Destroying the Credibility of Science

Written by Alan Caruba, Warning Signs

Back in 1990 when I founded The National Anxiety Center as a clearinghouse for information about “scare campaigns” designed to influence public opinion and policy, I was mainly concerned about the torrent of lies about global warming.

Their beginning is usually dated to an appearance by James E. Hansen before a congressional committee in 1988 in which he claimed that global warming would destroy the earth. To this day Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and has held that position since 1981. There is no rational reason why he continues to be employed by the U.S. government.

Global warming has been widely discredited thanks to the November 2009 release of thousands of emails between UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “scientists” that revealed their collusion to rig the data that supported the fraud.

GLOBAL WARMING. Climate alarmists are already worrying that the public has grown so tired of their idiotic claims that huge blizzards are caused by “warming” they are beginning to pour money into the education of a new generation of “environmental journalists” to ensure that more such lies make it to the front page of your daily newspaper or via other media.

Meanwhile, billions of taxpayer’s dollars have been flushed down the federal government rat hole to fund “research” guaranteed to support the hoax. It gets worse. Despite the defeat of the Cap-and-Trade bill based on the Big Lie that carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases cause global warming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is attempting an end-run around Congress to impose limits on the carbon dioxide emissions of utilities and every form of manufacturing and business in America.

The EPA is engaged in a perversion of science, but what else is new? Americans have been ill-served by the alphabet soup of government agencies supposedly in place to protect the food we eat, medicines we take, the air and the water. In the process they are just as often stripping Americans of the protection afforded by pharmaceuticals and beneficial chemicals.

VACCINES v. AUTISM. A case in point is an article in the British Medical Journal that “accused a disgraced British doctor of committing an ‘elaborate fraud’ by faking data in his studies linking vaccines with autism.”

The result of that fraud was to convince thousands, if not millions, of parents that vaccines to protect their children against measles and mumps were a threat to their health. The ancillary question is why Andrew Wakefield’s paper was published in 1998. Science journals are expected to peer review such papers and determine if the data presented is valid. If it cannot be reproduced, it fails that test.

DDT. Starting in 1972, an EPA ban essentially ended its use anywhere in the nation and other nations followed suit. A year later a court upheld the EPA and that is an object lesson in what happens when matters of science are decided by men and women, lawyers, with no training or background in science. The DDT hoax continues to cause malaria deaths, particularly in Africa and mostly affecting women and children.

The U.S. is experiencing an outbreak of the bed bug population, eliminated decades ago, because the EPA has banned or limited the use of virtually every pesticide to exterminate them.

ALAR. Recall, too, the fraud perpetrated by environmental groups against Alar, a chemical that was widely used by apple growers to ensure that the crop would ripen in a fashion that permitted an efficient harvest. The Alar hoax cost American apple growers millions in lost revenue until it became known that Alar posed no health threat whatever.

SACCHARINE. Though cleared of charges dating from the 1980s that saccharin was a cancer-causing substance, it took until the 1990s to get it removed from the 9th edition of the “Report on Carcinogens” and it took until mid-December 2010 for the EPA to finally admit what everyone knew by then. You can thank “consumer” groups for foisting this fraud on everyone and agencies of the U.S. government for maintaining it until they no longer could.

BPA. A similar campaign exists to ban BPA, bisphenol-A, a chemical used to line plastic bottles and containers. It is literally a worldwide effort and it too is without any scientific merit. In the same way the claim that linked vaccines and autism, BPA is under attack, particularly in the U.S. and Europe. I have written about this in the past and intend to follow this to demonstrate how these “scientific” frauds debase all science in the process.

Aside from the fact that these claims always begin with a dubious “scientific” study and then escalate as other “scientists” climb on the funding bandwagon, the other element is always the role that the mainstream media plays in keeping the fraud alive until the sheer weight of evidence makes it impossible to do so.

Ultimately, this destroys the trust we normally accord to legitimate scientists, exhausting our ability and willingness to embrace the science that has prolonged and protected the lives of millions.