American Elephants

You Get in All Sorts of Trouble When You Start Politicizing Science. by The Elephant's Child

How are we doing? In the news today, compact fluorescent lightbulbs which we already recognize as a major disposal risk because of the mercury they contain, are shown by a new study to cause skin cancers and even acute burns.  Every time you turn on the lights, you may be putting yourself at risk.

There was nothing wrong with cheap, affordable incandescent bulbs that give good light for reading and all general use. But the major lightbulb manufacturers weren’t making any money and the prospects of buying CFLs from China promised a much higher reward, so in pure crony-capitalism mode, the government has banned incandescent bulbs (the 75 watt bulbs are banned this year), and they’ll all be banned by 2014.

Democrats have made a big deal out of pretending that Republicans are anti-science;  it’s because we’re suspected of being religious, you see. And we have been known to disagree with some ideas that Democrats hold dear, which clearly means that we are scientific ignoramuses.

Surely you recall when Obama was inaugurated, and told us that one of his very first acts would be to lift the Bush restriction on the use of embryonic stem cells. The lame would walk again. There were 20 people waiting for stem cell treatment. Last we ever heard of that. The embryonic stem cell companies have quietly gone out of business, while the adult stem cell researchers have registered one success after another.

Cash for Clunkers, President Obama’s program to get old gas guzzlers off the road and save the environment and the auto companies, actually harmed the environment and the economy. The first mistake was to focus on shredding the cars rather than recycling them in order to prevent dealers from illicitly reselling the vehicles later. Automobiles are almost entirely recyclable right down to the engine oil and brake fluid, but the “clunkers” were destroyed by federal mandate. Shredding vehicles creates its own environmental nightmare.

The difference in pollutant levels was negligible with only 690,000 cars turned in. Recycling the plastic and metal alone would have saved 24 million barrels of oil. But the alarm about greenhouse gases and CO2 causing global warming is proving to be false.

Turns out that Governor Andrew Cuomo has been hiding the report commissioned by the State of New York that has given fracking a clean bill of health. A leak from an anonymous insider has revealed the report which is nearly one year old. Contrary to green fears that fracking is a mortal danger to humans and the environment, the report finds that fracking can be done safely within the state’s regulatory framework. So New York can now claim its share of the energy revolution, and the jobs and industry that accompany it.

Is it possible that all this environmental zealotry that has blocked pipelines, made lands with abundant energy unavailable for drilling, squandered millions on wind farms and solar arrays that produce no significant amount of electricity, supposedly in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Why were we supposed to save so much energy, why the obnoxious lightbulbs, why the hugely expensive new washers and dryers, why the new dishwashers that will use only 5 gallons of water instead of 6.5 and save energy— adding so much to the cost of a new dishwasher that the change will never be cost-effective. The new mpg requirements for cars add thousands to their cost, all in the name of saving us from our dependence on foreign oil, yet the United States has the world’s most abundant supply of our own energy — except that the administration won’t let us use it.

“The Republican War on Science” as an idea came from a book by that name by a partisan liberal hack named Chris Mooney, which was such a delightful idea (something new to blame on Republicans) that the Left immediately took it to heart. Kerry Emanuel a climate scientist at MIT noted:

Scientists are most effective when they provide sound, impartial advice, but their reputation for impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking lack of political diversity among American academics, who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well-documented intellectual homogeneity changes, scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist think tank.

Steven Hayward takes on the subject at Powerline, and offers a complete debunking of Mooney’s moonbattery by Johnathan Adler as a bonus.

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