The Associated Press is running with a rather tendentious headline at the moment, "AP FACT CHECK: On climate science, most GOP candidates fail." For their fact check, the AP asked a group of Ph.D. scientists to grade presidential candidates based on their statements about global warming. To keep this supposedly unbiased, they didn't tell the scientists which statements were from which candidate. I suppose the thinking is that if these scientists had any preexisting and unrelated political biases it would be hard to tell Republican rhetoric on global warming from Democratic rhetoric, which is laughable. The end result is that Hillary Clinton gets rated an "A" and all the GOP candidates flunk, and it's presented as some kind of unassailable scientific judgment.
"This individual understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner," Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor, wrote of Cruz's statements. "That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president."
For anyone following the debates over climate change, the fact AP would highlight Michael Mann's opinions tells you everything you need to know. Mann's currently suing a number of conservative critics, including National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Mark Steyn, and a handful of individuals for pointing out that Mann's own climate science has been far fromreliable. A number of people and organizations who are neither conservative nor necessarily disagree with Mann on climate science think his lawsuit is both friviolous and an attack on free speech. Even if that weren't the case, Mann's obvious hostility and ridiculous hyperbole are discrediting as it is. Cruz's opinions on global warming mean that he knows less about science in general than a kindergartner? Please.
It's insulting that the Associated Press would use someone as obnoxious and biased as Mann as a blatant appeal to authority. In fact, when challenged on this point by The Federalist's David Harsanyi, the AP's Seth Borenstein responded with a somewhat snotty and transparently fallacious dismissal about expertise:
@davidharsanyi If you read, the 8 scientists were chosen by professional scientific societies. What's your science phD in?
It can't be emphasized enough that there needs to be a bright line between science informing politics and scientists dictating politics. While diagnosing the reality of global warming may be a scientific matter, what to do about it is largely a policy matter. One can believe quite strongly in global warming and the need to address any resulting problems, and still believe that hamstringing the economy and energy production is a far from optimal solution. Consider for a moment the cronyism involved between Democrats and green energy subsidies. It would be nice to know why the media are happy to have Michael Mann lambast Ted Cruz for mere rhetoric, but climate scientists have been strangely silent about the fact Obama administration policy is making solar panels more expensive. Or the fact that Democratic senators climate scientists think that people who publicly disagree with them on the issue should be thrown in jail on racketeering charges, and there's not a panoply of media critics decrying such anti-democratic tactics.
In any event, Borenstein and the AP should be ashamed of such discreditable nonsense. The next time Rand Paul or Ben Carson criticize Obamacare, I don't imagine turning around and saying "What's your medical degree in?" would be considered a satisfactory response to preempt liberal criticism.
Although Planned Parenthood's most recent controversy revolves around "fetal tissue" trafficking, the organization is no stranger to eyebrow-raising activities. A recent solicitation for participants for Planned Parenthood's Sexual Health Evaluation (SHE) study promised at least $70 with a chance to win up to $500.
The Centers for Disease Control recently announced the availability of $76 million in grants for the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) program. This program is designed to "monitor the HIV epidemic" and detect changes in HIV-risk behaviors among high-risk population groups with an eye towards improving HIV prevention measures.
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Atlantic Council Thursday morning as part of the Road to Paris Climate Series and he compared the certainty of human-caused climate change to the law of gravity and to the temperature at which water fre
The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein's theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.
While others were watching the Grammys or fretting over the fate of Brian Williams, physicists have had bigger fish to fry.
Hillary Clinton has responded to questions about vaccines raised by Senator Rand Paul and Governor Chris Christie with a tweet saying unequivocally that vaccines works. "The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let's protect all our kids. #GrandmothersKnowBest," Clinton tweeted.
Keeping us safe from ourselves has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Consumer groups, environmental organizations, the trial bar, the medical establishment, university researchers, and the government are all working together, doing all they can to prevent us from making what they consider to be bad choices. They treat the pursuit of safety as a license to deprive us of our ability to make informed choices.