What "Settled Science" Looks Like

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

By an interesting coincidence, I ran into two stories in The Daily Caller, each bearing on the "climate change" "debate" and together raising an interesting question some media watchdog ought to be raising.

First, I learned that the Democrats, despite vigorous pushback, are doubling down on a new campaign of intimidation against anyone skeptical of the "settled" "science" they are using to excuse a whole host of economy-strangling policies:

The Democratic platform didn't just embrace prosecuting skeptics, it also approved a provision to get rid of fossil fuels by 2050.

"Moving beyond the 'all of the above' energy approach in the 2012 platform, the 2016 platform draft re-frames the urgency of climate change as a central challenge of our time, already impacting American communities and calling for generating 50 percent clean electricity within the next ten years," reads the platform summary.
The second article is about a federal lab being shut down permanently for cooking results (HT: HBL), including on work related to environmental questions:
The inorganic section of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colo. manipulated data on a variety of topics -- including many related to the environment -- from 1996 to 2014. The manipulation was caught in 2008, but continued another six years.

"It's astounding that we spend $108 million on manipulated research and then the far-reaching effects that that would have," Rep. Bruce Westerman said at a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing. "We know how research multiples and affects different parts of our society and our economy and ... if you're working off of flawed data it definitely could be in a bad way." [link dropped, bold added]
This article also contains the following interesting quote, although it admits its context is unclear:
"Tell me what you want and I will get it for you. What we do is like magic," a former USGS official told auditors a former employee linked to the manipulation would say, according to [Congressman Bruce] Westerman.
The article notes that many scientists had started moving work they had asked the lab to do elsewhere.

There is no word yet on whether the Democrats plan to go after the unpatriotic scientists who dared question a government lab. On a more serious note, I recall numerous examples of the government pretending to guard the public against "conflict of interest" on the part of private parties, as if individual human beings, left to their own devices, are inherently petty thieves -- unless they work for the inherently impartial government, which magically (?) imbues its staffers with the highest ethical standards. More people should question that premise, particularly since officials from that government are poised to deny us even more of our freedom and prosperity, no matter who wins the elections this year.

-- CAV


RT said...

I wish the economists at the FED would see that their Phd's in economic witch-doctory isn't settled science either. And then, there are the guys who drew up the food pyramid. And, then there are the Political Science Phd's who think it is settled science that the government ought to be in the business of funding science.

Gus Van Horn said...