FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Blinded by Climate Science: Carson, Fiorina and Putin

“True science teaches, above all, to doubt and be ignorant.”

— Miguel de Unamuno,The Tragic Sense of Life

Herewith a suggestion for Ben Carson.  It came to mind listening to the Republican debate on November 10, 2015.  During that debate two of the most important disclosures came from Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina.

It turns out that BOTH of them know and have spoken with Vladimir Putin. Carly has not only met Mr. Putin but, as she let slip during the debate, (although it does not appear in the transcript, two of us listening heard it, so I’m going with recollection rather than transcript) she has met many of the world leaders in addition to Vladimir Putin, acquaintances that will serve her in good stead should she become president.  (Although she didn’t say, those meetings probably happened before she was fired from her position as CEO of Hewlett Packard since it is not likely that leaders around the world would have been interested in meeting her otherwise.)  She was slightly contemptuous of Donald’s meeting with Mr. Putin because, as she explained “Donald met Mr. Putin in a green room waiting to appear on 60 Minutes and the two of them got to know each other before their appearances.” She was somewhat dismissive of that encounter since it was in a green room.  To show how much more important her encounter had been, she said it was “not in a green room before a show but in a private meeting.” She had apparently forgotten that when she was on the “Tonight Show” in September she said she met Putin in Beijing saying:  “We were in sort of a green room setting, actually.”

Of course, where or how the two candidates met Mr. Putin is not important.  What is important is that they have met him and established rapport. Mr. Carson was probably listening to this and wishing that he had met Mr. Putin and had had the opportunity to discuss brain surgery or other scientific issues with him.  The good news is he now has the perfect opportunity to get together with Mr. Putin in order to discuss a matter of great interest currently and one about which he and Mr. Putin have similar views.  Such a meeting would not only enable Mr. Carson to brag about the fact that they met, but would help him establish his credentials as a serious candidate when it comes to scientific matters like climate change.

A meeting about climate change would be especially relevant because of the upcoming U.N. meeting that is to take place in a few weeks in Paris and because of a report just released by the World Bank.  The World Bank  report has said that climate change may force 100 million people into poverty by 2030 unless, as John Roome, the Senior Director for Climate Change says, “climate considerations . . .[are] integrated into development work.” The goal of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change that will take place in Paris from November 30 to December 11 is to get the 196 countries attending to sign a new climate change agreement.

Mr. Putin is skeptical of climate change.  According to a report in the New York Times, in 2003 Mr. Putin told an international conference on climate that warmer temperatures would mean “Russians spend less on fur coats while agricultural specialists say our grain production will increase, and thank God for that.” Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and Putin critic said that Putin “believes that there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries including Russia.” Given that stand, Mr. Carson and Mr. Putin could have a fruitful and substantive discussion. Not that Mr. Carson has yet taken a firm view on the subject.

At a town hall at the University of New Hampshire in late September he was asked if he believed in climate change.  He responded saying:  “Of course there’s climate change.  Any point time (sic), temperatures are going up or temperatures are going down. Of course that’s happening.  When that stops happening, that’s when we’re in big trouble.”   He went on to say that climate change should not be a political issue and from there continued to discuss evolution (a topic he had earlier said was nothing more than a fairy tale) and concluded his response by saying:  “Just the way the Earth rotates on its axis, how far it is from the sun.  These are all very complex things.  Gravity, where did it come from?”  He might even want to probe Mr. Putin a bit as to where Mr. Putin thinks gravity comes from.  It may be that that would be yet another area in which he and Mr. Putin agree because it is entirely possible that Mr. Putin has wondered about that.

Even if Mr. Putin understands gravity, Mr. Carson would not have to bring up that subject in order to have a meaningful conversation with Mr. Putin about global warming.  And the most important thing is that a conversation with Mr. Putin about scientific matters would not only burnish Mr. Carson’s credentials as a serious student of science but it would put him in the same class of candidates as Carly and Donald who have gotten to know Mr. Putin, thus giving his candidacy yet another shot at credibility.  I’ll be happy to prepare a letter of introduction to Mr. Putin if Mr. Carson thinks that would be helpful.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador   Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Implementation with Integrity and Will to Resolve
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Homophobia in the Service of Anti-Trumpism is Still Homophobic (Even When it’s the New York Times)
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
David Yearsley
The Glories of the Grammophone
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail