We interrupt the regularly scheduled Rant to comment on last night’s Republican debate.
My favorite moment? By favorite, I don’t mean that I cheered or liked it, but that it defines why Rick Perry needs to go back to school instead of running a state and, certainly, not a country. In response to Jon Huntsman’s statement on his position on climate change, Brian Williams asked Rick Perry about his previous statements on his position on this issue. After all the erroneous statements about scientists daily abandoning the “theory” of human caused climate change, he uttered this gem of wisdom:
“EVEN GALILEO GOT OUTVOTED FOR A SPELL”
Galileo was a brilliant scientist. He is credited with many discoveries, most notably the telescope. Through his telescope, he was able to confirm Copernicus’s theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun. The problem? At that time, in Italy, the Pope and the Catholic Church were firm in their beliefs that the Earth was the center of the Universe. To suggest something other than this was HERESY. Galileo went on trial before the Inquisition and, primarily due to his advanced age, was sentenced to imprisonment in his cottage for the remainder of his life. He was enjoined to no longer speak or write about his heretical theory of the solar system. You can read more here about the lead up to the trial, the trial itself and the results:
This wasn’t a trial as we now know it from Law & Order or even Franklin & Bash. It was Galileo against the Cardinals and the Church. For all intents and purposes the Church was The Government. Galileo faced excommunication, possible torture, imprisonment and possibly even death for suggesting an alternative explanation for our “universe.” This was not a democratic process – he wasn’t “outvoted for a spell” as Rick Perry characterized this episode of history. Galileo was forced to recant his heresy and to never speak of it again.
Fortunately for us today, climate scientists are continuing to speak up. Recently thousands of people, in protest of the Keystone XL tar sands project, gathered outside the White House. Several hundred were arrested, including Bill McKibben of 350.org, Daryl Hannah, Naomi Klein and NASA’s top scientist, James Hansen. In the case of Galileo, at worst he would have been executed. One person alone could have died. Our continued denial of human caused climate change and our refusal to take action to, at the very least, slow down its progress will ultimately lead to the deaths of millions upon millions of human and non-human lives on our planet. Just as The Inquisition ushered in The Dark Ages, the stance of Rick Perry and nearly all of the Republican candidates for the Presidency may very well cause the entire Earth to go dark. They may, in fact, be responsible for killing all of life on Earth. Denial and adherence to dogma is a recipe for disaster.
Of course, there was more to the debate last night.
· PERRY: Social Security is a Ponzi scheme
· PAUL: Eliminate the minimum wage
· BACHMAN: Obama caused the rise of gas prices from $1.79 a gallon to nearly $4.00 a gallon
· BACHMAN: Obamacare is bankrupting America
· CAIN: his 9-9-9 tax plan. 9% tax on businesses, 9% tax on income, 9% sales tax
Santorum, Gingrich & Romney contributed as well, but none of their remarks made as much of an impression upon me as those above. I’m convinced that Perry will win the Republican nomination. Do we really want another undereducated Texas governor in the White House? If he or she is going to run our country, shouldn’t the President be, at the very least, as smart as the smartest amongst us?