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A conspiracy theorist responds

Vaccines: Another vast government conspiracy perpetrated by so-called "scientists"?

Last week, I wrote about the lengths to which some conservative politicians and media outlets are genuflecting to spin the new truck efficiency rules in a way that fits their anti-government narrative. In the process, I found a post by Melody Scalley, writing for the American Thinker, that suggests the EPA is attempting to take over the trucking industry.

I’ll admit, I was a little concerned I was being unfair to Scalley by attributing such a mind-blowingly absurd idea to her. Maybe I had misunderstood something, or perhaps there was a bit of subtle irony that had gone over my head.

Fortunately, Scalley was kind enough to post a comment clarifying her view, which I’ve pasted below in its entirety:

Ken,

Did you miss the point that the ATA does not and cannot speak for the ‘trucking industry’?

Their members are not the individuals driving the trucks. The independent truckers will NOT be running out to buy new trucks; they are not even making enough money to support the trucks they have.

These regulations will result in fewer sales and smaller profits. Exactly what we need in a recession with no end in sight – more government regulation.

The EPA SmartWay program is based on the need to reduce ‘man-made global warming’, a complete farce made up by alarmists to control industry in the U.S.

Let us hope that some folks will understand what this administration is really trying to do before it is too late.

M.

(emphasis mine)

It’s easy to be dismissive of stuff like this. I mean, even BP acknowledges climate change is “a major global challenge – one that will require the efforts of governments, industry and individuals.” When you can get industry involved in the vast conspiracy to destroy itself, that’s one hell of a cabal.

But the issue here is that we — all of us — tend to view reality through an ideological lens. Climate change, for instance, is a problem that the free market can’t fix, so if you’re a person who believes that the free market fixes all problems, climate change simply can’t exist.

And because this denial is driven by a widely-accepted ideology, it’s treated as a legitimate political position in the broader media, rather than a wrongheaded rejection of established science. Plenty of people believe childhood vaccinations are part of a vast conspiracy, too, but can you imagine a presidential candidate declaring that “the science isn’t in” on the measles shot?

I mean, we’d laugh them right out of town!

Right?

Comments (5)

Hmmmm, I think caling global warming widely accepted is going a bit far. Widely controversial, widely debated… i would even accept widely promoted. But not widely accepted.

By Bonnie on Aug 23, 2011

I didn’t say “widely accepted.” I said it’s established science. That science is not invalidated just because some politicians don’t like what they hear.
“Widely-accepted” was referring to free-market ideology.

By Ken Paulman on Aug 24, 2011

Fair enough, my apologies. Established sxience is going a bit far also isnt it when scientists disagree with what research there js on the subject. And scientific theory is not scientc proof is it? Evenif or when global warming is proved, we would then need to prove hoe buying or trading permission to emit more carbons than deemed bh say EPA would resolve the problem rather than just raise money. How does paying to emit carbons help lower the risk to global warming? Will the carbons or atmosphere pay heed to the penalties?

By Bonnie on Aug 24, 2011

97% of climate experts believe humans are causing global warming. Scientists may disagree on the severity of the impact, but the fundamentals are not in dispute. Also, the word “theory” has a specific meaning in science that is widely misunderstood. It is not merely a synonym for “guess,” as some seem to think.

Per your second question, putting a price on carbon creates a market incentive to reduce emissions.

By Ken Paulman on Aug 24, 2011

BP’s statement is what the Federal Rules of Evidence refer to as a “statement against interest.” The courts grant such statements heightened credibility. For the simple reason that, when people lie, they tend to do so in a way that helps (not hurts) their interests.

Apart from BP, Shell Oil and dozens of other industrial and manufacturing companies (incl. Alcoa, Chrysler, Dow, Duke Energy, DuPont, Ford, NRG Energy, PG&E, Rio Tinto, Weyerhaeuser, see http://www.us-cap.org) are also on the record acknowledging the anthropogenic causes of modern climate change.

Applying these evidentiary rules, the Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected arguments based on claims that climate change isn’t happening, or isn’t caused by human activities.

What is the deniers’ evidence, again?

By Ross Abbey on Aug 24, 2011