With a shifting balance of power in Washington, some changes may be in store for science. Though the dust has barely settled, some political analysts are already predicting Republican-led global warming hearings, rollbacks in climate change and energy legislation and even changes to controversial science like stem cell research.
Before adjourning for the election, Congress was able to reach a compromise that settled NASA's budget, but many other scientific priorities were left on the table. An energy policy is chief among them — while the House passed a bill to cap carbon dioxide emissions and allow polluters to trade carbon credits, it died in the Senate. With even Democratic candidates literally trying to destroy cap-and-trade, it seems unlikely either chamber will take this up again anytime soon.
As the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder points out, a compromise on national renewable energy standards is possible, but Rep. Joe Barton, the likely GOP chairman of the energy committee, could make this more difficult. Barton, if you remember, is the guy who apologized to BP for being the victim of a "shakedown" after the Obama administration set up a Gulf compensation fund. He also introduced a bill in September to repeal a requirement that phases out incandescent light bulbs in favor of more efficient compact fluorescents.
Ambinder also notes, without much detail, that the GOP plans to hold high-profile hearings examining the alleged "scientific fraud" behind global warming. That will not be a first, but also will likely not be pretty.
The Republicans enjoyed a wave of support from Tea Party supporters, and only one-quarter of Tea Party adherents believe climate change is a problem (that's less than half the proportion of independents who feel that way, in case you were wondering). With the Tea Party ascendant, it seems reasonable to expect even more vociferous opposition to the scientific consensus.
Health researchers are also worried. Science Insider notes researchers at the National Institutes of Health are hoping the lame-duck session of Congress will pass a bill that would codify NIH's guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research, which would negate a lawsuit that challenges their legality and has thrown stem cell research into limbo.
Next February, hundreds of scientists will convene in Washington for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It will be interesting to see how they react to the changed political climate — and how Washington receives them.
Nice going, Guys: one step forward and three steps back; welcome to the dark ages. What's next, burning O'Donnell at the stake?
And so begins the scientific witch hunt. Anyone remember the McCarthy hearings? The scientists are coming! The scientists are coming!
Give me a break.
This will just give scientists a broad platform to make their case. This seems like a big win for scientists.
(Also, I prefer when PopSci keeps its speculation to science and technology, rather than politics, when the sources are so weak. (E.g., "Some analaysts are already predicting...".))
The "climate" doesn't care if the GOP thinks the changes are real or not...any more than the "Sun" cared that the Church claimed it was heresy if someone said the Earth revolved around it.
The Earth will adapt to the changes. Species unfit to live in the new climate will die off. Those that can adapt will rise and thrive.
It won't be the first time or the last.
"We Entertain When It Rains"
Lol Chuck seriously? What did you expect? Obama inherited ALOT of problems since the year 2000. Do you really expect him to fix everything in one term? No president can. If McCain got elected he'd be in the same boat that Obama is now. Fixing our economy, creating job growth, establishing a really good healthcare system, etc, takes time. It's not going to happen in 4 years, and if you think it will, then you're kidding yourself. Give it another 10 years, and we might be where we should be.
And regarding the skin tone comment, well that's the problem with the world, people see differences as negatives...they can't just simply understand or accept people or cultures that are different. We are all the same species here, humans, but apparently us humans are still little babies bickering and killing each other over stupid petty issues. I find it shameful that our species still discriminates against people who are different.....skin color....sexual orientation....etc...I wonder what's going to happen when beings from another planet decide to come down and land on our planet in public. I wonder how we'll react. Perhaps we do deserve to be enslaved, or partially destroyed. Maybe we do need a huge global natural disaster to happen, so people like you wake up and realize that all humans are equals...because this discrimination crap is getting old....how many more years must pass before people respect and understand their fellow human.
It's time for Humanity to grow up.
Chuck, what does skin tone have to do with anything? The new speaker of the house is orange. Cookiees453, you've got it together. What a pity you're a member of an intellectual minority.
paulcrosoft: correction - this will give *carefully selected "experts"* a broad platform to make their case, which is unlikely to be good news for science or reality-based policy making.
Seriously, just the though of having Joe Barton heading Energy & Commerce Committee is giving me the shivers. Given his track record, the man is an absolute moron when it comes to science (and that's giving him the benefit of the doubt, per Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.)
Just a quick word! Look up Climate Gate and its related news stories! Global Warming is a scam.
If they cherry-pick experts, the Democrats on the panel will make strawmen out of them. Again, a win for science.
Also, I'm disturbed by this sentiment that the public is too dumb to figure things out and that the truth will fail in the market of ideas. We've got to get past the notion that everyone who disagrees with us is an idiot, while we are the lone defenders of the intellectual minority.
@paulcrosoft "...I'm disturbed by this sentiment that the public is too dumb to figure things out..."
The "public" IS too dumb to figure things out. If it wasn't, we wouldn't need scientists.
"We Entertain When It Rains"
So I'm clear, your evidence that the public is dumb is that we have scientists?
We're all just pawns of political parties. Whichever political party is in office is blamed for everything regardless of whose fault it is and the other is seen as heroes that deserve power. You'd think after 200+ years we'd learn to go away from a political party system. Here's a recent example of how politics works. This is gonna make me sound like a liberal, even though I'm a moderate. But I had to choose an example and I only have republicans and democrats to choose from so here goes:
Bush put us to war in 2 places, which cost a lot of money. We've had a deficit every year since the beginning of those wars. In some of Bush's economic reports, there is a surplus, but that's because he didn't include money spent on the wars - which shouldn't be excluded from economic figures for obvious reasons. Then, Bush signed a 1 Trillion dollar budget for fiscal year 2009 before Obama was sworn in. That money was spent by Bush but blamed on Obama. Obama was in favor of much of the spending, but so was McCain. Both voted for the bill. Obama took office and it was the immediate expectation for him to bring us out of the recession. Now even though Bush signed the bill that McCain and Obama voted for that included spending on infrastructure, the far right politicians have been chanting "jobs, jobs, jobs" while denying those federal grants in their states that would have brought them those jobs they had been chanting for. They called it wasteful spending even though infrastructure spending is a guaranteed way to provide jobs. The income brought by those jobs would provide taxes for the local, state and federal governments. It would also be spent on merchandise and keep many homes from going into foreclosure, which funnels back into the economy in so many ways. The right played their cards very well. The democrats look impotent. And they are, really. (Like I said, I'm a moderate) But the bigger picture of what *actually* happened over the past few years has been lost to most.
The problem isn't republicans or democrats. If the republicans had power and the democrats wanted it, we'd see the exact same game being played, just replace the word 'right' with 'left' in the paragraph above and there you go. The problem is the greed of individual politicians, political parties and corporations (special interest). Political parties are inherently flawed because of the way they can be manipulated by special interest groups. To fix the system, you either overhaul the way political parties are organized and funded, or just do away with them altogether. In the early days of US history, you used to see 15 or so political parties represented in elections. Now, it's usually 3 at most, but 2 in most cases.
Political parties are the problem.
@Cookiees, “give it another 10 years” So what you're saying is that we should give Obama 10 more years? He has only 6 years left if and only if he gets reelected, so to get 10 years he would have to be elected for a 3rd term; which is against our constitution.
Obama promised change and to fix the country, he knew exactly what he was getting himself into, no one forced him to run for president. Hence, maybe in 2 years he should say “sorry I couldn't fix it during my first term, I'll let someone else try therefore I will not run for reelection”. That would be a sentence from a messiah, however since Obama won't say that, therefore he must be neither a messiah nor the chosen one.
Yes, it was wrong for Chuck to reference the skin color. But you must be a fool to think that no blacks hate whites (blackpanther being an example)
And if Obama worries so much about global warming, then maybe he should stop making so many flying trips.
This is just me, but maybe if publications like Popular Science managed to not over-politicise science from their standpoint, politicians would have a much harder time having ideological issues with scientific concepts.
The Right's opposition to "problems" like anthropogenic global warming have a lot to do with the fact that the "consensus" of scientists who believe in anthropogenic global warming being primarily funded, supported and publicised by the Left. The fact that politics and scientific issues have often been conflated by politicians who primarily use them for short-term personal political gain (i.e. liberals and global warming) is why you have a vast swath of people who call shenanigans on an alleged consensus like anthropogenic global warming.
It isn't that the public is stupid, they are just very uneducated when it comes to how life and the environment interact. They look to their leaders to guide them through the tough decisions, but those leaders are uneducated in the realms of science and are not sure of who to trust. Like it or not science and politics are not separate. I just read a good article that pointed out that our country was a "great experiment" that is still being conducted. It is time to bring the science back to that experiment.
What truly disturbs me is some of the discussion that I read here. I would hope that all of us a scientific community could put aside prejudices and begin civil discussions. Take time to educate someone using your unbiased information and maybe, just maybe, we can change the world for the better. Whether global warming is reality or scam, eventually we will run out of oil, fight the wrong war over it, or majorly destroy the environment trying to get at it. Lets change for those reasons and to make sure that the world is better off than it is today.
Worst case scenario is that we are slowly but surely changing the environment around us (like all other evasive species). Species will be destroyed and species will survive. Unfortunately one of those species that doesn't survive could be the human race; independent of race, religion, or political affiliation.
"Also, I'm disturbed by this sentiment that the public is too dumb to figure things out and that the truth will fail in the market of ideas."
Sentiment? No, that's scientifically proven, too. Something like 18% of Americans think the Sun moves around a stationary Earth. Rise above it, shake it off, join the conversation, and start asking questions we *don't* have answers to.
Science isn't a partisan debate based on anyone's agenda. Decisions are based on facts, not the other way around! If a political group organizes an opposition to a scientific consensus, which of those groups do you seriously think is *biased* toward social ends over pure knowledge?
It's disgusting to see politicians appeal to public ignorance to bolster their own popularities, and I don't understand how anyone can feel anything but betrayed by that.
ChuckLiddell you are a d o u c h e
Tygrys, you know good and well he didnt mean 10 more for obama. you KNOW he meant 10 to fix what the right has done to our country. but you do what all the righties do, try to put the focus on some non point. by the way, obama never said he could fix it in one term, and at least he admits there are problems unlike mr 2 war starting,economy destroying, crony bush.
"however since Obama won't say that, therefore he must be neither a messiah nor the chosen one"
who the hell made you the one to decide who someone is?
"Yes, it was wrong for Chuck to reference the skin color. But you must be a fool to think that no blacks hate whites (blackpanther being an example)"
so, if i may, honey, its ok i screwed your sister, because some people are child molesters. i d i o t
Americans got 2 choices, Social freedom or economic freedom. Why cant we have both? I think the perfect party would be the republican views of economic mixed with the social and scientific views of the democrates. That is why I dont vote, I dont feel one party or the other would represent me.
@cookies; face the truth, Obamas stimulus plan failed.
@republicans; Obama was right about health care plan.
Obama should just have dismiss that stimulus crap and put that money for health care for those who cant afford, it would have been a way better choice then saving dead overpaid uncompetitive jobs, just let the free market be, but for those who cant afford the basic, lets do something for them.
Frankly, that's not about politics, either. Both of those things are actions that you run a cost/benefit analysis for, not a referendum.
To be fair, I guess health care does have to do with philosophy, preferential treatment of the rich or productive, etc. The stimulus plan didn't - it was a pragmatic measure that projected, and returned, modest cushioning at a known cost.
But neither of those things has anything to do with this topic.
The Republicans, as they did during the Bush, Jr. administration, are going to push all scientific research back about 50 years and advance destructive fossil fuel extraction. Scientists, you have just became a third-class citizen again, as you did during the Bush's administrations. If you want to continue you most important research, which this world desperately needs, you are going to have to get use to living on the steps of the White House.
I think the computer models that are used to make those prediction dont take in consideration human behavior.
You cant expect people to invest in the US economy right now to creat jobs because you got a president that keeps on bashing the private sector and wall-street over and over and is only solution is increasing tax, regulation and be anti-capitalism by being protectist and saving un-competitive companies.
Just tell me now, would u invest ur own money in GM? I know I wouldnt. So if u want to invest in a car company, u have to look in other countries.
PS: dont forget, these models always work that way ''if everything else stays equal'', well thats just bull... and you got the proof of it, if only democrates opened there eyes and see whats happening in EU and the rest of the world, economies are turning to more FREEDOM to be more competitive, not to 1980's ridicules of protectism.
Well it is clear now that the Republicans will once again put the game of politics ahead of the interests of this country. Between this report of their interest in investigating the merits of climate change, and both McConnell and Boehner making the repeal of 'Obamacare' a top priority it is obvious that the GOP is focused on keeping their 'hornets nest' buzzing until 2012.
The Republicans would do themselves and this country a HUGE favor if they looked ahead into the future instead of continually stoking fires from the past. Focus on rebuilding our infrastructure and fixing our education system, the economy will follow. That would make me (an Independent) vote Republican.
I'm so sick of politics getting in the way of scientific advancement. If it weren't for politics, we'd have stem cells growing new limbs and giant death lasers by now -___-
You sound more like lefties trying to appear as a Conservative, trying to make them look like racists that there not. The left wing media is just doing what they always did, trying to be fear mongering, "oh the Republican's will destroy science, be afraid!" Please don't let them manipulate you. There are just as many or more scientists and pro-scientific people who are on the right than on the left.
NEW RULE: Before you bash someone (or the public) for being stupid, look through your post, count how many scientific arguments you actually make, count how many studies or measurments you cite, then count how many personal attacks you make, and then ask if you are what you are attacking.
Real science doesn't care who you voted for or who gave you money, it only cares about facts and inferences that can be drawn from those facts. So give up on the idea that calling someone a biased idiot will convert them to your side.
Also, as long as science wants government money, science will be politicized. And I'd rather tolerate those who disagree than cut that cord.
I'm in your camp. I'm not the one you need to convince. But don't be so committed to your cause that you ignore that scientists aren't always honest. "Climategate" shows that you shouldn't always trusts scientists either. Only data. Which we've seen very little of in this post.
I hereby state Chuck as an unintelligent, white trash, lower class loser. Why? Because it's a UFC stereotype, and with his "skin-tone" comment, it sounds to me like he's ok with judging according to stereotypes.
Man.. Kant would be so proud of that statement.
Let's get down to the matter at hand here... it's not political, it's scientific. As far as stem cell goes... I can't say much about that. I haven't done any research whatsoever. I do, however, believe it's good that we are doing something about the Climate Change issue. Climategate raised a question that, I feel, were ignored. Scientists will all scoff and spit at this, because they feel as though they are being attacked. The truth of the matter here is that someone has possibly lied about something that we have changed our lifestyle, spent countless money on, and spent tons of time in research about.
Does anyone else see that? Billions of dollars could be going to a FRAUD. It could be going toward education, health care, other scientific research that isn't fraud. I don't deny that being green is good. The scientists of Climate Change need to be honest with us, and let the world in on the data and research they have closed off. To not do so would be to go against everything Science has stood for.
Why must people be idiots, who insist that if you do not agree with them, you must not only change and conform, but conform universally and eat a loaf of dog excrement as well.
If you believe in manmade global warming, why try to convert the other side to your ideological premise? You waste time and energy for your ideological purity and lose out on your goals.
You want every Republican supports legislation that moves the US greener? Then give them options that they want that do exactly that.
If it increases energy (and national) security by reducing mid-east dependance - then they are for it.
If it promotes private industry, creating jobs and competition - then they are for it.
If the benefits are tangible - cleaner air, water, and land - and the cost is fiscally responsible - then they are for it.
If it moves control from federal agencies to local powers and the choice of the people - then they are for it.
Compromise is not about warping your beliefs - but finding those things you do agree on and doing those - leaving the other stuff for another day (things like a Carbon tax, which they clearly will never support).
Hooray for accountability and intellectual honesty!!!! :D :D :D
It's been a long time coming.
It would be nice to know whether the weather is changing because of us.
so, the arguement is wait 10 years. So if 10 years started in 2008, then 10 years prior is when the problem would have started. Who was president then? Not Bush.
I hate the political system, nobody talks about the good they can do, just the bad someone else is doing.