If you talk to someone who knows food but not science, it won't be long before some jab at Monsanto issues forth. And if you persist in discussing biology, it really won't be long before you get called a shill for Monsanto.

You don't have to use biology, you could also do the same social experiment using energy or medicine, if your test is for left-wing people, or global warming, if you want to see the right go into a tirade about science. 

When it comes to fracking, for example, the benefits are numerous: good, high-paying domestic jobs, cheaper energy for consumers, and natural gas has knocked CO2 emissions from the energy sector right back to early 1990s levels.  Even environmentalists have benefited, because rational groups have been invited to help set standards and gotten a lot of donations to help do studies.

So why do environmental and junk science media groups hate on fracking so much?  Industry arrogance may be the big one - the same reason they hate Monsanto, which has also benefited hundreds of millions of people.  John Hofmeister, a former Shell Oil Co. president and author of Why We Hate The Oil Companies, says the perception of arrogance feeds the people who think all corporations are arrogant and untrustworthy anyway. "Everybody knows that some wells go bad,"he says, but since activists will claim all bad wells are due to fracking, even with no evidence, energy companies are going just as far the other way and claiming wells can never go bad - a geological impossibility. No one is going to unilaterally disarm in a culture war but corporations are a lot more faceless than homeowners interviewed on television, so rigidity is going to make energy companies look arrogant.

This is the hilarious Earth Haters table I was at for not despising fracking. John Hofmeister, former Shell Oil Co. president and author of "Why We Hate Oil Companies" was on my right as an earth hater too, despite the fact that he is impartial enough to write a book called  "Why We Hate The Oil Companies."

Fracking opponents have exaggerated the risks but the industry hasn't always handled the issue well, including when other explanations are not setting the case.  Hofmeister cites the Dimock, PA case from 2009. Instead of agreeing about the unusual geology of that section and that some wells were going to have natural methane and just accepting that other contamination may not have a current explanation, even though it happened, activists said all fracking was bad while Cabot Oil  &  Gas Co. paid the fines and denied responsibility.

If you only see one side at fault there, I know how you vote. 

I had dinner with Hofmeister a few months ago and was impressed that while he ran Shell they did a lot of research on carbon capture and cleaner energy and he changed their business to being almost 50% natural gas, despite the belief they are just an 'oil' company.

He's a sharp guy, the kind of executive who didn't learn business in MBA school, he learned about geology and then got to run a business. If he has advice for energy companies and environmentalists alike on how to get along while still making sure we have both energy and a clean environment, they should listen.