by Tom Jeffords, Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 07:58:52 PM EDT
Last Friday the Salt Lake Tribune reported something about which I am still musing. The story was about Senator Orrin Hatch's views on global warming. According to Hatch, no one knows if global warming is real, the science is just not there, and the science itself is "actually more like science fiction." He later explained that he has read Michael Crichton's State of Fear and investigated the notes at the end in order to form his own opinions on the subject.
So, according to Senator Hatch, science is fiction and fiction is science. Is this guy for real?
The only thing I can think of that is more absurd than Senator Hatch's comments is the fact that Utahns will still send him back to Washington to represent them as a U.S. Senator by at least a 2-to-1 margin this next November.
In the 1970's and 1980's the tobacco industry provided massive funding to groups, including scientists and medical doctors, that would promote the industry's ideology that the dangers of smoking were unproven. These "experts" would testify before Congress and the American people that the scientists who had concluded that smoking was harmful were either practicing bad science or else promoting their own agenda in order to extort the lucrative tobacco companies. Occasionally, they would suggest that a mean-spirited conspiracy of greed was being perpetrated against their client industry.