Riffing on Books and Life – Arts & Sciences Literary Blog by interactive new media author & artist Terry Bailey

12Nov/14

Galileo and the Coal Companies

Susterman's portrait of Galileo, 1626

Susterman's portrait of Galileo, 1626

Today President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced they had come to an agreement to reduce carbon emissions in their respective countries. Republican U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnel and Republican U.S. House Leader John Boehner immediately mounted a fresh propaganda catch phrase campaign, accusing the two country's leaders of waging an "idealogical war on coal." In his morning column, Robert Reich asked what we think of this. This is what I think: I think those of us who are educated, who follow the work of our science experts (the scientists who have been warning us about the threat of global warming from carbon emissions since the 1970s), are currently learning what Galileo must have felt like when the Church sentenced him to house arrest for the rest of his life because he insisted that his scientific research proved that the earth circled the sun. Today the Oil, Coal and Gas companies who are attempting to rule our country and public opinion via their ownership of many in our Congress, are subbing for The Church; they are "climate change deniers" because they will be out of business if science wins the day. Galileo spent a lonely old age, but of course we all know that his Truths eventually won the day.

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