McCarthy’s advocacy isn’t just a silly, innocent belief; it is actively harmful to public health. A recent University of Michigan study found that 1 in 4 parents trusted anti-vaccine advocates like McCarthy at least somewhat on the matter. Fewer parents vaccinating their children against infectious diseases can be quite dangerous, leading to an increase in whooping cough deaths in California and measles cases in the United Kingdom.
Among those lambasting The View for giving McCarthy’s anti-science theories a platform, though, are prominent conservatives who deny scientific consensus in another realm: climate change.
Here are four examples:
She said that chelation therapy helped her son recover from autism; chelation therapy assumes that mercury in vaccines lies behind autism. Thanks in part to McCarthy’s publicity campaign against vaccinations, thousands of American parents have not vaccinated their children, resulting in higher rates of measles and whooping cough. McCarthy said, “Since when is repeating the words of parents and recommending further investigation a crime?”
TownHall.com columnist Derek Hunter, who three weeks ago called climate change a “hoax“, said McCarthy will get people killed:
Of course Jenny McCarthy has been named new co-host of @theviewtv. Rewarded for countless deaths from her anti-immunization crap. Sick.
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) July 15, 2013
Columnist and Hot Air writer Ed Morrissey, who has penned climate-denying articles like “Where’s the warming?”, mocked McCarthy’s anti-science views:
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) July 15, 2013
GOP strategist Rick Wilson, who called talking about climate change “timewasting,” doesn’t think it’s an “urgent” matter, and doubts scientific reports showing global warming, called McCarthy a “whackado”:
Noted anti-vax whackado Jenny McCarthy to join "The View." Because, science.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) July 15, 2013
Why is it safe for conservatives to mock McCarthy’s anti-vaccine science views, yet regularly espouse their own anti-climate science beliefs? Look no further than the multi-trillion dollar oil industry.
Oil revenues total approximately $2 trillion, money which has been used to fund junk “studies” and groups, run massive anti-climate change advertising campaigns, and support politicians who actively oppose taking any action to avert catastrophic climate disaster. The oil industry has been so successful at casting doubt in the public sphere over the existence of man-made climate change — despite near-universal consensus among scientists that it’s happening — that it’s become not only uncontroversial, but accepted for figures like Shapiro, Hunter, Morrissey, and Wilson to deny climate science. All the while, the oil industry pumps out more than 1 billion pounds of carbon pollution every day, contributing to warming temperatures and leading the world dangerously closer to the point of no return.
If there were an industry that gained massive profits by purporting a link between vaccines and autism — despite all scientific evidence to the contrary — many conservatives would be far more likely to agree with McCarthy instead of mocking her. Similarly, if there weren’t an industry who reaped huge profits by extracting and burning a product that pollutes the air, many conservatives would find themselves on the side of science, instead of on the side of oil companies.