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Rhoads: Scott Pruitt Drives Liberals Crazy

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By Mark Rhoads -  Pruitt

The announcement by President-elect Donald Trump that he intends to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Director of the EPA has sent many global-warming scientists and their liberal allies into fits of hysterical frenzy.

The reason is that Pruitt has dared to challenge what many scientists claim is the "overwhelming scientific consensus" that all climate change is caused only by human activity. The problem I have always had concerning that so-called "consensus" on human causes of climate change is that intellectual honesty always allows for dissent and for an open mind to consider new research data.  In 2015, Pruitt was one of 24 state attorneys general to sue the EPA for going beyond legitimate authority of Congress regarding Clean Air regulations proposed by the EPA. Pruitt is not even the most vocal of that group of EPA critics and yet liberals are terrified of him as EPA Director because he is so articulate in his criticism. 

Yes, there are far more climate-change scientists who argue in favor human activity as a villain than those who disagree. So what?

The dissenters do not deserve to be slandered as "deniers" or have their motives or honesty challenged just because they disagree.  On the other hand, there was substantial evidence in 2009 that the major center of climate change research at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England was involved in reporting deliberate fake data to generate support only for the human-activity narrative.

But on a far simpler level, scientists in almost all fields except for climatology almost never try to argue that the latest word on scientific research is the only possible view and that the majority view must never be debated or open to dissent because it is "settled science."  

What baloney, honest people know there is never any such thing as "settled science" that cannot be debated with new data or new examination of old data.

For example, many times in the last 50 years astronomers have had to increase their estimates of the size and age of the universe as new data became available. But few astronomers who made older estimates about the age of the universe were ever accused of being "universe-age deniers" just because they had a different opinion than other astronomers.

Of course the term "denier" is deliberately used by the Left to discredit anyone who differs with them and imply some connection to those who deny that historical fact of the Holocaust during World War II.  If the data in favor of climate change caused only by humans is so strong, it would not need to be defended by intellectually dishonest or bully tactics.

The real cause of Liberal hysteria over the Scott Pruitt nomination is that their point of view will no longer have exclusive control over the EPA or a near monopoly on climate-change opinion. Dissent in science is normally a good thing and not a bad thing because dissenting views help science to progress over time whereas claims of "settled science" try to stop debate forever.

Five hundred years ago the overwhelming scientific consensus was that the world was flat. But dissenters who thought the world might be round had the courage of their ideas and eventually were able to add new reliable information to the sum of human knowledge that they could not have done if dissenting views had been drowned out by the bully tactics of the intolerant majority view.     

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2 COMMENTS

  1. To say there is was a ‘scientific consensus 500 years ago’ is just a lie. Scientific consensus is a shared vision among a community of scholars united through a process of peer review and valuing evidence-driven, repeatable, testable hypotheses. Things that Aristotle, Thales, and other Ancient Greeks were doing in the 5th century BCE. Because a few powerful men inside a religious institution tried to say world was flat, does not mean there was a scientific consensus.
    Read more here – https://ncse.com/blog/2014/02/was-there-ever-flat-earth-consensus-0015426

  2. “Reality Republican” is the perfect name for a troll on IR and he refers to Ancient Greeks who lived more than 2,500 years ago rather than the 500 years ago for flat Earth advocates who dominated world views in the late 1400s that I mentioned in my article. One can see his bias against Christianity in particular because He derides and blames religious leaders and quaintly uses the politically correct term BCE for the contrived term of Before Common Era instead of BC for Before Christ which means exactly the same period of time. The article he links to also doubles down on the intellectual dishonesty and bully tactics of pro-human activity climate scientists that they so routinely use to try to silence any dissent with their slanders against the motives of the dissenters. I have never claimed that human activity plays no role at all in some warming of temperatures over time. I only say there is legitimate room to question that human activity is the only and principal explanation for all data on that side of the debate. It is always wrong for some scientists to try to shout down other scientists who dare to raise a different interpretation of data.