(Raw Story) - The United States has failed to take action to mitigate climate change thanks in part to the large number of religious Americans who believe the world has a set expiration date.
Research by David C. Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado uncovered that belief in the biblical end-times was a motivating factor behind resistance to curbing climate change.
“[T]he fact that such an overwhelming percentage of Republican citizens profess a belief in the Second Coming (76 percent in 2006, according to our sample) suggests that governmental attempts to curb greenhouse emissions would encounter stiff resistance even if every Democrat in the country wanted to curb them,” Barker and Bearce wrote in their study, which will be published in the June issue of Political Science Quarterly.
The study, based on data from the 2007 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, uncovered that belief in the “Second Coming” of Jesus reduced the probability of strongly supporting government action on climate change by 12 percent when controlling for a number of demographic and cultural factors. When the effects of party affiliation, political ideology, and media distrust were removed from the analysis, the belief in the “Second Coming” increased this effect by almost 20 percent.
“[I]t stands to reason that most nonbelievers would support preserving the Earth for future generations, but that end-times believers would rationally perceive such efforts to be ultimately futile, and hence ill-advised,” Barker and Bearce explained.
That very sentiment has been expressed by federal legislators. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) said in 2010 that he opposed action on climate change because “the Earth will end only when God declares it to be over.” He is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.
I bolded that last paragraph. Read it again and let that sink in a little.
"The discovery of caffeine pollution in the Pacific Ocean off Oregon is further evidence that contaminants in human waste are entering natural water systems, with unknown consequences for wildlife and humans alike, experts say."
Caffeinated Seas Found off U.S. Pacific Northwest (via sarahlee310)
It’s all Seattle’s fault.
In all seriousness, this is pretty fucked up.
"When award-winning West Virginia anti-coal activist Maria Gunnoe went to Washington, D.C. last week, she was prepared for obstructionist tactics. She was prepared to face icy stares and hard questions from Republican lawmakers. She was not prepared to be branded a pedophile."
— Today in WTF: GOP Ally of Big Coal Smears Environmental Activist With Kiddie Porn Accusation. (via motherjones)
A US Geological Survey research team has linked oil and natural gas drilling operations to a series of recent earthquakes from Alabama to the Northern Rockies.
According to the study led by USGS geophysicist William Ellsworth, the spike in earthquakes since 2001 near oil and gas extraction operations is “almost certainly man-made.” The research team cites underground injection of drilling wastewater as a possible cause.
“With gasoline prices at $4 a gallon, there’s pressure to rush ahead with drilling, but the USGS report is another piece of evidence that shows we have to proceed carefully,” said Dusty Horwitt, Senior Counsel and chief natural resources analyst at Environmental Working Group. “We can’t afford multi-million-dollar water pollution cleanups or earthquakes that could pose risks to homes and health.”
The inner workings of a libertarian thinktank working to discredit the established science on climate change have been exposed by a leak of confidential documents detailing its strategy and fundraising networks.
DeSmogBlog, which broke the story, said it had received the confidential documents from an “insider” at the Heartland Institute, which is based in Chicago. The blog monitors industry efforts to discredit climate science.
The scheme includes spending $100,000 on commissioning an alternative curriculum for schoolchildren that will cast doubt on global warming.
read more at The Guardian
By the way, Charles Koch is a a key financier of the Heartland Institute, the libertarian thinktank in question.