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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Jeb Says Ignore Pope On Climate Because He’s ‘Not A Scientist’…

Image result for Pope Francis & scienceAs part of the Republican Party’s ongoing attempt to discredit the pope because his passion for fighting climate change makes their own climate denial look really bad, presidential candidate Jeb Bush took a potshot at Pope Francis for meddling in “science” when he should stick to religion. 

There was just one problem: Pope Francis has a background in science, holds a degree in a scientific field, and worked in a chemistry lab before joining the Church. 

Comparatively, Jeb Bush graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Latin American studies.

While on the campaign trail, Bush was asked by a reporter in Virginia about the pope’s calls for climate action, and whether it differs from his own. Bush condescendingly suggested that the pope was wrong, but probably just didn’t know any better. According to Bush, the pope was, after all, “not a scientist.”

Bush popesplained:

“The way you create a focus on protecting the natural environment and the creatures that are divinely inspired – which is the pope’s view, he’s not a scientist, he’s a religious leader – is to create economic growth to generate revenues to be able to help people.”
So in Jeb’s mind, the best way to protect the environment is to deregulate business so they can become richer. It’s unclear how that would work. 

For years, businesses have pushed back against regulation and the only result is more frequent oil spills, more devastating pollution, and what scientists are calling the “sixth mass extinction” event in Earth’s history. Jeb’s plan would probably result in the exact opposite of protecting the environment.

And while he’s technically correct that the pope isn’t a working scientist, Jeb also manages to be dead wrong about Francis’ background.

As we’ve noted before, Francis is a trained scientist. As a young man, the man who would be pope, graduated from a technical school as a Chemical Technician. (Initially, many – including us -reported that he had earned a Master’s Degree. This appears to have been overstated. The degree equivalent between America and Venezuela are tricky, but it seems his degree is something akin to an associate or technical degree.) 

He even briefly worked in chemistry before joining the Church. Since then he has retired his beakers and Bunsen burners for robes and holy water, but it’s clear that his education and his keen mind have made him exceptionally scientifically literate. He’s gone on record as supporting not only the Big Bang theory, but evolution as well:
“God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life,” the pope said in 2014. “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
Not exactly radical notions, but ones that somehow place the pope far to the left of many in the Republican Party. Ben Carson, Bush’s fellow presidential candidate, for example believes the universe was literally created in 6 days, and that the theory of evolution was invented by Satan to deceive Christians. Compared to the modern GOP, the pope looks like Albert Einstein.

Jeb Bush hasn’t used his Latin American studies degree at all. Right out of college, his rich family hooked him up with a job in business, before funding his career in politics as well. 

If anyone shouldn’t be talking about science, it’s a guy like Jeb Bush. Best leave it to men and women who know a thing or two about science, like the pope.

Author Jameson Parker covers US politics, social justice issues, and other current events which aren't getting the attention they deserve. Feel free to follow or drop me a line on twitter.