While Stumbling around the internet, I came across this video clip about what open-mindedness really is. Most people know that I am pretty open-minded about a lot of things but I have been accused of being very close-minded about products that just don’t have sufficient evidence to be anything except a scam. The video here shows how some people who accuse others of being close-minded are themselves the very thing they are accussing the other person.
I don’t want my blog to be a political battle ground but as my readers are aware, I am big on science and the environment and feel that these past 7 years have been a true debacle. Never in U.S. history has a President been so against science. It hurts our educational system, it hurts our environment and it hurts the citizens of these United States and the world. The current President’s education must have been severely lacking to be so anti-science.
So, how do the two major party candidates compare educationally. Actually, it seems to be a big win for the Democratic ticket of Obama and Biden. Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and got his undergrad degree from Columbia University which is pretty impressive. John McCain graduated 894 out of 899 at the Naval Academy. Obama wins this one hands down.
It is even worse when you compare Biden and Palin. She graduated from the University of Idaho, a fine school, in Journalism. Biden on the other hand graduated from the University of Delware with a double major and has a doctorate in law from Syracuse University. Neither of the Republicans has an advanced degree and while this does not exclude them from running for President, it should make you doubt their capacity for running the most powerful country in the world.
The big scare for me is how do they handle scientific issues? Or will it be more of the same as the past 7+ years? I won’t say much else politically but I think this is an issue that needs to be aired out. Not more nonsense about the candidates kids or spouses.
In yet another sad loss to science, the Bush Administration has superceeded science in the name of politics. Since 2001 this politically motivated administration have made it almost impossible to denote an animal species as being endangered which has already led to the extinction of a number of creatures that are part of our world. This despite the protestations of numerous scientists within the Department of the Interior.
Furthermore, the present “Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has not declared a single native species as threatened or endangered since he was appointed nearly two years ago.” George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton averaged adding around 60 species per year but these people see fit to blame everyone else but not themselves for this global shame.
We have the moral obligation to preserve life but I guess when you have such a low respect for science which this administration has, nothing is off limits and their is no shame. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is not conservatism versus liberalism. This is about the total lack of respect for our people, our land, and the creatures who inhabit our country. It is a true national tragedy. You can read the full story here at MSNBC.com
Every year Discover Magazine puts out a list of the top 100 science stories of the year. As I did last year, I want to relate those which relate to issues I deal with on my blog. Please pick up a copy of the January 2008 issue to read the full article.
#1 – China’s Syndrome – From tainted products to their terrible pollution problem, this story ranked first is one that will be with us for many years.
#4 – Artic Thaw – Climatologists are deeply concerned about the melting ice caps in the Arctic and its effects on global warming.
#5 – Rx for the FDA – If there was a governmental agency that needed fixing, it is this one. It needs to be overhauled with no industry say or influence.
#6 – Conservation Gets A Green Light – Switching from incandescent bulbs to the newer generation fluorescents would be a big boost in protecting our environment. Yes, they have a little bit of mercury in them but the reduction of pollution, and the release of mercury from coal-burning power plants makes up for that in buckets.
#8 – Can Vitamin D Save Your Life – You know how I feel about this nutrient, now the world is finding out how much we need it. Get your 2,000 IUs a day and your body will be happier and healthier.
#11 – Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Breast Cancer – We’ve known this for years but the drug companies were reticent to let this one out. HRT’s are bad for you, period.
#17 – Is Pollution Weeding Out Male Babies? – Worldwide we are seeing a serious threat to human survival from our insistence on polluting without regard. If we don’t do something soon, this topic will unfortunately become #1.
#21 – Quantifying Global Warming – Denialists need not go any further, we don’t want to hear the nonsense. Global warming is a reality and humans are a major part of the problem.
#22 – Pesticide Effects on Sex Last Generations in Rats – Yes, the epigenetic effect is upon us. Toxins don’t just cause health disruptions now, they seem to follow us for generations to follow. This is one of the scariest stories of the year.
Tomorrow I will go through #s 26-50
While I am always a little hesitant for our government to open its purse strings and spend our money, a bill proposed by a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators needs our support. Called the PACE Act (Protecting America’s Competitive Edge) it is a first step towards increasing spending in the field of science and math. Instead of spending money on pork barrel projects like bridges in Alaska that no one will use, we need to help stimulate an improvement in our worldwide standing in science, math and engineering.
By improving our educational system, not with the failing rhetoric that is “No Child Left Behind”, but with better funding for education (note I didn’t say more, I said better) especially in fields of science and math.