First came this exchange via IPhone, widely shared on Facebook by a Colorado Mesa University biology graduate who specializes in conservation of endangered species. The biologist wrote to Colorado State Senator Ray Scott concerned about his uninformed, overly-simplistic views on energy production and effects global climate change:
Scott’s response included his practically-trademarked punctuation and spelling errors and his marginally coherent claims presented without any evidence that the earth’s air, water and mortality rates are all “cleaner” because of fossil fuels.
Constituents could only cringe at Scott’s response. Some of them contacted him in response to this exchange, but Sen. Scott quickly blocks constituents he disagrees with from his social media — even highly educated people in fields he concerns himself with — further limiting the information he could get from informed sources.
Round 2: More embarrassment
Next came the following exchange with Senator Scott, posted by an atmospheric scientist also greatly concerned about the relationship between climate and energy production. He simply asked Sen. Scott to back up the claims he made to the CMU biology professor about the impact of fossil fuels on environment and health by citing scientific sources for the claims:
Sen. Scott got defensive and still provided no sources for his information.
Following is Scott’s next embarrassing response. Sorry for the blurred appearance — I had to blow it way up to be readable:
Some excerpts from Scott’s response:
“How about just common sense..
For as many people as you could bring I can double it with experts, scientist [sic], biologists and chemists that will disagree with just as much data. So your point is? I’ve heard testimony for six years that contradicts each point you could ever bring to the table.”
“The only thing that will disappear on this planet is you and me, we are but a spec [sic] of dust that the planet will shake off like a flea on a dog’s back…”
“I’m sorry but when you care more about the planet than people walking on it Mr. Wes, I will disagree.”
“Take a hot shower and breath [sic] some great Colorado air and thank fossil fuels when you walk on concrete, drive your car, jog in those shoes or whatever you do today and then sit down and write me another email spewing your data driven arguments….”
According to the only biosketch available online that mentions anything about Scott’s educational background, Ray Scott has only a high school education.
And it shows.
What isn’t surprising is that someone with Sen. Scott’s level of educational attainment doesn’t know how to tell a valid scientific conclusion from information from biased or paid sources. Much of western Colorado’s population may well find itself in the same boat, and even much of the country. We are all suffering from Sen. Scott’s lack of knowledge on this count.
But what does grab attention and worry constituents is that as more of these dialogues between environmental experts and Senator Scott become public, it gets scarier that an elected official who is this ignorant of basic science and scientific methods, and who is so closed off from better educating himself on the subject, continues to hold a decision-making office in the state’s legislature.