Hold On To Your Wallet Whenever Politicians Say They Are Using ‘Science’ To Craft Policy

Hold On To Your Wallet Whenever Politicians Say They Are Using ‘Science’ To Craft Policy

By Daniel Turner |

Science is weaponized for political gain.

Let us not even pretend otherwise. COVID hysteria was not that long ago, and we remember the “science” that told us standing six feet apart waiting to board the plane was necessary to slow the spread, but then we could sit shoulder to shoulder for several hours on a flight across country.

But fret not, we wore masks, because science. Of course, you could take your mask off to eat or drink, because science. Any point of view to the contrary would be, “attacks on science,” as Dr. Anthony Fauci put it.

Fauci may have exited stage left, but his political playbook permeates the Biden administration. Last week, the White House released its latest “National Climate Assessment.”

Reading the accompanying release, one can’t help but notice the framing of “restoring the vital role of science in guiding the Biden-Harris Administration’s decision-making.”  Science!

Once politicians say they are using “science,” especially in the climate debates, hold onto your wallets and your freedoms.

The report’s widely circulated finding is “the US is warming faster than the global average.” That is scary, and it is meant to do just that.

Fearmongering is a vital part of the climate movement, and for the last few decades, we’ve had doomsday clocks and countdowns to the end. We are nearly five years into Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s prediction “the world is going to end in 12 years” if we don’t address climate change. Luckily, Joe Biden has spent hundreds of billions of borrowed tax dollars, so maybe the countdown is delayed.

Forgive me for expressing skepticism about the “scientists” who authored this report. The White House may try to convince us “science” says the US is warming faster than the rest of the world, but “science” can say pretty much whatever we pay it to say.

For example, the scientists at the World Meteorological Association assert “Asia is warming faster than the global average.”  The same organization contends that Africa, too, “is warming slightly above the global average”.

Not to be outdone, the Cyprus Institute affirms “the Middle East is warming nearly twice as fast” as the global average, which is shocking when you learn Australia is also warming more rapidly than the global average.

So is Latin America, and Europe, and the South Pole, but the real record breaker is the North Pole which is warming “four times faster than the rest of the world.” Wow. Warming absolutely everywhere – and everywhere above average.

The whole is no longer equal to the sum of its parts because “science” demonstrates the average of the sum of the parts is twice as great as the whole. This type of new math accounts for the nation’s $34 trillion national debt.

For one of these climate assessments to be true, the others must be flawed. Which is it?  The outstanding question for climate scientists who push this doomsday scenario is this: show your work.

The 1989 UN Climate report boldly proclaimed that entire nations would be underwater by 2000 unless fossil fuels were zeroed out. We did not and yet, here we are.

Clearly the report was wrong. One could say the science was not “settled” yet the same UN in just a few short days will gather 40,000 climate activists in Dubai for COP 28 where they will make the same bold predictions.

It is beyond fair to ask why this time they are correct. What did they change in their assessment? What computer modeling was flawed? Which data set was erroneous?

If climate scientists cannot explain their errors and account for quite blatantly flawed reports, then their writings are no different than any other cult who prophesized the end times. Ten years ago it was the Mayan calendar, today it’s the United Nations.  Meet the new cult, same as the old cult.

Yes, science can easily be politicized by people with an agenda. Science told us not long ago, Churches had to close but strip clubs and casinos could remain open, and this would help stop the COVID virus. Science declared ”mostly peaceful” protests for Black Lives Matter were acceptable,  but you had to bury your loved ones via Zoom. Top scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Friedman, who warned Americans to stay home also encouraged Americans to join BLM protests.

So much science.

So, this Thanksgiving, be thankful there is no climate crisis, and be thankful that you are smart enough to see through the lies, the fear, and the politicized nonsense. Be resolved to fight against anyone, politicians or scientists, who tries to take your freedom or property under the guise of COVID or climate.

This Thanksgiving, rejoice that you are a free American.

Daily Caller News Foundation logo

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Daniel Turner is a contributor to The Daily Caller News Foundation and founder and executive director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs. Twitter: @DanielTurnerPTF

Politicized Science Can Be Dangerous To Your Health

Politicized Science Can Be Dangerous To Your Health

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

The Lancet was once a leading British medical journal. It was sober and medically exacting. It was so respected that it was often cited to settle controversial issues in the field of medicine.

Today, it is a shell of its former self, shot through with leftist political ideology. A recent editorial called out the UK Home Secretary for her “appalling and shocking” comments.

Was it about a drop in research funding or disputed medical opinions or something else of direct relevance to medicine? No, the Secretary opined that new migrants to the UK possessed “values which are at odds with our country” and brought “heightened levels of criminality.”

Some might dispute such statements and some not, but how is this discussion pertinent for a medical journal? Richard Horton, the editor, went on to call for “war” on the other side of the ideological divide.

Horton and The Lancet are hardly alone in degrading medicine by politicizing it. Science and scientists are in reputational decline because, well, they deserve to be.

Physicians were once respected for their integrity. They could be stodgy and paternalistic sometimes, but they couldn’t be influenced or bought.

Now, the medical doctors have morphed from being dedicated stewards of their patients’ health to “medical providers,” as government payers describe them. Most owe their professional loyalty to a hospital-based system that operates pretty much like any other business, with the bottom line always in view.

Meanwhile, on issues ranging from COVID to climate science to transgenderism, we are urged to follow “the “Science” as if Science were the collective pronouncements of the big shots rather than a process for rolling back the limits of knowledge. “The Science” is often determined by hacks who are especially successful at scoring research grants because they supply the answers our grant making elites want to hear.

Politicized science can lead to some bizarre and harmful conclusions. There is now a movement against randomized controlled trials (RCTs) because they didn’t produce the approved answer to the question of whether face masks prevent infection.

Scientific American stated “decades of engineering and occupational science” show they worked. So there. No silly trials needed to confirm what everyone knows anyway.

But RCTs are the only way to determine whether a premise is factual. They are the basis of the scientific method, which lifted us out of millennia of ignorance and produced the marvels of modern medicine. Exposing well regarded but ineffective practices are precisely why they are needed.

While real scientists encourage debate and discovery, pseudoscientists silence those who dissent from the status quo. For example, scientific journals demanded the retraction of research producing evidence that transgenderism can be a social contagion.

Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University coined the term “rapid onset gender dysphoria” after her research revealed that although sufferers from the malady are customarily entered into transitioning protocols including hormones and surgery, they often present for treatment in clusters of young women who together discovered their supposedly mistaken gender identity. Dr. Littman’s research was retracted by Brown soon after it was published, due to the outrage of the medical mob.

Yet other researchers like Abigail Shrier and institutions like the UK’s Tavistock Center noted the same phenomenon. Springer Nature, a journal noted for its scientific soundness, was set to publish a review of 1,655 possible cases of rapid onset gender dysphoria but reversed course, deciding to retract it due to the suspiciously flimsy objection that “written informed consent” was possibly lacking in the study. Intellectual tyranny defeated open debate again.

We need a respected, honest scientific community more than ever. We need them to make more scientific advances, to train future scientists and to protect us from the befouling influence of politics on science. The antics of Dr. Fauci and others, bending the truth to seek political favor, did lasting damage to the reputation of the scientific community.

Climate science too has been hopelessly compromised by politics and the biased grant-making process. One of the results is an epidemic of existential depression among young Americans who believe their lives will end in devastation because of excessive carbon emissions (still wrong, no matter how many times it’s been predicted). It’s a shame.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

The High Cost of Banning Dissent

The High Cost of Banning Dissent

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was possibly the most consequential public policy blunder in our history.

The enormous costs included $5 trillion or so in unproductive federal spending, inflation, reduction in our standard of living, and permanent economic damage that will be felt for generations to come.

There was massive learning loss and the specter of loved ones dying alone. The incidence of depression and drug addiction skyrocketed. Businesses were shuttered while many Americans seemingly lost their work ethic.

What happened? The short answer is that we panicked and listen to “experts” who vowed we could halt this virus if we were willing to sacrifice enough.

At first, with imperfect information around a deadly new phenomenon, projecting a worst-case scenario and drastic measures to prevent it made sense. However, more data and experience with the virus soon tended to support a strategy of containment (“stop the spread”).

Still the decision makers at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), doubled down on their zero-COVID based recommendations. Lockdowns ensued. We scoffed at cost-benefit analysis. “If only one life…” and “in an abundance of caution…” became the guiding standards of policymaking.

The American people mostly went along with it. Why wouldn’t they? They were provided little awareness of alternate approaches.

Once the narrative had been established that eradication was the only permissible strategy, opposing viewpoints were excluded to a degree any Third World dictator would have envied.

Dissenters were shamed and censored. Professional reputations were attacked. Dr. Fauci informed us that “I am the science” and thus all who disagreed were “science deniers.”

Consider the case of Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a Professor of Health Policy at Stanford. He also directs Stanford’s Center for Demography and Economics of Health and Aging and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research. So, the doc isn’t exactly an empty suit. He was also a co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), signed now by thousands of medical scientists and practitioners, which advocated for “focused protection” against COVID.

Since COVID is dangerous only to a relatively small proportion of the population, it was argued that the greatest efforts should be in protecting people most at risk, the chronically ill and elderly. This would focus resources where they do the most good, saving lives and money.

Agree or not, there is nothing looney about this notion that one-size-fits-all doesn’t make sense for COVID-19. It was mainstream common sense, advocated by highly qualified, non-political scientists.

Yet the blogosphere and leading scientific opinion channels exploded with vitriolic denunciations. The authors were accused of promoting infections among the young to achieve a cruel herd immunity strategy. The claimed the GBD was promoting a wholesale return to our pre-pandemic lives—that they were encouraging fringe groups who distrust health officials and prioritizing individual preference above public good.

None of it was true, but to the social media tyrants, that didn’t mean that Dr. Bhattacharya should be vigorously debated. It meant that he must be threatened and silenced.

We just recently learned that he was indeed censored and intentionally shadowbanned by Twitter. His account was tagged with a label of “Trends Blacklist.” He was censored before he tweeted a single message.

He had violated no rules. He spread no “misinformation.” He only defied the approved consensus. He was silenced by the mob at Twitter, none of whom had anything like his knowledge or experience.

The GBD authors were right, of course. None of the isolations, lockdowns, or school closures affected the eventual course of the virus. We received virtually no benefit from the massive self-inflicted harm.

It’s ironic in our supposedly modern, enlightened age that dogma won out over science. That is, we based our societal decisions on knowledge rooted in deemed authority, not the open inquiry of the scientific method.

We paid a big price for listening to the Fauci’s of the world with their refusal to balance benefit with cost. Dr. Fauci bragged of not caring about the cost of his demands.

They convinced our leaders to spend money we don’t have in a vain attempt to achieve the impossible.

Bad idea. We can’t afford to let it happen again.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

Free Speech and the Great Barrington Declaration

Free Speech and the Great Barrington Declaration

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

The controversy over COVID management is not a medical disagreement but a political fight. It’s also a free speech issue, the question of whether those who disagree with the political/medical status-quo should be silenced.

Although we have learned more over time about the origins and development of COVID, there is no question it is a contagious virus that spreads primarily through respiratory secretions.

Infections range from symptom-free to fatal, but serious disease and death occur almost exclusively in the infirm and the elderly. Like all viruses, the coronavirus mutates, apparently into variants that are more contagious but less deadly.

So far so good. The disagreement is over its containment. Americans have become a risk-averse people, where nonsensical catch phrases like “if it only saves one life” and “in an abundance of caution” have supplanted sober cost/benefit analysis.

So, our government’s go-to solution for the pandemic was lockdowns for everyone. Commercial, social, educational, and other personal interactions were halted to stop the spread of the disease.

The results of this massive experiment in public health were disappointing. 800,000 Americans have perished. There may have been some benefit to “flattening the curve”—spacing out illnesses to avoid overwhelming healthcare facilities—but the total number of fatalities was not much affected.

Meanwhile the cost of the lockdowns was enormous. The federal government spent $6 trillion in COVID relief, much of it wasted or misappropriated. Moreover, virtually all of the handouts were debt financed, pleasing current taxpayers/voters but assuring that Americans will be struggling financially far into the future.

The collateral damage included over 90,000 “excess deaths” due to forced shutdowns of routine preventive and diagnostic care. There were sharp spikes in levels of depression, substance abuse, and overdose deaths, especially among the young.

The Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) in October 2020 was based on addressing these “grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies.” It recommended an alternative approach called Focused Protection.

The authors were respected physicians from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford with 91,000 additional professional endorsements, including from a Nobel prize winner. Their paper noted that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 was over 1,000 times higher in vulnerable populations than among young people. For children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.

Thus, it made sense to protect vulnerable populations if anything more vigorously, while reopening schools, businesses, and restaurants with reasonable precautions. Both overall mortality and social harm could be protected until we reached herd immunity.

In a society based on reason and open inquiry, this proposal would at least have received serious consideration. Instead, the Trump-hating media erupted in withering denunciations and cancellations.

Worse, recently obtained emails reveal that our “follow the science” authorities intentionally thwarted the dissenting viewpoint. Then-director of the NIH Francis Collins wrote Anthony (“I am the Science”) Fauci that GBD seemed to be getting some attention. “There needs to be a quick and devastating takedown of its premises. Is it underway?”

Fauci answered in the affirmative. Soon after, he informed The Washington Post that GBD was a fringe operation. “This is not mainstream science. It’s dangerous.”

Several media outlets ran with criticisms by Fauci, who completed the cycle by citing their articles in his talking points. Facebook pitched in by censoring any references to GBD. It was the dreaded “misinformation.”

Focused Protection never got traction. But shutting down open dissent in favor of political agendas has produced tragic consequences. In spite of Fauci’s claim in October 2020 that the draconian remedies were temporary, when caseloads rose the next month, shutdowns were resumed.

Hard data is never available on the path not taken, but it’s undeniable that the costs of following the Fauci/Collins strategy were staggering: unbelievably enormous federal outlays, shattered businesses, untreated illnesses, suicides, and devastating educational achievement losses.

Let’s be smarter with omicron. Let’s vaccinate and medicate, protect the vulnerable but avoid panic and unnecessary disruptions in our lives.

The Great Barrington Declaration, the responses, and consequences are a reminder of the practical importance of free speech rights. Better decisions are made when all sides are heard out.