When the Right spins Darwin there’s bound to be trouble

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If intelligent design wasn’t strange enough, the right-wing is now looking to use Darwin and evolution to spin climate change. Charles Darwin

Thomas Brewton at the Conservative Voice has decided to make the illogical leap of faith (read: spin) between scientific predictions of mass flooding, intensified storm, wildfires and drought caused by global warming and the concept of catastrophism, defined as “… the doctrine that at intervals in the earth’s history all living things have been destroyed by cataclysms and replaced by an entirely different population.”

I am not even going to get into the fact that this is not the conventional definition of catastrophism, and that his quoted definition doesn’t actually appear in his Wikipedia source.

Brewton claims that the scientific predictions of the effects of global warming fit his definition of catastrophism and are therefore incompatible with the theory of evolution.

Problem is, the vast majority of scientists do not make the claim that all living things will be destroyed. Brewer uses a statement by Al Gore as the underpinning evidence for his argument: “… great numbers of species will perish and the world as we know it will cease to exist within ten years.”

Nowhere in this statment does Gore state that all living things will be destroyed. Will a lot bad things happen due to the effects of global warming? Most likely. Will all living things perish? Most likely not. In other words, Brewton bases his entire argument  on an assumption that just isn’t there.

Finally, Brewton attempts to create the impression that today’s geoscientists do not accept the concept of catastrophism, when in fact the very source he uses for his defintion of catastrophism shows something very different: “… most geologists combine catastrophism and gradualist standpoints, taking the view that Earth’s history is a slow, gradual story punctuated by occasional natural catastrophic event that have affected Earth and its inhabitants.”

Confused? I am, but I am assuming that is the effect Brewton is going for. Keep us confused on climate change to avoid any real action on the issue. Classic PR tactic.

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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