Monday, August 3, 2009

Obama Birther

If you are looking for your daily dose of stupid look no farther. Michelle Bachmann is a Republican congresswomen from Minnesota. She recently moved to delay a resolution honouring Hawaii's 50th anniversary as a state that mentioned it as Obama's birthplace. She used a technicality that a quorum was not present, the minimum number of people required to pass the vote.

Here is the video.

No one ever objects to it on this grounds. They are always small meaningless resolutions. It sounds to me like she is giving credit to the Obama "birthers" who claim that Obama was born outside of the USA. This is a demonstrably false proposition. His records were analysed, his birth certificate was reviewed etc etc. I also fail to see how this has any benefit whatsoever to the Republican cause. If she actually believes that John McCain's campaign full of leading Republicans was so incompetent to not realize this and WIN THE ELECTION FOR HIM she is seriously destroying the credibility of her party. She is probably just pandering to ignorant constituents but this is not the first time she poured on the stupid in the House of Representatives.

She gave a speech opposing the Cap and Trade system of CO2. Fine, you don't have to believe that is the best way to solve our climate crisis. Her arguments supporting her position were so incredibly ignorant it appeared to be satire. I'd recommend watching the video:

She begins and ends a global warming denial spree with a complete non-sequitor. Her main point was that it was a natural product of nature. Which is true. It is required for life. Her inane ramblings then slide into talking about flying birds and lies. She claims, "There is not one study that claims CO2 is a harmful gas". Actually there are hundreds that claim, in too high of quantities, CO2 can be devastating to the ecosystem of a planet. Take a look at Venus, it is hotter than Mercury because of greenhouse gases.

She then seriously messes up her facts claiming that CO2 constitutes 3% of our atmosphere. It is actually much less than that around 0.04%. However her unstated false premise is that "3%" is not going to radically change the climate. She doesn't show any evidence that this is the case. If our atmosphere was 3% CO2 our oceans would have boiled away and we would be a world utterly devoid of life.

Her other major error is the naturalistic fallacy, "If its natural it must not be harmful". Well congresswomen I have a proposition for you. Next time you have a salad replace 3% of your lettuce with natural nightshade leaves and berries. Then replace 0.04% of your salad dressing with arsenic, which is as natural as it gets. Let me know how that turns out for you.

Her arguments were so devoid of scientific literacy it was scary. The entire speech was so terrible I was cringing. I'm sure you can point out more errors in her logic I just couldn't handle it anymore. I don't expect politicians to be experts in science. I do expect politicians to educate themselves with experts and make opinions based on the scientific consensus. Canada doesn't have much to brag about either. Our Prime Minister has shown a lack of dedication towards combating global warming and was fairly recently a denier. I hope he has actually had a change of heart, which is fine, I was somewhat skeptical until I read more about it and became educated on the consensus. He also appointed a creationist as a Science Minister but that is a different topic.

I sincerely hope we begin to see a shift in scientific literacy in politics but I'm not counting on it.

EDIT: For clarity and misused words.

No comments:

Post a Comment