The Left’s War on, well, Everything! Science, the economy and humans

I don’t know if it is serendipity or what, but during the last week several articles have popped up on my computer with similar theme:  How liberals are increasingly shedding their humanist pretentions and showing (their true) misanthropic nature.

The Scientific American brings us a story, “The Left’s War on Science,” in which Michael Shermer details a few of the ways in which he thinks the left has abandoned science – especially on environmental issues.  Mr. Shermer and I disagree on the question of climate change and whether it is still reasonable to be a skeptic; however, we agree that for liberal environmentalists, questions of science and science policy have come to take on the tone of religious zealotry.  On issues, of climate change (in my view), genetically modified foods and energy (views we share), environmentalists have cast aside science, and adopted an “everything natural is good,” “everything unnatural is bad,” religion.

A second story is, by contrast, rather mundane by today’s standards.  Just another tale of the government, which claims it wants to create jobs (“creating jobs is job one!”), killing high paying jobs in the energy industry by enacting  a variety of unnecessary rules – rules which will do nothing to protect human health or the environment.  For example, environmental regulations have raised the cost of building a new power plant in Texas, which economists had estimated would create 3,900 jobs.

Finally, two stories from widely different locations across the globe, but with the same theme.  It seems that politicians and wooly headed academics/media personalities are finally being honest about their feelings concerning the human race.  In one story, Sir David Attenborough stated that: “Humans are a plague on the Earth that need to be controlled by limiting population growth.”  The racist, eugenicists from the late 19th through the mid-20th century who routinely sterilized and/or exterminated “undesirables,” would be proud, as would the communist dictators in China.  To the very enlightened Mr. Attenborough – may I suggest that you and others like you take the first step by volunteering for sterilization?  In the second story, the Japan’s finance minister suggested that 25 – 40% of the Japan’s population, elderly retirees and those soon to be so, “. . .should  just hurry up and die.”  Logan’s Run anyone?  It seems the minister objects to older Japanese actually using the socialized health care and social welfare system they’ve paid into all their lives.  He complains that elderly Japanese citizens’ health care is being paid for by the government and it’s just costing too much.  Ignoring the fact that the money used to pay the bills is not the government’s but the taxpayers in the first place and that the government has forced them into the social welfare system he is complaining about.  It may be a Ponzi scheme, but it is the government’s Ponzi scheme and it is responsible for the payouts.

So let’s sum up, the left routinely attacks sound science and replaces it with a pseudo-green religion that undermines progress.  It enacts regulations that kill jobs which make people poorer and worse off.  Finally, it attacks people themselves stating that their rights to procreate and even continue to live be limited by government.  Back to the Pleistocene, indeed!


Comments (12)

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  1. Pam says:

    Great post. That is what always puzzles me about enviro-zealots. They enjoy pontificating about what others should do, but they don’t seem to be willing to take the first steps. Since most of these self-proclaimed environmental ethicists are well over the age of 30, why aren’t they flocking to Oregon to commit suicide, or as you say, sterilizing themselves?

    Not to mention, it makes not scientific sense to classify certain things as “unnatural” versus “natural.” If the earth and its resources were naturally created (as in not manmade) then I would suffice to say that everything is or was natural at some point,i.e. farmed, mined from the earth, etc.

    And yes, just because something is natural doesn’t necessarily make it beneficial to humans. Try wallowing in poison ivy on a weekend camping trip and see how that works for ya.

  2. Joe says:

    Attenborough is nealry 87 years old, so he’s probably not planning to father any more children.

  3. Andrew O says:

    “In the second story, the Japan’s finance minister suggested that 25 – 40% of the Japan’s population, elderly retirees and those soon to be so, “. . . should just hurry up and die.””

    He is 72 years old, perhaps he should hurry up as well? This hypocrisy is a illustration of how absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Regarding the premise of the article, I would say that by observing and studying our current political and social system, both sides of the spectrum (left and right) have shown signs of hypocrisy, greed, and disregard toward objective science as means to ameliorate human problems. Not sure which ideological movement has done it the most, but in the policymaking world, there are clear examples of both sides being at fault.

    Ideological rhetoric seems to entertain minds and followers, but I think much of it in our society is just that, silly entertainment while nothing substantive changes. It seems to me that it is more of a problem of elitism leading to a control imperative — people at the top not wanting to cease their power at whatever cost, which is a unipolar instinctive force maintained at the top. I hope that as a society and culture we start demanding more objective science and education and start collectively thinking objectively to solve our problems without dependency and conformity, but I am afraid politics will continue getting in the way of “converting” minds and advancing their agenda at any cost.

    Hope I am eventually proven wrong.

    • Gabriel Odom says:

      He said the “hurry up and die” comment in the same breath that he said he would never accept long-term medical care. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be a drain on my family’s resources – just pull the plug.

  4. Evan Carr says:

    Mr. Attenborough’s comments remind me of the New World Order conspiracy that global population will be reduced to roughly 500 – 700 million people, the supposed population at which human life is “sustainable” on planet earth. Perhaps Attenborough is the secret author of the Georgia Guidestones.
    I think the climate change debate is a great instance of too many scientists allowing their personal beliefs to taint their scientific conclusions. The climate is changing. That is a fact. The globe seems to be warming. This is appearing to be true. Whether or not this is cyclical remains to be seen, though I find it likely. I would also say that it is inconceivable to say that humans have had absolutely no effect on the climate. The debate is how much of climate change is anthropogenic. Have humans sped up the heating and cooling cycle through our carbon emissions?
    Given the complexities involved with measuring the carbon cycle, the conflicting empirical data, the cyclical nature of earth’s temperatures and the revelation that many global warming advocates manipulated their data, I think it will be nearly impossible to determine if humans are the sole cause of global warming.
    NOW, in my opinion, do the preceding paragraphs give us free license to be terrible stewards of our planet? I would say absolutely not. I believe that the natural forces at play within our earth are far greater than we can truly comprehend. I would venture to say the the world is much more cornucopian in nature than we are often led to believe, as witnessed the ever-expanding bank of oil reserves. Still, as the world’s population expands, we are already finding it difficult to have enough arable land to produce food. Malthus has his place too.
    To me, the solution lies squarely in the middle of the fanatical eco-religion ilk and their opponents who just assume destroy the earth today and let future generations deal with it. Being environmentally conscious does not mean requiring industry to install expensive scrubbers against the free market’s will. It means having personal appreciation, particulary in America, for the entirety of modernity which we have extracted from our planet. We must take steps to ensure that we are responsible consumers and prolific recyclers. The thought that “everything that is not natural is bad” is a fallacy because technically humans are natural so everything we create is then natural too. In my view, the relationship between humanity and the earth is not one of a constant clash, it one marked by symbiotic harmony.
    I have many more thoughts on this topic but will dispense for now until someone feels it necessary to engage me…

  5. Bruce says:

    Attenborough is a joke and will see his time coming rather soon.

  6. Mulligan says:

    Pam’s plastic bag study had some interesting results about the motives behind enviro-nuts.

    Le sigh.

  7. GoodJohnman says:

    Only a conservative idealogue would have the audacity to say the left is “at war with science” and in the same post attempt to defend the validity of skepticism about anthropogenic warming. Less than 2% of remotely qualified scientists defend that position. I guarantee the scientific community enjoys far less consensus on any issue you claim demonstrates the left is at war with science.

  8. Ah, consensus, the lodestar of scientific progress — note the sarcasm. Science is the search for truth, or knowledge and understanding. Consensus has nothing necessarily to do with the truth, it is a political term. If we all (or the vast majority of us) agree, we have consensus, that doesn’t mean we’ve improved the understanding of anything or discovered facts or the truth. Jurys come to unanimous consensus, but they are sometimes (more I fear than we recognize) wrong. At one time, the consensus was that the earth was the center of the universe, the earth was flat, and that illness was caused by witchcraft and/or an imbalance of humors in the body — in each case the consensus was wrong and those (one or a few) brave individuals outside of the consensus whose views eventually overturned the consensus were right. They didn’t become right only when the consensus changed.

    Leaving that point aside, first, you should leave the ad-hominem (“conservative ideologue”) out of your argument. Such potshots do not befit a reasonably educated individual. Second, you cannot backup your claim concering “Less than 2% of remotely qualified scientists…” I know Al Gore and a few others make that claim but it has no basis in fact or evidence to back it up. By contrast, various polls have been taken of only qualified scientists — not economists, or biologists, or chemists or political scientists — astrophysicists, geologists, climatologists, paleoclimatologists, geophysicists, etc, and they show far less consensus than you suppose. See, for example,Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch, “The Perspectives
    of Climate Scientists on Global Warming, 2003,” unpublished; available at
    BrayGKSS/surveyframe.html or, more recently, and

    More to the point, the IPCC is giving ground to sceptics on a number of points including, the amount of future warming expected and the influence of the sun in the recent warming period. And it can’t explain why the period of no warming(17 years) equals the period of warming that sparked concern about global warming (17 years). If models and data can’t explain current climate trends, don’t accurately reflect past or present temperatures and can’t account for substantial non-anthropogenic factors, then scientists have a lot of work to do before the public (and more importantly, politicians) should panic.

  9. JP says:

    Hey there was a pretty good comment up here that pointed out some issues with the study you cited, where did it go?

  10. JP says:

    Guess the folks over here aren’t interested in real argument!

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