A Science As Propaganda Moment For Dr Ben
Frankly, I’m with Dr. Ben Carson on this one. A while back, Chuck Todd tried to throw Carson a curve ball asking him how he reconciles science with his faith. In his answer Dr. Ben stated that maybe some things aren’t really science at all but propaganda. Of course the media went haywire misconstruing his statement and presuming him to be an idiot.
So in support of Dr. Ben, I want to give you yet another example of propaganda masquerading as glorified science.
“The lives of nearly 200 New Yorkers would be spared every year if the U.S. Environmental Protection agency follows through with regulations that dramatically reduce the toxic byproducts spewed into the air by the nation’s power plants.” ran the first line in a May 5th article by the Buffalo News.
Touted as a first-of-its-kind paper, Charles T. Driscoll, one of the authors of the study, said they are hoping to “change the conversation”. What conversation you ask? The conversation about climate change- found to be hopeless laboring at the bottom of the list of things that Americans care most about. If Americans can’t be browbeaten to care about climate change (yawn that’s been around for a millennia), now they can be browbeaten or shamed for ignoring the plight of other human beings.
The sage of the white house declared during the gun control debate that if we have the power to save even one life we are compelled to act. Obamacratic logic, a bastardized version of real Socratic logic will no doubt be employed to deceive the public into accepting draconian EPA regulations. In fact, Brian Smith of citizen’s Campaign for the Environment let the cat out of the bag as he gushed “When the public recognizes this action will indeed save the lives of thousands and thousands of Americans every year-that’s compelling”.
Paramedics Save Lives: The EPA-Not So Much
Paramedics save lives, EPA regulations on the other hand ……I’m not convinced. The authors of the study would have you believe that carbon pollution is one of the choices on a death certificate like say stroke, cancer or pneumonia; or that when someone walks into a doctor’s office with asthma, carbon pollution can be selected in a drop down menu as the cause of the present illness.
Let’s say, ethics be damned, we wanted to create a controlled scientific study on the effects of carbon pollution on humans or at least one human, let’s call him Bob. Let’s lock Bob up in a 50 x 50 room, carefully control the air quality, allow him food and water and give him some sort of menial labor to perform. We keep him there for 10 years and then he has a heart attack. Even a pre-doctoral student can tell you that a definitive conclusion that air quality caused the heart attack would be erroneous.
Perhaps he had an underlying health condition that if treated could have prevented the heart attack or maybe the culprit was his family genes, equally compelling alternative explanations could be lack of exercise, poor diet or stress from being confined for so long without social companionship.
Even within a tightly controlled study, researchers would be hard pressed to determine causality.
Correlation Can Never Determine Causality
Because we can’t lock Bob up, the next best thing to do would be to run large-scale correlation studies that compare health indices with carbon indices. Create some assumptions plug them into a predictive model and viola- carbon pollution causes death, respiratory illness, heart attacks and a huge health care burden. The devilish political elite know that you will not be able to remember research 101 and the foundation principle that correlation can never determine causality.
Or stated another way, even though carbon emissions may have been increasing in certain populations at the same time that respiratory illnesses were reported as increasing does not mean at that carbon emissions caused the increase in respiratory illnesses. Something quite unrelated may be the actual cause.
They are banking on the fact that you’ve already forgotten the broken predictive model that necessitated changing the alarmist-marketing message of “Global Warming” to “Climate Change”. The con-men can now move out from under the “Save the planet” banner and re-unite under a new banner in the fight to save lives and shame you for your lack of compassion toward fellow human beings with this latest pseudo-scientific agit-prop.
Follow the Money and the Models-“Scientific Models” That Is
In addition what would you say if you found out the predictive model used in this study came directly from the EPA? It is erroneously called a benefit map (BenMap) because it links carbon pollution and health indices in a causal relationship.
Finally let’s turn over that last rock of fraudulence that this article rests on! The press release, issued from Harvard no less, announces the study as the first independent, peer reviewed paper of its kind, when in fact the authors are up to their ears in gobs of grant money from the EPA itself. Here are the numbers- Driscoll $3,654,609; Levy $9,514,391; Burtraw $1,991,346; and Schwartz (Harvard) $31,176,575. The total is not far shy of $50 million.
So far the first independent peer reviewed research paper is looking like nothing more than pseudo science: The EPA commissioning and financing a study that uses its’ own data with no doubt layers of questionable assumptions, to produce “evidence” that imagined cost savings and direct health benefits that borderline on fanciful published with impeccable timing a perfect 3 months before the eagerly anticipated finalization of the aggressive EPA Climate Action Plan.
These “hard facts” will now be touted throughout the media to influence you at a time when public scrutiny and attitudes are most relevant.
This, my friends is exactly what Ben Carson meant by science as propaganda.
Hat tip to Lord Monckton and Hard Nox revelation about EPA grant funding
Harvard Press Release
Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program – Community Edition (BenMAP-CE)