Heh, gotta love this. Get popcorn. I was tipped off to this by Chris Mooney in a Tweet where he’s calling for reinforcements:
Kevin Green of the American Enterprise Institute got the war of words rolling with these comments at Mooney’s new digs at scienceprogress:
Right, so let’s continue on your dismiss-a-thon of leftist anti-science, shall we? DDT and cancer, BPA and phthalates as carcinogens and endocrine disruptors; claims that organic food are safer because they have less pesticides/contaminants; claims that eating local foods are better for the environment than foods from elsewhere; claims that re-usable cloth bags are better for the environment than plastic or paper bags; false claims of species endangerment; pseudo-scientific claims about species loss treated as gospel; claims that climate models have predictive power; claims that individual weather events represent climate change…I think you missed a few.
Oh, wait, I forgot a few: frogs dying from climate change, alligator penis malformations from endocrine disruptors, bees dying from climate change (or is it cell-phones this week?), butterflies dying from BT crops…And, let’s not forget Alar, or cancer from video displays, or cell phones, or anything vaguely reminiscent of modernity.
Oops! Oh yes, then there’s the giant plastic ocean graveyard that was never seen again, and, let’s not forget the now-famous drowning polar bears.
Chris Mooney replied, though it is hardly much of one, which is why I suppose he’s trying to get Revkin and Kloor interested in it for defense.
Chris Mooney · Top Commenter · Yale University
This is quite a grab bag of claims. Many are misleading, some might be valid, some are wrong claims that have been made sometimes on the left but refuted just as vigorously by fellow liberals….including me.
I was pretty amazed (as were other commenters on other issues) that Mooney didn’t bother to address the totally bogus and overhyped “frogs dying from climate change” issue, because that was one of the worst blunders in climate science ever.
It turned out to be totally unrelated to climate, as I’ve addressed here on WUWT. The frog decline was definitively linked an infection of the chytrid fungus. The PNAS peer reviewed paper slapping down this nonsense said:
Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis.
Even Hansen’s buddies at Columbia agree. See this: Global Warming not to blame for toad extinction
Mooney was undeterred by the rebuttals, and the war was on. Green made a full post out of it at the AEI blog:
Over at scienceprogress, Chris Mooney opines that the political Right is more “anti-science” than the political Left. He points to climate change and evolution as areas where the Right is anti-science, and dismisses the idea that the Left is anti-science when it comes to things like their exaggerations of the risks of genetically modified crops, nuclear power, and vaccines.
His reasoning seems to break down into two arguments:
1) Chris argues that one can’t really tag the Left as being anti-science on things like vaccines and nukes because he (and a few other environmental journalists) have done their own policing on the issues, or, at least, walked away from actively shilling them. Chris actually says that he and journalists on the Left have “chased vaccine denial out of the realm of polite discourse.” That’s going to come as a shock to virtually every social-network user, who probably sees half-a-dozen anti-vaccine posts a week.
2) Chris argues that the anti-science issues usually associated with the Left (vaccines, nuclear-danger exaggerations, GMO danger claims) aren’t really left-wing issues, but rather, are held by people on both sides of the political spectrum.
Read it all here at So Who’s Anti-Science?
The “anti-science” label (which I think was coined by Joe Romm, if not he’s the worst serial user of the phrase) is no different that the “denier” label. The idea is to denigrate your opponent by applying ugly labels.