Tuesday, 9 February 2010

signs of hopey-changey stuff

Sarah Palin looked as if she might have drawn some blood during her Tea Party speech when she teased Obama by asking:

How's that hope-y, change-y stuff workin' out for you?

We might be in danger of forgetting just how bad things were before Obama took office. This blog has been stepping back in time by reading Kim Stanley Robinson's novel Forty Signs of Rain (2004), which captures the mix of politics and science in Washington during the Bush era.

One of the central characters, Charlie, goes to see Dr Zacharius Strengloft, the Government's Chief Scientific Advisor. The novel describes Strengloft as:

a pompous academic of the worst kind, hauled out of the depths of a second-rate conservative think tank when the administration's first science advisor had been sent packing for suggesting that global warming might be real and not only that, amenable to human mitigations. That went too far for this administration.

In other words, he's no Steve Chu. In that respect, at least, the hopey-changey stuff is doing great. No way was Dr Zacharius Strengloft a Nobel prize-winning physicist.

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