Every ramp-up to every election since blogging has been in existence has seen the blogosphere explode with the usual 'Republicans are anti-science' hype while whitewashing Democrats who do the same thing.
This year is no different, though they feel legitimized because an anti-Republican pundit at the (shock) New York Times agrees - if Republican politicians are just as religious as Democrats (and they are) the Republicans must be irrational, so vote for higher taxes.
Well, I agree - not about taxes, about politicians being irrational. Scientists can change their minds but politicians rarely do. When Steven Chu became Energy Secretary, for example, he was an anti-CO2 zealot but since that time climate scientists have discovered there are multiple drivers in climate and weather and Chu has embraced the Keystone XL pipeline, which will make oil cheaper and better for the environment due to less import footprints - that's good for poor people and for mitigating the power of terrorist-exporting dictatorships, which are things both sides agree on.
So progressives have seen the light on one anti-science position; that any green energy is worth throwing money at - but as soon as one bit of crackpottery dies another takes its place. That brings us to BPA. If you read environmentalist activist hysteria about bisphenol A (BPA) it's killing babies. You're not in favor of dead babies, right?
There's no truth to that at all but the California State Senate has approved a ban on baby bottles and sippy cups that contain BPA anyway, in some sort of crazed precautionary principle haze. Surely, because the California State Senate is overwhelmingly progressive and therefore are rational and love science, a prestigious governmental science-based advisory board somewhere, anywhere, found that BPA is harmful, right?
No, none, but Greenpeace says it is. If they're qualified to write IPCC reports, they're qualified to use scare tactics to get donations from concerned mothers. And they have other advocacy groups like Environmental Working Group doing junk 'gotcha' studies with tiny samples that have convinced journalists who need something to write about to do good works (instead of, you know, journalism) by banning BPA.
Anti-science mentalities go both ways. If you don't believe it, I know how you vote.
It isn't ethically or intellectually more superior to believe an old guy created the universe than it is to believe vaccines cause Autism, yet those are clearly anti-science beliefs that skew right and left. How many bloggers or NY Times editorials complain Democrats are anti-science due to a lot of Democrats being anti-vaccine? If Texas Gov. Rick Perry endorses banning BPA using his awesome scientific method, is he still anti-science or is he suddenly as smart as Democrats in California? If their claim is we should be conservative and ban BPA because we don't know it is safe, well, that is downright ironic.
The FDA has not issued tighter restrictions on BPA because they looked at the data. Nor has WHO, for the same reason. Environmental advocates contend that Evil Industry can't be trusted to do research (yet Greenpeace can) but no taxpayer-financed research has found concerns with BPA either.
Instead, activist groups are using the same approach progressives criticized when the US Chamber of Commerce thwarted regulatory responses to climate change. It's also the modus operandi for anti-vaccine crusaders.
Scientists and doctors have fought back against junk science from the left, even if bloggers will not. FDA’s Principle Deputy Commissioner Josh Sharfstein said last year, "The FDA does support the use of bottles with BPA because the benefit of nutrition outweighs the potential risk of BPA."
Let's end progressive 'chemophobia' and scare mongering. Let's stand up for science, even if anti-science junk is being propagated by people who otherwise vote the right way.
BPA: Anti-Science Politicians In California Again
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- Scientists have no need to be concerned about the 2010 mid-term elections