Monday, September 24, 2012

Mitt Romney - Scientifically Ignorant and Proud of It

Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention sneered, “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet.” Following the peals of laughter, he went on to proclaim, “My promise is to help you and your family.”

Mitt Romney ridiculed the effects of climate change in a year when the United States experienced the hottest July in recorded history, underwent one of the worst droughts in decades, and wildfires raged through many states.  This year arctic summer sea ice was at the lowest level it has been since satellite monitoring began 33 years ago. 

There is near unanimity in the scientific community that the burning of fossil fuels is substantially altering the climate of the planet.  What responsible human being would ridicule the considered opinion of the scientific community that the earth is imminently facing potential monumental effects of climate change – not the least of which is the rising of the oceans which would threaten coastal communities and could significantly alter the size of the world’s land mass?  What responsible leader would not wish to consider seriously such a threat to the next few generations - his/her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren?  Must be that Mitt Romney is expecting that his offspring will live on a different planet.

Last Friday, Ann Romney was in a private plane which began to fill with smoke and had to make an emergency landing.   Mitt Romney commenting on the episode stated,

"I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don't think she knows just how worried some of us were," Romney said. "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no -- and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem."

Mitt Romney doesn’t know why airplanes don’t have windows that roll down.  Consider an airplane cruising at an airspeed of 500 miles per hour at an altitude of 35,000 feet.  Outside the aircraft the temperature would be about -50 degrees Fahrenheit, the barometric pressure would be approximately one-quarter of an atmosphere, and the oxygen tension similarly would be about one-quarter of that on the earth’s surface.  Rolling down an airplane cabin window under such conditions would lead to the rapid decompression of the aircraft, perhaps threatening its structure.  Passengers would pass out from hypoxia, freeze from the -50 degree cold blast, and then die.  Mr. Romney, that is why aircraft do not have roll down windows.  I think these basic facts are covered in many elementary school science curricula.  In case Mr. Romney does not recall his elementary school science, perhaps he might remember the airplane cabin decompression dramatized in the Goldfinger movie. He might also recall that airplane cabin decompression was widely reported as the presumptive cause of the 2005 crash of a Cypriot airliner leading to the death of all 121 on board.

It is hard to imagine a would-be President being so scientifically uninformed and also so derisive of science.


  1. "Why did you open the window, Mr. Romney?"

    "It was stuffy. I wanted some fresh air."

  2. Well Mitt some have it and some don't

  3. In the UK, part of the much-derided Europe in which no-one takes a gun to school and anyone who needs medical help for their pain will get it, a 'leader' who was too stupid to understand that airplanes are warm and pressurised on the inside and very, very cold on the outside wouldn't be considered smart enough to teach five year-olds. RICHARD!!! Please fix your authentication. It took me several failed attempts to 'prove that I am not a robot'. Most people will not bother to try that hard.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Also thanks for the heads-up on the commenter authentication - I have now turned off that feature.

  4. And next year we'll have record lows and you'll all say it is part of global warming...oops, I mean climate change. Science doesn't have all the answers and never will. The world has had ups and downs in temperatures, mini ice ages, draught, a big ice age, more draught. It is just the way it is and there is nothing we can humanly do about it to make a difference.

  5. Thing is that the plane's are too big, and go up too high really fast. It's not what the Wright brother's had in mind.

  6. The Meteorological Office in the UK, which quietly released the data in a report on the Internet. The plateau in global temperature averages now equals the length of time that temperatures increased, 16 years, after a 40-year-plus period of slight cooling:

    The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.
    The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.
    This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

  7. Not surprised. Just amused. Mitt Romney's a joke, just like that O'Reilly bloke.