William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Attorneys General Embrace Lysenkosim With Gusto: Why Now?

Note carefully what these politicians are protecting.

Note carefully what these politicians are protecting.

What took ’em so long? Put it another way. Given the manifest benefits of defining scientific “truth” by State fiat, why did government take so long in making Lysenkoism official policy?

Could it be that politicians aren’t that bright?

They’re bright enough, of course. They understand power, they know people, they can read a mood. But after years of addling their minds with modern law it’s doubtful even one out of five hundred could, say, define protein chirality, vorticity, or magnetic field lines, to stick solely with screwy objects.

Still, the theory of political dimwittedness, though tempting, doesn’t explain all the facts. Scientific illiteracy is an expected characteristic of politicians in late-stage democracies. But with the explosion of scientific knowledge, and its increasing specializations, all of us are in some sense illiterate. Is it therefore reasonable to require public servants to understand the complexities of e.g. the Coriolis force?

We’re missing something: let’s look deeper.

Here’s the headline “[Attorneys General] Announce Effort to Combat Climate Change.” Details:

The participating states are exploring working together on key climate change-related initiatives, such as ongoing and potential investigations into whether fossil fuel companies misled investors and the public on the impact of climate change on their businesses.

Reflect: whether fossil fuel companies misled…the public on the impact of climate change…

One can only mislead if there is an accepted truth. The government is saying it knows and defines what this truth is. Since the government is demonstrably wrong about this claim, and since the definition of Lysenkoism is a government mandating (and punishing departures from the mandate of) a fiction, error, or demonstrably wrong claim, these acts of the Attorneys General are Lysenkoism.

So much is obvious. But there are no surprises or clues in this or other passages in the article about why it took until now for the government to come to Lysenkoism. There is plenty of blunt, idiotic propaganda in the article. For instance, the Attorney General of Maryland said, “Climate changes poses an existential threat to Maryland and to the nation. I am proud to join with my colleagues across the country in this important collaboration…” Yet this is so asinine that it wouldn’t fool a New York Times reporter; the quote is so banal it could have been generated by computer algorithm.

The old standbys of greed, lust for power, and just-following-orders surely play a part in the explanation of why now (they fully explain the just-plain why). But because they are old standbys they are only necessary but far from sufficient conditions. Turpitude is ever with us.

I don’t want to entirely abandon the ignorance theory. Surely some of these politicians are ignorant, but it stretches the imagination to suppose that all are. Rising to this lofty level in the service of the Empire requires, for most, true intelligence. It may also be that some of these public servants believe what they’re saying, but again, after some forty years of observational evidence, it is preposterous to suppose all are True Believers.

This implies most are lying, but like greed etc., while mendacity explains the why, it does not explain the why now.

Full-blown Lysenkoism isn’t so easy to achieve, especially in an age where scientific knowledge can be had cheaply, as it were. The rival to the official government theory of global-warming-of-doom is well known. Yet the government still feels confident enough to ignore it, and those who hold it. Why?

The election plays in the now. Time is running out, and the government has at least a reasonable chance of switching official views on environmental questions. The AGs probably reason that if they put the squeeze on now they can win at least some victories, and if the government changes they won’t have lost much by trying. Then the government might not change, and so now is a good time because now is at the (new) beginning. Being first counts. The squeezees also know these facts, so it’s a good bet they go for the delay until November.

If it were only the election, then this matter is politics as usual. Yet it’s difficult to escape the foreboding that this is something new, that we have entered a different regime. This is certainly the boldest science fiction the government has embraced. It’s therefore rational to predict that this won’t be the last foray, that the government will move into new areas. What these will be depends on who the new president will be, but it’s worth making some guesses. Yours?

15 Comments

  1. Why now? Part of it is evolutionary timing. Remember chem lab and a thing called activation energy, the threshold level of energy as measured by temperature that’s required to break molecular bonds and allow a reaction to take place. We didn’t have enough bogus press coverage until now to kick the reaction over the tipping point with the politicians. Not that they couldn’t have tried it before, but there were other impediments blocking it. Now the issue is boiling in their devious little minds with enough fervor to let them, in a herd not alone, promote it.

  2. Matt,

    No need to predict–it’s already happening around the country.

    The key is to understand the political belief system of our opponents–the Politically Correct Progressives.

    They are aggressively pursuing all avenues of enforcing their belief system on the rest of us–politically, legally, socially, morally, and every other cultural avenue available to them.

    Their beliefs, which they use to punish non-believers are akin to a statement of original sin:

    “America is a hell-hole defined by the following special sins:
    1. racist
    2. sexist
    3. homophobic
    4. foreigner-hating
    5. imperialist
    6. capitalist”

    And the belief system is rounded off with the “action corollary:”

    “Because of these original sins, America must be changed.”

    So, if you focus on the sin-list, you’ll see that we are already under massive legal attack based on each of the sins. The goal, of course, is to achieve the action of “changing America.”

    Your example here, of states’ legal attacks against sin #6 Capitalism (for that is exactly what “Green” efforts are–attacks on capitalism), is just the latest in the PC-Progs’ efforts to punish us Normal-Americans for our sins. And they nearly always cloak their attacks in “science,” for this is their new scripture, complete with clergy.

    There are already legal attacks designed to punish us for each of the PC-Prog sins:

    1. Racist: Affirmative Action; contracting quotas, etc.
    2. sexist: See #1
    3. homophobic: See #1, plus bathroom laws, etc.
    4. foreigner-hating: See #1, plus illegal immigration, refugees, etc.
    5. imperialist: See the Obama/Hillary/Brennan actions to destroy American credibility overseas
    6. capitalist: Global warming-based attacks on coal, power, industry, autos, electricity, etc.

    Gird your loins.

    http://intelctweekly.blogspot.com/2014/07/politically-correct-progressive-belief.html

  3. “Reflect: whether fossil fuel companies misled…the public on the impact of climate change…”

    Briggs, the truth is irrelevant to these AGs. What they’re looking for is a deep pocket to shake down. If they were truly interested in companies that misled investors and the public they wouldn’t have to look any further than here, a list of 33 green energy companies that took taxpayer subsidies and subsequently went bankrupt or are failing. It’s worth noting this list is four years old. It has gotten longer since then.

  4. “One can only mislead if there is an accepted truth.”

    As well, one can only mislead if fossil fuel companies held a public duty to inform the public of climate science. No, they have a duty to provide fuel. they are not authorities on climate science. In fact, I imagine that such matters are largely irrelevant to them. Geology is relevant, climate not so much.

  5. Ironic that these dirty little weasels are united for “clean power.”

  6. Stated properly, the AG’s are trying to put as many Americans out of work as possible in the shortest amount of time.

    It’s happening now because Gruber was right—Americans are just plain stupid. They don’t care, they don’t act, they just whine and beg. Apathy and greed are at all times highs. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. Don’t like the description, prove me wrong.

    It’s not new, though it is the first time the US will be selling its soul to the devil in exchange for living under a brutal dictator and a horribly low standard of living. All societies reach the “bread and circuses” sooner or later. Until humans can actually think and not emote, this will happen over and over and over.

    New president is irrelevant. You can’t fix stupid, only nature fixes apathy. Looking for a messiah in the form of a new president is to buy into fiction.

    This global warming insanity can be stopped tomorrow, but it won’t be. All it takes is the oil and gas people shutting down—now–and shutting off the lights and cutting off most of the transportation industry. It CAN be stopped, it simply won’t be. Most people do not care. They believe they will survive the mess and stay in power. They will not, but that does not matter. They believe.

    Gary: I agree, but I also think affluence allows this. The “poor” in America are rich in any other country. There’s no struggle to survive here. The place is ripe for selling class envy, lies of “free goods”, etc. To keep the hype going, you have to keep upping the threats—which is what global warming does. People who don’t have to work, who feel entitled are easily turned into radicals that tear society apart. The fact that they are then devoured by the new regime is irrelevant.

    Michael 2: Agreed.

  7. Why now? Consider the possibility that it is to deflect the public from thinking about the manifest failures of Obama’s presidency and the Democratic Party. Scapegoats are needed. This is similar to China’s cultural revolution as explained in this link.

    http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.ca/2016/01/the-greatest-cultural-revolution.html

    The One can not fail.

  8. “One can only mislead if there is an accepted truth. The government is saying it knows and defines what this truth is.”

    Yet you have no problem with this when it suits your beliefs.

  9. Keep in mind the tobacco companies were railroaded. Historically in negligence and product liability actions, if a plaintiff is aware of a condition, knows it to be dangerous, appreciates the extent and nature of the danger, and voluntarily exposes himself to the danger, he may not hold the defendant liable. That legal principle was repealed by statute in Florida, and by resort to so-called equitable doctrine in most of the other states that sued the tobacco companies. The state AGs claimed that the cigarette makers had imposed an intentionally addicting product on an innocent public that had little knowledge or choice in the matter. The smokers were victims of the evil tobacco companies. When I was a child cigarettes were referred to as coffin nails and everybody knew they weren’t good for you, but the lawyers claimed that smokers had no knowledge cigarettes might be harmful. The smokers had been misled by the cigarette companies.

  10. Ray: The same thing holds true for drugs. Even if the risks are clearly stated and highlighted, covered by the doctor and the patient signs a paper saying they understand the risks, still they sue when the side effects occur. America is full of stupid, greedy people. (And millionaire lawyers who get most of the money from the settlement. Thank goodness people can’t do math either. Wonder if Bernie supporters use those overpaid lawyers?)

  11. If the allegations are true, do you think Exxon Mobil did something wrong, Briggs?

    JMJ

  12. Graydon Tranquilla

    April 5, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Its also Opus Majus part 1…… as written by Sir Francis Bacon to the Pope about the scientific method….. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_Majus

  13. Latest book and documentary.
    ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPzpPXuASY8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPzpPXuASY8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO08Hhjes_0
    http://www.drtimball.com

    Debate between Dr Tim Ball and Elizabeth May
    Scroll down to Ian Jessop part 1
    http://www.cfax1070.com/Podcasts

  14. Quotes. Straight Down the Middle !

  15. The last two victims were tobacco and oil. Continuing with the red state industries with lots of lobbyists, I would predict that they turn up the heat on agriculture. The groundwork is already laid with public opinion on GMOs.

    My first thought was that they would use AGs to suppress research that shows not all people are equal, but the cathedral control of universities is a much better tool for that job.

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