Marginalized and Maybe Scared

When Thomas Friedman sings the praises of Arnold Schwarzenegger—more importantly, when I sing the praises of Arnold Schwarzenegger–, then the world really has turned a corner.

Friedman has a nice piece in yesterday’s NYT:

How Many Scientists?

Here is Arnold talking to Friedman:

“The debate is over,” he said to me. “I mean, how many more thousands and thousands of scientists do we need to say, ‘We have done a study that there is global warming?’ ”

What is “amazing for someone that does not come from a political background like myself,” said Governor Schwarzenegger, is that “this line is being drawn” between Democrats and Republicans on climate change. “You say to yourself: ‘How can it be drawn on the environment?’ But it is. But the great thing is more and more Republicans are coming on board for this. Seeing how important this is. And more and more Democrats and Republicans are working together. … I said in my inaugural address: ‘There isn’t such a thing as Republican clean air or Democratic clean air. We all breathe the same air.’ Let’s get our act together, fix this problem and fight global warming.”

Go, Arnold! I hereby publicly retract all the nasty things I said about you.

Now put this little piece next to this one from Alternet, concerning the proliferation of creationist museums:

Creation Science Is the Christian Right’s Trojan Horse Against Reason

Other creationist museums are going up in Arkansas, Texas, California, Tennessee and Florida. Museums are part of a massive push to teach creationism in schools, part of a vast Christian publishing and filmmaking industry that seeks to rewrite the past and make it conform to the Bible.

They have created parallel research and scholarly institutions. They pump out articles in self-published journals to provide “evidence” that homosexuals can be cured, that global warming is a myth, that abortion can cause breast cancer, that something they call “post-abortion syndrome” leads to deep depression and suicide and that abstinence-only education is an effective form of birth control. This pseudo-science has seeped into the public debate.

What is happening here? Imhofe will be marginalized, but is a whole section of the Republican Party about to be marginalized? I think so.

I used to worry that the growth of fundamentalism was a profound threat to dealing with the immense problems that confront us.

Now, although it still is a danger and is fighting back, slowly but surely, it is closing itself off, pinched off like some cancerous, bulbous growth. With thousands upon thousands of scientists around the world throwing their voices into the battle over global warming, the religious right is slowly but surely being marginalized, talking only to itself in some weird kind of mad Ussher-mutter only it can understand. The louder and more insistent the religious right becomes, the more you can be sure: They are running scared. Real science is the name of the game.

Arnold gives me hope; so too do all the other Republicans who are starting to sense that they do not have to give a political nod to unthink-nothink.