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Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy

Shawn Lawrence Otto | Scientific American

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 01, 2012

The United States faced down authoritarian governments on the left and right. Now it may be facing an even greater challenge from within

New Poll: Even religious voters overwhelmingly want candidates to debate science

Consensus among Protestants, Catholics for science debates, science-based policies; Twice as many think the US not spending enough on alternative energy as do defense

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Apr 03, 2012

It turns out that the presidential campaign staffers have it completely, one hundred and eighty degrees wrong when it comes to science. Overwhelming majorities of American voters want the candidates to debate the big science issues facing the country.

Republican Meteorologist says 'keep track of who the deniers are today'

Poking a Hornet's Nest

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Mar 31, 2012

My recent Op-Ed gave me a chance to summarize how I feel about the politicization of climate science in recent years - how it's become a bizarre litmus test for conservatism.

Cherry Blossoms, Ice Boxes, BMWs, and Climate Change

The way to counter antiscience thinking is to make science concrete. Hot enough for you?

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Mar 18, 2012

The way to counter antiscience thinking is to make science concrete. Hot enough for you?

Climate Denial Bombshell UPDATED

Heartland Institute's Budget and Strategy Released Online

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Feb 14, 2012

Internal documents show organization's strategy, including a climate propaganda effort in K-12 schools by "providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain - two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science."

Congressman to Witness: 'You Just Be Quiet!' (Video)

Rep. Don Young abuses noted historian Dougles Brinkley in stunning display

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 19, 2011

A heated exchange between two congressmen and a historian they didn't want to hear from shows what happens to democracy when knowledge is no longer the arbiter of what is true, but is simply another "way of knowing."

Republicans Cut Top Science Office by 1/3

"Compromise" cut in Congress down from 55% in House bill

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 16, 2011

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) budget by a whopping 32 percent. The cuts "will have real consequences on OSTP's operations," said spokesperson Rick Weiss.

Climate scientist wins a round for America

At stake is Americans' freedom to express ideas that run contrary to corporations

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 01, 2011

These actions reflect an all-too-common authoritarian goal, a goal that vested interests have pursued since the days of Galileo: forcibly silencing freedom of speech, thought, inquiry and expression that runs counter to the vested interests. In Galileo's 1633 indictment, it was the Catholic Church, then the seat of world political power. Today the vested interests that are being threatened by the measured facts of science are the current the seat of world political power, the US energy industry. But quashing science is anti-freedom and unAmerican, so the try to do it anonymously, through groups like ATI.

A Global Warming Primer for Skeptics

Multiple independent lines of data show similar trends

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Oct 25, 2011

Most skeptical conservatives are reason-minded thinkers who are simply too busy to assess vast datasets. Those people should consider the following charts.

1100 People Rally at MN State Capitol

Otto Fires up the Crowd with ... Facts and Science?

By Guest Blogger | Sep 25, 2011

"It's pretty astonishing when a crowd cheers just to hear verifiable scientific facts," said Otto. "It speaks to how far our national policymakers have drifted from reality."

Conservatives Astroturfing a Brave New World (VIDEO)

There is a propaganda battle being fought on the internet to control what you believe

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 22, 2011

Hilary Clinton was mocked as paranoid when in 1998 she said that there was "a vast right-wing conspiracy" out to discredit her husband Bill Clinton's presidency. Since then the network of right-wing media outfits, conservative think tanks, merchant scientists, propaganda videographers and corporate-funded astroturf organizations has been broadly documented.

Obama: Did I say I'd 'restore science to its rightful place'?

Jackson says EPA will not meet GHG deadline

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 15, 2011

Standing on the capitol steps on a crisp and partly sunny January 20, 2009, newly-minted president Barack Obama said he would "restore science to its rightful place" - what had been a part of the mission statement of Science Debate 2008, the nonprofit grassroots initiative to get the candidates for president to debate the nation's top unsolve science challenges. But today Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said the EPA will not meet a court-imposed September 30 deadline to propose rules for limiting greenhouse gas pollution like excess carbon dioxide from power plants.

Pricing the New Energy Economy

We hear the term - but how much will a new US energy infrastructure cost?

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Aug 16, 2011

We hear talk about how we need to transition to a green energy economy, but what exactly does that mean? A little math and some energy insight can paint a rough picture.