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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I founded Science 2.0® in 2006 and since then it has become the world's largest independent science communications site, with over 300,000,000 direct readers and reach approaching one billion. Read More »

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In 2006, former Vice-President and global warming clarion Al Gore said we only had 10 years to stop CO2 emissions or it would be too late. More cynical people noted that he came up with that 10-year figure because it was two years from his rematch contest for U.S. President plus eight he expected to be in office. It's beyond me to know if that was ever his intent, but if it was, perhaps a Peace Prize and an Academy Award made political campaigning too petty. He never ran again.
In Science Left Behind I showed that in America it was easy to accurately correlate beliefs about science to political viewpoints. If you believed in psychics, witchcraft, organic food or homeopathy, statistically I could be determine how you voted. If you believed in GMOs and vaccines I also knew how you voted. 

But everyone hates the word "chemical."

That is why it is fertile ground for scaremongering. As soon as you use the word chemical, people are scared, and if you throw the word "toxic" in front of it, like activist academics and $2 billion per year in environmental groups do, dollar signs are sure to follow.  
It may not feel like science wins often in court but it beat out activists last week.

Not only did science, and Science 2.0, win, it was a unanimous decision at the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court of the United States.  And the ruling dealt a serious blow to "sue and settle" agreements with trial lawyer groups, in this case Center for Biological Diversity, along with limiting the power of the federal government to bully and intimidate landowners.
Marta Venier, an environmentalist at Indiana University, recently teamed up with a Michigan activist group to "test" car seats and declared they had toxic chemicals.

Obviously that is media clickbait but if you are reading here, you want to know science truth and will leave the fake news to Mother Jones. So let's get to it

In 2018, we can detect anything in anything
The North American Free Trade Agreement won't see its 25th birthday. The United States, Canada, and Mexico have signed on the dotted line for its replacement, The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement.

The debate fell outside usual positions. Free trade is the hallmark of Republicans, they say, but they seemed to be unhappy with NAFTA. Democrats, in the old days, were protectionist about American workers, yet their criticisms suggested they wanted to keep manufacturing jobs in Mexico and for Canadian farmers to have a good deal in the U.S. while America got penalized in Canada.

What gives?  
Do you want to believe that your car grill is determined by your personality or that lap dancers get better tips when they are ovulating? You probably like evolutionary psychology. Want to believe that surveys of psychology undergraduates at elite schools represent humanity, without the expense and risk of dealing with real people, who can be pretty sketchy? Social psychology is for you.(1)

Scientists don't think much of either and would prefer they stay in the humanities buildings, because evolutionary psychologists want to make everything about sex, while social psychologists claim there are no differences between sexes.