Volcano research: what Stalin would have wanted

Apparently the governor of Louisiana – a state nicely situated in the mid-continent, far from any subduction zones or hotspots – likes to scoff at volcano research. Also, apparently, the national vetting team for the GOP does not include any staff members from Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, California, Montana, Wyoming or Idaho. Those are the states with obviously active volcanoes, where careful, continuous monitoring of geological activity helps to protect the lives of millions of people.

What is it with the GOP and science? I understand the evolution thing, coming from a political organization enslaved to pre-industrial dunderheads. But why do they always pick on important, relevant science issues as being silly? Palin hated fruit-fly studies (the basis of most experimental biology, genetics, evolution and embryology basic research). Bush had a fetish about stem cells (the next generation of medical science). McCain ground his teeth at the idea that someone, somewhere, was watching a planetarium show (kids + telescopes = communism). Now Jindal comes out strongly against protecting kids from lava.

Seriously, this is the best that a major political party of the most powerful nation on Earth can come up with? Really?


~ by Planetologist on February 25, 2009.

2 Responses to “Volcano research: what Stalin would have wanted”

  1. This knucklehead is the GOPs next big thing, too. Doing the rebuttal was supposed to be his big coming out party for a 2012 presidential run.

    It pretty resoundingly failed.

  2. I doubt that Sarah Palin could tell a drosophilid from a tephritid if she found a specimen of each floating in her beer, but her nasty aside about “fruit fly” research in France referred to a study of not the genetic workhorse D. melanogaster, but rather olive fruit fly, a tephritid pest of olives in Europe. It’s been found in California, which has a budding olive industry of its own, so it’s a potentially serious agricultural pest in the U.S. The people with the most expertise in olive fruit fly control are, of course, in places like France.

    In other words, a candidate from the Republican Party — a party that pays immense lip service to being “pro-business” — was complaining about applied agricultural research that could actually protect American businesses.

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