Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) realizes that conservatives tend to be at odds with the reality-based community when it comes to climate science, but he nevertheless hopes the latter will be "tolerant" of the former.
"At the very least, I think it's time for some tolerance in the public discourse regarding the many scientific viewpoints on climate change. Respect should be shown to those who have done the research and come to a different conclusion," Wicker said during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on climate science.
This comes up from time to time, and it's always disconcerting. There's a political dispute underway about an issue with unrivaled consequences -- the climate crisis has the capacity to change conditions on the planet to the detriment of humanity. One side of this political argument is relying on evidence and science to draw attention to a potentially catastrophic problem in the hopes of coming up with a solution.
The other side of the argument includes a variety of prominent voices who've come to believe that the entirety of climate science is a hoax perpetrated by secret communists who hate free enterprise. Other conservatives don't go quite this far, but nevertheless say the problem, if it exists, can't or shouldn't be addressed.
Wicker seems to believe what's needed is "tolerance" for those who are wrong and "respect" for those who embrace dangerous pseudo-science.
I disagree. With so much on the line, showing respect for willful ignorance seems deeply irresponsible.