Marina Silva: Keith Kloor’s nightmare

Marina Silva

Marina Silva, senator from the Brazilian state of Acre, presidential candidate for 2010 coming in third but polling an impressive 19% of the votes, is a charismatic figure. An ardent environmentalist, she is popular and well respected in the movement.

She was environment minister for Brazil from 2003 to 2008 and is considered a key architect in Brazil’s changed stance in the UN climate talks and willingness to strike compromises.

In April this year, she gave what was termed a rousing speech at the National Mall, Washington DC. It is said that she used Facebook for campaigning and appealed to young voters on sustainability issues.

Keith Kloor, environmental journalist poses the question of ‘skeptics’ and ‘deniers‘ in the issue of anthropogenic global warming frequently on his blog.  Kloor frequently poses the question of ‘cranks‘ as well – of people too stupid to understand science and therefore assuming policies and public measures can never flow from science. His favorite examples: vaccine cranks and tobacco cranks.

Marina Silva holds a postgraduate degree, apparently earned at great personal costs, from the University of Acre. Her policy stance follows

  • Supports the teaching of creationism in schools
  • Against research on embryonic stem cells
  • Against legal abortion
  • Against gay marriage
  • Against genetically modified crops
  • Supports separation of church and the state
  • Strong advocate of international financial payments for forest ‘ecosystem services’, namely REDD

Is Marina Silva in the realm of crankdom, according to Kloor? Is she a ‘terminator crank’ for her political stance that has made her a loner due to her beliefs?

Does her ‘disjunctive personal qualities‘ make her more endearable simply owing to her passionate environmentalism, a courtesy that can apparently never be lent to climate skeptics even in the face of stellar intellectual achievements?

Which one is more kooky – her support to California’s flim flam REDD ventures or her support to creationism? Which one can we dismiss based on which?