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God Controls the Climate, So You Can Relax

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I know, he's just a Tea Party candidate with almost no chance of election, but Greg Brannon, primary candidate for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kay Hagen, said in a debate the other night that God controls the climate.

And here all this time you've thought it was physics.

Welcome back to North Carolina (Motto: "We have mines of crazy so rich we'll NEVER run out!"). The state has made most of its science news this spring with its staggering inaction on the Duke Energy coal ash spill. You remember: the largest energy company in the country spilled 39,000 tons of toxic ash into the Dan River from coal ash pits it had for years resisted cleaning up. Then it waited two months to do much about it. Then state government, naturally, sided with Duke in appealing a judge's ruling that Duke should, you know, clean up its mess. The fact that the state of North Carolina thinks that the nation's largest electric utility should not exercise the degree of responsibility we require from a kindergartener has, of course, nothing to do with the fact that NC governor Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 28 years or that Duke has donated $1.1 million to McCrory and the organizations that support him. I mean come on.

By the way -- few doubt that this catastrophic spill of toxic pollutants was anything but accidental. Just the same, sometimes Duke Energy dumps coal ash on purpose, like when it did so about 30 miles southwest of Raleigh -- a couple weeks after the spill. If you were wondering.

But we're not even going to talk about that! Because North Carolina! Is! Way! Crazier! Than that!

Detail of God creating the sun and the moon from the Sistine Chapel / Michelangelo Buonarroti

You probably know that Democratic Senator Kay Hagen, who believes in liberal fantasies like anthropogenic climate change, has already been targeted by GOP attacks to the tune of $7 million. And you may have even known that of the eight candidates in a big hurry to face her, the four likeliest had a debate this week. I'll cut to the chase. When asked whether climate change was real, all four candidates said no -- and Brannon added that God controls the climate.

So no need to worry about pollution or sea-level rise or temperature or any of that. It's in God's hands.

That's all I've got to say here today. Okay one more thing: One of the candidates is a pastor -- and it's not even Brannon. He is a physician. Another is a nurse. (Special free advice: do not go to these medical practitioners! They are not safe! They believe God controls things, and trust me -- you want science, not God, to be checking your blood work!)

Personal from North Carolina: Help me, Obi-wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

 

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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