Against Junk Science: A Battle That Must Be Waged

There’s a conversation that needs to take place at Ricochet between social conservatives and, well, everybody else. That latter designation includes people like myself, somewhat of a libertarian/futurist nerd who dreams wistfully of staring at the stars from Newt Gingrich’s theoretical moon base. The nerd vote, I believe, is one of those that ought to sought after more aggressively, and is already well represented among the Libertarians.

I have a bias for science. I learned how to work as an e…

  1. Schrodinger

    There is no conservative party, only a left wing party and a middle left party.

    I believe you are correct, but unfortunately about 30 years too late.  Three decades of radical environmental propaganda has converted too many people to the religion of green energy. CO2 and carbon energy are now indelibly linked with greed and enviromental devastation. Three generations have come in to adulthood convinced that the future is one with renewable energy.

    Changing the political and mental dynamic of these generations will be a Herculean task, if possible at all. It would require a radical change of worldviews, which most people are unwilling to consider.

    Science will be of no avail. Too many “scientists” are already green acolytes. Even if your message could be heard, it would be ignored.  Scientific thinking is hard and requires assimilating facts and using reason. Too many people today want “thinking” to be easy. So, they memorize talking points and follow the party line. Their feelings of moral superiority trump any factual arguments.

    A dose of cold reality in the form of power blackouts and gasoline rationing might wake them up. Talking is of no avail.

  2. DocJay

    An impressive essay. It appears Bush and Obama let their crises go to cronyism and we are wasting time. This administration has big energy plans and I expect this will be the largest swindle in history.

  3. Eric Jablow

    A few weeks ago after a synagogue service, I talked with a physician and he mentioned the Republican War on Science™. I asked him who was responsible for the various measles, pertussis, mumps, and rubella epidemics that have occurred in the United States in the last 20 years. He acknowledged the justice of my position; parents who refuse to vaccinate their children tend to be fuzzy-minded Democrats.

    My synagogue has a large majority of leftists, a distinct minority of conservatives, and Jennifer Rubin of the Post.  It makes for an interesting combination, though frustrating sometimes.

  4. Schrodinger

    Emotion trumps facts. Not a new phenomenon.

    The Dutch “Tulip Mania” Bubble

    By 1634, tulip mania had spread to the Dutch middle classes and soon practically everybody was trading tulip bulbs, looking to make a quick fortune. The majority of tulip bulb buyers had no intention of planting these bulbs – the name of the game was to buy low and sell high, just like in any other financial market. The entire nation was caught in a sweeping mania and some people even traded in their land, livestock, farms and life savings to acquire a single tulip bulb.

    All common sense and logic was thrown to the wind and practically scoffed at – this is exemplified by how many useful items it cost to buy one single tulip bulb:

    • four tons of wheat • eight tons of rye • one bed • four oxen • eight pigs • 12 sheep • one suit of clothes • two casks of wine • four tons of beer • two tons of butter • 1,000 pounds of cheese • one silver drinking cup.

     http://www.thebubblebubble.com/tulip-mania/

  5. Schrodinger

    Another government scam.

    The South Sea Bubble (1719-1720)

    Sometimes called the “Enron of England,” the South Sea Bubble was one of history’s worst financial bubbles.

     The South Sea Bubble’s story started in 1711, after a war with Spain left Britain 10 million pounds in debt. The British government proposed a deal to a financial institution, the South Sea Company, in which Britain’s debt would be financed in return for 6% interest. The government offered the company another benefit to sweeten the deal: exclusive trading rights with Spain’s colonies in the South Seas, now known as South America. The South Sea Company quickly agreed to the deal due to the potentially lucrative trading opportunities with the gold and silver-rich South American colonies.

    Much like Enron, corruption was widespread among directors, company officials and their political friends. Scores of new IPOs were floated as other companies tried to profit from Britain’s stock boom as well. These companies claimed to be involved in dubious businesses such as building floating mansions and distilling sunshine from vegetables. 

     http://www.stock-market-crash.net/south-sea-bubble/

  6. Eric Jablow
    Schrodinger’s Cat: Emotion trumps facts. Not a new phenomenon.

    The Dutch “Tulip Mania” Bubble

    By 1634, tulip mania had spread to the Dutch middle classes and soon practically everybody was trading tulip bulbs, looking to make a quick fortune. The majority of tulip bulb buyers had no intention of planting these bulbs – the name of the game was to buy low and sell high, just like in any other financial market. The entire nation was caught in a sweeping mania and some people even traded in their land, livestock, farms and life savings to acquire a single tulip bulb.

    Time to reread Extraordinary Public Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Charles Mackay again, I guess. It’s available for free on Kindle. Both those bubbles are covered.

  7. Daniel Jeyn
    Eric Jablow: A few weeks ago after a synagogue service, I talked with a physician and he mentioned the Republican War on Science™

    Oh, yes.  Chris Mooney, keep in mind, is a campaign advisor and strategist.  His articulation in that case was calculated to win elections.  Similarly, the neologic invention of the word “denialist” was created by Chris Hofnagle deliberately to attack conservative critics of the AGW movement, and so insinuate them with 9/11 truthers and Holocaust deniers.

    These are political attacks which are going mostly unanswered.  Conservative pols are afraid of take a stand, lest they sound like “conspiracy theorists.”

  8. Daniel Jeyn
    Schrodinger’s Cat:

    I believe you are correct, but unfortunately about 30 years too late…

    I am not suggesting taking on environmentalism.  I said I myself am very fond of conservation of green space.  Very much so.

    I say we learn from the Alinskyites and hold them up to their own standard.  We could be talking about overfishing, pollution runoff, or heavy-metal airborne pollutants; all real things.  Instead they squandered their time on stage to demonize CO2.  They had the schools, government, the networks, Leonardo DiCaprio, and all they gave us was Solyndra, Enron, and a bunch of whirligigs that don’t work.

    We should hold them up to this absurdity and corruption.   They let the environment get worse because they were getting paid off to faff on about Carbon Dioxide.  They need to get found out.

  9. Schrodinger
    Daniel Jeyn

    Schrodinger’s Cat:

    I believe you are correct, but unfortunately about 30 years too late…

    I am not suggesting taking on environmentalism.  I said I myself am very fond of conservation of green space.  Very much so.

    We should hold them up to this absurdity and corruption.   They let the environment get worse because they were getting paid off to faff on about Carbon Dioxide.  They need to get found out.

    Still 30 years too late for that.  Too many people don’t care. As long as they get their Obama phones or food stamps, they are happy.

    seenoevil.jpg

  10. Amy Schley

    I do say we need to take back some of the environmental mantle.  What message is more conservative than that we need to clean up after ourselves?

    We need to be pointing out the cronyism and abuse at the EPA.  We need to be publicizing how the restrictions on land use designed to help endangered species have become so onerous that the land owners kill and bury the specimens rather than risk the possibility of discovery.  We need to hold the jet set accountable for using millions of times more energy than those of us to whom they try to dictate.  We need to be spreading the stories about how these “lo flo” toilets can cause untreated sewage to back up into people’s homes.

    This isn’t a fight from which we can afford to withdraw.

  11. Daniel Jeyn
    Schrodinger’s Cat

    Still 30 years too late for that.  Too many people don’t care. As long as they get their Obama phones or food stamps, they are happy.

    Well, you certainly might be right.  But I could post the exact same thing to the next SoCon who talks about God, Abortion, Evolution, SSM, etc.  I could say the exact same thing about the Laffer curve.

    I think this is low-hanging fruit.  It’s a big juicy issue that ought to be used to hammer the establishment we find ourselves stuck with.  Like a monkey cracking a nut.

  12. Schrodinger
    Daniel Jeyn

    Schrodinger’s Cat

    Still 30 years too late for that.  Too many people don’t care. As long as they get their Obama phones or food stamps, they are happy.

    Well, you certainly might be right.  But I could post the exact same thing to the next SoCon who talks about God, Abortion, Evolution, SSM, etc.  I could say the exact same thing about the Laffer curve.

    All very true. We may already be over the tipping point.

     

    Daniel Jeyn

    I think this is low-hanging fruit.  It’s a big juicy issue that ought to be used to hammer the establishment we find ourselves stuck with.  Like a monkey cracking a nut. ·

    Go for it!

    Good luck getting your message out in the face of the leftist bullhorn (aka MSM).

  13. Indaba
    Daniel Jeyn

    Schrodinger’s Cat:

    I believe you are correct, but unfortunately about 30 years too late…

    I am not suggesting taking on environmentalism.  I said I myself am very fond of conservation of green space.  Very much so.

    I say we learn from the Alinskyites and hold them up to their own standard.  We could be talking about overfishing, pollution runoff, or heavy-metal airborne pollutants; all real things.  Instead they squandered their time on stage to demonize CO2.  They had the schools, government, the networks, Leonardo DiCaprio, and all they gave us was Solyndra, Enron, and a bunch of whirligigs that don’t work.

    We should hold them up to this absurdity and corruption.   They let the environment get worse because they were getting paid off to faff on about Carbon Dioxide.  They need to get found out. · 1 hour ago

    You are so correct but it takes courage to do so. Here in Canada, Joe Oliver, a politician, has shown where Darryl Hannah gets her funding. 

    The conservatives give a strong “narrative” to the media. they quote it and after a while, instead of it being seen as wrong, people see the point. Where are your politicians?

  14. Indaba

    Canada is the Greenpeace base and also Occupy Wall Street started there too – apologies.

    Meanwhile, our conservative went to the last Kyoto Conference and did not sign the agreement and tore up the old one. They remind everyone constantly how much money Alberta transfers per person to other provinces. 

    Our politicians in power know how to play hard ball or Alinsky. 

  15. Schrodinger
    Indaba

     

     

    You are so correct but it takes courage to do so. Here in Canada, Joe Oliver, a politician, has shown where Darryl Hannah gets her funding. 

    The conservatives give a strong “narrative” to the media. they quote it and after a while, instead of it being seen as wrong, people see the point. Where are your politicians? ·

    You Canadians still have a media (whatever their biases) that actually report what politicians say. 

    Here in the USA, the media opines on what politicians say. That makes it difficult to get the message out. Political courage here is rare and usually fatal.

  16. Daniel Jeyn
    Indaba: Canada is the Greenpeace base and also Occupy Wall Street started there too – apologies…

    Meanwhile, our conservative went to the last Kyoto Conference and did not sign the agreement and tore up the old one…

    Yes.  Canada is going ahead and becoming a petroleum powerhouse between the tar sands and fractured drilling, much as there is a revolution going on with natural gas in this country.

    All the grandstanding about how the internal combustion engine will ruin the planet for our grandchildren and we’ll run out of oil, and the there will be 20 meter sea rise because of CO2, blah-blah?  Schrodinger’s Cat may be correct is that the media/political/activist-complex may simply drop the CO2 scam and pretend it never happened.

    The capitalists are sort of winning the argument in absentia.  The statists created the IPCC and the whole carbon scam, but they still cannot make reality conform to their wishes.

  17. Tom Meyer, Ed.
    C
    Daniel Jeyn: There’s a conversation that needs to take place at Ricochet between social conservatives and, well, everybody else. That latter designation includes people like myself, somewhat of a libertarian/futurist nerd who dreams wistfully of staring at the stars from Newt Gingrich’s theoretical moon base. The nerd vote, I believe, is one of those that ought to sought after more aggressively, and is already well represented among the Libertarians.

    It’s more than that.

    Republicans desperately need to present themselves as a party that embraces good technological innovations at least as much as it opposes morally questionable ones.  Ask Joe Sixpack to free associate from “Republicans & Science” and you’re going to hear about opposition to embryonic stem cell research, opposition to clean energy, opposition to contraceptives, and opposition to evolution.

    Putting aside whether or not these are the right positions on these issues (for the record, “Yes, yes, no, and no”) they present us as out-of-touch luddites.  We need to present ourselves as being for things such as nuclear energy, fraking, vaccinations, GMO foods, space exploration, and meteor defense.

    Then, we need to make Democrats bleed for opposing good progress on these issues.

  18. Daniel Jeyn
    Rachel Lu: This is all nice essay, except I don’t get the first sentence. What have social conservatives to do with this? 

    Sorry.  I rambled a bit.  I was making a point that this is an issue that actually is not anything to do with Social Conservatives, as opposed to nearly every other internal debate on the Right. 

    I am suggesting that of all the issues, this is one that is dynamic. It is changing all the time by unraveling the assumptions that drove the CO2 scare.  I recommend that the Right show some gumption and trumpet the fact that we were correct to be skeptical.  This is breaking our way. 

    Romney dissembled on AGW.  He was go-along, get-along with the Green stuff as governor, and the left was ready with the headlines if he made a peep of skepticism.  To his credit, he voiced mild skepticism of AGW and tweaked Solyndra, and the press rolled their eyes and shrieked for days.   There is a narrative that can work for the good guys, here.

  19. Tom Meyer, Ed.
    C

    … continued.

    Every so often, Republicans try to do something along these lines — usually on energy policy —  but never in a sufficiently concerted and effective manner to make an impact.  And even when we get it right, we let the media get away with making us look stupid: note how much ink was spilled about Rep. Bachmann’s (spurious) opposition to mandatory HPV vaccination, and how little of it vindicated Gov. Perry for doing the right thing.

    On some things, we need to stand athwart the door to the future and yell “stop”; on others, we need to hold the door and welcome them through.

    [P.S.: Great post, Daniel.]

  20. Ron Selander

    So, Daniel, did you or did you not vote for Mitt Romney.

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