February 22, 2004

suppressio veri

Kevin Drum writes about a Report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, (UCS) on suppression of scientific evidence by the Bush Administration. Well, I'm definitely against the suppression of scientific data for political ends, and all are welcome to criticize such, even if it's my party that's guilty.

BUT, Drum's contention that this is some sort of new thing, undreamed of until the coming of those horrid Conservative Luddites, is this week's big steaming pile of poop. It's a LIE, something that Drum specializes in. And it's not just a lie, it's a stupid lie. It's an insult to my intelligence.

The politicization of science has been going on for a long time, and it's groups like UCS that have been the worst offenders. They are not neutral observers, they are not truth-seekers, and they are highly politicized. And they feel they should be the arbiters of what is "science" is and what is not. Their political "party" is Transnational Progressivism, (Tranzi) which is the latest morphing of Socialism. (And Socialism is the modern morphing of the ancient idea that elites should rule, and the common man should obey. And the reason for the "transnational" part is that 20th Century experiments with rule-by-elites within nations have repeatedly been embarrassed by the prosperity and freedom of neighboring nations, and by the propensity of the common folk to flee the "worker's-paradise"--in ways varying from brain-drain to leaky boats. So this New Socialism seeks above all to undermine nation-states´┐Żespecially the US, which has been the biggest embarrassment of all.)

Scientific research itself often has a funny way of sabotaging the political programs of all sorts of groups, both Left and Right. And when people like Bjorn Lomberg have pointed out that scientific research contradicts the Environmentalist party line, groups like UCS have no problem with attacking and vilifying them, and trying to suppress their conclusions. That's a bit of Stalinism that I'm sure Drum has no problem with at all.

I just encountered a bit of Tranzi supressio veri today at Alan Sullivan's blog.

...No, I'm not talking about color preferences for house-trim in South Florida. I'm talking about the fatal effects of hot water on reef coral. The phenomenon is called "bleaching" because coral colonies turn white when most of the individual polyps have died. It's the living creatures in those calcined houses that make corals colorful. While it's certainly true that reefs are sensitive to disturbance, I find it suspicious that one sees so much press about coral dying and none whatsoever about its recovery. To judge from the media, all the coral in the world must have died several times over. Few people know that severe bleaching episodes in the Indian and Atlantic oceans have been followed by surprising bounce-back...
Bounceback? First I've heard of it! Bet you won't find that in the NYT, or NPR. They routinely protect us from inconvenient facts. But of course that kind of protection is OK, because groups like UCS have already decided what scientific truth is, and Leftists have absorbed the official version like a dye. To suppress a bit of environmental good news is a sort of "higher truth." Lenin would have approved.

And government departments tend to become strongholds of Tranzi science. Their products, such as EPA Reports, may simply be scientific evidence. They may also be carefully edited selections of evidence designed to further a political goal. Suppressing a report can sometimes be suppressing truth, and sometimes suppressing lies.

Posted by John Weidner at February 22, 2004 12:40 PM
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