trash would end up in our atmosphere.