Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We love intellect - it's the intellectuals we can't stand

"In the world we live in, you can't really separate science from politics.

The money that researchers need to do their research comes from agencies that have to generate that money on the basis of exploiting public fears."

- Professor Robert Fallon (co-director of the Air Pollution Health Effects Lab at UCI)

If you have been following along with things here in California, you may know we have our own little Climategate brewing in the Golden State.

Yesterday, we directed your attention to Leslie's post on Dr. James Enstrom of UCLA who is fighting to get his job back after he blew the whistle on what he believed was a fraudulent CARB (California Air Resources Board) study that has been used as justication for jobs-killing CARB regulations and which was authored by a CARB board member with diploma mill doctoral credentials.

Check out the video here for the details on this travesty and the accompanying academic thuggery.

We swiped this from the always entertaining and insightful Secular Apostate who had this to say regarding this whole sorry affair:

Thankfully, the epidemic of irrationality has not infected all scientists. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad: the scientific process has been corrupted, possibly beyond repair. The attempt to stifle debate on anthropogenic global warming by hijacking scientific boards and character assassination is a perfect example of that. And now we’re seeing it in spades in California and air quality regulation.
Do yourself a favor and check out the entire post.

The poltical class in this country has been working itself into a lather the past 2-3 years over what they perceive as an anti-intellectualism that has seized the conservative movement and the country class as a whole.

They've got it all wrong. It's not an anti-intellectualism per se but rather anti-intellecuals as in we're done listening to intellectuals spew what they perceive as intellect and science because they have become hopelessly compromised and corrupted beyond redemption.

And unlike their favorite bogeyman, the collective religious right, the fact that they sit at the levers of power means their moral scolding actually gets codified into law by vote or regulatory fiat giving them much more control over our lives than Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson could ever dream of having in their worst fever swamp nightmares.

Much like our open-border adversaries, the "intellectuals" have poisoned the well with their bad faith negotiating and junk science and finding any common ground upon which to move forward is gone until they all exit the stage.

Anti-intellectualism? Quite the opposite, really.

P.S. The video suggests that Dr. Enstrom's hearing was on April 4th. We'll keep our eyes peeled to see how it went down and will post accordingly.


Secular Apostate said...

Thank you, Sir.

Ohioan@Heart said...

The real issue for science today is the tyranny of Peer Review. You can't get funding without the peer review process (which means that if you want to do something that would challenge someone's previously published work, forget it). You can't publish something that the peer reviewers don't like (so even if you found a way to do the work, you'll never get the results published).

Don't get me wrong. We need to have basic checks against publishing fantasy and drivel, but today it has gotten to the point where one peer reviewer or one editor can decide they don't like a particular result and bury it (or worse that they like a particular result so they'll play it up, without proper review or counterpoint).