Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On the one hand you've got science, on the other, Ken Buck

Ken Buck, the Colorado Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, has offered a new reason for Coloradoans to vote for him. First it was "because I do NOT wear high heels." Very enticing, but if sexist gaffes aren't enough to secure your vote, Buck has more to offer. Now he's a proud denier of human-caused climate change and that whole science thing in general, as he revealed in a recent interview.
"I'll tell you, I have looked at global warming, now climate change, from both sides. While I think the earth is warming, I don't think that man-made causes are the primary factor. I am one of those people that Al Gore refers to as a skeptic."
The interviewer pointed out that Gore calls such people "deniers."
"Deniers?" Buck said. "Ok, I'm one of those folks."
Wow, Ken, that's all very impressive, but what do you mean when you say you've looked at global warming from "both sides"? One of those sides is presumably science, which is a good start. We suggest you weigh that more heavily than the non-science side you are currently favoring.
Buck goes on to show his academic strength by beating up a straw man.
"The idea that we need to transfer our manufacturing jobs to China to reduce our pollution in this country is crazy."
Yes, Mr. Buck, that is crazy. So crazy, in fact, that no one has advocated for doing that. Ever. But wait, he backs up his argument with rock solid math.
"China pollutes, per Barbie doll, China pollutes much more than we do in this country."
Alright, this is a little scary. Does Ken Buck think a Barbie doll is a scientific unit of measurment?
The interviewer then asked Buck "apart from global warming, one of the issues that's coming to the surface...is ocean acidification. Have you looked at that? Is that a concern of yours at all?"
"I have not looked at it, no."
That is hardly reassuring. It looks like Senate candidates are, per Barbie doll, just not what they used to be.