You’ve heard of the bogus Oregon petition? If not, Climate Crocks has an entertaining version of the story. Why dredge it up now? Because the <strike>perp</strike> founder of the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine, Art Robinson, was elected Saturday as the Oregon Republican Party’s new chairman.
Huffington Post reports on some of his positions:
Robinson is behind the Global Warming Petition Project, which claims to have the support of 31,487 American scientists opposed to climate change theories.
He is also the author of a long-running newsletter titled “Access to Energy,” which drew scrutiny during his campaigns. In a 1994 newsletter on AIDS, he appeared to question whether HIV is the cause of AIDS, and alleged that the epidemic was exaggerated to create a “crisis.”
Right. And in Virginia, our old fishing buddy Ken Cuccinelli is the Republican nominee for Governor, and thanks to a weak Democratic candidate stands a chance of winning.
We’d like to be apolitical on this site, but if the Republican party becomes synonymous with cranks, zealots and bullies attacking legitimate science, what can we do?
As I concluded a year ago, defeat is too good for these people:
1) Michael E Mann has suffered a decade of harassment, embarrassment and character assassination for producing important, valid, good faith research.
2) None of the perpetrators of this gross injustice have suffered even the slightest inconvenience.
3) … I would go so far as to say that if the actions of the attorney general aren’t illegal, they bloody well ought to be. The fellow is something of a joke, of course, but it would be easier to laugh if he had paid a fair price for his excesses.
Failing that, Cuccinelli has succeeded only in 1) making Virginia and America less appealing places for scientists to make their careers, and 2) making science relevant to substantive issues less attractive topics for young scientists to build a career upon.
This is not a victory for the forces of reason if no consequences ensue to the perpetrators of the assault.
So far, the record is not reassuring. At least in some parts of the Republican party, this sort of behavior is regarded as exemplary. Is climate science denial becoming the core principle of the party? Clearly America needs a sane reality-based conservative party.