The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Policy-based Evidence Making

Trust is a fragile quantity, and once lost, it's extremely hard to rebuild. During the Covid hysteria that ran from early 2020 to (at least) late 2022, we were repeatedly told that our government leaders followed "the science" as they promoted and then reinforced increasingly authoritarian policies. Virtually every one of those policies have now been proven incorrect, not to mention catastrophically damaging.

I have, in numerous posts, labeled federal, state and local politicians, deep state bureaucrats in a variety of alphabet agencies, their many enthusiastic media enablers, and the large cohort of Covid hysterics as Team Apocalypse (TA). It is not hyperbolic to suggest that TA broke our country. Specifically,

  • It broke our trust in the federal government.
  • It broke our trust in government agencies that were originally formed to protect us.
  • It broke tens of thousands of small businesses.
  • It broke the work ethic of millions of people.
  • It broke our economy and lead to an inflationary cycle and increased public debt that cannot be sustained.
  • It broke the culture of many cities and lead to chaos with city boundaries that seems to be accelerating.
  • It broke our public schools and the learning environment for many children who attend them with contemporaneous drops in test scores for core subjects.
  • It broke our trust in both mainstream and social media that worked as a censorship arm of the federal government.
  • It broke our trust in the medical profession (many of whom bought into Covid insanity and acted to silence the many brave doctors who challenged that insanity).
  • And by distorting and bastardizing science, it broke our faith that scientific findings would be reported accurately, never censored, and always challenged.

In the words of Steven F. Hayward, we have entered an era that rejects "evidence-based policy making" and entered an era of "policy-based evidence making." Hayward comments:

We should have known we were in for a new level of flim-flam when government officials started saying that the public should “follow ‘the science’.” Attaching the definite modifier to “science” implies that “science” on whatever subject is uniform and “settled,” as we’re endlessly told by the climate cult, and more recently the Covid cult, aka the "Branch Covidians."

This is the antithesis of science and the scientific method, which emphasizes hypothesis, skepticism, dissent, competing theories, vigorous debate, testing and re-testing. The history of science, as Thomas Kuhn explained in his influential but oft misunderstood Structure of Scientific Revolutions, is a series of dominant scientific models that are overturned by subsequent challenge. Sometimes the challenges are suppressed by incumbent institutions, and the example of Galileo is usually offered as an example of something that could never happen in our modern, enlightened times. In fact the kind of reputational damage and official opposition Galileo experienced is still happening on a daily basis.

The evidence mounts that virtually none of our scientific establishment can be trusted—certainly none that has any connection to or dependence on government funding. Government agencies based on their supposed technical expertise claim that they practice “evidence-based policy making,” but the truth is the reverse: we live in an age where governments practice policy-based evidence-making.

Team Apocalypse was the catalyst for all of this, and they're going to try to do it again and again. They'll hopefully fail with a Covid re-run, but another "pandemic" scare could happen at any time. And becuase no one was held accountable for the catastrophic mistakes that were made by TA, there is absolutely no incentive to correct them.

As I noted in a post in July, it appears that battlefield preparation is already underway to create hysteria around "climate change." The media arm of Team Apocalypse is working overtime to inculcate fear as they hype floods, droughts, high temps, hurricanes and a wide variety of weather phenomenon as a harbinger of climate apocalypse. From that, the Team will advocate a "climate emergency" with all of the draconian policies based on evidence that they have manipulated to justify their draconian policies.

Hayward comments on the climate change component using an example that I covered in a recent post:

The omerta of the “science-based community” has nowhere been more evident than in "climate change," where the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) systematically excludes dissenting scientists, pressures journals not to publish contrary findings, and marginalizes contrary publications that somehow manage to slip through, all in service of creating a manufactured “consensus” that demands absolute fealty.

The latest example of this is the recent mini-scandal involved Nature magazine, which recently published a highly technical article assessing the effect "climate change" is having on wildfire risk in California. The author, Patrick Brown of Johns Hopkins University, is not a climate skeptic by any means, and his article agreed with the popular wisdom that "climate change" likely increased California’s wildfire risk, though the wide range of the potential effects was heavily dependent on variables that are difficult to quantify and don’t necessarily all run in one direction. But Brown went on to write for Bari Weiss’s Free Press site that he pulled his punches in the article, deliberately leaving out relevant considerations of wildfire risk, such as better forest management, which might mitigate climate risk completely. His reason was straightforward:

In my recent Nature paper, which I authored with seven others, I focused narrowly on the influence of climate change on extreme wildfire behavior. Make no mistake: that influence is very real. But there are also other factors that can be just as or more important, such as poor forest management and the increasing number of people who start wildfires either accidentally or purposely. (A startling fact: over 80 percent of wildfires in the U.S. are ignited by humans.)

In my paper, we didn’t bother to study the influence of these other obviously relevant factors. Did I know that including them would make for a more realistic and useful analysis? I did. But I also knew that it would detract from the clean narrative centered on the negative impact of climate change and thus decrease the odds that the paper would pass muster with Nature’s editors and reviewers. This type of framing, with the influence of climate change unrealistically considered in isolation, is the norm for high-profile research papers.

There ensued a predictable firestorm from the climate cult, because Brown clearly embarrassed them. Kudos to Brown for being an honest scientist. There aren’t very many of those.

Policy-based evidence making is NOT science. It is NOT good government. It is NOT being done in your best interest. It is a fraud perpetrated by those who have an affinity to authoritarian control. It must be called-out every time it is encountered, regardless of the credentials of those who promulgate it.  

UPDATE (10-02-2023):

In recent posts I have argued that the government- and media-nurtured hysteria that led to catastrophically damaging Covid policies has become a prototype for what will become catastrophically damaging climate policy. I know, I know ... Team Apocalypse screeches that this is all the stuff of "conspiracy theories," and there's nothing to worry about. And then ... you take a hard look at what some members of TA are recommending. 

The blog Climate Depot reports:

Consumer Science & Analytics (CSA): (Via Google translate) Engineer Jean-Marc Jancovici, an expert on climate change [and enthusiastic member of TA], once again called for drastically limiting plane travel, and declared the need to establish a quota of 4 flights per person in a lifetime...

HERE and the CSA Institute have just carried out a survey among the French on a possible restriction of the use of airplanes to fight against global warming and to anticipate the depletion of resources. Questioned by the CSA institute, 64% of French people aged 18 and over say they are in favor of reducing their use of airplanes in the medium term for environmental reasons.

Philippine van TICHELEN, General Director of HERE. "These figures show a very clear majority in favor of a reduction in the use of the plane. Ecological awareness is obvious in a context where natural disasters worsened by global warming (extreme heatwaves, fires, etc.) themselves have repercussions on the vacation plans of the French in Greece and Italy in the very short term." We once again find a higher score among those under 35 (48%)...and this rises to 59% of 18-24 year olds. 

This study was conducted by the CSA Institute and carried out online, on July 18, 2023, with a representative sample of 1,010 French people aged 18 and over, constituted using the quota method.

Admittedly, this poll is limited by age and nationality, but the results are concerning. TA has succeeded in propagandizing a significant subset of at least one population to give up one of their freedoms because they have succumbed to non-scientific hysteria that threatens an apocalypse if they do not. 

You can bet your life that the global elites who will endorse policies like this will NEVER give up their private jets, or their yachts, or their 20,000 square foot houses. But the rest of us will be asked to "sacrifice to save the planet."