December 23rd is 'Festivus', a not-real holiday invented by the father of George Costanza on the hit television show "Seinfeld", involving an aluminum pole, feats of strength, and, most fun, an airing of grievances.(1)

It's the airing of grievances I want to address.

I won't even bother with anti-vaccine beliefs, progressives cared little about that until 2021 when Republicans said what kooks on the left like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has been saying about vaccines for decades - so it is just politics, they aren't suddenly on Team Big Pharma. There is no reason to harp on Republicans for Democrats when they didn't care about medical science, beyond banning and higher regulations, for 25 years prior to that.

I instead want to talk about things that really harm people, like starving to death.


There is no reason anyone should be claiming that glyphosate, a weedkiller which has been found safe by every legitimate science body, should still be under fire for paid toadies who represent the $120 billion organic industry, yet discredited economist Chuck Benbrook continues to do it. It's not just suspect science, there is no science in his claims(2), it says organic shoppers, and maybe New York Times 'science' journalists are so stupid they will fall for this stuff. Yet Benbrook laments that if it can be detected, it must be harmful. That makes its way into dreary populist claims against corporations while pretending it is not a war on science. By having no scientists involved.

What can't be detected in 2023? Basically nothing, we are in a world where we can detect parts per quadrillion. The example I use in talks is that physicists can detect the effect of a mosquito's wings on the moon. It is a real effect, it is measurable, but should you worry about it? Of course not. That is the problem with claims that the detection of anything which can kill rats in obscene doses means harm. Invoking "pregnant women" is a gimmick that environmental groups use and it is easy to see why; environmentalism has the largest gender pay gap of any large - $3 billion per year for environmental groups - industry. If they hire women stupid enough to get paid 70% of what men make for the same work, it is no surprise they prey on women to encourage them to buy products made by their donors.

That's not to say environmentalists act alone. The Biden administration has taken abuse of agencies it controls to manipulate culture to unprecedented levels. We all know about using the CDC to try and institute rent control and OSHA to force vaccines on private sector employees - though not union employees of the government - what they have done in science is unprecedented.

I was leery when the government declared they would use "real world" data provided by agencies in making regulatory decisions, but was told by insiders that was much better than using epidemiologists, who would simply take spreadsheets where people ate food grown using pesticides they wanted banned and find groups of people who got ill and "suggest" causation to media while only using unscientific correlation.

That came to pass. The Biden administration's EPA went to court and asked the court to overturn the judgment in EPA's own court case so that they could make the regulatory level of a weedkiller called atrazine so low if it could be detected it was too much. It was two decades ago that Berkeley biology professor and activist Tyrone Hayes claimed with no data that atrazine "turned frogs gay" and basically set himself up for life giving talks funding by the organic industry. Back then, the EPA did a special evaluation because his paper was in a real journal and they thought it has been peer-reviewed(3) but cleared it of harm. Hayes refused to show them any data because he claimed, you guessed it, EPA was part of a Vast Right Wing Science Conspiracy.

The Biden administration overthrew EPA scientists so they could set the safe level at 1/6th of a safe level that was already an order of magnitude below the No Effect Level. That is next level politicization of science.

Net Meter Vegetables

Imagine if you could sell vegetables to your grocery store at the same price you buy them - but you don't have to pay for insurance, a building, utilities, employees, or taxes.  It would be a ridiculous penalty on stores, mandated by government.

That's solar power in America. 

Solar doesn't spread the damage to everyone, like a ridiculous Net Meter Vegetable would, it exempts other wealthy elites. The fees for solar are only paid by poor people, those in apartments, or anyone who can't afford the cost of solar panels, even when those are subsidized.

Solar lobbyists have so far resisted all efforts to curb the money drain, like maybe only paying solar power customers wholesale, but solar owners say that would cause global warming. 

Solar was always unsustainable but as long as it was a gimmick, government's leaky bucket wouldn't gush money. Net meter subsidies let solar panel buyers 'sell electricity back' to the utility at the same cost they'd pay. California, for example, has a $58 billion deficit this year, it has the nation's highest utility costs due to solar we know does not help, it has the nation's highest gasoline and automobile costs due to reformulations and arbitrary emissions systems we know do not help, and high taxes and regulatory costs on everything, which has caused an entire Congressional seat in departures. That is another $58 billion on top of the nearly $600 billion in unfunded liabilities the state currently has. 

What are your two big science grievances of 2023?


(1) In a minor role, also a future Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner. Tracey Letts, who appears as one of the bookies, won the Pulitzer for "August: Osage County" and a Tony for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" along with appearing in five films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Which makes him basically my generation's Sam Shepard.

(2) His methodology for claiming the organic manufacturing process makes "healthier" vegetables involves surveys where organic shoppers claim strawberries they believe are organic have 'better mouth feel.'

(3) It had not, it was published under an archaic Gentleman's Agreement where a member of the Academy could select himself as the peer-reviewer, in this case for his friend. When I exposed that travesty of science justice in the Wall Street Jouirnal, PNAS closed that controversial loophole.