Texas is the poster child for what happens when you turn everything into politics — including science, Mother Nature and energy — and try to maximize short-term profits over long-term resilience in an era of extreme weather. The Mars landing is the poster child for letting science guide us and inspire audacious goals and the long-term investments to achieve them.
The Mars mind-set used to be more our norm. The Texas mind-set has replaced it in way too many cases. Going forward, if we want more Mars landings and fewer Texas collapses — what’s happening to people there is truly heartbreaking — we need to take a cold, hard look at what produced each.
Friedman nails something I’ve been thinking about a lot during the past week: the Evangelical Right are driving a lot of the science denial in America — and they aren’t merely wrong; their resolute ignorance is dangerous, and in our mental filing system they ought to be classed with the White Supremacists and all the other loopy misanthropes.