Perhaps I should stay away from politics and stick to technology, but this past year or two, especially the past weeks, have made it almost impossible not to get just a tiny bit infuriated with Texas. As you will have noted, the state’s had a horrible month or so. Many areas have reported five times their average rainfall and thousands have been displaced by biblical flooding. Meanwhile, next door in SoCal, we are going into our third year of severe drought.
I was looking at some stats recently, and a couple of interesting things jumped out at me. In the last elections, Texas went overwhelmingly Republican. There are a few blue corners, but it typically votes over 75% republican. In most cases, it’s not educated republicans but the God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, Wahoo! kind. Fair enough. It’s a free country.
In some other research, I found stats on opinions around climate change. Only about 25% of self-declared Republicans said they though climate change was a real thing, and in the Tea Party section, that drops even lower. By the way, as an aside, I saw the exhausting Mad Max Fury Road yesterday and the bad guys in that epic are how I picture the Tea Party would be if they ever got to power. But I digress.
So most of Texas votes Republican; thus, most Texans probably think that man-made climate change is a concoction of those lefty scientists. As another aside, a decade or two ago, I found myself doing a tech install in a news room at the Lakeland Ledger in mid Florida. One of the very nice young editors I was working with was complaining that she had to edit and then run a story about some new kind of dinosaur which had been recently discovered. As a guy with a B.S. in Genetics and Molecular Biology, evolution is close to my heart. I questioned her and her colleagues and discovered that not a single person on the team (all educated nice young people) believed that evolution was real. The firmly held consensus was that it was a scientific conspiracy. When I pointed out that scientists are unable to conspire to order coffee without massive and very public disagreements, they weren’t buying it.
It seems that there is a streak running through many Americans who would rather believe in angels than gravity. On that point, why don’t these nitwits go after chemistry or physics? Why only question ‘softer science’ like biology and meteorology? Is it because they don’t have the math?
In any event, we have just had both the hottest year and the coldest winter on record in many places. There is, at the very least, something weird and/or worrying going on. As millions of gallons bring the reality of climate change to Texans first hand, you have to wonder if anyone there is reconsidering their beliefs, even very slightly.