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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Opinion

He who denies it supplies it


Tamor Khan - ClimateOne day a politician was talking to a constituent. The constituent stops the conversation and says, ‘you’re lying to me!’ The politician smiled and replied, ‘of course I am, but hear me out!’

Money now equals “free speech,” and it is given to politicians by corporations and special interest groups. Lawmakers consistently make policy decisions that favor these monetary contributors.

Legislation regarding climate change is a strong example of this.

Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that human activity is contributing to increased global temperatures. Virtually every major legitimate scientific organization has made public statements agreeing with this.

Yet a Yale study released last year says 56 percent of congressional Republicans deny climate change altogether.

This includes presidential hopefuls Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio, who either flat-out deny the existence of climate change or spin any questions by saying ‘I’m not a scientist’ or ‘I’ll leave that debate to the scientists.’

The most notable of the climate change deniers is Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe who wrote a book called “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.”

And the $1.78 million he received from oil and gas companies throughout his career probably had nothing to do with it, though.

Many science deniers have been given political contributions by oil and gas companies. That fact alone raises serious questions about the legitimacy of any of their arguments against climate change.

It is the right of any company to be against legislation that could potentially harm their profits. But oil and gas companies are different. Maximizing profits is one thing, but doing it at the expense of the world’s future is just irresponsible.

Any American with common sense can see that money cripples this country’s democratic process and is truly the cause of the hostile environment that is American politics.

For the sake of money, politicians are putting up a good fight to keep climate change research from being conducted.

Cruz, for example, is the chairman of the subcommittee that controls NASA’s budget.

NASA’s core mission is to “explore space and the earth environment and to help us make this place a better place,” the organization’s administrator, Charlie Bolden said.

And yet the House Science, Space and Technology Committee recently introduced a spending bill that knocks off $300 million in funding for NASA’s research into earth science.

Neil deGrasse Tyson once said “the good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

Unfortunately, many lawmakers would rather cover their ears shouting ‘la la la la’ than use empirical data to make decisions that impact people’s lives.

Their wallets have become more important than this world.

Aggressive changes need to happen. Denying the possibility of something that has strong supporting evidence is shortsighted and selfish.

Opinion columnist Anthony Torres is a political science sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

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