“Saturated fat does not cause heart disease”—or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. This is the lead line from “The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease” from the the May 16th edition of the Wall Street Journal. The article then goes on to discuss the faulty research that generated this ‘link’ between saturated fats and heart disease. And, the unhealthy unintended consequences of ill-health and obesity over the last 50 years. Unintended consequences pushed by a bandwagon of food and agriculture business interests, medical organizations and, of course, the government.
The latest of which led to Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity drive and her latest school lunch requirements. Requirement so execrable, that most of these tax-payer funded lunches are landing in the garbage cans of our nations school lunchrooms. So execrable, that school districts are completely bailing out of the school lunch program and passing on the federal funds that go with it. But what is foregone in terms of federal funding is vastly overwhelmed by the buckets of federal dollars that, over the last 50 years, have gone into ‘fighting’ this crisis. And, even more billions, in the form of Medicare and Medicaid dollars fighting such problems as diabetes and obesity that may be the very consequences of substitution of saturated fats for unsaturated vegetable fats.
Pseudoscience, faulty science, science by consensus. And, the wreckage of unintended consequences. How could all this happen? It can and it has been happening repeatedly for at least the last 100 years.A century ago, Eugenics was all the rage. Somehow we were going to save the human race from itself by breeding superior humans and curtailing the breeding of ‘unfit’ humans. No one could really define what such were–I guess it was what pornography was to Justice Potter Stewart, “I know it when I see it.” That subjectivity translated into support by the likes of Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, funding by the like of the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations, and the public support of a who raft of prominent artist and the like of the early 20th century. In had practical consequences such as forced sterilizations–in the good ole’ USA. And, all of that happened before Hitler stepped up to the plate.
In the end, did it really do anything in improve the human race. Between Stalin, Mao and Hitler, some 100 hundred million lives were snuffed out. 100 hundred million ‘undesirables’ eliminated from the gene pool. Pretty rigorous testing of the hypothesis. For that, we have, at least in Germany and Russia, demographic disasters with birth rates so low that their respective populations are imploding. For whatever they have in ‘superior’ breeding stock, they may very well be not around in a generation or two.
Then, we go on to man-made global warming. Again in disarray. In disarray because they’ve been caught massaging the data to fit the narrative of their foundation and governmental patrons. We have the Climate-gate of 2009 with the ‘hide the decline’ emails hacked from East Anglia. We further have the news that East Anglia University, one of the three major repositories of temperature data isn’t. Apparently, the raw data was discard for ‘enhanced’ data.
Then, we have Mann’s infamous ‘hockey stick’ debunked. But, not before it centered in the UN’s IPCC’s climate report.
Finally, we have skeptical and opposing views, by otherwise bona fide scientists being purposely kept out of allegedly ‘peer reviewed’ scientific journals. Moreover, other scientist have been hounded out of their institutions for expressing their objections and skepticism.
But, despite this billions of tax dollars continued to be wasted to prop up this pseudoscience. Solyndra, bankrupt at the cost of half a billion dollars. With Solyndra, scores of other bankruptcies in battery production and electric car production. Then, thanks to the CAFE standards, we bear the cost of increasingly expensive cars and trucks. Expensive to design, build, buy and maintain. Cars that are more dangerous because they are lighter to meet these standards. Lighter cars will have less structural rigidity.
Incandescent light bulbs replaced by governmental fiat with compact fluorescent bulbs ladened with mercury. It will be decades before we finish paying for these regulations. Regulations that are increasingly appearing to be crony capitalism and rent seeking.
This all leads to the common denominator that is governmental participation. There are plenty of idiotic ideas out there; ideas that if left alone will die their very deserved death. Until the 800 pound gorilla of governmental money and fiat enters the picture to supercharge a bad idea into bad public policy. Bad policy based on half cooked ideas. Half cooked ideas that happen to serve someone’s agenda.
The other common denominator is the fact that too many scientists are willing to sell scientific integrity on the altar of lucre.
So, lets make the internet really work for us. Since most research is at the behest of a governmental grant, public money places that research into the public domain. It time to create the software and the requirements to place all the research data, especially the raw data, on the internet to be accessible to anyone. We’ve essentially already done that with medical data (the NSA knows) with the push for electronic medical records.
And, its necessary, since science has taken a big credibility hit. Climategate has more than shown that scientists are most human, subject to the pressures of money, group acceptance and celebrity. Fine, if that’s the case, then at least make the data behind ‘scientific’ assertions available to allow even some rube in the middle of fly-over country like Wyoming the opportunity to verify the truth. Further, destruction of research data should be regarded as destroying government property and prosecuted as such.
Finally, someone in the world of science, in the fraternity of those that call themselves ‘scientists,’ need to realize that sacrificing scientific integrity at the feet of governmental funding has cost science it’s badly needed credibility. You don’t need a degree to know that scientific method requires experimental results to fit reality. The Copernican theory of the earth orbiting the sun was based on hard data and a majority vote. Fundamentally, I believe huge swaths of the public will no longer take ‘science’ at face value; the white coat is no longer trademark of integrity.
Last winter flies in the face of warming alarmism. So, pardon the skepticism. Computer models will only do what your underlying assumptions will tell it to do; so get your noses out from behind you computer screens and shovel the snow like I did repeatedly last winter.
And, would McDonald’s please bring back french fries fried in beef tallow.