Science should speak for itself

Anant Naik

Today, 97 percent of climatologists say that climate change is real and perpetuated by human activity, threatening to cause a global catastrophe. Hundreds of scientific societies, academies, agencies and NGOs have pressed for action and have weighed in on our options to address the issue.

When asked about their stance on climate change, many Republican politicians dodge the question by giving a brief summary of their credentials: “I’m not a scientist.”

Still, Republicans vote on policies and work to pass or reject legislation based on the interests of their constituents.

If politicians aren’t willing to take scientific responsibility for the laws they pass and the legislation they support in a scientific way, then they aren’t really doing their job when it comes to fulfilling their responsibility.

It’s becoming more evident that the gap between scientists and politicians is growing. It’s actually a little frightening, mainly because many politicians who deny scientific methods are in charge of major committees that make a huge impact on policies that affect climate change.

After the recent elections, Republicans have promised to defund and deregulate the Environmental Protection Agency, an organization that’s almost solely responsible for securing carbon caps trading and controlling CO2 emissions. They’ve also promised to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Thankfully, though, local momentum to address climate change is pulling through, especially in communities that are directly impacted by flooding. It’s time for scientists to speak up against broad generalizations and political rhetoric.

If politicians refuse to “do science” because they’re not qualified, people who will do science need to step up and demand not to be ignored.