Right Wing Loons, Global Warming & God's Vengeance

STORY BY James Sullivan

Published: November 26, 2013

When O David Barton, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? And to what end will that madness of yours mock us? The time to ask this question, first set by Cicero to his political opponent Catilinus before the fall of the Roman Republic, may be soon. Barton, the 59-year-old evangelist and founder of the Religious Right’s think-tank WallBuilders recently announced that he will not run for U.S. Senator, despite the urging of Tea Party comrades and sidekick Glenn Beck. For those who don’t recognize the name, David Barton is best known as an author of ‘fan fiction,’ although he calls himself a historian, determined to expose the outrageous lie that no separation between church and state exists in America.

Among his more recent embarrassments was a so-called biography of Thomas Jefferson, painting the much revered former president as a religious fanatic who believed that the U.S. was to be founded as an exclusively Christian nation. For one of many, many examples of why this is earth-shatteringly wrong, you can look here. Quite surprisingly, he has no credentials in history whatsoever.  Although he will not play along the typical Tea Party lines of contaminating a senatorial primary with a severely conservative (read: insane) candidate in 2014 at the expense of compromising a moderate base, he’s leaving the future open. Be warned, Texas, Rick Perry’s not seeking another term – reason to breathe a sigh of relief, but also to look out for zealots like Barton who might be seeking the nomination.  

As if promoting pseudo-history that can help to excuse any candidate’s ignorance of the establishment clause weren’t enough, Barton now insists on delving into science, proclaiming the once controversial phenomenon of global warming to be a plague sent by a vengeful God as judgment for the country’s acceptance of abortion. He’s not the first non-scientist to speak out on this issue. GOP Congressman (and also Tea Party puppet) Steve King, not to be confused with the other guy who gets paid to make up scary shit, made headlines a few months ago when he officially designated belief in climate change as a religion, effectively offending scientists and religious people in one fell swoop. Perhaps it could have gone unnoticed, but he actually had the balls to continue, declaring that a little extra CO2 is good for the environment, despite what we’ve been warned.

Unfortunately, as much as we can hardly blame King for wanting a little extra sun in his home state of Iowa, the reality of climate change is not that easy to swallow. While there may be some short term benefits for Iowa’s corn, the rapid CO2 increases will gradually lead to crop failure, harming even those who once touted ethanol energy as the way of the future. Worse is the problem of tropical disease vectors thriving in North American lakes and rivers. Many tropical parasites like the fluke worm already make their way into the States every year through imported fruit, and would now have new and suitable homes in which to multiply. Then there’s of course the problem with increased ocean acidity, a key part in the Permian-Triassic Extinction event 300 million years ago which wiped out 95% of all life on Earth. None of this is to say that we’re completely doomed. We will, however, need to make the most of survival in a rapidly changing climate while developing new ways to reduce carbon emissions.

However, in this time of crisis we see our political leaders for what they are. Rather than trying to avert a crisis, regardless of who is to blame or who stands to profit, people like King and Barton are instead choosing to exploit the more ignorant members of their base, using the current climate change crisis (or the denial of it) to shift blame and incite fear, a base which is rapidly decreasing and which these men and their kind quite openly care little about. 

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