The GOP Fiddles While the Planet Burns

The GOP's anti-science views are doing the party no favors.

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Las Vegas and Phoenix are broiling and much of the southwest is aflame. But global warming is not to blame if you believe the Flat Earth's Society claims. Last winter, Hurricane Sandy left some of Manhattan and much of the Jersey Shore underwater. The Arctic ice is melting, which will raise ocean levels to heights that will put larger areas of coastland under the sea.

An overwhelming number of environmental scientists believe that global warming is manmade and many of them have called on governments all across the world to reduce carbon emissions to slow it. But the flatearthers will still be in full denial mode when the Environmental Protection Agency soon issues proposals for new regulations to fight global warming. And the Republican Party has joined forces with them to discredit scientific research and government efforts to fight global warming. 

But there's more. Global warming isn't the only area in which the GOP has denied science that undermines its extremist ideology.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

Many Republicans have announced that rapes don't result in pregnancies because the stress of the attack prevents women from conceiving. There is, of course, no scientific evidence of this, but there are thousands of women who have become pregnant after sexual assaults. But that does not stop prominent Republicans from making the claim anyway.

During the 2012 campaign, two Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate made the claim, which voters rejected. And recently Congressman Trent Franks, R-Ariz., justified his refusal to add exceptions for rape and incest to an anti-abortion bill by saying that the probability of pregnancy from rape is "very low." Franks must have received his medical degree from the Fox News Channel.

Then there's the Republican embrace of intelligent design. The intelligent designers believe that God created Earth about 6,000 years ago. The religious fundamentalists stake this claim even though scientists have carbon dated fossils to prove that the Earth is millions of years old.

[See a collection of political cartoons on energy policy.]

Intelligent design makes a muddle of recorded history. If the creationists are right, the Romans deserve a lot of credit for creating their vast empire. The Roman emperors would have had to subdue the dinosaurs before they conquered the people they called barbarians.

It's no wonder that the Republican governor of Louisiana and 2016 presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal called his own party the "stupid party." His words not mine. It's also not surprising that GOP members of the U.S. House of Representatives refused to take action that would have prevented interest rates for college student loans to double on July 1. If kids can't go to college they may never know how wrong the GOP really is.

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