Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson On Science Policy

Libertarian Party presidential candidate scores pretty well.

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GaryJohnsonPaulHennessy/Polaris/Newscom
Paul Hennessy/Polaris/Newscom

To be a good president, a candidate must be able to evaluate data. So early last year, I scored six likely Republican presidential candidates on their positions on seven science policy areas. The notion that the reality-TV star Donald Trump would actually run for president seemed farfetched at that point, so I didn't get around to evaluating his views until more recently.

The seven policy topics were climate change, genetically modified crops, the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility, vaccination, fetal pain legislation, biological evolution, and a proposed ban on commercial travel from West African countries during the recent Ebola outbreak. I chose those topics because we have widely accepted data for each of them. Specifically: The trend toward higher global average temperature over the past 50 years is at least partially the result of human activity; genetically modified crops are safe; Yucca Mountain in Nevada can safely store nuclear waste for tens of thousands of years; vaccinations do not cause autism; fetuses do not feel pain before 24 weeks of gestation; biological evolution explains the diversity of life; and a major Ebola outbreak in the U.S. was unlikely and banning travel is counterproductive.

So how do Gary Johnson and William Weld—the Libertarian Party's candidates for president and vice president, respectively—score with regard to the science policy issues?

Gary Johnson:

Climate Change: At the Libertarian Party convention in May, Johnson said, "I'm not smart enough to say whether or not global warming is man made, certainly there is climate change." This is a change from his earlier views. In 2011, he told Rolling Stone: "I accept the fact that there is global warming and I accept the fact that it's man caused. That said, I am opposed to cap and trade. I'm a free market guy when it comes to the clean environment the number-one factor when it comes to the clean environment is a good economy." HALF POINT

Biotech Crops: In a debate of third-party presidential candidates aired on RT in 2012, Johnson stated that "genetically modified foods should be labeled as such." I could find no statements from him regarding the safety of biotech crops. It's worth noting that he also favors mandatory nutrition labeling. His stance on food labeling apparently stems from the fact that he suffers from celiac disease and he wants to know when foods contain gluten. PASS (but worrisome)

Yucca Mountain: Interviewed by Liberty Voice in 2012, Johnson said: "I really got to be well versed on high level radioactive waste, given that in New Mexico, Mescalero was looking to open a retrievable storage site, and I know about WIPP [Waste Isolation Pilot Plant], and what I've heard second-hand is that Yucca Mountain was politically driven and not scientifically based. Why not have monitored retrievable storage at every nuclear site instead of a repository like Yucca Mountain? These are just questions I have, I don't have the answers." Interestingly, when Johnson was governor of New Mexico he did not oppose the construction of the WIPP in his state to store relatively low-level radioactive waste. In fact, he supported efforts to use the facility for additional research. FAIL

Vaccination: I can find no statements from Johnson suggesting that he thinks that vaccination might cause autism. In 2015, Our America Initiative, a non-profit co-founded by Gary Johnson, announced that it supported a Mississippi advocacy group's effort to place "childhood vaccination decisions into the hands of parents and doctors." PASS

Fetal Pain: In 2011, Johnson refused to endorse the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. With regard to abortion, Johnson observed in an April interview: "Abortion is an unbelievably difficult decision that anyone should have to make. But only a woman should make it." PASS

Evolution: In 2012, On The Issues asked Johnson: "Do you support the theory of evolution?" He answered: "Yes." PASS

Ebola: In October 2014, Johnson said that marijuana has "efficacy in regard to treating Ebola." He later clarified that he meant additional research should be conducted to determine the potential curative effects of the drug for Ebola patients. I found no information suggesting that Johnson favored an Ebola travel ban. PASS

Total: a generous 5½ out of 7 possible points. Considering that none of the Republican candidates—including Trump—scored higher than 3, Johnson is doing pretty well.

Finding out where Weld stands on these seven science policy issues has proved more challenging, probably because he was more or less out of public life for the last few years. The only one for which I could find information is climate change.

In 2008, during an interview on Fox News, Weld declared that "global warming and climate change is an issue that affects absolutely everybody." During that same interview he suggested that setting a price on carbon would be necessary for "a national, international cap and trade system, [and] climate change legislation" to work. Interviewed as job losses mounted during the onset of the Great Recession, Weld also suggested that $150 billion program to fund clean tech jobs could also usefully cut greenhouse gas emissions. Weld has apparently long favored government programs that would encourage energy efficiency. No score.

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  1. The seven policy topics were climate change, genetically modified crops, the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility, vaccination, fetal pain legislation, biological evolution, and a proposed ban on commercial travel from West African countries during the recent Ebola outbreak.

    Hopefully one of those is weighted higher than the others, or else my world would no longer make sense.

  2. This is quite the informative article.

    (even if it lacks ALT-text)

  3. /thumbs through a copy of the U.S. constitution looking for the section authorizing spending money on scientific research.

    1. Look under the Article 1, Section Bailey’s, “Good and Plenty, because SCIENCE Clause.”

      1. Or, you know, the General Welfare Clause (the one actually cited in SCOTUS decisions upholding a variety of areas of federal spending). It’s not unreasonable to think that the wording of this clause gives very broad spending power to Congress and thus authorizes scientific research (as long as it can be argued to be in the public welfare).

        I don’t disagree with you that we shouldn’t be subsidizing research. I just don’t think the Constitution says it’s not allowed. The Constitution is not a remotely libertarian document and was not intended to be one. Given that, don’t be surprised when it’s reasonably read in a fashion justifying policies that are inimical to libertarian purposes.

        1. I was being snarky, admittedly, but that is precisely to what I was referring; “General Welfare” is an elastic, all-purpose term that allows for, “The Silly Putty Doctrine,” of Con Law.

          To wit, “public welfare,” can mean little more than, “I WANT IT! YOU *MIGHT* BENEFIT, BUT I WANT IT! BECAUSE, SCIENCE!”

          Looking back to The Founders (many of whom were either scientists proper, or were benefactors of science) most likely would have preferred private endowments and individualist pursuits of science, even if eventually if was driven by “public good” motives.

  4. HALF POINT
    Why? I can’t think of a better response.
    Just because he has the humility to concede that he doesn’t know everything?

    1. I spoke with Johnson about AGW while he was at the LPTexas convention. He acknowledged AGW, but wasn’t sure about catastrophic AGW projections of doom. His position was that markets will sort it out, and that government interference in energy markets will only make things worse.

      Being a climate heretic rather than a true-believer, I was somewhat disappointed that he did not seem to have any cynicism about the motives of CAGW-advocating politicians, and that he cited the bankruptcies of various coal miners as evidence that markets will sort it out. He has to know that Obama’s EPA created the conditions for those companies to go bankrupt, not free markets. But at least he’s against cap-and-trade, which would inevitably become crony capitalism (a.k.a., crapitalism) on an unprecedented scale. It’s no coincidence that Enron was one of the biggest cheerleaders for cap-and-trade back in the late 1990s.

      He really ought to get a full point even on Bailey’s scale, but he only gets about 3/4 point on mine.

  5. Do you support the theory of evolution? Yes. PASS

    Help me out here, Ron. What exactly is this supposed to tell me about him? Is this just some way to prove that he doesn’t believe Jesus rode around on a dinosaur?

    1. It means he is the right kind of person, which is of primary importance to people like Bailey. Somehow a guy who believes in socialism and global warming and denies the laws of supply and demand but believes in evolution is more fit to be President than someone who doesn’t but believes in freedom and the free market.

      1. I know your mind reading skills are unparalleled, but I’d like to actually know Ron’s response.

        1. It is not mind reading. It is this thing called deductive reasoning. When someone says something the circumstances around it and the logical implications of it tell you what they meant assuming they are rational and have thought through their position. Here, since the President doesn’t make policy or do much of anything based upon their views on evolution, the only reason you could find their views on evolution relevant is as an indication that they are the right sort of person with the proper intellectual character to be President.

          I guess if you don’t reason well, that might seem like mind reading or magic. But in fact it is anything but.

          1. *sigh*

            Can’t you go be John somewhere else? I know Ron, at least sometimes, reads the comments in his posts. I’d really like a response from him. I’m not trying to nail him to a cross here, I’m honestly curious.

            1. See Groovus below. And you shouldn’t need Ron to explain it to you. Just read what he says and take him at his word. And “if being John” means reading what Bailey says with some context and precision and holding him to it, well sorry but that is how I roll. I don’t engage in pretending that a writer must mean what I want them to rather than what logic and context clearly indicates they do.

              1. Damn, John, I give you tons of credit for being a tireless asshole. Once you get the dumbfuck bone in your dumbfuck mouth you dumbfuck right along and don’t let anyone get in your way.

                I don’t need Ron to explain anything to me. I asked a question which I was hoping to get an answer from Ron. As I said, he is one of the better writers and willing occasionally engage the commentariat.

                Also, you’ll notice how Groovus was wise enough to actually post a link to something Ron previously published that may contain useful information. Maybe rather than being a tireless asshole in the future, you could try something like that.

                1. And what he posted confirmed exactly what I said Ron meant. I didn’t post any other links because there was no need to. Ron said exactly what I said he did here.

                  You just don’t like it and want to believe he means something other than what he clearly does. That doesn’t make me an asshole. It is not my fault you want to pretend this post means something other than it does. If you don’t like people pointing out reality, stop denying it.

                  1. Just to be clear, dumbfuck, I was mildly interested in Ron’s answer. You are an asshole because you felt the apparent need to jump in and be a dumbfuck.

                    You just don’t like it

                    Yes, you got me there, dumbfuck.

        2. Actually, Sparky, that *was* Ron’s response when Reason asked who Reason writer’s were supporting in 2008, and clarified in 2012, does suggest John is correct…

          Especially 2008, when Bailey supported Obama.

          1. Correction: Reason’s writers

            *sigh* I hate Cyrillic KB’s.

          2. Thank you for providing something that may actually be useful and not just flaunting your crystal ball.

            1. Reading and reasoning really are magical processes to you aren’t they?

              1. Do you honestly think that I spend enough time on reason.com to read every article ever published? Do you also believe that I have nothing better to do than memorize them?

                Yes, John, your ability to be that invested in this website truly is magical as far as I’m concerned.

            2. Actually Sparky, I highly suggest everyone bookmark this one, so’s when the inevitable, “He Said, She Said, Nick Said, Matt Said, KMW Said,” nonsense that election years to elicit, at least this one can be whipped out to least have some sort of citation, like the claim that in 2012, the majority of Reason’s writers planned to vote for Obama (for actual positions of support, one would have to dive through the articles of 2012), which is demonstrably not true.

              Also, Ron has said in the past (don’t have a link handy, but will find it if necessary) a particular candidate’s scientific view is quite important to Ron and it informs his vote; I suppose the term, “Litmus Test,” figuratively speaking, applies.

              1. I looked through your link, admittedly only reading Ron’s answers, and didn’t find anything on evolution. I followed the link back to the 2008 survey, again only reading Ron’s answers, and didn’t see anything regarding evolution there. As a current response from Ron doesn’t seem to be forthcoming, I’ll just settle back to not really caring about who is voting for who and why the opinions of someone who has no chance matter.

    2. If baby Jesus had wanted to ride around on a dinosaur, he theoretically could have.

      1. T-Rex or Brontosaurus? What kind of ride would Jesus have been rockin?

        1. Obviously, an Allahsaurus.

    3. It tells me you should perhaps question what else he might be hinky on just as much as you might want to narrow your gaze a little bit at Ron Bailey. The theory of evolution? You mean like the theory of gravity where it’s just a theory that gravity exists rather than a theory of how exactly gravity works? Last time I checked there was no clear accepted single theory of how either gravity or evolution works.

      1. That is a great point. Also, whatever your view of gravity or evolution, what is important is whether and how you plan to let that influence the policies you formulate and support. For example, a President’s belief in creation is irrelevant if he doesn’t think that issue has any bearing on federal policy. A President who belief in faith healing is absolutely relevant if his plan is to improve the nation’s health by instituting a national prayer plan.

    4. FMS$: In means that he knows how to evaluate scientific evidence and not kowtow to scriptural poesy. I believe that Johnson lists his religious affiliation as Lutheran. Lots of Christians accept biological evolution as the best scientific description of how the earth’s biodiversity came about.

      1. Thanks, I was curious why that question and answer would be at all relevant to his fitness to be President.

      2. Thanks, I was curious why that question and answer would be at all relevant to his fitness to be President.

      3. Thanks, was just curious why that question would have any relevance to his fitness to be President.

        Now I’m going squirrel hunting.

        1. Thanks, was just curious why that question would have any relevance to his fitness to be President.

          It’s an indication of whether someone is blitheringly stupid. It separates the Johnsons from the Johns.

      4. Thanks.

  6. OT. I know it is not the Chapter 7, put everyone on the employment line, bankruptcy we all hope for, but it is still one hell of a day to be alive. Maybe God doesn’t hate us after all. Gawker files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.c…..-11-901536

    Peter Theil is an American hero of the highest order.

    1. http://i.imgur.com/7drHiqr.gif?noredirect

      One day, Reason hopefully let’s us post pictures.

      1. You know what we’d do if we could?

    2. I hope the judge assigned to oversee the bankruptcy has a good nose for bullshit and a very low tolerance of it.

      1. The good news is that hiding your assets or lying about them to defraud your creditors in bankruptcy court is a federal crime and one that gets prosecuted and sends people to prison all the time. Considering what an arrogant twat Denton is, I think we all can hold out hope he will try that and this thing will end with him in prison not just broke.

        1. The chance of that happening brings me almost enough joy to make up for the depression of this election season. Thanks John.

          1. Bankruptcy courts and federal trustees do not play around and won’t give a rat’s ass who Denton is or how cool he thinks he is. Denton is just the type who is dumb enough not to understand that.

            1. American courts properly and righteously boned former Canadian newspaper baron Conrad Black along these same lines.
              And it was good, very good, for Canadian journalism. Thank you, America. We owe you.
              But this is even better.

    1. Article 1, Section Bailey’s… it’s right *there*….

  7. I am a scientist who evaluates data all day long. So here goes:

    The trend toward higher global average temperature over the past 50 years is at least partially the result of human activity What trend? It’s entirely within the noise. And assuming it’s real, the tie to human activity is entirely conjectural.

    genetically modified crops are safe So far. That doesn’t mean the next genetic modification couldn’t possibly be harmful to human health.

    Yucca Mountain in Nevada can safely store nuclear waste for tens of thousands of years So? Who wants radioactive waste lying around for tens of thousands of years? Stop creating more.

    vaccinations do not cause autism The link is tenuous at best, but that doesn’t mean people should be forced to vaccinate themselves or their kids.

    fetuses do not feel pain before 24 weeks of gestation I haven’t seen any evidence for or against this theory. Six months seems awfully far along though. Seems like an attempt to justify aborting viable human life.

    biological evolution explains the diversity of life Obviously. But that doesn’t rule out a Creator either.

    a major Ebola outbreak in the U.S. was unlikely and banning travel is counterproductive Maybe so, but better safe than sorry.

    1. Who wants radioactive waste lying around for tens of thousands of years? Stop creating more.

      True, but the waste that is here isn’t going anywhere. So where do you want it stored? Under a mountain in the middle of nowhere or all over the country in places that are less secure and often near populated areas?

      And the best way not to create more is to lift the ban on breeder reactors and recycle spent fuel rather than needlessly sticking it in the ground.

      1. If it weren’t for people freaking about secret plutonium production, a lot of that spent fuel could be reprocessed to be burned again.

        1. That and if it wasn’t for the uranium produces owning a large part of Congress. The uranium market sucks as it is. Imagine how bad it would be if we allowed fuel to be recycled. The ban on reusing fuel rod’s is the result of one of those unholy alliances between crony capitalists and ignorant Greens.

          1. Huh? Uranium prices have been on a sustained downward trend since their spike in the mid-2000s. The relatively low price of uranium is what’s kept the PUREX recycling process (main method of recycling partially fissioned uranium) from being economically viable in the first place.

      2. J: Yes. Also, thorium reactors.

      3. To be fair, we’ve been storing spent nuclear waste on-site at reactors for decades now. Haven’t had any problems so far. Meanwhile, we can’t even build this wonderful mountain repository. Go figure: decentralized solutions working versus a centralized one.

    2. a major Ebola outbreak in the U.S. was unlikely and banning travel is counterproductive

      And counter productive how? In stopping Ebola getting into the country? That seems a bit counter intuitive. And considering the consequences of a real Ebola outbreak, its unlikely to happen is a pretty sorry answer. Maybe Ron should familiarize himself with the calculus of risk. It is a product of consequences and likelihood not just likelihood.

      It never occurs to Ron that he might be guilty of confirmation bias. Somehow the facts and science always point towards a conclusion consistent with his Libertarian principles. Funny that.

      1. Somehow the facts and science always point towards a conclusion consistent with his Libertarian principles. Funny that.

        Well said and, this is my assertion wrt his opinions on GMO food labeling. The guy asserts that he has the current trendy disease to have and that, somehow, validates his already not-so-libertarian position on food labeling.

        A decade ago, he just as well could’ve been on the ‘more carbs, less fat’ banwagon because his homocysteine levels were high but because objectivity and progress he’s *got* celiac disease and wants more food labels.

        1. I have a potentially lethal egg, nut, and dairy allergies. It requires constant vigilance, but is something I’ve learned to live with, even though I’ve actually been fired from a job for “not fitting in” when I refused a piece of cake at some b@!!$#!% company party.

          I recently went to a new Italian restaurant that opened near my house and ordered a simple plate of spaghetti and a single meatball (because they were sold out of everything else), something I’ve eaten hundreds if not thousands of times in my life, because the very definition of spaghetti is semolina, water, and salt, yet this place took a unilateral decision to change that and not feel it worthwhile to mention anywhere in the menu. (I’m assuming it was eggs, but not having an epi-pen with me, I couldn’t stick around long enough to ask.)

          Now, I’m not demanding that the restaurant be closed down, I just don’t want to be potentially killed as a result of their fraud. “This is going to look, feel, and taste just like X, but *might* have proteins similar to Y” isn’t THAT unreasonable, is it?

          1. Plenty of pasta recipes call for egg in the dough, notably when it is made fresh. Pre-made, boxed macaroni would be less likely to have egg in it. I’m surprised you wouldn’t know that, given the consequences of eating egg noodles, for you.

            There’s none in the box of Ronzoni Rotini in my cupboard, but it does say MANUFACTURED IN A FACILITY THAT USES EGGS. Also, CONTAINS: WHEAT, so celiac sufferers should reach for the pasta d’oro or equivalent.

    3. Ass far as the global warmign thing goes:

      The direct impact of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are pretty well known and have been for some time. The increased CO2 in the atmosphere *will* slow the progress of IR radiation by scattering it (same effect as the N2 in the atmosphere making the sky look blue during daytime).

      The huge uncertainty is in how the various physical processes that regulate our climate react to this scattering.

      The premise of CAGW is that the warming triggers a cascading effect of water vapor and methane that magnify the scattering effect of the CO2 thus creating a large amount of warming. This has been falsified by the failure of these cascading feedbacks being observed

      Then there is AGW which basically posits that the increased scattering leaves a warmer Earth’s surface than would otherwise exist. In this case the knock on feedbacks might be slighly positive, or slighly negative. This hasn’t been falsified.

      Then there is a camp that says the feedback systems are so negative that they essentially compensate for any warming caused by CO2. This hasn’t been falsified, but in large part because they actually don’t describe any set of physical mechanisms that provide such a strong negative feedback. It’s hard to falsify a theory that makes no testable predictions.

      And, of course, other than CAGW, none of the other theories say anything about what policy, if any, is needed to cope with the phenomena.

      1. same effect as the N2 in the atmosphere making the sky look blue during daytime

        Why is the sky blue? NASA explains:

        Sunlight reaches Earth’s atmosphere and is scattered in all directions by all the gases and particles in the air. Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth’s atmosphere. Blue is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. This is why we see a blue sky most of the time.

        Roy G. Biv.

        Indigo and violet travel as even shorter and smaller waves than blue – so tell me again why the sky is blue? If it’s those “shorter, smaller waves” then why isn’t the sky violet?

        /pedantic aside

        1. Air is mostly nitrogen. Thus, nitrogen is most responsible for most of the Rayleigh scattering. As for why it’s not violet: the sun emits very little energy at such short wavelengths (Planck’s law of blackbody radiation); so there’s just not much violet light reaching Earth to scatter in the first place.

        2. The analogy fails because CO2 is IR active and N2 is not. ||^2 and all that.

          1. Fuck, all my bras and kets got dropped. FUCK YOU REASON.

    4. CE: Score: 0 – but seriously, the items were selected for policy relevance and I did link to various items as evidence.

      (1) No data sets show global average temperatures on declining trend over the past century. Even doubters like John Christy (see article to which I linked) think that there is a human component to current warming.

      (2) GMOs – your riposte can be said of any technology. See link in article.

      (3) Yucca Mountain – besides the point – is Yucca Mountain safe or not?

      (4) Vaccine/Autism – no link in any epidemiological data set.

      (5) Fetal pain – implicated with abortion ethics so admittedly more controversial, but most research articles find that thalamocortical connections and pathways completed at the 26th gestational week are necessary to sense pain.

      (6) Evolution – who said anything about a creator (see youtube of my short lecture Intelligent Design by Superintelligent Purple Space Squids at URL:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoU4d_3FYfA

      (7) Ebola – ah, the precautionary principle – travel blockade would have stymied international efforts to control outbreak

      1. 5) Fetal pain

        Regardless of localised or systemic pain, Ron, it hurts.

        Termination ethics put aside – the thalamus is but one aspect of neurophysiology necessary for pain sensation and manifestion. Different types of sensory neurons work in conjunction with the other discrete classifications of neurons and neural tissue that comprises the complete pain experience. It’s true pain levels and tolerance are subjective, meaning how much something hurts is particular to a given patient, but part of the pain experience is avoidance, and that is something that is hard wired into the cortex starting the first 7 to 12 weeks of development.

        Derbyshire, 2010, p.7, para.2, “For the foetus, an existence of ‘pain’ rests upon the existence of a stimulus that poses a threat to tissue, being detected by a nervous system capable of preferentially responding to stimuli that pose a threat to tissue. The entire experience is completely bounded by the limits of the sensory system and the relationship between that system and the stimulus. If pain is conceived of in this manner then it becomes possible to talk of foetal pain anytime between 10 and 17 weeks GA [gestational age] when nociceptors develop and mature, and there is evidence of behavioural responses to touch.”

  8. His stance on food labeling apparently stems from the fact that he suffers from celiac disease and he wants to know when foods contain gluten.

    Shouldn’t belief in a magical or fictitious disease being the impetus for his general attitude cut it to a full fail?

    Unless he/his doctor has got biopsies showing hyperplasia of his lower intestine and a reversal of it after ceasing wheat consumption, I see no reason not to consider him to be full of shit and the diagnosis of celiac disease as anything less than hokum. Little different from saying his views on marijuana have been influenced by the fact that he’s ‘slightly autistic’ and/or occasionally suffers from ADHD.

    1. m.c: Actually, Johnson says that he has actually had the required biopsies.

      1. See, sometimes Ron actually responds to people.

      2. m.c: Actually, Johnson says that he has actually had the required biopsies.

        Begging your pardon for being a skeptic Ron but, since you appear to have the info, ‘required’ as in standard or common (before) or ‘required’ as in the biopsies *I* referred to (before/after)?

  9. What would be the politically correct stance on the Big Bang/Red Shift question?

    1. 52% of respondents want the show to continue for another season, 38% of respondents want warning labels on food containing DNA, and 10% of respondents told the pollster “Dave’s not here, man,” and giggled.

      1. And Donald Trump just tweeted, “Fermat is a winner, boldly puts his ideas out there, doesn’t waste time explaining every detail.”

        1. “Fermat is a winner,”

          That’s a good one. The first went beyond me. I’m aware of the show but that’s the extent of it. Didn’t Fermat get killed in a duel shortly after writing that? I guess everyone’s a winner until they’re a loser.

  10. The idea that such a thing as “science policy” even exists is unscientific.

  11. Half point on climate change? He went from understanding the science in 2011, and 5 years later forgetting it all.

    Major fail.

  12. Pain or no pain we have no clue to when “self” is realized. If pain were the decider we could eliminate anyone who does not feel pain at any age.

    CO2 at 400ppm it would require a 2500? change to change the atmosphere by 1? or to look more realistically it can only change the surrounding atmosphere by 0.0004? that is at a 1 to 1 heat exchange which rarely happens and any magical forcing that are imparted by CO2 would be an even smaller number. In reality the atmosphere surrounding CO2 is probably warmer the the CO2. Remember this there are no cooling gases, there is nothing you can put into or take out of the air that would change what ever forcings are imparted upon it.

    1. I’m on novocaine, therefore I am not a human being.

  13. Gary Johnson On Science Policy

    Here’s an idea.
    Let the market find answers to curing cancer, getting to Mars, driver-less cars, etc and allow the consumers reward them with their money for the innovations the more intelligent scientists have made for us.
    Oh wait.
    That makes sense.
    Our socialist slavers would never tolerate that.
    They need our tax dollars to pay their cronies ensuring they get rich, have a ton of job benefits at the taxpayer’s expense, create needless and useless bureaucracies and bureaucrats and never produce anything worthwhile so they can get cushy government jobs who answer to no one.
    I keep forgetting I don’t live in a free market country.
    My bad.

    1. “That makes sense.”

      Real innovation is lengthy and costly and fraught with error. There is no guarantee of success in the long run. Business has every reason to be wary of risky projects like touch screens and GPS, both innovations required government funding to get produced.

  14. I don’t understand why his stance on the storage of nuclear waste gets him a fail on the Yucca Mountain question.

    1. I agree.

      Yucca mountain is in a state that does not want it used as a nuclear waste depository, as the Federal Gov would force them to do. Who should be responsible for the waste? The parties that generate it. That’s a simple principle of Liberty.

      Not sure what the author thinks he should say/do.

      1. “That’s a simple principle of Liberty.”

        Sparse population trumps liberty. Remember, Ron would have us adopt China’s nuclear regulatory regime.

  15. Number of people who have been harmed as the result of belief in evolution: zero.

    Number of people who have been harmed as the result of belief that vaccines are a conspiracy? Hundreds.

    Number of people who have been harmed as the result of belief that GMOs are dangerous? Tens of thousands.

    Tell me again which party is the anti-science party…

    1. Number of people who have been harmed by states that officially promulgated evolution and it’s resultant philosophies: about as many as have been harmed by religion.

      1. Evolution and its “resultant philosophies”? What? Don’t you mean ‘evilution’?

  16. a left Libertarian reviews a left Libertarian… What kind of results can one expect?

    1. “Left libertarian”

      I’ve been told there’s no such thing. See national socialism– that’s what the above term means.

  17. He needs to brush up on bond stretching in the CO2 molecule caused by infrared radiation and concepts related to factors that upset equilibrium in an open system. But, overall, he did pretty good.

    1. And you need to learn what an open system is. Earth isn’t unless you consider the trivial amounts of atmospheric sputtering and bombardment to be significant. You could also do with improving your understanding of overlapping bands of water and CO2.

  18. “Peer reviewed” science and acedemia is a LIE.. The main quality these frauds have that is
    allowing them to roll over Western civilization is uncontested Boldness..
    We didnt lose our Nation, we forfeited it..
    “Peer reviewed” science and academia is a LIE. Papers are published and certified as “peer reviewed” that have literally never been read by ANYONE, including the editors of the scientific journals. And yes, this echoes the fact that the so-called “laws” being passed and used to destroy civilization are likewise never actually read by anyone, most particularly the psychopath whore politicians who vote on them.
    http://www.barnhardt.biz/2014/…..ilization/

    1. Back to The Federalist, cross burner.

  19. Somewhere along the way, science stopped being science and became a false religion. Today it claims absolute authority to define truth; and to charge Christians with being “anti-science” is the nuclear put-down.
    Serving an ideology, instead of searching out the true workings of the natural world, preoccupies contemporary science. Its agenda, simply put, is to have the whole human race ruled by “experts”?that is, statist politicians?guided by their venerated scientific advisers. Then they’ll stop Climate Change in its tracks, do away with Income Inequality, etc., etc., etc.

    http://www.newswithviews.com/Duigon/lee355.htm

  20. Once again Johnson and Weld are Social Conservative Republicans but they are the best chance to end the Destruction that the Democrat and Republican parties has heaped on this country. Did you know the United States has spent 93% of its history involved in war. The only way we the people can control the Federal government is through term limits. The Democrats and Republicans will never allow that because they aren’t going destroy their corrupt house of cards. There is a way though. Vote a straight Libertarian ticket just once. That will effectively knock out the good old boy network. If you like what the Libertarians do re elect them. If you tend to lean further left or right then start fresh with new representatives that will actually do what they were elected for.

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  23. Evolution is true . Check
    GMO are safe . Check.
    Fetuses don’t feel pain at 24 weeks . WTF?Nematodes feel pain for crying out loud.

  24. Evolution is true . Check
    GMO are safe . Check.
    Fetuses don’t feel pain at 24 weeks . WTF?Nematodes feel pain for crying out loud.

  25. Bailey, again with the “man made global warming” horse shit global government types and crony capitalists want to use to control people. Seriously, these idiots have been caught with their pants down so many times fudging the data its not a surprise anymore.

    1. “Seriously, these idiots have been caught with their pants down so many times fudging the data its not a surprise anymore.”

      You gotta do more than catch someone fudging data to disprove the theory. Science is a harsh mistress,

      1. Science is a harsh mistress,

        And fudging data is like cheating with a disease-riddled whore and getting recorded doing it.

        1. Gregior Mendel also fudged the data, you disease riddled whore fucker. You’re not a gene denialist, are you?

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  29. Actually, Johnsons seems more libertarian than the Author of this story. With regards to GMO and food labelling, Johnson simply wants the consumers to know what they choose to eat. Meanwhile, the Author’s “worrisome” note suggests that the Author would like to allow manufacturers hide the modifications – “shut up, buy it, it’s safe because those smarter than you say so”. Really, what has been going on with the Reason recently? It’s changing into a progressive/statist rag.

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