Junk science ascendant?

November 2, 2009

I’ve often (okay, always) referred to the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) as junk science, because of the lack of solid evidence in its favor and the real evidence of fraud and corruption as genuine science takes a back seat to political agendas. I also think his chief science advisor, John Holdren, is something of a kook, which calls into serious question the President’s pledge to restore science to its rightful place.

Now Bill Frezza at Real Clear Markets looks at that same pledge and decides the current occupant has opened the doors wide to junk science:

Regardless of your tribal affiliations, were you cautiously optimistic when our new president promised to “restore science to its rightful place” in the formulation of public policy? Were you embarrassed by the prior occupant’s politicization of issues that should have been decided on a more scientific basis? Did you assume that Barack Obama would surround himself with apolitical science advisors unencumbered by embarrassing anti-science baggage and free of culture-war axes to grind?

To paraphrase a once famous mayor of New York – So how’s he doing so far?

You’re probably aware that the H1N1 swine flu vaccine supply has fallen dangerously short of the level required to protect the most vulnerable among us. In the spring Federal officials predicted that as many as 120 million doses would be available by now, as opposed to the 16 million doses that actually arrived. Flu vaccine is tricky to make under the best of circumstances, but there are scientifically safe and proven ways to stretch supplies. Are you aware that the Federal Government refuses to allow the use of adjuvants that can be used to produce twice as many doses from the same vaccine stock? This despite the fact that over 40 million doses of flu vaccine containing adjuvants have been dispensed in Europe over the past dozen years without any indication of a safety issue. Some people denied shots because of this decision are going to die. Does this policy sound scientific or political?

And it’s not just the decision over the H1N1 vaccine that’s been driven by politics: Frezza reviews the “plight” of the polar bears (AGW), the anti-vaccination hysteria (autism), and the bio-fuel farce (more AGW). Whatever one may think of the Bush White House policies regarding science (I think a lot of the criticism came from its skepticism toward and moral questions regarding fetal stem-cell research, and that the carping was unjustified.), it’s clear that, at the Obama White House, political considerations are at least equal, if not superior to, empirical truth.

As Jim Geraghty would say, restoring science to its rightful place was just another Obama campaign promise with an expiration date.

Just words.