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Is the era of voodoo science over?

Is the era of voodoo science over?

New bill targets regulatory extravagance of the EPA.

One of the earliest projects I took on as a citizen activist was promoting the work of former UCLA professor, Dr. James Enstrom, an epidemiologist who challenged the voodoo science used by the California Air Resources Board to pass stiff, new air emission regulations.

David French of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) explained what subsequently happened to this heroic whistle-blower:

The facts of the case were astounding. As the environmentalist Left pushed new, job-killing regulations in the interests of “public health,” Dr. Enstrom took his own look at the data and determined that the health threat from diesel emissions was being wildly overstated. As he looked further, he discovered that the lead researcher pushing the new regulations actually possessed a fraudulent degree, purchased from “Thornhill University,” a shady, long-distance diploma mill. Moreover, members of the state’s “scientific review panel” tasked with evaluating the science had in some cases overstayed term limits by decades. At least one was a known ideological radical. (He was a member of the infamous “Chicago Seven.”) Dr. Enstrom did what a scientist should do. He exposed public corruption, called out fake scientific credentials, and worked to save California from onerous and unnecessary regulations.

So UCLA fired him. After more than 30 years on the job.

Justice has prevailed in the case ACLJ filed suit on behalf of Dr. Enstrom, which alleged school officials unlawfully terminated his appointment as a Researcher in violation of his First Amendment rights and mishandled tens of thousands of dollars of his funding.

Not only did the Regents agree to pay Dr. Enstrom $140,000, but they also have effectively rescinded the termination, agreeing to Dr. Enstrom’s use of the title “Retired Researcher” (as opposed to acknowledgment as a non-titled terminated employee) and his continued access to UCLA resources he previously enjoyed during his appointment. “This is a fantastic result for Dr. Enstrom,” said David French, ACLJ Senior Counsel. “Dr. Enstrom has dedicated himself to public advocacy on significant scientific issues, at no small cost to himself because of the controversial nature of his research. It was a privilege assisting Dr. Enstrom in obtaining this terrific settlement.”

The settlement is particularly important to Dr. Enstrom because, he says, “it shows that UCLA and the UC Regents have not been able to suppress a politically incorrect scientific dissenter.” …

This settlement marks a victory not just for Dr. Enstrom but for academic freedom generally. It sends a resounding message to public universities that attempts to silence dissenting viewpoints and eradicate opposition to institutional orthodoxy are costly—and ultimately losing—battles.

And while that is one small win for science, a bigger victory for the nation is possible if new rules related to containing the regulatory extravagance of the Environmental Protection Agency are passed.

H.R. 1030, the Secret Science Reform Act of 2015, is due to come before the full House shortly. The purpose of this legislation is “to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible.”

Dr. Enstrom indicates that Congressman Lamar Smith cited him in connection with his efforts to force EPA to use transparent scientific results.

This bill is not coming a moment too soon. During a recent Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, Senator Jeff Sessions grilled EPA chief Gina McCarthy on her agency’s grab for money and power that is entirely based on shaky science. During the exchange, McCarthy could not explain whether climate change models were correct, and the Sen. Sessions drilled down into data that McCarthy either wanted to skip over or amend.

SESSIONS: All right. Carbon pollution is CO2, and that’s really not a pollutant; that’s a plant food, and it doesn’t harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases. Let me ask you one more time: Are you asserting, just give me this answer; if you take the average of the models predicting how fast the temperature would increase, is the temperature in fact increasing less than that or more than that?

McCARTHY: I cannot answer that question specifically.

SESSIONS: Mr. Chairman, I would just say, this is a stunning development, that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who should know more than anybody else in the world, who’s proposing hundreds of billions of dollars in costs to prevent this climate and temperature increases, doesn’t know whether their projections have been right or wrong.

Citizens interested in supporting this bill can CLICK HERE to contact their congress members.

Hopefully, the timing of Enstrom’s victory is an omen that the era a voodoo science is over.

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Comments

No. “Science” is pro-choice. It intersects with not only philosophy, but with faith and even fantasy.

    n.n in reply to n.n. | March 10, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I don’t think many people understand why there was a separation of the four logical domains: science, philosophy, faith, and fantasy. Why the scientific method rejects inference, and liberal assumptions including: uniformity and independence. Why inference (i.e. created knowledge) serves as a guide to develop models or estimates, but is an invalid substitute for the scientific method: observation, replication, and deduction. The scientific domain is actually very limited in both time and space. Much of modern science is theoretical or actually philosophical. The reason is chaos or incompletely characterized and unwieldy systems that ensure accuracy is inversely proportionate to the product of time and space offsets from an established reference.

    That said, it is both scientific fact and self-evident that human life evolves from conception to a natural, accidental, or premeditated (e.g. abortion) death. Spontaneous conception is a fantasy. Human commodities is a tenet of a degenerate religion. The cognitive dissonance must be deafening.

legacyrepublican | March 10, 2015 at 11:45 am

Have you thought of calling your successful mission of Enstrom’s defense and future missions to get the truth out “Project Galileo?”

Thus reminding people that the difference between the Vatican and UCLA trustees or the “elite” is not that great when it comes to silencing their scientific critics.

Great job!!! Keep up the good work.

    The big pro-science climate sanity group in Australia is called the Galileo movement.

      Deodorant in reply to Amy in FL. | March 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Groups can name themselves anything they like. But reminding people that the catholic church was also made up of deniers seems like bad P.R. It only too the church 400 hundred years to admit they had been wrong and Galileo was right. Do you think we have that much time for your side to admit they are wrong?

      BTW, aren’t you people tired of confusing weather with climate? You aren’t convincing anyone with that bull.

        Au contraire, it’s the Climate Scientologists in this battle who are clinging to their religion and madly damning dissenters as heretics and deniers, who are most analogous to the pre-Reformation Catholic Church of the time.

        Y’all even sell indulgences to sinners, in the form of “carbon credits”, for heaven’s sake.

        Every time one of you climate zealots cries “DENIER!!!”, I hear a close-minded religionist shouting “HERETIC!!!!”.

        The Catholic Church finally backed down in the case of Galileo. How long before you science-denying wild-eyed climate zealots similarly come to your senses?

        Ragspierre in reply to Deodorant. | March 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm

        Well, here you are again, showing your ass and your historical ignorance.

        Hard to know which is more glaring.

        Do you EVER investigate the crap they shoot in your mouth from the moonbattery? ANY filters at all…???

        Barry in reply to Deodorant. | March 11, 2015 at 1:43 am

        Deodorant, the height of stupidity is not knowing everyone else knows just how stupid you are.

Henry Hawkins | March 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

It’s not voodoo science, but voodoo scientists. Regardless, doctored research and science is a centuries-old problem and I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

Voodoo science can’t be killed. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals drove a wooden stake through its heart in the Daubert v. Merrill-Dow case, but voodoo science didn’t die.

    snopercod in reply to snopercod. | March 10, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    The Rules–especially Rule 702–place appropriate limits on the admissibility of purportedly scientific evidence by assigning to the trial judge the task of ensuring that an expert’s testimony both rests on a reliable foundation and is relevant to the task at hand. The reliability standard is established by Rule 702’s requirement that an expert’s testimony pertain to “scientific . . . knowledge,” since the adjective “scientific” implies a grounding in science’s methods and procedures, while the word “knowledge” connotes a body of known facts or of ideas inferred from such facts or accepted as true on good grounds. The Rule’s requirement that the testimony “assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue” goes primarily to relevance by demanding a valid scientific connection to the pertinent inquiry as a precondition to admissibility.

Henry Hawkins | March 10, 2015 at 12:37 pm

BTW, there is a fully funded federal agency dedicated to voodoo science:

“The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

MISSION

The mission of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH, formerly the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM]) is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative interventions and to provide the public with research-based information to guide health-care decision making.”

The above is all bullshit. This agency started out in 1992 as the Office of Alternative Medicine, where federal taxes were wasted on studies on acupuncture, reiki, therapeutic touch, aroma therapy, and all sorts of ‘alternative’ medical quackery, with research grants passed out like candy to cronies and crackpots all over the country. The idea is to review ‘alternative’ medicine to see if any of it works. Still waiting on that first big success. (It’s bullshit – there is no such thing as alternative medicine, just medicine that does or does not work).

It has grown exponentially since 1992, but has changed its name and detoxified its public statements and ‘mission’ statement because of frequent complaints and its constant place on every list of unnecessary government agencies. Voodoo science is built into our federal government.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 10, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    But will these old hippies still sell their baloney remedies, and get funded under Obamascam?

    So a naturopath looks at your aura and prescribes lavender aromatherapy … $100 please, plus $50 for the herbs. Or maybe medical marijuana becomes the cure for about everything.

      Deodorant in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 10, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Medical marijuana cures prohibition. Legal marijuana cures it even better. I guess you are opposed to government interference in personal lives except where you are in favor of it.

        Valerie in reply to Deodorant. | March 10, 2015 at 5:16 pm

        Hush, dear, the adults are talking.

        Midwest Rhino in reply to Deodorant. | March 10, 2015 at 5:35 pm

        Marijuana is a bad idea, except maybe I’d rather have government take the money directly like alcohol or cig’s, rather than have the cartels bribe our officials. The war on drugs has mostly failed, so we should grow it all here perhaps … idk.

        But my point was about Obamacare funding some of these unproven alternatives. I’d read it would cover acupuncture, or some others … and of course they tell us what coverage we must buy. But bureaucrats are still writing the law, so who knows.

          healthguyfsu in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 10, 2015 at 8:08 pm

          Marijuana should be legal for tax revenue and fraud-prevention purposes.

          Illegal slum lord drug dealers double dip by collecting welfare money (since they don’t have a legal job) and by dealing in an illegal cash business. The smart ones know they can’t buy any tangible appreciable assets or the IRS will come after them. Therefore, they don’t contribute their “earned” money to the economy in meaningful fashion. Further, they suck meaningful money out of the economy by collecting social welfare. I’ve personally seen individuals do this.

          That said, any additional, collected tax revenue needed to go towards deficit reduction like yesterday.

    Does this mean that I can apply for a 10 year Federal grant for a twice weekly visit to a masseuse to obtain integrative intervention deep tissue massage of my neck and shoulders? This research would only be done to measure the effects of climate change on human musculature. I’ll take notes.

    A friend of mine who works at the NIH (in a real field, infectious diseases) calls this “the department of woo”.

    Valerie in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 10, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Because I am a patent attorney, I have been out on the bleeding edge of scientific discovery all my professional life: that IS where inventions occur.

    The reason these agencies exist is because vested interests in the scientific and medical community have been very, very bad.

    The AMA (American Medical Association) in particular, has acted just like a trade organization defending its turf, slandering practitioners (some of whom are MDs) of a number of emergent and old technologies as “quackery.” Further, it is common for any new development in medicine to be treated as illegitimate if it does not involve drugs or surgery, which seems to be all the AMA understands.

    The AMA lost an anti-trust suit to the Chiropractors, and with good reason. Chiropractors have a body of knowledge that is effective and useful when properly applied. Psychiatrists currently like to pretend that brain scans are irrelevant to the prescription of mind-altering drugs for conditions such as ADD and depression. And, my oh my, if some of the latest immunology with its nano medicines doesn’t overlap with…..homeopathy. And THEN there is the chelation therapy for heart disease that may be better for some patients (who also have diabetes) than ballon angioplasty, a surgery known to improve quality of life, but NOT survival!

    Those agencies exist as a bureaucratic response to ossification and regulatory capture of the older agencies by people with a financial interest in established practices.

    It’s not a good solution. I would pare the FDA and NIH, and require them to apply the same scientific standards to all comers.

      Ragspierre in reply to Valerie. | March 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      I have a son in what I’ll call “every-opthay” medical school. He will perform surgery and proscribe pharmaceuticals. He also knows lots about “non-traditional” medicine.

      I AM the skeptical, somewhat scientific mind I often reveal here. Still, my son is no quack, and “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
      Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”.

      We just don’t know every damn thing. And I hope we never will, frankly.

      Homeopathy. Bless your heart. Time to link one of my favorite clips, That Mitchell & Webb Look with their Homeopathic A & E (ER).

    Bruce Hayden in reply to genes. | March 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Since we are citing tot Watts Up With That – here is part of what Sessions may have been aiming at: Laughable modeling study claims: in the middle of ‘the pause’, ‘climate is starting to change faster’

    The article starts off with a graph that shows the projections of 90 different CMIP5 climate models, and contrasts that with the HadCRUT4 surface recordings, and the UAH Lower Troposphere temperature values. Some 96% or so of the CMIP5 models were above even the HadCRUT4 surface recordings (and, their results arguably are a bit high – given how they interpolate actual temperature data, as well as handle the urban heat island effect). And, ditto for the satellite data.

    But, what the money quote, after looking at that graph is:

    All the CMIP models used the same data for past and future greenhouse gas concentrations, pollutant emissions, and changes to how land is used, which can emit or take in greenhouse gases. The more models in agreement, the more confidence in the results.

    The results of >96% of the models exceed reality, but apparently, we are supposed to have even more confidence because the models agree in that respect.

Here are some generic templates I find useful for evaluating “scientific” claims…

1. what are the qualifications of the maker of the claim?

2. what is the scale of the claim?

3. does the claim meet a “smell test” from a skeptical viewpoint? Does the basis for the claim come from empirical observation or modeling?

4. is the claim linked to a histrionic prediction?

5. is the claim linked to a push for a coercive “solution”?

As #4 and 5 are answered with an increasing YES!, looking under the hood of the claim is more and more mandated, applying the other templates.

Also, if you personally have no training or education in science (which don’t really require formal education…though it is helpful) find someone who does to discuss the matter with. A real “science minded” person is a SKEPTIC. They are not “faithful”.

    Phillep Harding in reply to Ragspierre. | March 10, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    My first check is “how easy is it to get the raw data and a description of what the researcher did. Does the researcher cooperate, or block inquiries?”

    Deodorant in reply to Ragspierre. | March 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Funny there were a lot of coercive solutions to stem the EBOLA crisis advocated on this very site.

    Do try to be consistent.

    Yes, coercive steps had to be taken to clean up the air in southern California. I don’t hear too many people complaining about that; although there were cranks like you back in the senventies.

      The purpose of this legislation is “to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible.”

      I can’t fathom why anyone secure in their science would have a problem with that.

      The fact that you’re jittering madly away about marijuana this and ebola that like an ADHD squirrel on meth instead of tackling the issue at hand just makes people wonder if there mightn’t be something wrong with you. And that’s probably not the impression you’re wanting to leave people with.

      Ragspierre in reply to Deodorant. | March 10, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      Is it “coercive” to require someone who wants to travel to the U.S. to wait a few days?

      I don’t think so, stupid.

      But I am a mean sumbitch for not wanting tens-of-thousands of Americans to potentially die from a terrible hemorrhagic plague.

      And you’re an idiot.

BREAKING WIND NEWS:
Big methane burp: Cow farts a greater problem than EPA previously thought, study says
“Cows seem to be spewing twice the methane that scientists previously thought, Michalak said.
While burps and flatulence are part of the methane emission from cattle, University of California Santa Barbara professor Ira Leifer said a bigger factor is manure.
“If you shovel it into an artificial lagoon you are creating the perfect production for methane, but it cuts down on the smell and your neighbors complain less,” he said.”

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/11/26/big-methane-burp-cows-refineries-spew-gas/

My scientific answer: Eat Mor Chikin.

    BREAKING WIND NEWS

    Thank you for actually making me laugh out loud! I will stop at Chick-fil-A on my way home this afternoon in your honor 🙂

    Ragspierre in reply to jennifer a johnson. | March 10, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Oh, HONEY…!!!

    If you’ve ever been in a broiler production house…!!!

    Ammonia AND methane. It’ll knock you down.

    For a couple of decades, big dairy farms and pig or chicken (or turkey) operations have all explored the use of methane-powered co-generation installations. Some have found them economical.

Voodoo science will be with us for as long as voodoo scientists (and their corrupt collaborators, like Al Gore) can scam taxpayers out of billions of dollars with their ever-morphing claims of imminent disaster.

Midwest Rhino | March 10, 2015 at 1:52 pm

The Newsmax channel just had some Florida guy on as a climate change scientist, David Hastings. He’s a faculty member at Eckerd College, so of course his research on climate is directly rewarded with “science is settled, more funding needed”. His little YouTube video first insists we all get “on the same page” about the “broad consensus”, that only very very “few scientists deny”.

I have no idea about this guy, but anyone wanting to do even legit research damn well better tie it to “anthropogenic global warming climate change”. Deniers will be called the “D” word, fired, and/or lynched. And such stupid bigotry will be applauded. The PC religion must be obeyed, zero tolerance.

So this guy “focuses on using minor and trace elements in the marine environment as a tool for understanding the history of past climate change and marine biogeochemical processes, as well as the history and severity of anthropogenic contamination. It addresses environmental concerns, and is multi-disciplinary in scope.”
http://www.eckerd.edu/academics/marinescience/faculty/hastings.php

Fortunately much of his research can be useful for basic environmental concerns, but emphasis on CO2 in general misdirects a lot of effort. Of course the political intent seems clearly directed at kneecapping and controlling American industry.

    Ragspierre in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 10, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Oh, and wealth transfers. Always remember, this is a global pretext for the transfer of wealth, all under the egis of “brights”.

    PLUS, control of YOUR life and mine. Not the “brights”, of course. They’re exempt because…peons.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Ragspierre. | March 10, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      yeah … I put wealth distribution as a sub-heading of “control” category. If they really wanted wealth distribution for the good of the little guy, they would want cheap energy. They want to kneecap and tax the Koch brothers, using the control of industry via CO2 BS. “Wealth redistribution” is just an excuse to get everyone dependent on government. Killing industry kills wealth.

      And of course any producer is probably more conservative, except for silicon valley. And those cattle barons in TX, OK, KS are pretty conservative … so their cows will be highly taxed for methane production.

        Ragspierre in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 10, 2015 at 6:56 pm

        “If they really wanted wealth distribution for the good of the little guy, they would want cheap energy.”

        Slight disagreement. THAT would be wealth CREATION.

        Spread market economics and the world would blossom as a rose.

        Which, in fact, we’ve been seeing for the last few decades, even in Communist China and formerly Socialist India.

          Midwest Rhino in reply to Ragspierre. | March 11, 2015 at 1:53 am

          ok, good point, but wealth production would be actual production I think, not just getting something cheaper. Cheap energy would open doors for lower costs of production, incentivizing an industrious soul. But if he just saves money he has not created wealth. (or I could be wrong) lol

          Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | March 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm

          “not just getting something cheaper”

          MR, “wealth creation” is the correct terminology. Getting something cheaper allows more capital to be put into other useful things. For example, if your gasoline expenditure is cut by $100 per month, you will likely spend that on something else, creating demand – and production. Even if you put the money in savings, that is then loaned out to someone producing. Cheaper energy is always a big winner, which is why the left wants to drive up the cost of energy.

MIT Professor emeritus Richard Lindzen discussed the religious nature of the movement. “Global Warming Believers a ‘Cult’”

bit.ly/1L1BzcS

This professor is receiving threats!

The mob behavior on this stuff is both fascinating and scary.

1- The EPA like the IRS has been leveraged as a political assault unit to punish dissenters. Smells like China/USSR mass murder plot in the incubation stages.

2- The ability to whip people up into a frenzy where otherwise smart people say 1+1 = 3 because a politician says the science is settled.

3- The recurrence of these events throughout history. Though slightly different, the Tulip bulb crash as well as burning actual scientists at the stake are all manifestations of this behavior.

It’s disgusting, and actually typical of the current administration in general, that they are very unaware of the science. They think science is whatever you say it is.
The world has not warmed in 18 years, according to the satellite data, and yet Obama states that that global warming is accelerating! Yeah. Right.
In the mean time the witch hunt is ratcheting up to a fevered pitch. When science is not on your side you can try to succeed by intimidation and fear.

See: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/07/silencing-skeptics-financing-alarmists/

and: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/27/congessional-republicans-push-back-against-the-climate-witch-hunt/

This is one of the most interesting and encouraging pieces I seen about REAL science making gains on environmentalist whackos.

Noblesse Oblige | March 10, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Nope. While this may be a small victory, science remains the handmaiden of politics. Recall that one of Enstrom’s sins was to blow the whistle on Tran, who headed the bogus CARB study challenged by Enstrom. Tran outright lied about his PhD credentials but is still an employee. Enstrom, the whistle blower, is not. See http://wmbriggs.com/post/3702/

Nope. I just had a big conversation with a couple of reasonably intelligent college juniors. They are still thinking that manmade CO2 is “proven” as causing global warming, and that we are looking at the apocalypse where there will be revolution and enormous population shifts.

They only believe it because of the [email protected] “science” that is STILL being published. I know, because I read it in my local paper (San Diego Union-Tribune) and on Reddit.

Folks, there are still publications coming out with depressing regularity, claiming that “global warming” is “accelerating” and that we are past the point of no return.

Every year, NASA publishes a paper with the headline that this was the warmest year on record, and a body that says the difference is insignificant. Then later on, they are forced to make a retraction, and the retraction somehow never makes it to the papers or Reddit.

Because I have a background in experimental science and statistics, I know these articles do not pass the smell test, but someone who does not have a firm grasp of the concept of experimental error is vulnerable to this nonsense.

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