Why Anti-Science Territorialists are Becoming a Global Contagion
Science is under attack by a growing number of right-wing people all across the world which has many concerned at just how far this hatred of education will go.
In the UK, the British Labor MP Jo Cox was recently murdered by a gun-toting far right nationalist who supported Brexit and believed in putting “Britain First”.
Cox was helping to further the fact that our planet is being stripped of its resources for profit by out of control corporations who lobby to keep governments from passing laws or regulations that prohibit their unethical business practices.
For Nigel Farage , former leader of the UK Independent Party (UKIP) and leader of the Brexit movement, and other white nationalists in Britain, fisheries and their corporate leaders should be able to fish the waters surrounding their country as much as they’d like because to restrict them is an affront to Britain’s national sovereignty.
For Cox, her critique of the damage fisheries are doing to our planet’s oceans cost her her life thanks to the deplorable actions of one Brexit supporter.
For those in the fringe right of everything, like supporters of the neo-nationalist Donald Trump, expression of violence is a first amendment right. Recently a Trumpkin in Pennsylvania made waves with a parade float that depicted Hillary Clinton being electrocuted in a chair with Trump pulling the switch.
Fitting then is the accepted belief among Trump supporters that climate change is a hoax because the scientists are lying, and China made it up to reduce US manufacturing. Even the GOP candidate subscribes to this conspiracy theory.
But their information comes from conservative think-tanks like the Cato and the Heartland institutes who are funded into existence by corporations dominating the fossil fuel industry who then “employ writers with impressive sounding credentials to bend the truth in such ways that they mislead the public into believing that climate change is ‘not settled science’.”
Ulrich Speck, foreign policy expert for the Transatlantic Academy once called these anti-science nationalists “territorialists” because the name describes how they deny scientific realities about the planet’s climate “in part because it could mean that Europeans or Americans have to forego material wealth in order to help other people living in faraway lands.”
For example, Alexander Gauland, leader of Alternative for Germany (AfG), refuses to acknowledge that his country is on planet earth which means it is affected by changes to the planet. Gauland recently said: “’Environmental’ has nothing to do with national identity.”
And it is this type of territorialist thinking has spread to nearly every continent. It is fringe US presidential candidate Trump’s contention that man-made climate change was made up by a secret communist plot to devalue America, and his French counterpart agrees with the premise.
Mireille d’Ornano, member of the neo-nazi white nationalists group National Front in France has launched the group called New Ecology in order to expose climate change as a “communist plot” designed to install “global rule for the environment.”
Witold Waszczykowski, foreign minister for Poland and member of the right-wing Law and Justice Party, has stated that it is his desire to “cure [Poland] of a few illnesses”, including “a world made up of cyclists and vegetarians who only use renewable energy.”
These territorialists have served their fossil fuel financiers well; promoting bogus anti-climate change science paid for by companies such as Exxon Mobil and Peabody Energy.
In fact, for nearly thirty years, Exxon has known about climate change and their industry’s involvement in warming the planet. In response to this, the company began financing climate denying scientists, researchers and think tanks to the tune of $30 million .
Exxon paid Wei-Hock Soon, astrophysicist for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center (HSC), to push the notion that the sun is driving changes in Earth’s climate.
Soon’s work has been the cornerstone of climate denial by Senator Jim Inofe, the man who threw a snowball onto the senate floor claiming to have disproved global warming.
The non-climate scientist and favorite denier of oil corporations has received an estimated $1.2 million from industry giants such as:
• Koch Charitable Foundation
• American Petroleum
• ExxonMobil Foundation
• Texaco Foundation
• American Petroleum Institute
And just like Exxon, coal industry leaders such as Peabody Energy have invested in “at least two groups” that deny climate science.
Peabody has funneled money to “trade associations, corporate lobby groups, and industry front groups as well as conservative think tanks” such as:
• Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (CSGC)
• American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
• Oklahoma Chapter of Americans For Prosperity (AFP)
Court documents show that Peabody invested in organizations and corporations that “have fought Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and denied the very existence of climate change.”
In 2014, ALEC tried to change their climate denying image by writing a letter to 156 state lawmakers stating that “no ALEC model policy denies climate change” and added a position statement on renewable energy wherein they repeated their insistence that they are not a “climate denier organization”.
However, their Environmental Literacy Improvement program adopted in classrooms across the nation teach children to be skeptical of climate science under the guise of having a “balanced” view.
And on the legislative level, ALEC has opposed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clean power plan because they said it as devoid of showing the climatic benefits of limiting coal-produced emissions; even though the entire plan is centered on climate change and the reduction of its effects.
AFP are known for distorting climate science. Their officials are “promoting untenable conspiracy theories to challenge” the scientific consensus that fossil fuel pollution caused by humans is warming the planet.
As far back as 2009, AFP held a summit funded by the Koch Brothers, with speaker Myron Ebell who said: “First I want to talk about global warming for a minute. Here’s the last 30 years. You’ll see for the last ten years we haven’t had any global warming. I think that shows the models are phony.”