3-7-15 Hodgepodge

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Soviet "Science" in a Place Called America

Noted global warming skeptic Richard Lindzen describes government harassment of universities that employ (or, in his own case, have employed) scientists who question the alarmism about the hypothesis that human activity is causing global warming.

[Arizona Democrat Raul] Grijalva's letters convey an unstated but perfectly clear threat: Research disputing alarm over the climate should cease lest universities that employ such individuals incur massive inconvenience and expense -- and scientists holding such views should not offer testimony to Congress. After the Times article, Sens. Edward Markey (D., Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) also sent letters to numerous energy companies, industrial organizations and, strangely, many right-of-center think tanks (including the Cato Institute, with which I have an association) to unearth their alleged influence peddling. [link in original dropped]
As a government official, Grijalva has far more power to exercise a corrupting influence on science than any corporation could dream of. This is because our government, improperly, controls so much scientific funding. It is astounding that so many scientists agree with his premise -- that money from private sources, who can't pass legislation ostensibly justified by certain research results, or "investigate" people who don't agree with their conclusions, is somehow tainted, whereas government loot isn't.

This is not to pretend that a private donor would never try to buy scientific respectability, but at least such people can't exert an influence (by means of force) over the whole of an area of research like the government can.

Weekend Reading

"We need to replace these idiotic labels with plain language." -- Michael Hurd, in "Psychological Labels Describe, but Do Not Explain" at The Delaware Wave

"The problem arises when anxiety is based on things for which no immediate action is possible, or perhaps where no action is required." -- Michael Hurd, in "Anxiety: Maybe Not So Bad After All" at The Delaware Coast Press

"The Left bristles at the idea that the producers own what they produce." -- Harry Binswanger, in "'Net Neutrality' Between the Earned and the Unearned" at RealClear Markets

Leonard Nimoy, RIP

I was saddened by the passing of the man who gave life to Mr. Spock, one of my favorite science fiction characters. Scott Holleran recently wrote in tribute:
Leonard Nimoy had helped bridge the gap between the wasteland of the late 1960s and the emergence and legitimization of geek culture in the 1980s. By the time the technology revolution launched in the 1990s, Star Trek was an established, respected brand in movies and television. Such acceptance may have fueled and ignited many an imagination for what huge and exciting industrial advancements were to come and Star Trek, with Spock, Kirk and McCoy in particular, led the way in cultivating an American, pro-Western, pro-industrial, pro-reason sense of life. In the words of Mr. Spock, and the late Leonard Nimoy had a hand in this, too: "Live long and prosper."
I join Holleran in gratitude to Leonard Nimoy.

-- CAV

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