Getting Totally Bushed

05/26/2015 06:47 pm ET | Updated May 26, 2016

I really meant it the other day when I wrote that "I'm starting to get tired of writing about Jeb Bush." But I find myself once again having to, not because he simply says things I don't agree with -- that's to be expected in politics and part of the process -- but because he's saying things so mind-numbingly egregious that I don't even begin to understand what he's thinking.

First there was his defense of the United States going to war in Iraq and four changing-explanations on what he actually meant.

Then, there was him stating contrary to existing law that any business could discriminate, as long as it was part of their religious belief. Which basically is core of hate-filled anarchy.

And now, he's saying as a layman that climate scientists are "arrogant" for almost unanimously coming to the exact same conclusion on climate change as a result of independent, peer-reviewed research.

I'm beginning to think that contemplative, analytical thinking is not an inherited trait handed down to the Bush children.

Among the potential Republican candidates for president, Jeb Bush is one of the more reasonable, though that's a low standard. But I really don't begin to understand what he's been thinking the past couple weeks. Yes, I know he wants to get the GOP nomination, so he likely feels he has to indulge the whimsies of the radical far-right base. But not only am I not sure that the radical far-right base of the Republican Party believes all the things Jeb Bush has been spouting lately, the reality is that if he does actually got the party's nomination (something that seemed probable just two weeks ago, and more questionable today), he'll have to live on these statements in the general election. And they're making him look sort of clownish. And clueless.

Just look at this most recent pronouncement. It's bizarre not just on the most eye-catching level that's made the news, but on so many levels.

Here's what I mean. As a simple starting point, this is Mr. Bush's quote about climate change that's getting the most attention: "And for the people to say the science is decided on, this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you."

Now, if Jeb Bush, former Republican governor of Florida eight years ago, doesn't want to believe in the man-made causes of climate change, so be it. That's his right. But if you do actually want to make that claim and be taken seriously (especially as an aspirant for President of the United States), it's sort of incumbent upon you to support it with actual scientific research and facts that contradict the opposing position. Just saying something is wrong doesn't make it so. (This is akin to the Third Grade Rule of Arguing. "You're stupid." "No, you are." No, you are.") Why is it wrong? Show your work. If you want to be president, lead the way. It's part of the job description.

But then, it's not just that Mr. Bush the younger says it's wrong, he actually says it's "arrogant" of scientists to draw their researched scientific conclusions. And once again, not only does he not provide a single scintilla of support for his assertion of "arrogance" -- not one, nothing, zero -- his non-scientific, layman claims against the near-entire peer reviewed scientific community is the definition of arrogance itself.

While we might like the image of the lone voice with arm raised railing against the powers of the world, it's worth remember that often when we see that person in real life, we carefully guide our children to the other side of the street and point as a warning why it's important to do homework and change your underwear at least once a week.

Let's be clear about something: this supposed "arrogance" is 197 world science organization that support the idea of man-made involvement in climate change. And I've yet to come across a single one (none) who say otherwise. Zippo, nada.

Even the last holdout, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (what a shock...) jumped ship in July, 2007. They changed their position and finally acknowledged in the very first sentence of their public statement: "In the last century, growth in human population has increased energy use. This has contributed additional carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases to the atmosphere." They weren't certain the degree to which the problem was man-made, but even they (the sole, remaining holdout) were at last recognizing that people were involved.

But now, with the Petroleum Geologists association even jumping ship, there are no world science organizations I can find who support what Jeb Bush is trying to contend. And 197 on the other side. Again, it's his right to believe whatever he does, or say the world is flat. Or that his brother actually got more votes in Florida than Al Gore. But to suggest that everyone else who are actual world science organizations, and 97% of "actively publishing climate scientists" -- which is how NASA describes it (NASA, for goodness sake!) -- are themselves "arrogant" belies all common sense.

Really, what on earth and in the ozone is Jeb Bush thinking?? Assuming that "thinking" is a term separate from "pandering."

But the thing's not this "arrogance" claim that may even be the most strange thing in his comments about climate change. That's got the most attention, but it's something else that leaps out when you read the full statement he made on the subject. And that full statement was --

"Look, first of all, the climate is changing. I don't think the science is clear what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It's convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on, this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you. It's this intellectual arrogance that now you can't even have a conversation about it. The climate is changing, and we need to adapt to that reality."

There is a quagmire of blind contradictions here so deep and tortuously tangled that it makes America's getting out of Vietnam an easy task by comparison.

To begin with, after slamming climate scientists as "arrogant" for stating the results of their research as fact, Mr. Bush the younger then goes and himself states as fact that "the climate is changing." Now, much as I myself agree with him, he has to know that much of his own party's base doesn't. It's not at all decided among the radical far-right that the climate is changing. So, imagine the arrogance of Jeb Bush to say it is so -- and then repeat it, and then state that it is "reality."

But further, as he must know -- he just has to know, unless he's been holed up with Dick Cheney in seclusion meditating for the past eight years he's been out of office -- that much of this far-right base of his GOP is so adamant that the science isn't remotely decided on climate change (or "global warming" as they like to inaccurately call it) that their minds are lock-closed on accepting the research from the 97% of peer-reviewed climate scientists.

Here's the problem with that --

To be honest with you (as Mr. Bush likes to say a lot the past week, which is a shame because I think it would be much better for him if we thought maybe he was just joking) when I first read him stating, "It's this intellectual arrogance that you can't even have a conversation about it" -- I thought that he was talking about the Republican far-right base, and taking a swing at them! I mean, after all, that's the whole reason there's even a faux-debate on the subject of climate change. Then I came to my senses and understood he was just being disingenuous and contradictory -- and blithely unaware of the bizarre irony that he was doing it.

I just don't understand what Jeb Bush is doing this past couple weeks. If he wants to make any of these pronouncements, fair enough, it's his right. And his far-right. But that doesn't mean they don't make him look clueless and floundering, most especially when unsupported by anything to back them up.

But in the end, to be fair, here is the list of world scientific organizations that I've been able to find who support Jeb Bush's position that it's "arrogant" to claim there's man-made involvement in climate change --


And just to be completely above board, so that you know the full disclosure, here from the California Office of Planning & Research is the list of arrogant Worldwide Scientific Organizations that "hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action"

1. Academia Chilena de Ciencias, Chile
2. Academia das Ciencias de Lisboa, Portugal
3. Academia de Ciencias de la República Dominicana
4. Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales de Venezuela
5. Academia de Ciencias Medicas, Fisicas y Naturales de Guatemala
6. Academia Mexicana de Ciencias,Mexico
7. Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Bolivia
8. Academia Nacional de Ciencias del Peru
9. Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
10. Académie des Sciences, France
11. Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada
12. Academy of Athens
13. Academy of Science of Mozambique
14. Academy of Science of South Africa
15. Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS)
16. Academy of Sciences Malaysia
17. Academy of Sciences of Moldova
18. Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
19. Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
20. Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt
21. Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand
22. Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
23. Africa Centre for Climate and Earth Systems Science
24. African Academy of Sciences
25. Albanian Academy of Sciences
26. Amazon Environmental Research Institute
27. American Academy of Pediatrics
28. American Anthropological Association
29. American Association for the Advancement of Science
30. American Association of State Climatologists (AASC)
31. American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
32. American Astronomical Society
33. American Chemical Society
34. American College of Preventive Medicine
35. American Fisheries Society
36. American Geophysical Union
37. American Institute of Biological Sciences
38. American Institute of Physics
39. American Meteorological Society
40. American Physical Society
41. American Public Health Association
42. American Quaternary Association
43. American Society for Microbiology
44. American Society of Agronomy
45. American Society of Civil Engineers
46. American Society of Plant Biologists
47. American Statistical Association
48. Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
49. Australian Academy of Science
50. Australian Bureau of Meteorology
51. Australian Coral Reef Society
52. Australian Institute of Marine Science
53. Australian Institute of Physics
54. Australian Marine Sciences Association
55. Australian Medical Association
56. Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
57. Bangladesh Academy of Sciences
58. Botanical Society of America
59. Brazilian Academy of Sciences
60. British Antarctic Survey
61. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
62. California Academy of Sciences
63. Cameroon Academy of Sciences
64. Canadian Association of Physicists
65. Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
66. Canadian Geophysical Union
67. Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
68. Canadian Society of Soil Science
69. Canadian Society of Zoologists
70. Caribbean Academy of Sciences views
71. Center for International Forestry Research
72. Chinese Academy of Sciences
73. Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences
74. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) (Australia)
75. Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
76. Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
77. Crop Science Society of America
78. Cuban Academy of Sciences
79. Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science and Letters
80. Ecological Society of America
81. Ecological Society of Australia
82. Environmental Protection Agency
83. European Academy of Sciences and Arts
84. European Federation of Geologists
85. European Geosciences Union
86. European Physical Society
87. European Science Foundation
88. Federation of American Scientists
89. French Academy of Sciences
90. Geological Society of America
91. Geological Society of Australia
92. Geological Society of London
93. Georgian Academy of Sciences
94. German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina
95. Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
96. Indian National Science Academy
97. Indonesian Academy of Sciences
98. Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
99. Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
100. Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand
101. Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK
102. InterAcademy Council
103. International Alliance of Research Universities
104. International Arctic Science Committee
105. International Association for Great Lakes Research
106. International Council for Science
107. International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences
108. International Research Institute for Climate and Society
109. International Union for Quaternary Research
110. International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
111. International Union of Pure and Applied Physics
112. Islamic World Academy of Sciences
113. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
114. Kenya National Academy of Sciences
115. Korean Academy of Science and Technology
116. Kosovo Academy of Sciences and Arts
117. l'Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
118. Latin American Academy of Sciences
119. Latvian Academy of Sciences
120. Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
121. Madagascar National Academy of Arts, Letters, and Sciences
122. Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology
123. Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts
124. National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, Argentina
125. National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
126. National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic
127. National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka
128. National Academy of Sciences, United States of America
129. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
130. National Association of Geoscience Teachers
131. National Association of State Foresters
132. National Center for Atmospheric Research
133. National Council of Engineers Australia
134. National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, New Zealand
135. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
136. National Research Council
137. National Science Foundation
138. Natural England
139. Natural Environment Research Council, UK
140. Natural Science Collections Alliance
141. Network of African Science Academies
142. New York Academy of Sciences
143. Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences
144. Nigerian Academy of Sciences
145. Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters
146. Oklahoma Climatological Survey
147. Organization of Biological Field Stations
148. Pakistan Academy of Sciences
149. Palestine Academy for Science and Technology
150. Pew Center on Global Climate Change
151. Polish Academy of Sciences
152. Romanian Academy
153. Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium
154. Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Spain
155. Royal Astronomical Society, UK
156. Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
157. Royal Irish Academy
158. Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
159. Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
160. Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
161. Royal Scientific Society of Jordan
162. Royal Society of Canada
163. Royal Society of Chemistry, UK
164. Royal Society of the United Kingdom
165. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
166. Russian Academy of Sciences
167. Science and Technology, Australia
168. Science Council of Japan
169. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
170. Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics
171. Scripps Institution of Oceanography
172. Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
173. Slovak Academy of Sciences
174. Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
175. Society for Ecological Restoration International
176. Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
177. Society of American Foresters
178. Society of Biology (UK)
179. Society of Systematic Biologists
180. Soil Science Society of America
181. Sudan Academy of Sciences
182. Sudanese National Academy of Science
183. Tanzania Academy of Sciences
184. The Wildlife Society (international)
185. Turkish Academy of Sciences
186. Uganda National Academy of Sciences
187. Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities
188. United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
189. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
190. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
191. World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
192. World Federation of Public Health Associations
193. World Forestry Congress
194. World Health Organization
195. World Meteorological Organization
196. Zambia Academy of Sciences
197. Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences


To read more from Robert J. Elisberg about this or many other matters both large and tidbit small, see Elisberg Industries.