Science,  Stateside

Jindal versus the “science deniers”

Louisiana’s Republican governor Bobby Jindal– who probably will be a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016– has accused the Obama administration of being “science deniers.”

That would be the same Bobby Jindal who mocked the idea of monitoring volcanic activity.

The same Bobby Jindal who signed the Louisiana Science Education Act of 2008, permitting the teaching of alternative theories to evolution in the state’s public schools. (Seventy-seven Nobel Laureates have signed a letter calling for the law’s repeal.)

The same Bobby Jindal whose administration tried to provide state-funded vouchers for students to attend schools that teach creationism instead of evolution.

So when Jindal talked about “science deniers” in the Obama administration, it’s no surprise that he was mainly referring to the delay in approving the Republicans’ pet project, the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil-sands crude from Canada to the Gulf Coast. There are arguments both for and against the pipeline, but those who oppose it on the grounds that oil-sands crude produces more greenhouse gas emissions than regular crude are not “science deniers.”

“Absolutely, let’s listen to scientists, absolutely, let’s work with job creators,” Jindal said. “But let’s not do so in a way that hurts our economy.”

Does not hurting the economy always trump scientific concerns? Sometimes it seems Republicans believe that the only meaningful ways to create jobs are projects that are potentially harmful to the environment. Meanwhile they oppose funding for projects that would create tens of thousands of jobs by repairing and replacing crumbling infrastructure.

Asked about his personal views on climate change, [Jindal] said he believed that the climate is “always changing.”

Whatever the hell that means.

Update: Jindal, a biology major at Brown University, dodges a question about his beliefs on evolution by explaining, “I was not an evolutionary biologist.”