Category Archives: Science

Climate Change Deniers Must heed the Lessons of Noah and the Ark

In the telling of the later versions of the Genesis tale of Noah and the Ark (those not in the original Biblical accounts), the people are shown mocking Noah and his family for wasting a century in constructing the large vessel that would sustain them and the selected animals during the flood. In other versions, they ignore Noah’s warnings to build arks of their own so they avoid the cataclysm that God intended for Earth. Today, with a significant portion of the Trump (formerly Republican) Party denying the existence of human-made climate change, it is easy now to see the Genesis Flood story as one of climate change with Noah as the protagonist warning people of the natural catastrophe that was about to be unleashed and the rest of the populace denying and ridiculing him until it was too late. Today, it is the scientists warning of the consequences of our actions and inactions on climate change and it is the Trump Administration, in denying its own far-reaching report, that are not heeding the lessons of history and pursuing policies to combat the problem while it still can be.

We need to pay heed to the environmental lessons of Noah and the Ark.

It is ironic that the now Trump Party in its former Republican Party form once embraced and championed science, land conservation, and environmental protection. It was a Republican President Theodore Roosevelt that helped develop the United States Forest and Park Services. It was a Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, following the launch of Sputnik, who oversaw the creation of N.A.S.A. and the start of the space race. It was a Republican President Richard Nixon that signed the legislation that created the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and Clean Air Act.

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Reactionaries Attack the Progressive Propensity of Doctor Who

New Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker and her new team of companions (from left to right) Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole

Since human beings could learn to write, satirists, playwrights, and writers (especially those in science fiction and fantasy) have written about the human condition, often in fictional works that depict moral parables and themes. Examples such as Gulliver’s Travels, Les Miserable, Moby Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo, Pinocchio, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the Harry Potter series illustrate how writers express their views on humanity through the camouflage of fictional storytelling.

As technology made it possible, noted movie and television creative influences like Rod Serling, Fritz Lang, Genes Roddenberry and Coon, Steven Spielberg, and a host of others used the new visual art medium to convey what is good and bad about the human condition. Indeed people who have watched the best episodes of the Twilight Zone, Star Trek (all the series,) and The Outer Limits were drawn to the episodes that made them think and reflect on what humanity is like and its potential for both good and bad. Likewise, the silver screen with classics like Metropolis, The Bride of Frankenstein, Planet of the Apes (the original), ET, and The Twelve Monkey’s have had a lasting impact on the moral lessons they have taught since their theatrical release.

One noted science fiction and fantasy television show that, like the ones mentioned above, has historically tackled social issues since its creation in 1963 has come under renewed scrutiny by reactionaries who take issue with the show’s progressive direction in casting and story selection. That show is the BBC sensation Doctor Who.

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Democrats need to start laying the Progressive Foundation for 2020 now.

As other pundits in the national and local media have pointed out, It will be tempting these next several months to focus on the Popular Vote Loser’s (Presidents) tweets, outrageous comments and behavior, and potentially criminal acts that will be adjudicated in the courts.

Now that they will be in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats do have a responsibility to provide oversight of the Executive Branches actions that the Trump (Republican) Party failed to undertake. That is only right and proper.

Democrats and Progressives, in the federal government and in the state government offices they triumphed in, should also take this as an opportunity to advance progressive policies (both incremental and ambitious) that will further attract supporters in the rural, urban, and suburban parts of the country.  They should attempt to create bipartisan consensus with the Trump Party but be prepared to fight for and campaign on what the Trumpists obstruct in the Senate and the Oval Office.

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Cut back on Fossil Fuels — and BS Propaganda — with “Yes” Vote for Prop 127

Voters in Arizona can confidently vote “yes” for Proposition 127, knowing that it will cut the use by state utilities of polluting fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, and knowing that it will not cause an increase in electric rates.

There has been persistent false propaganda against the measure, asserting that Prop. 127 will cause electric rates to go up from $200 to $1,000 per year or that it bankrupt public schools or that it would somehow hurt air quality. None of this is true.

An example of these baseless arguments was the recent op-ed by Arizona Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson who argued without evidence that Prop. 127 would costs schools millions. The article cited estimates by unnamed “public utilities.” If the article referred to a study from Arizona Public Service — the chief opponent of Prop. 127 — that study has been widely debunked.

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LD9 Debate Reveals Stark Contrasts between Democrat & Republican Candidates (video)

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley (right) and Republican challenger Ana Henderson.

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley (right) and Republican challenger Ana Henderson.

Can’t decide how to vote in the November 6 election? If you live in Legislative District 9, check out the LD9 debate before casting your vote.

The debate video below reveals clear differences between the candidates on key issues such as the minimum wage, food security, the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), climate change, abortion, gun violence, and more.

Five people are running for the three LD9 Legislative seats: incumbent Democrats Reps. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley (me), Republican challenger Ana Henderson, and Senate candidates former Democratic representative Victoria Steele and Republican write-in candidate Randy Fleenor.

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) conducts candidate debates, videotapes them, and stores them on their website and YouTube channel. If you live in a district other than LD9, check out the CCEC archive for the other 2018 debate videos. For Southern Arizona Legislative Districts, here are links to debates for LD2, LD3, LD10, LD11, LD8, and LD14. (The LD9 debate is embedded below.

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