And I mean troglodyte in the worst way possible. It's one thing to have a difference of opinion based on some combination of perception and fact. I am completely in favor of differences of opinion, and I think dissent is one of the most democratic things a person can do. However, failing to acknowledge scientific fact, simply because of your political views, is idiotic.
There's a small, but vocal, group of jackasses out there who do not believe global warming is occurring. Let me say that I think it's absolutely fine if you don't believe that global warming is occurring. You can have this viewpoint, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE SCIENTIFIC FACTS AT THE BASIS OF THIS BELIEF.
Some will say that this is a logical trap that I have set, since a significant portion of the scientific community would tell you that the existence of global warming is no longer debatable, but I think if you believe that there is some scientific evidence to disprove the existance of global warming, being a scientist, I can't really fault you for that. There is nothing wrong with disagreement in science. Disagreement is the motor of scientific innovations.
You can imagine then, my shock and disappointment, when a colleague of mine and Leptodactylus' from work, who is an established researcher with a Ph.D., denied the existance of global warming earlier this week, simply because she doesn't like Al Gore's politics. Not because she's created her very own climate model. Not because she has evaluated the available research and decided to be undecided. Those would be reasonable things.
She simply is so conservative idealogically, that she is unable to consider an idea that is supported by someone with a different political viewpoint than her own. I think this sort of thinking is illustrative of a huge problem in our country. When your political ideology inhibits an incredibly intelligent person from evaluating scientific evidence, forgive the cliche, but Houston, we have a problem.
Whether you like Al Gore or think he's the characature featured in the ManBearPig South Park episode, you can find people on both sides of the political spectrum who have acknowledged the existance and severity of global warming. Even President Bush, who is not EVER going to win an award for his thoughts in scientific fields, has FINALLY acknowledged the existance of global warming, albeit years later than he should have.
So, essentially, this individual is putting herself in a group of people that even President Bush is too progressive and intelligent to belong to. Hence, the reason I chose to use the word troglodyte.