Science Education & Policy

fat-shadow-man-949285-mA total of 25 states weigh public school students to monitor obesity rates. In 10 of these states, parents are then notified.

Democrats (myself included) enjoy ridiculing Republicans who deny the scientific consensus behind climate change. But we then deny the inconvenient truth behind our own preferred climate policies: they will have regressive impacts on the poor and middle class.

The Energy Information Agency (EIA) projected in May that President Obama’s new Clean Power Plan (CPP) will lead to retail electricity prices 3%-7% higher for the nation as a whole in 2020-25, before falling to “near-baseline” levels in 2030. Yet speaking in the White House on August 3, the president denied the CPP would “cost you more money.”

Even before President Obama announced the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan on August 3 to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, there were a number of legal challenges to block the law at its proposal stage – none of them successful. Earlier this year, the DC Circuit court told opponents, which included a coal company joined by twelve states, that their arguments were premature.

Now that the rules are final, the new court challenges will come fast and heavy. The legal arguments against the plan will be focused on two issues.

Following the British Medical Association's plan for a 20% sugar tax to subsidize the cost of fruit and vegetables - which some pundits must believe contain no carbohydrates - another group have added their voices to such scientization of politics in BMJ.

There is an economic and political battle taking place in America over the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods. In 2015, 19 US states considered GM food labeling legislation and three States, Connecticut, Maine and Vermont have passed mandatory GM labeling laws.

The US House on July 23 passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling bill (HR 1599), which will move to the Senate and, if passed, will prohibit both state-level legislation regarding GM labels and the labeling of products that contain GM ingredients.

Proponents of HR 1599 argue that GM labels will act as a warning. Another reason people oppose labeling is that they say scientific evidence has shown GM foods are safe.

Scientific research sometimes requires the use of animals. It’s a fact. And as long as that is the case, we need to do everything in our power to minimize the distress for laboratory animals.

This is not just for the sake of the animals, but also for the sake of science itself. We know that the quality of life of an animal can actually affect its physiology and, thereby, the research data.

But unfortunately, the standards of animal care vary greatly across countries and even across research institutes. The time has come to overhaul this system and replace it with globally enforced rules.

The Supreme Court seems poised to take on the abortion issue again, and with reason.

On June 29, by a five-to-four vote, the Court temporarily blocked a Texas law that would force many clinics to close, guaranteeing that the state’s new law would not take effect until the justices decide whether to rule on its constitutionality. And just today, June 30, the Court did not take action on a case involving a similar abortion restriction passed in Mississippi.

In Akira Kurosawa's timeless 1950 masterpiece (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt004287

What do wealthy progressives in New York and California share in common? Both groups are happy to exploit poor people as part of their self-identification. In California, that has involved not vaccinating their children, instead letting poor kids get vaccinated to provide herd immunity for their special snowflakes, while in New York it means adopting a veil of environmental sincerity, by going after both nuclear power and natural gas, while quietly buying all the fossil fuel energy they can get to prevent brown-outs. Let poor people in Pennsylvania have health risks, say New Yorkers.
As I wrote in California Government Is The Big Water Management Problem, we can't make it rain but we could at least stop letting bizarre environmental lobbying get a super vote for how to mitigate the issue. While farmers and the public face mandatory cutbacks, anti-science beliefs about what is most important means that no matter how bad things get, we will have to force water for millions of people to be flushed into the Pacific Ocean.