Fanatics in the Cabinet

Jeff Jacoby has some suggested questions for U.S. Senators to ask Obama’s nominee for director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren. The last one gives a sense of Jacoby’s general concern:

8. You are withering in your contempt for researchers who are unconvinced that human activity is responsible for global warming, or that global warming is an onrushing disaster. You have written that such ideas are “dangerous,” that those who hold them “infest” the public discourse, and that paying any attention to their views is “a menace.” You contributed to a published assault on Bjorn Lomborg’s notable 2001 book “The Skeptical Environmentalist” – an attack the Economist described as “strong on contempt and sneering, but weak on substance.” In light of President-elect Obama’s insistence that “promoting science” means “protecting free and open inquiry,” will you work to soften your hostility toward scholars who disagree with you?

Mr. Holdren, it bears mention, appears to have a long history of erroneous alarmist predictions.

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15 years ago

Ah, the conveniences of an ideaologue. Quick to find “fanatics” in the new cabinet, yet nary a word in eight years while the outgoing cabinet asserted that the president had unilateral powers to imprison, torture, and spy — with no limitations by Congress or the judiciary possible. And you’re a “conservative” no less! Whatever happened to that skepticism about governmental power? I’m sure that wherever you lost it, you will be sure to find it by January 20.

Robert Balliot
15 years ago

I have seen arguments on both sides of the debate about global warming and the effect of man on the environment. The scientific evidence weighs heavily that releasing massive amounts of carbon monoxide and other pollutants into the air is not a good thing.

The arguments that it is OK and the scientific ‘evidence’ supporting it being OK are reminiscent of the old tobacco industry ‘science’ saying that cigarettes are good for you.

15 years ago

“The arguments that it is (not) OK and the scientific ‘evidence’ supporting it being (not) OK are reminiscent of the (flat earth) ‘science’.” Fixed it.
Neither side has made a case and it is the AGW’ists who must do so conclusively, because it they who are proposing a course of action that will be hugely expensive and if successfully implemented, but wrongheaded, may be worse than useless, possibly disastrously so. Even if steps are taken by the western nations, the rapidly industrializing South and East Asia, with half the world’s population, are not doing anything and neither are the Russkies, who believe AGW is an absolute crock based of some of their own solar observations. Lastly, the folks who are pushing hardest for this are not acting as if they believe it. For example, if enviros want to make me believe they are serious, they need to champion nuclear power. Plentiful energy and no CO2 and yes Yucca Mt is good enough.

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