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Attorney Patrick Murphy is representing infamous sue-and-settle environmental lawyer Stephen Tillery...

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False Argument For U.S. Solar Subsidies: That It Prevents Pollution Deaths

Solar energy, with tens of billions in subsidies to keep it afloat, now employs more people than...

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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0® in 2006 and, since June of 2015, the President of the American Council on Science and Health.

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When "Guardians of the Galaxy" was in development, I was skeptical. When I was a kid, they were simply different Avengers, in space. Seriously, they had a Major from America, an archer, a strong guy, etc. And everyone knows Marvel had sold off the movie rights to the popular characters to prevent bankruptcy so they had only B level characters left.

But one of those B-level characters was Iron Man, and Jon Favreau, Robert Downey, Jr. and a whole team of four writers (usually a bad sign) turned in arguably the best superhero movie of all (1). And it just so happened other B-level characters made up The Avengers, and a boom was born.
For the better part of this century, the federal government has promoted the notion that only government-funded science is real science, and the private sector is the icky kind that, let's face it, the kind of people who overwhelmingly prefer to stay in academia dislike. (1)
Colony Collapse Disorder, the belief that honeybees, an important pollinator, are being killed off in droves, has been good for environmental fundraising but hasn't had a scientific foundation.

Nonetheless, it has persisted for 10 years despite data showing that periodic die-offs in bees are as common, and therefore predictable, as solar cycles and California droughts. From the time that records of bees were formally kept, there were reports of mass die-offs without explanation, a thousand years before pesticides even existed.

A group called US Right To Know is embracing the rich history of the anti-science movement; a history filled with lots of revenue for smear campaigns against scientists, companies in the science business, and more overtly, political allies opposed to the same science they are.

Earlier today, President-Elect Donald Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and, at least according to RFK, Jr., wants the prominent Democratic anti-vaccine activist to head a commission on vaccine safety.
Though environmental activists are aghast that Republicans now control the White House, the Senate and the House for the first time since the 1920s, at least a few have come to some self-awareness that non-stop lobbying against jobs and poor people, and for higher regulations and cost, are to blame for why their candidate lost.

What they don't realize is that there is actually a great deal of opportunity for environmentalists during the Trump years. In most ways, he is a lot more like Democrats than he is like Republicans, they just need to stop being against everyone and everything except higher taxes and more federal rules.

It may be time to mix it up, when the writing is on the wall that being "anti-" is not working for anything except their bank statements.