Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A plea for Science, and Barack Obama's re-election.

-->

As a man well- grounded in the realities of business, government, natural resource use, and science,  I urge you to vote for Barack Obama.

I’m 54 years old.  As a forestry undergrad at the University of Arkansas-Monticello—maybe the best “dirt forestry” school in the United States when I was there—I was well-grounded in statistics, dendrology, photogrammetry, and surveying.
I worked as a logger, and in the sawmills of southern Arkansas.   I cut down trees and made them into lumber.  

In the way loggers treated rivers, I saw a disconnect between sound science and policy.  So I went to grad school, hoping to fix that.  Then I worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation, and was able to reach that goal – I got paid to teach people how rivers worked; farmers and miners and loggers. 

I left that job to found Little River Research & Design in 1991—to be my own boss and work nationwide in support of better river engineering and conservation.

I still do real-world river engineering, but lately I’ve dedicated LRRD to education.  Because I care about our natural world.  And because our civilization, as a democracy, depends on eduction and understanding.

The Right in this country has set us on a policy pathway to disaster.  It is proudly anti-science; and uses environmental issues as political footballs.

It perverts science and thrives on confusion, not education and understanding.

The Republican Party has made climate change denial a litmus test.  This position is anti-science, and puts the United States on a dangerous, unsustainable path.  Clearly, the GOP is willing to subvert scientific truth to divide voters and win elections.

The GOP advocates reduction in funding for our most important science agencies.    
Mitt Romney and his party have denied climate change, and proposed cuts in all the science agencies that monitor natural hazards.  The chaos in the Northeast now shows us how important these agencies are – and here I’m not counting federal disaster relief; something Romney has also proposed to cut.

These GOP positions against environmental science are are plainly wrong.  Most GOP leaders who advocate them know this.

Shame on them.

At LRRD, we work to educate and enlighten with hands-on science.   I hope we’re not too late.

No comments: