A handful of scientists are using a super PAC to get their colleagues to align against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over his “embrace of conspiracy theories, anti-science attitudes, and disregard for experts.”
“We urge our peers to join us in making it clear that Mr. Trump’s statements are not only at odds with scientific reality, but represent a dangerous rejection of scientific thinking,” reads an online petition started by anthropologist Eugenie Scott on the website of Not Who We Are PAC.
Scott, who made her name fighting against teaching creationism in schools, joined up with Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann and three others to attack Trump for his beliefs on issues, like global warming, vaccines and evolution.
“Vaccines save lives every day, but Mr. Trump has stoked discredited fears about vaccines and autism and accused doctors of lying to people about them,” reads Scott’s petition.
“Every major country on Earth is adapting to a changing climate and reducing emissions from fossil fuels, but Mr. Trump has claimed it is a hoax, a statement that prompted a response from hundreds of members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the country’s leading scientific advisory body,” she wrote.
Scott also attacked Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, for giving “a speech to the House of Representatives challenging the teaching of evolutionary science in classrooms based on a misreading of how evolution works.”
Trump was recently criticized for trying to hide the fact he’s called global warming a “hoax.” Trump denied ever saying such a thing while debating Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on network television Monday night.
“Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese,” Clinton said during the debate. “I think it’s real.”
“I did not. I did not. I do not say that,” Trump responded.
The Trump campaign was quick to rebuff arguments Trump thought global warming was a hoax in the hours after the debate. Pence told CNN “the reality is that this climate change agenda that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to continue to expand is killing jobs in this country.”
This isn’t the first group of scientists to come out against Trump. Some 37 scientists affiliated with the National Academy of Sciences signed an open letter decrying Trump’s intention to pull out of a United Nations global warming treaty.
“People who embrace conspiracy theories, spread misinformation, and dismiss science should have no place in our government,” Scott wrote in her petition.
“We all have different political backgrounds and this isn’t about partisan politics for us. As Americans – and as members of the scientific community – Donald Trump is simply not who we are,” she wrote.
Not Who We Are PAC hasn’t done much this election, compared to the tens of millions spent by other super PACs. The group has only spent 23,000 on ads targeting Trump, according to federal filings.
So far, only five scientists have signed Scott’s petition, including Mann, the climate scientist who gained fame for his “hockey stick” graph showing global temperature rise. Mann was also involved in the “Climategate” email scandal, and he’s been repeatedly called out for falsely claiming to have been a “co-winner” of the Nobel Prize.
The Nobel committee has consistently gone on record that Mann and other climate scientists were not awarded the prize in 2007. That year, the Nobel Prize was awarded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore for their “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”
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