Science Policy

The Anti-Science Left: Author Alex Berezow on Why Both Parties Fail at Science


"When you accuse everyone of being anti-science, it has a dampering effect on good public policy discourse," scientist and author Alex Berezow tells Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward.

Berezow, editor of Real Clear Science, calls out the political left for some of their anti-science beliefs in his new book titled Science Left Behind. Berezow explains that both political parties are equally guilty in ignoring scientific facts when it comes to certain public policies. The doctor of microbiology goes on to say that his book focuses on the scientific misgivings of the political left simply because much media has already been devoted to criticizing the Right. 

About 6 minutes. 

Shot by Joshua Swain and Amanda Winkler. Edited by Amanda Winkler. 

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  1. See also “Higher Superstition”

    1. See also “The Myth of Scientific Public Policy” by Robert Formaini.

  2. GMO’s.

    1. I watched Mr. Berezow at an AEI symposium on CSPAN 2 a few weeks ago. While I completely agree with him as it concerns the GMO issue (namely, that there are no adverse health implications from GMO consumption), it is worth noting that I think some of the elements on the Left that have led the anti-GMO movement are doing so in part because of a bioethics consideration as opposed to any actual health considerations. That said, they’ve led a massive disinformation campaign to try and smear GMOs as deadly in an effort to achieve their ends and have therefore earned the term anti-science.

  3. But our Ivy League cohorts have PhDs. They’re better than the rabble.

  4. I’m troubled by the assertion that only one side of the global warming debate is guilty of anti-science. What has not received much attention is that there are really two different hypotheses under consideration in the area of climate change. One hypothesis is that some of the warming of the last 40 years is due to the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climatologists are generally in agreement on this. The second hypothesis is that most (if not all) of the warming is due to the carbon dioxide. This is where you will find more contention amongst scientists. One of the predictions needed to help validate this second hypothesis was the warming of the upper atmosphere. When temperature data collected by weather balloons and satellites did not match the prediction, I was troubled by the way the data was corrected to match the prediction. Also, I was troubled by the way in which a solar physicist came under attack from climatologists after he performed an experiment that showed that solar variation could have a greater effect on the climate than is currently accepted.

    1. Climate scientists disagree all of the time in private. It’s when they’re in public that they put up a stone wall and act as if every scientist is in agreement with every facet of AGW.

      Indeed, many of the scientists sorting out the warming hiatus disagree with one another ? in a chummy, scholarly way. Judith Lean, the solar scientist, finds Kaufmann’s work unpersuasive and unnecessarily critical of China. Kaufmann finds Solomon’s stratosphere studies lacking in evidence. Hansen and Trenberth can’t agree on a budget.

      It seems staggering, then, that in a few years’ time a new consensus will form for the next U.N. climate change report. But it will, and lurking beneath it will remain, as always, the churning theories and rivalries, the questions, the grist of scientific life.

      Because if the end of the world isn’t something that they can agree upon in public, it becomes exponentially more difficult to make their blatant funding grabs from the tax bin. If scientists showed the doubt in public that they do in private amongst one another, they and their entire watermelon army would be out of ammo.

      1. Nobody suggests that every scientist is in agreement with every facet of AGW. 98% of them do agree with the underlying theories of the greenhouse effect and climate change.

        1. Except in very few cases, our knowledge of heredity in man at present is far to slight and far too uncertain to base legislation upon.

          –Reginald C. Punnett

          Yet every scientist and politician that was in favour of eugenics founded your little religion of Progressivism, joe. And while agreeing with not necessarily every little facet, based score of legislation on “theory” and “science”.

        2. Also, we do know that height is the result of polygenic inheritance; got the short end of the stick, didn’t you?

  5. The root of the problem is really the accelerating politicization of various scientific issues. Once that happens, inevitably conservatives and liberals have to take a side and one of those sides is going to be labelled “anti-science.”

    1. This is unfortunately a byproduct of the Fedgov grant awarding process, and to a lesser degree, private endowments and grants. While private donors can donate to whatever research and cause the they choose to support (their money, their right), to say that there is an absence of bringing a dull axe in need of sharpening along with that money is also problematic.

      This can be directly observed in the much vaunted and highly touted “public-private partnerships”, which in many cases is little more than confirmation and representational bias in search of an applied “solution”.

      1. So the 98% of climate scientists funded by government and private grants are wrong, but the 2% funded by the oil and coal industry are right?

        That’s an interesting theory.

        1. Re: The Derider,

          So the 98% of climate scientists funded by government and private grants are wrong

          Wrong about what? Global Warming? Or “Climate Change”?

          but the 2% funded by the oil and coal industry are right

          Ah, I see – and government scientists don’t possess self-interest in mind when certain research is more readily funded than other research; all of them are non-interested angels. Is that your argument, Joe?

          1. Quite the opposite, which is why it’s important to have a consensus of scientists to make sure you’re not listening to one who’s been bought by the coal industry.

            1. Shorter joe (if that’s possible):

              “Government funded research is PURE and NOBLE!”

              1. I don’t think that’s what he said. Do you believe coal-funded research is pure and noble and unbiased?

                1. The Derider| 11.3.12 @ 7:52PM |#

                  Scientists are all individuals, and there are huge individual incentives to challenge the dominant scientific paradigm. If you’re right, you’re now at the top of the field.

                  Looks like he answered the question about personal incentive and motive to me. Also, joe did not refute what OM said, more commonly known as “dodging the question.”

        2. The 98% of short guys with Napoleon Complexes really make the 2% who don’t have them look fucking terrible, joe. You should hate yourself like everyone else does, especially women. But you probably already do. Which is only just.

        3. Your derpidity knows no bounds, does it, joe? Do you require constant adult supervision and a soft mechanical diet? Does your mother know your on the computer?

          Where exactly did I state anything about anything of what you wrote? All I simply said was, and let me use little words for you, “Follow the money.” This metaphorical axe I employed does swing both ways, you disingenuous pile of lard, as anyone with an agenda can push hokum and voodoo passing as “science”. In fact, Margaret Sanger and others in the Eugenics Movement postulated racial inferiority as “science”, and look how that turned out.

          You are proof eating paint chips whilst still a child stunts both growth and mental development, joe.

          1. You are proof eating paint chips whilst still a child stunts both growth and mental development, joe.

            Science, bitches!

          2. Why is government money, tied directly to political motivations, somehow more trustworthy than private money? Look at nutrition, where the government seems to have a habit of pushing corn and wheat and milk while the mainstream of the science has different views.

            This issue about funding is a lot bigger than climate science. Look at the various string theories. They’ve been getting a ton of research money even though there are (arguably) better alternatives, that are at least falsifiable. Yet it continues? Why? Largely because it’s the hot topic and federal money is flying that direction.

            1. Why is government money, tied directly to political motivations, somehow more trustworthy than private money?


            2. Because Obama cares more.

            3. Oh no, ProL, don’t tell me you’re a quantum gravity man. Heresy! Heresy!

        4. Also, “you’re”. Dammit.

        5. Shorter than correctly perceived short Joe: blahblahblah … derp derpityderp raise taxes derp.

    2. Funny how the ones who want to halt industrial and engineering achievements in the name of preventing an Apocalypse get to be termed the pro-science side.

      1. No, you’re conflating multiple different issues. You can accept that AGW is most likely real without supporting the disastrous kinds of policy changes that we’ve seen proposed. It would do us pro-industry types a lot of good to focus on that, rather than denying the science.

        1. I’m not conflating anything. You are misreading my clear statement aimed at those who use the science as a thin basis to proclaim a forthcoming Apocalypse.

          1. “science as a thin basis”, lol.

            Who’s anti-science now?

            1. Allergic to articles, joe? The “the” you omitted was conspicuously dishonest of you. At this point, I should expect nothing less of your fuck-heavy partisan shit-hackery.

            2. How do you live with yourself, joe? The constant dishonesty must be exhausting.

              1. Not when you don’t have a conscience weighing you down.

  6. The bigger issue is the sanctification of science and scientists to begin with. These are people with petty biases and grievances same as everyone else, and these sorts of things can easily affect results, even if only unintentionally. To hold scientists above questioning is dangerous and _very_ anti-science.

    The most important thing in science is not scientific consensus but the scientist that challenges that consensus.

    Properly defined, being anti-science is not holding a scientific opinion that is unpopular, but rather being against certain core tenets like the scientific method or the falsifiability of hypotheses.

    1. A consensus of scientists corrects for the petty biases and grievances of individual scientists.

      1. Tell that to Copernicus.

        1. B-but they were religious! True scientists are atheists whose only concern is logic and reason!

        2. Conflating the 17th century catholic church with modern PHDs is absurd.

          1. Re: The Derider,

            Conflating the 17th century catholic church

            Ok, tell that then to Alfred Wegene.

            1. He’s a perfect example of someone who challenged an entrenched scientific consensus and won.

              His ideas explained observed phenomena better than those held by most scientists. That consensus disintegrated, and coalesced around his superior ideas.

              Notice this is not happening currently in climate science.

              1. Yes, and it took awhile for modern genetics and facts of heredity to catch up to those myths that were spread by eugenicists based on pop and junk science, and wholly endorsed by government.

                Also, you shouldn’t be so mad at your mother, since it’s dad’s genes that have most direct influence on determining height. This would explain your hatred for women.

                1. “Yes, and it took awhile (…) to catch up to those myths that were spread (…) based on pop and junk science, and wholly endorsed by government.”

                  Lipid says, “Yo”.

          2. no, it’s not.

      2. It does no such thing, and believing so is by definition ‘anti-science.’

        The consensus (on any scientific matter) _must_ be subject to challenge, always, or else the advance of scientific knowledge inevitably stops.

        If 99% of people hold a wrong belief, that idea is still wrong.

        1. Of course scientific consensus is subject to challenge.

          When successfully challenged, a scientific consensus will break up and coalesce around a better explanation for observed phenomena.

          The consensus is still important.

          1. But as mentioned, you’re seeing a lot of people who are putting forth alternate hypotheses to some of the observed warming being treated as apostates as opposed to scientists challenging conventional scientific opinion.

            I feel like some feel that scientists showing a “united front” is more important than actually conducting research, and there’s absolutely nothing scientific about that.

            1. It really depends on how reasonable those alternatives are. I’m not a climate scientist, so I can’t really comment. But I see the same kind of stuff in the life sciences re: ID[iocy]. They claim they’re just presenting “alternative hypotheses.” In the most trivial sense, they are, but since there is no evidence or the claims are outlandish (without outlandish evidence), there is no point in really debating it.

              1. The difference is that “God did it” is not a valid scientific hypothesis. Doesn’t mean it’s false, just unscientific. You can’t falsify “God did it.”

                Solar activity or natural climate variance are hypotheses that can be evaluated in a scientific fashion and have been.

                1. Well, I use the example of ID for a reason. I suppose I should have been clearer: their attacks on evolution are just as poorly-accepted as any attempt to support ID. Why? They assert that it’s due to a religious-like obsession on the part of biologists with evolution. Actually, it’s that they do present “ideas” like “specified complexity,” but that the ideas really don’t hold any water. They are, in fact, falsified- very rapidly.

                  You are correct that the goddidit part is simply non-falsifiable and therefore outside the bounds of science, so I should have been clearer in saying I wasn’t talking about that.

      3. It’s not like markets, where a self-interested 3rd-party (consumers) chooses between competing producers. A scientific consensus is arrived at by the producers themselves. It would be as if Ford, GM, and Chrysler got together and told us which car was the best and we all had to buy that. They’d obviously have an incentive to pick the car that profited them the most. Similarly, scientists have an incentive to pick the hypothesis that gives more power and influence to scientists.

        1. Scientists are all individuals, and there are huge individual incentives to challenge the dominant scientific paradigm. If you’re right, you’re now at the top of the field.

          1. I see. So, joe, you are saying there is financial incentive in peddling fear and stoking disquietude over unproven theories for a profit motive and personal enrichment. And at the expense of the taxpayer. Marx would be proud of you.

            I was under the impression that ONLY EVUL COAL AND OIL were capable of such nefarious schemes. Turns out government is 98% more complicit.

            Good job discrediting yourself, you uni-browed dwarf

      4. Read Thomas Kuhn you dishpit.

      5. You don’t know many scientists…

      6. Eventually, yes. Eventually.

    2. They do tend to see it as another authority to which to bow. Your fellow sabermetrician practically has a cargo cult following.

      1. I really like Nate personally, and knowing what I know about his previous work, I’m guessing his polling evaluations are very well done and are the product of a lot of hard work. Could his personal biases seep in a little? Of course, it usually does for all of us regardless of subject.

        But of course he also has the same pressures and problems other scientists do. It is not easy when neither your supporters (team blue) nor detractors (team red) have any interest in critically evaluating your work. Enlightened and on point criticism is vital to help guiding you to refine and improve upon your work, and it’s got to be near impossible for any of that to get through right now.

        Maybe four or five months after the election would be a great time for that to take place. He’s so young he could be doing this for the next 30 years if he wants, and I think it would be far more intellectual rewarding for him to keep challenging his own system year after year.

        1. I have no animosity towards Silver, and even if he has slipped up here in his modeling as I suspect, I hope it is not a career defining mistake. He’s had a good run, a few mistakes in his 2010 forecasting in marginal races, but still impressive.

        2. I don’t know if Nate has been guilty of this but Sabermetricians do seem to be guilty of some fallacies. I do think that statistics like OPS and WHIP do add value in judging players. However, they have some hypotheses of how the game should be played based upon their statistical analysis. And at time they do seem to act as if their hypotheses are unquestionable because the statistical analysis was sound. But I end up wondering if they’re confusing correlation with cause and effect.

          Also, some Sabermetricians act as if the statistics provide an exact description of reality rather than an approximation of reality. For example, I was not surprised that the Tigers’ sluggers floundered in the World Series. Players with good OPS numbers end up with those values because they are good at exploiting the mistakes of pitchers with averages skills. But in the playoffs, you’re encountering pitchers who don’t walk batters, don’t make mistakes across the heart of the plate, and keep batters guessing by mixing their pitches.

          So, in the end, I trust that Sabermetricians are good statisticians. But I’m not willing to confer upon them a notion that they are infallible when drawing conclusions from their statistical analyses.

          1. By the way, why was it people were jumping on Detroit’s band wagon so much? They won 88 games in one of the weakest divisions in baseball. They only have 4 teams in their division, which is a joke.

            The other team that won 88 games at least had six teams in their division, including 4 pretty good ones.

            1. I counted those factors, but still thought Detroit would field a better World Series performance. Being in a strong division can also contribute to attrition problems. NYY were exhausted and in a near complete collapse by the time they got to the play offs as was Baltimore.

            2. There was a commercial some years ago with the tag line “Chicks dig the long ball.” Unfortunately, I think network baseball analysts have the same problem. Detroit’s batting was overrated because of their ballpark while SF’s batting is underrated for the same reason.

              I always look at road game stats to judge the respective strengths of teams. On the road, the Giants were 2nd in runs scored with 410 runs. The Tigers were 21st with 333 runs.

              And, finally, many analysts are on the east coast and miss many of the Giants games because of the time difference. They overlooked the fact that the Giants had to build a team that had to win against tough pitching within their own division over the last few years.

              I was expecting the Giants to win in 6 but I was very happy with the sweep!

            3. Five. Your commenting WAR is -0.3

  7. I’ll be waiting with bated breath for Reason to describe climate change deniers as “anti-science”.

    1. You’re stupid and I hate you, but you’re right: the GOP base is mouth-breather levels of retarded. Instead of rationally countering idiots such as yourself, the evangelical GOP constituents resorted to their default of anti-intellectualism.

      Congratulations. You and your ilk have filled the rank-and-file university system with Marxists, and now conservatives are mistrustful of them. Good work, I guess.

      1. I don’t think you know what Marxism is.

        1. I bet he knows more about it then you.

          1. I don’t think the rank and file university system is “filled with marxists”, do you?

            “Socialists”, maybe, but marxism and socialism are a lot different.

            1. A difference without distinction, joe. This is the Soviet Constitution of 1936, with which I am quite sure you are familiar, no doubt doubt your copy is encrusted with copious amounts of jizz. Do pay attention to how many times “socialism” appears.

              Saying there is a big difference b’twixt Marxism and Socialism is like saying that of the words “diminutive” and “Liliputian”.

        2. Re: The Derider,

          I don’t think you know what Marxism is.

          I don’t think you know either.

          1. You think universities are filled with professors who advocate the seizure of all economically productive infrastructure by the working class?

            I don’t.

            1. But no one cares what you think, short stuff. You don’t seem to get that, though.

              1. And yet you keep responding.

                1. Mocking is not responding per se, you fucking midget.

            2. “You think universities are filled with professors who advocate the seizure of all economically productive infrastructure by the working class?”

              At what point is that notion supposed to sound outlandish?

            3. Re: The Derider,

              You think universities are filled with professors who advocate the seizure of all economically productive infrastructure by the working class?

              No, they’re filled with yahoos that subscribe to the same economic fallacies that Marx espoused, just to begin with: The labor theory of value, which allows then to come up with such absurdities as “economic justice.” The same yahoos that believe in class struggle, now morphed into racial struggle or gender struggle. Same shit, same smell, just different color.

              Just where do you think The Great One received his knowledge in economic matters? It wasn’t from People magazine.

              1. Judging by the current state of affairs, it may as well have been from People.

        3. I don’t think Science means what you think it means …

    2. I’ll be waiting with bated breath for the media to describe people who say Hurricane Sandy was caused by climate change as anti-science.

      1. Good point.

        Despite all the “super storm” superlatives, Sandy was a mediocre hurricane, strength wise. What made it a super storm was that it happened to line up with a low pressure trough in the north, i.e. a coincidence. If not for that coincidence Sandy would have been worth a shrug at best.

        1. If suggesting Sandy was caused by climate change, without any evidence, is anti-science, so must be evidence-free suggestions that it was a coincidence.

          1. However, every thing you ever say is proof positive that you are as big a moron as any member of the Westboro Baptist Church.

            1. They have an excuse, as all sorts of genetic mutations can be directly attributed to consanguinity.

              Which I suspect from which joe suffers, and may account for his short legs, elongated trunk, and the necessity for velcro shoes along with a safety helmet.

              1. The degree of stupid at WBC is so intense that it probably causes heritable epigenetic changes as well.

          2. Try actually reading my comment. I said that Sandy was a “super storm” because hurricane Sandy, category 1, happened to slam into a low pressure trough in the north which steered it ashore, a high tide and a full moon. Those things are coincidental. If global warming can’t conjure up a hurricane stronger than category 1, then I think it is fair to say that we need not worry about it.

            I hope you are not claiming that AGW now controls the tides, the phases of the moon, and the coincidental placement of low pressure troughs.

            1. He didn’t know all that when he made his comment.

            2. Again, you’re asserting that AGW had nothing to do with the storm, without any actual evidence.

              This is just as bad as asserting Sandy was caused entirely by AGW, without any evidence.

              1. joe, I’m asserting that you’re retarded, but in my case, I have ironclad evidence: your posts.

              2. No, I am not asserting that, Derider.

                I am simply pointing out that Sandy was not a “super storm”. It was a category 1 hurricane, the weakest variety of hurricane, there was nothing “super” about it. The only thing that was “super” about this event was that Sandy collided with a low pressure system that pulled it ashore in New Jersey, right at high tide, and during a full moon. Those things (low pressure system, high tide, full moon) were not caused by climate change. It was simple bad luck.

                You are free to assert that AGW does indeed cause tidal motion, moon phases, and specific placement of low/high pressure weather systems, but you have to know you are going to be called a fool for doing so.

                1. The only thing “super” about it was that it slammed in to NYC and the most important people in the known universe.

                  Had it missed the US and pissed away in the north Atlantic, no one would have given a shit.

          3. If suggesting Sandy was caused by climate change, without any evidence, is anti-science, so must be evidence-free suggestions that it was a coincidence.

            “Prove it” is anti-science? Huh. Whodathunkit?

            1. As a Floridian, I’d like to question how an almost stormless season could possibly be evidence of global warming.

              1. As a Floridian, I’d like to question how an almost stormless season could possibly be evidence of global warming.

                Climate change is causing more stongerunpredictable fewer storms

            2. “prove it” is far different than saying “it’s just a coincidence”.

              1. Hey joe, can you reach the top shelf in the supermarket if you stand in the cart?

          4. OMG, you ARE an ignorant fucktard.

          5. First, Heller said the opposite of what you said.

            He said that he’ll wait for people to say that if you don’t agree that Sandy was caused by “climate change” that you are anti-science.

            Your comment was the other way around. On top of that, it was incorrect. If you say that Sandy could easily have been a coincidence and that it has not been proven that it was caused by climate change, that is a true statement made with complete logical scientific skepticism – the hallmark of a true scientist. It would only be if you said that you could prove or knew for certain that Sandy was not due to climate change that one could say that this was anti-scientific.

            So you have both things completely ass backwards.

            1. When you assert “it was a coincidence”, you are saying you know that Sandy was not due to climate change, and thus is anti-scientific.

              1. God you are a fucking idiot. Isn’t it bedtime yet? Go kiss Mommy g-night and go beddyby.

              2. joe’s too stupid to know when to stop. He’s probably also drunk. Guys as small as him get tanked on one beer.

              3. Does your browser have a special feature where it deletes words inconvenient to your rambling?

                He said “could easily have been a coincidence”

                “could easily have been” and “was” are different things, last time I checked.

        2. And it happened to come ashore at high tide with a full moon (or something to do with the moon!)

        3. Despite all the “super storm” superlatives, Sandy was a mediocre hurricane tropical storm, strength wise.


          I’ve literally walked whales in a rehabilitation pool outside during a stronger storm (Georges) than Sandy. The whole “SUPERSTORM!!” business is nothing more than a media ploy to reignite the Climate Change discussion.

          Sandy was a weak tropical system that met up with a cold front and turned big. It wasn’t particularly powerful by any measure.

          The whole thing is a fucking joke.

          1. The superstore meme is also important as a hedge in case Romney steals the election. Because, according to the scientific Left that also is immune to conspiracy theories, the only way Romney can win is by stealing the election with the help of the Koch Bros. because Romney is such a radical Right wing politician.

            1. The Koch brothers are in petrochemicals and created global warming.

              Global warming undoubtedly caused Sandy.

              qed, the Kochs created Sandy in the hopes of miraculously turning blue states red.

              Drowning poor minorities? Just a happy bonus.

    3. To outright deny the data is anti-science. What this often gets conflated with is an opposition to harsh measures that would surely crush our economy.

      Again: There is nothing un-libertarian about understanding that climate change is real, and is most likely anthropogenic. Fossil fuels are not god. However, we can look at that, as well as the bright future of renewables, and say that the government doesn’t need to cripple our economy today to save tomorrow. In fact, I would argue that plentiful energy now makes the kind of R&D we need easier.

      1. I agree that the position you’ve stated is not anti-science.

        Saying “climate change is a hoax” is, however. And that’s a view held by far too many conservatives.

        1. I agree.

        2. “Saying ‘climate change is a hoax’ is, however.”

          No it isn’t. At worst it’s an unproven hypothesis. Those are not anti-science.

          1. It’s a disproven hypothesis.

            1. You’re a fucking moron, Mr. Shorty.

        3. Re: The Dehydrated,

          Saying “climate change is a hoax” is [being anti-science], however.

          Not only that, it would be anti-logic, because climate changes all the time.

          What’s really anti-science is resorting to doublespeak (like using the purposefully-vague term “climate change”) to obfuscate over the fact that the dire predictions have not come to be and that your hypothesis is unraveling before everybody’s eyes.

        4. The people making the statement that “climate change is a hoax” may be guilty of a knee jerk reaction but I wouldn’t necessarily say they are guilty of anti-science. They are reacting to the following situations.

          First, Michael Mann who created the 1000 year temperature graph initially refused to divulge his data and statistical analysis of his data. Once he was forced to release this information the National Academy of Science found that there was no validity for his graph and that there was only evidence of warming for the last 400 years. Mann was guilty of bad science if not outright scientific fraud. Nevertheless, Mann remains one of the leaders of the AGW crowd.

          Second, the former head of the Anglican Research Center kept denying that their had been a Medieval warm period. Once he was forced out after Climate Gate, he is now admitting that there may indeed have been such a warm period.

          Third, when the IPCC was saying that hurricanes Katrina and Rita were evidence of AGW, the hurricane expert on the IPCC quit the panel. He said that the statements by his fellow IPCC scientists had no basis in science and were politically motivated.

          So, this is why I would say the statement that AGW is a hoax is a bit of a knee jerk reaction. But it’s somewhat understandable given the circumstances.

          1. This reply is anti-science.

            1. This reply is anti-height.

            2. Words don’t mean only what you want them to, Joey.

    4. Re: The Dehydrated,

      I’ll be waiting with bated breath for Reason to describe climate change deniers as “anti-science”.

      I’ll be waiting with bated breath for leftists to stop calling people “deniers” when they’re merely (and very reasonably) skeptical of AGW.

      By the way, the term “climate change” is an obvious cop-out, invented NOT by scientists by the way, to turn attention away from the fact that the climate a) changes all the time and b) was not perfect before until suddenly someone tampered with the thermostat.

      1. was not perfect before until suddenly someone tampered with the thermostat.

        Did you not know that the perfect global temperature is that of the late 70s?

        1. The perfect global temperature is one that doesn’t melt the west antarctic ice sheet.

          1. Why?

            Why is the Antarctic ice sheet a good thing?

            1. The climate status quo that allowed for and sustained the human species is optimal. Not because of magic, but because we’re defining optimal as what sustains the human species.

              What’s the next high school philosophy query? Why is it a good thing for the human species to survive?

              I don’t know. Why is capitalism a good thing?

              1. Fuck you cunt.

                Humans adapt to the climate. There HAS NEVER been a static climate in the history of the world. It changes, you adapt or you die. Humans have lived through ice ages. Was that “optimal”. Nice try dipshit.

                1. So, assuming we could mitigate massive climate disruption, your choice is not to, because the species might survive? Do you guys have no moral attachment to the idea that doing nothing can lead to worse outcomes? Do you think you are absolved by passivity, as if that’s not every bit of a choice as action?

                  Some humans have lived through climate disruptions in the past. It’s inevitable that there will be a significant cost in lives to any global climate change. How many lives do you feel it is OK to sacrifice… for what purpose I can’t discern?

                  The most common fate of a species is extinction. We are not that special. It will probably take massive action on our part to stave it off, if not now, then sometime in the future. Massive collective action, of course, isn’t facilitated in the marketplace, so how convenient that you are so Pollyaninish on an event whose only solution is massive collective action. Truly an objective position.

                  1. $
                    Sock puppet.

                    1. 8=== ~~ Doodiehead.

                  2. Some humans have lived through climate disruptions in the past.

                    Yes, and those survivors reproduced. Good thing you weren’t there. How’s that palatial, sumptuous apartment, BTW?



                    1. The whole point of civilization is to improve upon the odds of natural selection.

                      My apartment isn’t palatial, but it is well decorated. Living vertical: it’s good for the environment.

                    2. Plato would be proud of you.

                      You are also aware that Progressives argued for the scientific validity for racism? Hobbes approves.

                      Nice little civilization you have there, which you endorse with your mandatory birth control, which I find astounding considering you won’t be making any contributions, both literally and figuratively.

                      You taking a flying leap off your balcony: It’s better for the environment.


                    3. Eugenics was a popular idea before Hitler rather took it to an extreme. Are you suggesting modern-day progressives are eugenicists, or are you just talking out of Glenn Beck’s ass as usual?

                      I don’t believe in mandatory birth control. I’d prefer to avoid such draconian measures by addressing resource crises sooner rather than later.

                    4. I’d prefer to avoid such draconian measures by addressing resource crises sooner rather than later.

                      If you think capitalism is a good thing, why do you hate allowing it to work?

                    5. I don’t believe in mandatory birth control.

                      This is bald faced lie. Joshua Corning caught you on this. When I find it, will link this quote.

                      I don’t listen to Glenn Beck, and yes, modern day progressives are indeed eugenically driven and quite frankly, racist.

                    6. It was an obvious joke. Also an experiment to see how long you idiots would hang onto it, displaying your paranoid idiocy. I get it. If the whole of academia disagreed with me and I really really cared about my ideas, I might be a little paranoid too.

                    7. Nope. You have proven yourself a liar and incapable of arguing in good faith. DIAF.


                    8. I’m glad t dawg here figured out the point of civilization. I was getting worried I’d never know for sure.

          2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA holy shit you’re stupid, joe. Each time you post there’s that chance that you’ll outdo yourself, and this particular comment delivered. You’re so. Fucking. Dumb. I love it.

          3. Except that the west antarctic ice sheet isn’t melting. It’s growing.

  8. *filled the university system with rank-and-file Marxists

    1. I don’t know if it’s necessarily that bad. At least in the biomedical research institutes (admittedly a somewhat different culture from traditional university settings, but still part of universities and still academia), Marxism is not prevalent at all, and one can meet a number of professors/PIs who hold very favorable views of industry.

      1. In the real sciences, no, it’s not that bad. But take a stroll through the humanities–in particular, the social “sciences” areas–and you’re going to be assaulted with gender-neutral pronouns and accusations of privilege.

  9. There is nothing un-libertarian about understanding that climate change is real, and is most likely anthropogenic.

    I see the entire debate as two separate issues. First, does AGW exist and second, what are the ramifications if it does?

    I have a healthy dose of skepticism to the former. I am not a climate scientist and do not have the required skill set to interpret the data so I cannot say with certainty that AGW is bullshit. I do, however, know when I’m being manipulated. When questioned, me thinks those in the AGW camp doth protest too much. Real scientists do not resort to name-calling (denier) to make a point. Nor do they engage in political maneuvering to draw others to their way of thinking. If their is actual data proving AGW, it has been forever tainted by those with other agendas.

    The second part of the debate is what I find most disturbing, however. The predictions of doom caused by a few degrees of temperate increase across the globe is utter nonsense. Famine, floods, disease pestilence most certainly await us if WE DON’T DO SOMETHING NOW! We can’t predict what’s going to happen in Ohio on Tuesday, but we absolutely know that if we don’t spend trillions of dollars to correct this “problem”, we will forever live in misery?

    How do we know that an increase in temperature wouldn’t be a net plus? These idiots want to fix a problem they don’t even know exists.

    1. their there


      Proofreading. How does it work?

    2. Climate change changed the pissing on your leg to rain.

      Umpteen public predictions of DOOM from the Apocalyptics have been flat out wrong, time and time again, but that stopped clocked is going to be right any minute now. Just you wait.

      And of course, their prescriptions to prevent our certain DOOM are just as iron clad.

    3. Quantum gravity denier! Yeah, don’t hear that much.

      People like joe conflate the political aspects of climate research–which are considerable–for scientific conclusions. The “consensus” isn’t really one–at best, there may be a warming trend that may be caused in part by human activities. And that’s still in dispute. Like I mentioned above, funding can push a science very far towards a conclusion–like how physics funding has moved dramatically towards string theory to the detriment of other research paths.

      Not to mention that the proposed solutions aren’t scientific at all and are purely political opportunism.

      1. You did mention it.

    4. Both the physical processes and the ramifications are settled by science, at least enough to warrant action. Not that doing nothing isn’t action, and a choice. If you want to speculate you have no more reason to assume the best than you do to assume the worst. And if anything, predictions have been underestimating the negative effects to the global environment.

      There is absolutely no reason for you not to be up to speed on what science says in this matter. You no doubt put much more faith in more speculative fields. Your “skepticism” with respect to this field is politically driven. In any other field you’d be a nuisance building creationist museums making people stupid. In this one the fate of the human species is at stake. The precautionary principle imperatively applies.

      1. $

      2. It’s settled science that the precautionary principle is fucking awesome.

  10. Dude tha tjsut looks like its gonna be cool. Wow.

  11. Oh look, more utter bullshit. Being anti-nuclear, anti-fracing, or temporarily buying into poorly evidenced hype about vaccines is absolutely not the same form of being anti-science as refusing to believe in widely accepted scientific facts because you don’t like them. The difference is at the core. Liberals believe in science, conservatives believe in science selectively. When liberals are wrong, and they have been, they don’t remain steadfast (nor do their views get extremely generous corporate funding). When conservatives are wrong, and they are frequently, they garrison in conspiracy theories, walled-in by the media catering to them.

    The notion that there are different approaches to evidence and truth is a right-wing invention, no doubt springing from a higher propensity to religiousness. I will criticize any liberal for misusing science. But misusing science is part of conservatives’ basic philosophical mode.

    1. $

    2. liberals do not believe in science any more than conservatives do.both camps selectively embrace or reject science when it goes against their metanarratives.

      look at gender differences in intelligence.the left shouts it down every time it comes up.the left spent a few decades embracing and teaching a tabula rasa gender differentiation theory as to intelligence and socialization that has now been thoroughly debunked. DECADES of anti-science gender fact, at the forefront of DISproving the left’s overwhelming gender/social/construct are the transgender folk who noticed that when you get massive doses of estrogen or testosterone- your personality CHANGES.duh.imagine that

      the left has thoroughly ignored science vis a vis organics.they have thoroughly ignored science as to hormones in meat (still not ONE peer reviewed study to support the claims that hormones damage meat).

      this is my favorite:”The notion that there are different approaches to evidence and truth is a right-wing invention, ”

      um, no. postmodernism has long taught,and its entirely a leftwing invention that there are different “ways of knowing”,and that there are no absolute truths,and has taught ridiculous things about the alleged problems with empiricism,taught from an entirely unscientific background to entirely unscientific people-those who worship foucault, derrida, and postmodernism.

      look up sokal and social text for an example of how ridiculously anti-science the academic left can and has been

      1. I am totally with you on postmodernist literary critics trying to mess with empiricism. The main fallacy here is falsely equating that with the mainstreaming of anti-intellectualism in a major political sphere.

        This entire conversation is an exercise in excusing the anti-science attitude of the right. Even if liberals are wrong about something, even if they are dogmatic about it, what does that have to do with the facts of climate change? In that instance liberals are right and conservatives are wrong. We can examine their stances on each subject if you like.

        1. This entire conversation is an exercise in excusing the anti-science attitude of the right.

          Because accusing people on the left of anti-science just means they’re in the tank for righties.

    3. I don’t think that liberals are quite as good as you hope, nor are conservatives quite as bad.

      And the anti-vaccine BS is about as stupidly anti-science as you can get, aside from maybe IDiocy. Really, there’s no excuse. “Deoxyribonucleic acid OMG ACID!!1!!!one!!! omg!!eleventy!!!”

      There’s a plentiful supply of dipshittery on all sides.

      1. And latte-swilling NPR listeners everywhere have wised up on the vaccine thing.

        Right-wing Americans, alone in the world, hold steadfast to their anti-climate-change religion.

        1. Left-wingers, alone in the world, hold steadfast to their climate-change doom-saying.

          Fixed your post.

          1. No, you made it wholly inaccurate. The entire global scientific community disagrees with you on climate science. If they’re all leftists, then maybe being a leftist is a good thing.

            1. The entire global scientific community

              Except for the IPCC? Since their own documents state that the human effects of global warming will be completely mitigated by the economic and technological advances.

              You’re such a lying buffoon.

    4. Re: Tony,

      Being anti-nuclear, anti-fracing, or temporarily buying into poorly evidenced hype about vaccines is absolutely not the same form of being anti-science as refusing to believe in widely accepted scientific facts because you don’t like them.

      The fact that the highly touted predictions that came from the very models that purported to show the existence of a phenomenon have not come to be at all shows that AWG is still far from being scientific fact.

      By the way, nobody “establishes” scientific fact. Either it is fact by nature, or it is simply very human fantasy.

      By the way, being anti-fracking (the correct term) only because you find the idea weird or strange does not make you anti-science necessarily; it makes you superstitious.

      The notion that there are different approaches to evidence and truth is a right-wing invention[…]

      Really? Like the idea that the Constitution is a “living, breathing document”?

      Besides the dumbness of your assertion, the fact is that you also ignore the fact that there’s a whole area of philosophy called “epistemology” that deals with how we learn things, and it wasn’t invented by right-wingers.

      1. I work with petroleum geologists and petroleum engineers, and they prefer “fracing,” though I predict they’ll be on the losing end of the evolution of the word.

        Human-caused warming is as close to a scientific fact as a thousand other things you believe, and more so than a thousand other things you believe. Your position on this issue is politically motivated. It boggles the mind how completely you can reject scientific facts that are perfectly accessible in the age of the Internet. It is depressing that people like you, who care more about your bizarre political worldview than applying critical thinking to an empirical world, can ignore what science says and be so practiced at the talking points against it.

        You guys are the postmodern relativists, only it’s not because you have genuine concerns about the nature of truth, it’s because you’ve been made dumb by political interests with web sites. Just read a fucking impartial source, or is every source that disagrees with you biased by definition?

  12. Welch is doing well on Stossel.

  13. Science is getting progressively (no pun intended) less scientific thanks to environmentalism and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. “Climate change” and other ecological issues give a warm fuzzy side to science that is a boon for funding. It also attracts “scientists” to the field that didn’t give a rat’s ass about science until they found out that cute fuzzy things might be dying somewhere. My brother is a good example of that type of scientist. I’m not saying he isn’t smart…but his intelligence is always in service of his emotions, so he ignored science until he decided he wants to save various species (an inherently unscientific agenda since animals are going extinct all the time, but I’m not the scientist so what do I know) Science just doesn’t mean the same thing that it once did. It’s more about activism than curiosity or understanding. So are political parties unscientific or has the whole face of science changed?

    1. It’s not really the science per se it’s its application. Most people will override what is sensible and reasonable with the emotion of whatever their hobby horse is. The Left is no stranger to its own mythologies that may be post Christian thus making it easier for them to accept organic evolution, but mythologies that nevertheless are just as crazy. Within the Left are pagans, earth mother worshipers aka most environmentalists, supply/demand curve deniers, Democratic Party worshipers, and many varieties of people that you also find on the Right such as Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witness, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc, all of which hold some pretty unscientific beliefs.

  14. Oh look, a post about science where Tony and Derider show up to say “Nuh uh it’s all those stupid right wingers that are anti science”. Jesus Christ grow up already.

    1. I really think that they are trying to convince the H&R commentariat that we need more regulation by posting annoying Liberal cliches, but then again that would involve…never mind. Dumb theory.

  15. The left uses science in the same way they use political corectedness. Just how the point of PC is to embarrass those that disagree with them, the point of being ‘scientific’ is the imply that you are an idiot for not agreeing with the left. Its way to shutdown debate before it starts.

  16. It’s quite clear that neither The Derider nor T o n y have any idea what science really is. It’s not science unless it relies on the scientific method: the scientific method: Background studied, hypothesis formed, experiment designed, experiment executed, results analyzed, hypothesis either supported or refuted. The experiment can be replicated, others can do the same and see for themselves the results. The results are verifiable. The hypotheses have predictive value and are falsifiable.

    This is not what is happening in the AGW debate. The hypotheses are not tested with replicatable experiments, but are reached by means of models. The validity of the models is an unknown although there is a “consensus” that they are valid. (N.B.: “Consensus” is not a part of the scientific method.) The hypotheses have no predictive validity. Global temperatures are well below what even the most conservative IPCC estimates speculated temperatures would be today. Ocean temperatures are well below where James Hansen’s predictions place them. IPCC predictions that global warming would cause less rainfall across Africa have been proven wrong. Same for predictions on declining rainfall in India, on thinning and disappearance of Himalayan glaciers, on the slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), and on and on. The models don’t even predict the present accurately–they exaggerate global warming from 1850 to 2005 by 67%.

    1. The models upon which AGW theory relies are full of untested assumptions. Given the model’s lack of predictive value, it’s quite a stretch to call anyone that disputes them “anti-science”.

      The Derider| 11.3.12 @ 8:34PM |#

      Quite the opposite, which is why it’s important to have a consensus of scientists to make sure you’re not listening to one who’s been bought by the coal industry.

      Dead wrong. Consensus has no place in science–none at all. In science, you can either replicate a study’s results, or you cannot. It doesn’t matter who funded the study–you can replicate the results, or you cannot. If you cannot, that indicates the hypothesis is wrong, even if 98% of everybody states that the hypothesis is correct.

      Consensus is important in politics–it is meaningless in science. Once more, your results can be replicated and your hypothesis has predictive value, or you have to entertain the fact that it is wrong.

      That’s science. It works, bitches.

    2. Arguments from global warming skeptics

      Check out #6 on climate models.

      “Climate models have already predicted many of the phenomena for which we now have empirical evidence. Climate models form a reliable guide to potential climate change.”

      1. Arguments from Tony: MY FEELINGS

      2. That would be an excellent argument, were it actually true. The fact is that it is much cooler than even the most conservative estimates based on the models stated it would be at this point.

  17. Re: The Derider,
    The perfect global temperature is one that doesn’t melt the west antarctic ice sheet.

    This statement puts into perfect perspective the absurdity and banality of the whole “Climate Change” religion: Joe makes it a moral imperative to prevent an ice sheet, that moves and changes all by itself, to change at all.

    The Volcano God hungers for virgins.

  18. Dear global warming alarmists:

    What happens when we implement all of our lovely Solyndratech and third-world nations start to industrialize? What about all the pollution they’re going to create? What is your solution to this? Because the only real option is one in which Western society and technology asserts itself over more primitive cultures…but that’s Eurocentric white colonialism!


  19. Mr Berezow fails before he even starts. His assertion that the left is “against science” when it comes to fracking or nuclear energy is absurd. Any person who assert that science can not produce energy this way would be laughed at. Some on the left assert that the energy produced by these methods creates more bad than good. That is very different that the assertion that Creationism is correct and Evolution false because the man in the sky said so.
    The former leads to a legitimate discussion regarding the opportunity costs of various energy production methods.
    The latter leads to a philosophical discussion that in no way can be called science, and certainly should not be taken seriously on a web site called Reason.

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