In "Science Left Behind", Dr. Alex Berezow and I recounted the numerous ways that science denial and acceptance solidly came down along political lines. With minor exceptions, if you found someone who denied climate change, you were going to find a Republican. If you found an anti-vaccine type, or anti-nuclear, or anti-GMO, you were going to find a Democrat.

That was far more concerning. We still have time to fix climate change and Republicans who deny climate change still conserve energy the same as Democrats who claim the world is ending in 18 months do. Denying nuclear energy and natural gas, even coal, was dooming developing countries to decentralized energy, with billions of people burning wood and dung in their homes, which was far worse for the climate than conventional energy of every kind. 

Anti-GMO beliefs were also a war on the poor. "Let them eat organic" or grow it in their high-walled Berkeley garden, the way New York Times columnist Michael Pollan insisted everyone could do. Yet organic food is a tiny fraction of the marketplace. Outside its alarming impact on the environment per calorie - it takes 600% more organic pesticides to grow the same amount of food - if you can afford it, yayyy capitalism.

 Denying vaccines was costing lives, though.

There were efforts to try and claim all three anti-science positions were not overwhelmingly on one side but those fell short. They all involved surveys and what people say on surveys is irrelevant, because few admit they hate science. All that matters is behavior. And behavior of progressives was this:

California had more vaccine denial - not just on surveys, actual exemptions - than the rest of the US combined. Leading the way were coastal enclaves like wealthy Marin County, where people too rich for San Francisco moved. Some schools had only 25% of children vaccinated.

California was so anti-science that we had to engage in outreach efforts to push back during our entire first decade in existence. Thanks to legislators like Dr. Richard Pan, we got a law passed banning arbitrary exemptions. We were actually lucky that Governor Jerry Brown, who still remembered people getting Polio, was in office. If his successor, Gavin Newsom - who said he didn't need a mask in a Napa restaurant during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic because Napa didn't have a lot of COVID-19 cases - former mayor of San Francisco during the anti-vax craze, had been in office, we'd still be waiting.

Until 2021, anyway. Because in 2021, Republicans oddly flipped and embraced body autonomy and freedom of choice and declared they didn't want to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

Once the anti-vax movement became Republican I knew it was a matter of time before the Wakefield-era dominoes would fall among Democrats. And with Marin County gone, the last truly wealthy bastion of anti-vax sentiment is no more.

In the New York Times, residents are recounting tales of woe about being excluded because they refuse vaccines. Those getting them now still may not accept vaccines in their hearts, but they got them anyway, thanks to pressure from...their children.

Kids wanted to protect their grandparents and those with immune conditions, and parents were shamed into recognizing they were always wrong to deny vaccines. 

Just four years after arbitrary denial of vaccines was banned, even Marin County had shot up to 95% vaccination rates for kids. Not as high as Republican states like Mississippi or Alabama, but really high for progressives on the west coast.

And it only went up from there, thanks to people on the right becoming skeptics of Corporate Medicine the way the left had been for 25 years.

Welcome to team science, Sausalito! We're happy that all it took was being afraid you'd be called a Republican to get you here. Now here's your pamphlet on nuclear energy and GMOs.