The Weekend Politics Thread Goes To Mars

SCIENCE! It’s all over the news, in one form or another. A number of us right here on the Avocado work in science, and when I’m not ruthlessly suppressing dissent against my dictatorial rule of this thread, I might just be science-ing it up at the University of [redacted] as well. Let’s see how the world of science and the world of politics are irritating each other lately.

Trump and climate change denial

We’ve just seen what Donald Trump considers an emergency: embarrassment. No one was willing to pay for the Great Wall of Eminent Domain along the border with Mexico, so he’s declared a national emergency. He plans to re-appropriate money from hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, among other sources, to build it. We’ll see how that flies in the courts, but one of the many obvious logical flaws being presented here is this: what’s so urgent now if nothing dramatic has happened in the two years since he became President?

There actually is a scenario which we could call an emergency despite its effects occurring slowly over a long period of time, and that’s where the science comes in. It’s climate change, and it’s the reason why Trump’s fictional border emergency makes some Republicans nervous. Now that a precedent has been set, what’s to stop future President Democrat from declaring a national emergency to address actual, real problems like that? We’ll have to wait until at least 2021 to find out, because the entire Republican party has decided to pretend climate and weather are the same thing, and a cold spell invalidates decades of data collected worldwide.

 

Anti-vaxxers cause a measles outbreak

Here’s some science news: a new development called “vaccines” has been making waves around the world, drastically reducing the incidence of certain communicable diseases. This post dated February 16, 1857. But wait, breaking news update! Some people have decided they don’t like being free of these so-called “diseases,” and they are going to do everything in their power to make sure their kids get all the glorious viruses that they were so cruely deprived of as children. And they’re so generous about it, they’ll gladly share them with your kids too, like it or not! You’re welcome.

Officials hope to change minds amid ‘exquisitely contagious’ measles outbreak

Big measles outbreak in Clark County, Washington, and there have been others recently across the US. Wow. I mean, of course, this is the obvious logical outcome, but wow anyway. I mean, what are these people going to ludicrously deny next, germ theory?

He’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?

‘Germs are not a real thing’: Fox News host says he hasn’t washed hands in 10 years

 

Opportunity

The Mars rover Opportunity has died after 14 years of operation. Given its expected lifespan of 90 days, and approximating that to a human lifespan of, let’s say 75 years, then in Rover years, it made it to age 4200. Not bad!

NASA’s Opportunity rover is dead. Here’s what it saw during its 14 years on Mars.

Please don’t threaten anyone, not even Mayor McSquirrel. Let’s get to it!