question: What do you get when more than 60 of
the world's top scientists, 20 Nobel Laureates
among them, get together and write one of the
most scathing, damning reports in the history
of modern science, aimed squarely at BushCo's
thoroughly atrocious record of cover-ups and obfuscations
and outright lies regarding the health of the
do you get when those very scientists, a highly
respected, nonpartisan group called the Union
of Concerned Scientists, go on to claim that no
other president in modern history has so openly
misled the public or been so flagrantly disrespectful
of scientific fact and mountains of irrefutable
research, deliberately and systematically mutilating
scientific data in the service of its rather brutal,
pro-corporate, antienvironment agenda?
you answered, "Why, you get even more painful
polyps of sadness and disgust on your soul due
to the BushCo onslaught," consider yourself among
the millions who are right now rather horrified
and appalled and who are wondering just what sort
of human -- not what sort of politician, mind
you, not what sort of power broker, not what sort
of failed Texas oilman corporate lackey -- but
what sort of human being you have to be to enact
such insidious ongoing planet-gouging legislation,
smirking and shrugging all the way.
is not an easy one to answer, as you can only
wonder what has gone so horribly wrong, what sort
of line has been crossed so that not even the
basic dignity of the planet, not even a modicum
of respect for it, is the slightest factor anymore
in modern American right-wing politics. What,
too extreme? Hardly.
story about the scientist's report is here. It
was broadcast over many major media channels,
somewhat loud and mostly clear, though most media
was far more eager to bury it under all those
more hotly controversial pics of happy gay people
smooching on the steps of S.F.'s city hall than
they were to trumpet the dire claims of a bunch
of boring genius scientists.
is the national priority. After all, no one wants
to hear how badly we've been duped by this administration,
again. Given the nonexistent WMDs and the complete
lack of Iraqi nukes and the bogus wars and manufactured
fear and a galling budget deficit and nearly 3
million lost jobs and a raft of BushCo lies so
thick you need a jackhammer to see some light,
no one wants to know that even the world's top
scientists are disgusted with our nation's leadership.
can, after all, take only so much abuse, can be
only so karmically and ideologically hammered,
before we become so utterly exhausted that we
just stop caring.
in fact, BushCo would love nothing more than to
cripple our outrage and deflect attention away
from all the dead U.S. soldiers in Iraq and his
overall atrocious record on the war, jobs, the
environment and foreign policy, and center it
all on divisive issues of God-centric moral righteousness,
like all those sicko gay people trying to dignify
their sinful love.
is a president, after all, who truly believes
he is doing God's will by turning this country
into the most lawless, internationally loathed
aggressor on the planet, something I'm sure is
very reassuring to those countless thousands of
dead Iraqi civilians.
it really matter anymore? After all, as any child
can tell you, politics has always been a wildly
corrupt and slimy profession, valued somewhere
between professional wrestler and professional
baby-seal clubber on the moral and spiritual scale
o' delicious karmic significance.
yes, it must be noted that there isn't a U.S.
president on record who hasn't somehow deliberately
mangled scientific data and covered up important
reports during his term in order to further favored
policies. Goes almost without saying.
as the Union of Concerned Scientists point out,
never has the oppression of fact been so systematic,
so widespread, so repulsive as that which Bush
has wrought. Never has the abuse been so flagrant,
the border marking what's morally acceptable so
you don't believe the hippie environmentalists
who are always spouting off about saving the whales
and protecting the forests. Maybe you like to
hiss at and dismiss, say, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s
outstanding, powerfully researched articles in
the recent issue of Rolling Stone and the latest
issue of The Nation that carefully delineate just
how Bush's enviro record is the worst in history,
and call Kennedy just another typical left-wing
liberal. You wish to be that small and boorish?
so easy, however, to dismiss a small army of nonpartisan,
internationally respected scientists as just more
agenda-thick political BS, as BushCo has done.
To do so reeks of something far beyond mere name
calling and dumb party maneuvering. It reeks of
sheer heartlessness regarding the planet. It reeks
of abuse. It reeks of hate.
then, is the gist of the BushCo attack on the
planet: a hate crime. An intentional, ferocious
dismantling of protections and guidelines, a view
that Mother Nature is nothing but a cheap resource
to be exploited, a giant oil can to be suckled,
a hunk of toilet paper for Dick Cheney to -- well,
let's not imagine.
at it this way. It's like music videos. Over and
over again, endless droning shots of gyrating
sweating booty-pumping faux-sexy bodies pretending
to writhe in bogus orgasmic bliss, video after
video and hour after hour where you watch and
watch and go slowly numb and say, Jesus with a
skimpy thong and a spray bottle of baby oil, how
much further can they go?
much more naked and sexist and overblown and abusive
can they get before they say oh screw it and just
strip down and have sex with a live chicken as
50 Cent downs a bottle of Crystal and grins maniacally?
is like the saturation level of BushCo. Something's
gotta give, you say. Surely some sort of ugly
orgiastic critical mass has been reached wherein
Bush and his planet-reaming policies simply cannot
go any further without some sort of meltdown,
some sort of massive international cosmic recoil
whereby we finally see the Bush admin for what
it is, quite possibly the most self-serving, egomaniacal
cluster of enviro thugs in modern history.
with the Union of Concerned Scientists report,
this sentiment goes one step further -- this is
not just hate for the planet, not merely a blatant
right-wing revulsion for those much-loathed intangible
New Age-y touchstones like earthly vibration,
energy, true spiritual connection and a deep veneration
and sense of profound awe for the raw divinity
is more sinister, and more disturbing. BushCo's
ugly rejection of not merely the "liberal" environmental
politicking but also of the factual science of
the natural world is, ultimately, a form of self-loathing.
It is a snide and self-destructive rejection of
the human-nature connection, of the very real
and very direct correlation between how we treat
our world and how we view ourselves, between what
we choose to celebrate/annihilate in nature and
what we venerate/devastate in own spirits. After
all, the less regard you have for one, the less
you care about the other. Simple, really.
We reflect the planet. The planet reflects us.
And 60 out of 60 scientists agree: BushCo's time
of reflecting nothing but cruel blackness and
abuse needs to come to an end, right now.
Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every
Wednesday and Friday on SF Gate, unless it appears
on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which it never does.
He also writes the Morning Fix, a deeply skewed
thrice-weekly e-mail column and news
Posted: February 28, 2004