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.

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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

Arizona, We Have A Problem: The State Of S.T.E.M. Education

Arizona, We Have A Problem: The State Of S.T.E.M. Education

By Diane Douglas and Dr. Peter Pingerelli |

Some remember the live broadcast of Apollo 8 orbiting the moon on Christmas Eve 1968. Over 1/4 of the world’s population listened in, as the crew read from the Book of Genesis. The United States of America led in space exploration, and we were another step closer to man stepping onto the moon’s surface: an achievement requiring education, dedication, courage, and perseverance of thousands of men and women.

And yet it was a simple analog device called a slide rule that helped us achieve this goal. With over 5 million parts in the Apollo Saturn V spacecraft, astronauts, engineers, scientists, and students routinely used slide rules to make the Apollo program a reality while also allowing users to develop and enhance mental skills when calculating an answer.

We certainly don’t advocate revitalizing this nostalgic masterpiece of technology with the advances of graphing calculators and computers, but there’s something remarkable and important about continuously exercising our mental capacities as we become seemingly more dependent upon our newfangled digital world. Today, we need to simply ask Google, Alexis, or Siri to answer a question as waves of artificial intelligence increasingly sweep into our culture and educational system. But can we still aspire to achieve these national aspirations of new frontiers when our country is failing to educate the upcoming generation of students desiring to become medical professionals, scientists, or engineers? How can our nation excel in these fields if our students no longer understand the math and science behind the tools?

In Arizona the results are sounding the warning bells. Of all students statewide, 60% are failing English and 67% are failing math according to the 2022 assessment. And yet all we hear from a system incapable of teaching our children basic academics are demands for more money. The Arizona state budget for 2023-24 is $17.8 billion of which $9.3 billion is allocated to K-12 education. When do we stop giving money to a system that can’t do what it is paid to do?

Results are also discouraging when it comes to statewide science assessments. In 2018 and 2019, 50% of students statewide were not successful at passing the AIMs science assessment, and the 2021 and 2022 results from the new assessment AzSCI are yet to be made public.

And what about the educational rigor and curricula developed for K-12? Are we truly preparing students to become not only critical thinkers but also future scientists and engineers? While every student may not aspire to be a doctor, scientist, or engineer, is it unreasonable to expect that a graduate leave with at least a high school level understanding of these subjects in order to be an informed member of our society? Have Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.) initiatives provided the needed reforms? Are our general educational and STEM dollars being directed to impactful programs or only those that merely mirror the political agenda? Comparing the two philosophies is like comparing the difference between environmental conservationists such as President Theodore Roosevelt versus environmental activists like Greta Thunberg.

We offer considerations that need to be coupled to reforms that don’t just nibble around the edges but take significant bites at improving our state’s educational system.

The following steps, we believe, offer a starting point.

  • Focus on fundamentals of reading, math, and science. Just as phonics is the gateway to a good reader, a solid foundation in arithmetic is quintessential. Students need to know multiplication tables, how to divide without using a calculator, percentages, and the difference between fractions and decimals. In 2018, 79 countries administered the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to more than 600,000 students in public and private schools measuring 15-year-olds’ ability to use reading, mathematics, and science knowledge and skills to prepare them for workforce and educational challenges. The U.S. students ranked 8th in reading, 30th in math, and 11th in science. These scores have remained stagnant for decades with no foreseeable improvements. This concern is perhaps best summarized by the words of the Apollo 13 Commander James A. Lovell, “Ah, Houston, we’ve had a problem here” when the spacecraft service module’s oxygen tank ruptured.
  • Our big math problem with K-12. Competency in basic mathematics is not just the domain of students motivated to be scientists and engineers. Our society and individual freedoms function best and are protected when its members are educated. How many times have we visited a deli counter, and the worker does not know that 1/4 of a pound fractionally represents 0.25 on their digital scale. We fear the fundamentals of math are not being adequately practiced in too many of Arizona’s classrooms. Practicing and drilling mathematical concepts and calculations builds and strengthens the connections in our brains. Student athletes continuously practice skills of the game, pianists translate brain connections and movements into music. And while practicing math skills may seem boring and redundant it is nonetheless imperative for long-term learning. Perhaps a solution is to stop cramming in new curricula that may be interesting, but do not fortify long-term learning. Too often, incoming high school freshman lack the basic arithmetic skills to be successful in algebra. Like all endeavors requiring skills, math must be practiced over and over to ensure the necessary competencies.
  • STEM education MUST be more than STEM entertainment. Most people are intrigued by science and exploration. Early on in primary education (K-4), it is important to capture interest in young minds. But as students progress in their interest in science careers, there is a necessity in STEM programs to introduce the rigors of math and science into the program’s curriculum. It may be a load of fun to fly a drone or launch a model rocket, but it should be accompanied with the key scientific principles and the underlying math that is age appropriate.
  • Curriculums should NOT be reimagined from proven methods for science education. For example, as pointed out in a recent publication, “Science education needs to overcome its habitual biting reflex against ‘the’ Scientific Method and realize its potentials as well as its limitations….” The author continues, “Vetoing ‘the’ Scientific Method even from introductory science at the primary level might actually do harm…” (Science & Education (2021) 30:1037–1073). The article goes on to explain why scientific inquiry should not supplant the scientific method which provides a clear and easy to understand approach to scientific discovery in the natural world.
  • Qualified S.T.EM. Teachers. We believe an effective teacher needs three things – a passion for the subject they teach, good communication skills, and knowledge of the subject they teach “inside-out.” But too often many of our teachers, while possessing the first two criteria, are deemed “Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)” in areas that were not their college major. We believe this is the most troublesome for high school science courses but also affects seventh and eighth graders. Moreover, we assert non-SME teaching results in omissions of fundamental scientific concepts, and in our opinion, leads students into adopting an “emotional science” curriculum that is often ideologically driven. Shouldn’t students be well-versed in the carbon cycle and its stages before adapting scenarios that our planet faces imminent catastrophic consequences in five years? Students need critical information to intelligently support or reject such hypotheses. We understand the problem of teacher shortages in Arizona — particularly in math and the natural sciences — but asking a teacher to teach without the academic background results in poorer learning outcomes as demonstrated by state assessment scores.
  • Reinforce objective truth of science and emphasize academic excellence in Arizona K-12 classrooms. Our K-12 classroom curriculum needs to refocus on objective truths of scientific principles unfettered by personal beliefs or emotional activism. We are concerned that students are too often asked how they feel about a subject before teaching them the facts about the subject. If our students don’t understand basic underlying principles that are always true about the natural world, how can they engage in meaningful debate or constructive controversy on any topic when venturing into a complex world filled with YouTube experts. Let’s avoid spending our valuable educational dollars by putting the subjective activism cart before the horsepower of true knowledge. We need to better train teachers with the ability to deliver curriculum focused on the broader understanding of scientific principles and processes.

    It is our hope that policymakers and those responsible for curriculum development will examine these considerations. It is sad to witness a college freshman with aspirations to become a medical doctor that doesn’t possess the basic skills to pass general chemistry. A student retorts, “I don’t understand why I’m failing; I got an A in all my high school science classes.” Such gaping disconnects between the knowledge and skills needed to succeed and the curricula being taught must be resolved.

    The data is clear that our education system is not delivering for our students, and we should no longer abandon the scientific method of observing, hypothesizing, experimenting, and analyzing when it comes to our students. The predominate hypothesis has been that better education is achieved with accelerated funding and recently removing results-based metrics. The scholar Thomas Henry Huxley pointedly captures our concern, “The great tragedy of Science,” he wrote, is “the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”

    Will our educational system allow us to reach the next adventure and witness new planetary horizons? It is interesting that when James Lovell was an astronaut for both the Apollo 8 and Apollo 13 missions, being part of the triumph and first to leave Earth’s orbit and then confronting the challenges that Apollo 13 faced, he used a slide rule.

    Diane Douglas is the former Arizona superintendent of public instruction; Peter Pingerelli is an associate adjunct in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Grand Canyon University. Ms. Douglas served on the Peoria U.S.D. governing board 2005-2012; president 2008 and 2009; Dr. Pingerelli serves on the West-MEC governing board 2017-present and is the current board chairman. Both are also on the Board of Directors for the Earth and Space Expedition Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

    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.

    Dogma Masquerading As Science Undermines Public Trust

    Dogma Masquerading As Science Undermines Public Trust

    By Dr. Tom Patterson |

    “I believe in science, Donald Trump doesn’t. It’s that simple, folks,” Joe Biden tweeted during the 2020 election campaign.

    Even by Biden standards, that was a deceitful remark. Not only did his opponent spearhead the unexpectedly efficient development of the Covid vaccine, which has been the cornerstone of pandemic suppression ever since, but the Biden administration has already done the most damage of any in memory by politicizing “the Science“, thus weakening its credibility.

    Real science isn’t some facts approved by experts but a philosophical framework for acquiring and evaluating knowledge that originated in the Enlightenment. Science emphasizes reason, observation and methodical analysis rather than loyalty to teachings of authorities.

    But “the science“ is also an institution, the mainstream scientific establishment. It has value as a keeper of standards and liaison to the masses.

    Like all humans, scientists can become absorbed in self-interest and groupthink. Real science has recently been threatened by a return to dogma science, the veneration of experts and the belief that if a consensus of scientists believe something, that makes it true.

    Science history shows the tragic consequences when dissent is disallowed. Galileo in the 16th century was censured and tormented for defying the teaching of Ptolemy that the sun was the center of the universe. Millions of humans suffered needlessly for millennia because medical practice was based on the ancient teachings of Galen, while new observations and innovation were prohibited.

    In spite of all the technical achievements and enhanced prestige of science, the struggle between open inquiry versus dogma-as-science is still with us. For those with trouble distinguishing the two, here’s a tip. Real science welcomes dissent, considering it essential to the advancement of knowledge. Dogma science resents noncompliance and tries to eliminate it.

    Yet scientific conformity, the enemy of progress, is once again achieving widespread approval. We’re told that 97% of all climate scientists believe in global warming, which is code for: human activity is hurtling us toward a climate catastrophe which can only be avoided by radical changes in human behavior and consumption.

    Although the scientific community has closed ranks around this view, many points remain debatable. Some unafraid scientists question the reliability of the models and/or the accuracy of underlying data. Others also question the feasibility of decarbonization when the world’s major polluters show zero interest in compliance and citizens’ movements worldwide already resist even modest sacrifices to avoid the threatened calamity.

    But the alarmists arguing the necessity of a dystopian world of deprivation and oppression aren’t brooking any second thoughts. Those who have them are branded “deniers“, morally equivalent to Holocaust deniers. They are silenced and fired and scorned.

    Non-standard opinions are branded as “misinformation“ and banished. When over 95% of federal climate research funding goes to committed climate alarmists, working scientists get the message.

    Much of the dysfunction is recent. British science writer Matt Ridley remembers how “20 or 30 years ago, you could study how the ice ages happened and discuss competing theories“ without fear of reprisal. No longer.

    The science of coronavirus disease too has become so politically charged that rational discussion is no longer possible. Remember that not long ago, Biden and Harris, our two top “science followers“, vowed to refuse the Covid vaccination if Trump was involved.

    Those who disagree with the government/consensus line on early-stage medical management, the value of lockdowns, the necessity of school closures or the need for masks are abruptly canceled. The scientific community was so anxious to make us believe that there was no possibility the virus could have originated in a Chinese lab that the notion was designated as “misinformation” until dogged investigation revealed otherwise. Oops.

    Today, social media, in collaboration with the government, perform the work that was once the mission of the Inquisition: identifying heretics and punishing them. The common man is in a quandary. With so many people in white coats lending their credibility to the political domain, how can you know the truth?

    There are real world consequences to this intellectual chicanery. The distrust engendered has contributed to public skepticism over needed technologies like genetically modified food, nuclear power and – yes – vaccines.

    Galileo could have warned us.

    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.