Fun With Science

Fun With Science

Adrienne BoettingerWednesday,11 March 2015

Ah, Florida, we’ve missed you! What with states like Missouri and Wisconsin shooting unarmed African-American teens, everyone’s favorite wackmobile state has managed to stay out of the headlines. Until now. That’s because of a story on March 8 from the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting on an unwritten rule in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection prohibiting employees and officials from using frightening, scientific terms like “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications. That rule was put in effect when Governor Rick “Lord Voldemort” Scott took office in 2011. Lord Voldemort has put a stop to scientists being all science-y. From now on they will refer to “climate change” as “Jamaican Me Crazy” and “global warming” as “cuddles with God.”

What makes all this more ironic than an Alanis Morissette song is that Florida is predicted by those pesky scientists to experience global warming more significantly than any other state in the country. The whole state was virtually a swamp before; now that climate change has kicked into high gear, 30 percent of the state’s beaches will be threatened in the next 85 years. If there is any state that should be concerned over the future of its very existence given how we’ve screwed up the environment, it’s Florida.

When did political correctness, as in saying the things least likely to offend your political supporters, start being more important than scientific correctness? I guess we should just be grateful modern-day politicians haven’t brought back the Inquisition as a means of shutting up scientists as they did in days of yore with radical thinkers like Galileo.

No matter when it began, the Era of Scientific Incorrectness is sadly becoming the law of the land. When you have the venerable chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works bringing an actual snowball to the Senate floor to “disprove” climate change, we’re pretty well screwed. Seriously, this U.S. Senator from Oklahoma brought an actual snowball to the Senate floor, strung some words together that made no sense, and then hurled the snowball off camera. Thankfully we also had Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who in response to Inhofe’s logic bomb said,

“You can believe NASA and you can believe what their satellites measure on the planet, or you can believe the Senator with the snowball. The United States Navy takes this very seriously, to the point where Admiral Locklear, who is the head of the Pacific Command, has said that climate change is the biggest threat that we face in the Pacific…you can either believe the United States Navy or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.”

A word of unsolicited advice to parents living in Oklahoma: get the hell out of that state as fast as you can. Your state legislators have already screwed with your kids’ education when it comes to AP U.S. History. Now, Senator Inhofe will start having science teachers explaining to your kids on how nighttime doesn’t exist because he can flip a light switch, famine is a myth because he can eat a sandwich, the earth doesn’t rotate because he doesn’t feel dizzy, and any idiot can be in charge of any Senate or House Committee because Jim Inhofe.

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Hat Tips:

NPRThe AtlanticSlateFlorida Center for Investigative ReportingThe HillScientific American, Image Credit: Flickr

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