Thursday, February 17, 2011

Picking science that fits politics: Rep. Mike Beard on climate change (We'll never run out of coal because God will put more in the ground for us, or something like that.)

MinnPost - Don Shelby: Picking science that fits politics: Rep. Mike Beard on climate change


State Rep. Mike Beard is a nice guy. The Republican from Shakopee is the former president of the local chamber of commerce. He says he cares about humanity. He is a man with deep Christian values, a free-market conservative and a veteran of eight years on the Minnesota House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee.

He is not, however, a scientist.
What he is not is a serious person. Real problems, that's what we've got. We don't fully understand them, but we have pretty good idea and we have serious people working on them, just not in politics we don't. Instead, we have con men in clown shoes selling snake oil to the rubes, getting patted on the head and tossed a bone for for it by professional cynics rolling in the money they've amassed by, essentially, selling off the livelihoods of children and grandchildren.

So, you might say, a few wingnutty state reps aren't that big a problem. They are. State politics matter. And they don't just matter to the people in this clown's district, or just the citizens of Minnesota. The ridiculousness here is about managing resources in Minnesota, but what Minnesota does drives how companies that work with or compete against Minnesota companies do. And these guys that have wildly irrational ideas about how coal gets in the ground, they also tend to have wildly irrational morals when it comes to things like how to treat their fellow man, especially their fellow gay man, and don't get them started on reproductive freedom. These things matter. Like it or not we're all in this together, we need to stop electing profoundly incompetent and immoral people to public office. What we're doing to the future, here and now, is not winning it. Krugman said we're eating it. He's being diplomatic. I would've have used violent, sexual imagery to describe what we're doing to the future.

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