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The political weight of science

May 4, 2017

Jerry Taylor was a former director of ALEC, who now works for the Niskanen Center on climate change. It is well worth reading this interview, where he discusses how he was persuaded of the reality that we are causing global warming. When asked about Republican congressmen who secretly hold climate change views different from the party’s line, he responds:

There are between 40 and 50 in the House and maybe 10 to 12 in the Senate. They’re all looking for a way out of the denialist penitentiary they’ve been put into by the Tea Party. But they’re not sure what the Republican response ought to look like exactly and when the political window is going to open.

I don’t know enough about Pakistan to weigh this description of how the universities there reached the point that a student could be lynched for apostasy. Still, I thought it an interesting read, and was struck by this:

The social and natural sciences came under particular attack in universities, as anti-communist and anti-science propaganda funded by Saudi petrodollars came to replace critical scientific inquiry.

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